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Updated 08/11/2012Home » Video Glossary » Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Disc (BD) is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs.

Conventional (pre-BD-XL) Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) being the industry standard for feature-length video discs. Triple layer discs (100 GB) and quadruple layers (128 GB) are available for BD-XL re-writer drives. The name Blu-ray Disc refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs. The major application of Blu-ray Discs is as a medium for video material such as feature films. Besides the hardware specifications, Blu-ray Disc is associated with a set of multimedia formats. Generally, these formats allow for the video and audio to be stored with greater definition than on DVD.

The format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing makers of consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion pictures. The first Blu-ray Disc prototypes were unveiled in October 2000, and the first prototype player was released in April 2003 in Japan. Afterwards, it continued to be developed until its official release in June 2006.

Type Diameter (cm) Layers Capacity (GB)
Standard disc size, single layer 12 1 25.0
Standard disc size, dual layer 12 2 50.1
Standard disc size, XL 3 layer 12 3 100.1
Standard disc size, XL 4 layer 12 4 128.0
Mini disc size, single layer 8 1 7.8
Mini disc size, dual layer 8 2 15.6

Video BD-ROM

High-definition video may be stored on BD-ROMs with up to 1920×1080 pixel resolution at up to 59.94 fields per second, if interlaced. Alternatively, progressive scan can go up to 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 24 frames per second, or up to 1280×720 at up to 59.94 frames per second.