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We compare convolutional codes and LDPC codes with respect to their decoding performance and their structural delay, which is the inevitable delay solely depending on the structural properties of the coding scheme. Besides the decoding performance, the data delay caused by the channel code is of great importance as this is a crucial factor for many applications. Convolutional codes are known to show a good performance while imposing only a very low latency on the data. LDPC codes yield superior decoding performance but impose a larger delay due to the block structure. The results obtained by comparison will also be related to theoretical limits obtained from random coding and the sphere packing bound. It will be shown that convolutional codes are still the first choice for applications for which a very low data delay is required and the bit error rate is the considered performance criterion. However, if one focuses on a low signal-to-noise ratio or if the obtained frame error rate is the base for comparison, LDPC codes compare favorably.