Blu-ray, also referred to as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson). The format got its start to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), along with storing considerable amounts of information.
The format offers more than more the storage capacity of traditional DVDs which enable it to support 25GB over a single-layer disc and 50GB over a dual-layer disc. This extra capacity combined while using advanced video and audio codecs offer consumers an unprecedented HD experience. Recent development by Pioneer has pushed the storage capacity to 500GB with a single disc by making use of 20 layers.
While current optical disc technologies for example DVD, DVDR, DVDRW, and DVDRAM depend on a red laser to see and write data, the newest format uses a blue-violet laser instead, and so the name Blu-ray. Rapidly different form of lasers used, Blu-ray products may be easily made backwards compatible with CDs and DVDs with the use of a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical pickup unit.
The benefit of by using a blue-violet laser (405nm) is always that it provides a shorter wavelength than a red laser (650nm), which assists you to focus the laser spot with increased precision. This permits data to become packed more tightly and trapped in less space, so it’s possible to match more data around the disc even though it’s a similar size as being a CD/DVD. This along with the change of numerical aperture to .85 is exactly what enables Blu-ray Discs to keep 25GB/50GB.
BD is now based on about 200 in the world’s leading consumer electronics, computer system, recording media, video game and music companies. The format even offers support from all Hollywood studios and countless smaller studios as a successor to today’s DVD format. Many studios also have announced that they will begin releasing new feature films on Blu-ray Disc day-and-date with DVD, as well as a continuous slate of catalog titles monthly. To find out more about Blu-ray movies, take a look at our Blu-ray movies and Blu-ray reviews section that provides details about new and upcoming Blu-ray releases, and also what movies are currently available in the Blu-ray format.