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Blu-ray Logo

Blu-ray is a high definition DVD format developed by Sony, and is in competition with Toshiba/NEC's rival HD DVD format. Please refer to The High Definition DVD FAQ for more information on Blu-ray.


Why choose Blu-ray?

Here is a (somewhat subjective) list of reason why one might choose to support Blu-ray:

  • Has studio support from a few of the biggest studios that have a huge catalogue of titles. The big ones include 20th Century Fox, Disney/Buena Vista MGM, Sony Pictures, Columbia/Tri-Stars, Warner Bros (but favors HD DVD, has some HD DVD exclusive titles).
  • Has the support of IT heavyweights such as Apple and Dell
  • Has the support of electronic manufacturers such as Pioneer, Panasonic, and of course, Sony
  • Some Blockbusters stores will only feature Blu-ray rentals
  • The PS3 supports it, so lots of people will have a Blu-ray player
  • Each layer on a Blu-ray disc holds 10 GB than the HD DVD equivalent

Why not choose Blu-ray?

Here is a list of reasons why you might not want to support Blu-ray:

  • High cost of hardware as compared to HD DVD, unless you already intend to buy a PS3
  • Region coding - Blu-ray has 3 region codes (A, B, C) and it will prevent parallel imports (for example, buying US discs from Australia to save money due to exchange rates is not possible)
  • Excessive copy protection ... not only does it include AACS like HD DVD, it also adds ROM Mark and BD+
  • Specifications not finalized yet, meaning future Blu-ray discs may have features that won't work on current players sold. Specifically, features already present on HD DVD movies like Picture-in-Picture and Internet based content might not be possible on currently sold Blu-ray players. Look for players that support Profile 2.0 features to avoid future problems.

Industry Backers

These backers back the Blu-ray format exclusively in the HD format war, meaning they will not support HD DVD in terms of software or hardware:

  • Sony
  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Panasonic
  • Philips
  • Pioneer
  • Sharp
  • TDK

There are also supporters of Blu-ray that also support HD DVD , and they include Hitachi Maxell, LG, Lite On, Onkyo, Meridan, Samsung, and Alpine.

Movie Studio Backers

Several movie studios offer exclusive support to Blu-ray, meaning they will not release any movies on HD DVD:

  • 20th Century Fox
  • Buena Vista
  • Columbia Pictures
  • Columbia/Tristar
  • Disney
  • Lionsgate
  • MGM (owned by Sony)
  • Sony Pictures/Group

There are also several studios that offer backing to both HD formats, and they include:

  • Brentwood
  • Discovery Channel
  • Goldhil
  • HBO
  • Image Entertainment
  • Koch Releasing
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • New Line Home Entertainment
  • Ryko Distribution
  • Studio Canal
  • Vivid (Adult)
  • Warner Brothers/Group
  • LD Asia

Gaming Support

Sony's PlayStation 3 includes a built-in Blu-ray player, and it is currently the most sold Blu-ray player on the market.

Technical Details

HD DVD Specifications
Laser Type: Blue-violet laser
Laser Wavelength: 405nm
Track Pitch: 0.32µm
Read Power: 0.35mW
Disc size: 120mm
    Single Layer: 25GB
    Dual Layer: 50GB
Transfer Rate: 1x => 36 Mbps
Video Resolution: 1080i (1920x1080 HD, 50i, 60i)
1080p (1920x1080 HD, 24p)
720p (1280x720, 50p, 60p, 24p)
SD (720x576/480, 50i, 60i)
Video Compression: MPEG-2
Microsoft VC-1
Audio Resolution/Compression: Dolby Digital Plus (DD+)
MLP 2-Channel
DTS-HD Lossless (optional)
Copy Protection AACS
ROM Mark
File System: DF 2.6

See Also

External Link