Blu-Ray Tech Primer V2: The Facts

We published a  primer a few weeks ago about the differences between Blu-Ray and DVD formats that really delved into what really made them diffrent. You might understand that the Blu-ray technology has the advantage over standard DVD in terms ofstorage and technological advancement and related intrigue, there are still some facts that seem to escape the knowledge of the common man. 

These are facts that this short article aims to drive home and perhaps should be viewed as somewhat of a laser beam focus on Blu-Ray to go alongside the primer mentioned previously. A Primer v2, if you will.

First Things First It is called Blu-ray, isn’t it? As has been mentioned countless times, the Blu in Blu-ray is a reference to the colour “blue”; that being the colour of the blue-violet laser that – instead of the previously more common red – is used to read the data from the Blu-ray storage medium. The ray is a reference to “optical ray”, but that is already regarded as common knowledge as well. What a lot of people do not know/understand and subsequently write/spell incorrectly is that one should not refer to the tech as being “Blue-ray” as this “blue” does not adequately refer to the name of the tech (even if it is the laser color), it’s technically Blu-ray through and through.

Developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, they’re pretty keen for people to get the spelling and terms of their technology down correctly. It should be known that the “e” is intentionally left off in order for a trademark to be registered and established. This also ties into the “Blu-ray Disc” title being the correct way to refer to the storage medium, as opposed to “disk”, which is technically incorrect. Along with this, the appropriate abbreviation is “BD” and not “BRD” or “BR”. Take a look at this great video put together by TDK that tells you everything you need to know about the Blu Ray format:

Who Is Responsible for this Storage Medium?

That would be the aforementioned Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), the consortium responsible for developing and licensing the Blu-ray technology, whose illustrious board members include such literal household names as Apple, Sony, Dell, and Samsung. What would become the BDA was started in 2002 (a few years after the very first Blu-ray prototypes had been unveiled in 2000), between MIT and nine other leading electronics companies, becoming the BDA officially in 2004, allowing others to join their ranks and expand.

HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray Format War

Their path was not always as clear as it seems today, as the Blu-ray format entered into a similar format war that Betamax and VHS had many moons ago. Blu-ray’s biggest/only competition was the HD DVD format in the 2000s. In the early years, the two formats emerged as being backed in equal measure by many heavyweight companies. This war raged on until early 2008 (a time in which both HD DVD players and BD players were being made commercially available), when several big-name companies shifted their allegiance to the BD format, sounding the death knell for Toshiba’s HD DVD, as they sorrowfully relinquished their position in the format war, this paving the way for Blu-ray as the victor.

Blu-Ray Formats

As with most storage mediums, there are a multitude of formats available. The one that the majority of us will (have) come across would be the BD-ROM, or the version that most home entertainment/software will be available on. The BD-R, where the “R” stands for “recordable”, it does just that. The BD-R is a recordable medium/format that allows HD video or standard data storage to be written to the BD itself. Another format would be the BD-RE, which follows in the same vein as the BD-R, with the added benefit of being rewritable.

The size is also something of note, being 25GB for a single layer and 50GB for dual layer BDs. However, the BDA have put plans in place to future-proof the BD technology by including support for multi-layer BDs (with around 25GB a layer), some of which are available on the market today. Triple layer BDs and even quadruple layer BDs are available, sporting an astounding 100GB and 128GB of storage space respectively, being designed for the BDXL rewritable drives/burners. Such capacity was perhaps even beyond the wildest dreams of those that pioneered the iconic floppy disc, but just look at us now.

Be sure to check out our latest Blu-Ray Burning Software Reviews.

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BurnWorld Reviewer ...
Rob Boirun

Founding member of the BurnWorld network. We focus on the 'storage' industry which covers everything from optical disc burning (DVD, Blu-Ray), to Cloud Storage, to Hard Disk Storage.

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