It is my belief that HD DVDs are better than the digital download formats. They tend to make a much better visual experience as well as better sound. I think that the HD DVDs are a better buy and will overall contribute to a better viewing experience for everyone involved.
HD DVD's and digital download formats are more or less the same thing. Digital downloads are usually straight DVD rips directly from the DVD disk that. That being said, the quality of the picture, sound, etc, should both be the exact same whether, you are watching on a TV or computer.
No, HD DVDs are not better than digital download formats, because a digital download has no chance to be broken or corrupted. With an HD DVD, the DVD can be corrupted. It can be scratched, or you can lose it. With a digital format, there is no chance that anything can be broken. It is more likely to work, and guaranteed to work perfectly.
Films are recently being sold in a few hard copy options, namely DVD's and Blu Ray discs. HD DVD's were released as a high quality DVD when Blu Ray was introduced, as a competitor. They failed and are no longer made. I do not believe digital download formats are preferred by some people but I do not believe we have enough cross platform recognition to make it a viable choice for keeping a purchased film yet.
HD DVDs are not better than digital download formats. Actually, we will never know because the production of HD DVDs is dead. They do not make these products anymore because of the Sony blu-ray disc was more appealing then HD DVD. However, now the threat is digital downloads that are increasing in number.