What is Blu-Ray?

by mcastellon on March 3, 2006

You might have heard people talking about Blu-Ray.

There’s good reason. Remember about eight years ago when you heard people mumbling about new contraptions called DVDs? Well, some geeky types think Blu-Ray will be the next new thing just like DVDs were back then. In fact, it’s just like DVD – but instead of standard definition movies you’ll be able to play high definition movies (if you have a high-def television).

It’s also kind of like the CDs you use with your computers. Odds are if you have a CD burner you can burn about 750MB of data to a standard disc.

With Blu-Ray technology you can burn between 25 – 50 gigabytes of data. Now thats a lot of data.

But what is Blu-Ray?

Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a next-generation optical disc format meant for storage of high-definition video and high-density data. The Blu-ray standard was jointly developed by a group of consumer electronics and PC companies called the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). As compared to the HD DVD format, its main competitor, Blu-ray has more information capacity per layer, 25 instead of 15 gigabytes, but may initially be more expensive to produce.

Blu-ray gets its name from the shorter wavelength (405 nm) of a “blue” (technically blue-violet) laser that allows it to store substantially more data than a DVD, which has the same physical dimensions but uses a longer wavelength (650 nm) red laser.

It likely will be a couple years before you have to worry about Blu-Ray discs making your current DVD collection obsolete. But now would be a good time to start thinking twice about buying any new boxsets – especially if you own or are considering owning a high-def television.





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