What is Blu-ray Disc?
Blu-ray Disc is a next generation optical media format. Each disc, the same size as a regular DVD, can produce a progressive video image resolution of up to 1920 x 1080 (known as 1080p) for truly stunning visuals. Blu-ray also offers a significantly higher data transfer rate than television HD broadcasts for an improved picture presentation
Currently Blu-ray can store 25GB of data on a single layer which means that dual layer discs can harbour a potential 50GB of HD content. Regular dual layer DVD is only able to present 9GB of SD content.
What audio formats are available on Blu-ray Disc?
Linear PCM (LPCM): this format offers up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio.
Dolby Digital (DD): this format (formerly known as AC3) is currently used on existing DVDs and offers up to 5.1 channel digital surround sound.
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+): an extension of DD, this format offers increased bitrates and 7.1 channel surround sound.
Dolby TrueHD: this format offers lossless audio encoding of up to 8 discrete channels.
DTS Digital Surround: this format, currently used for some existing DVDs, offers 5.1-channel surround sound at an increased bitrate to Dolby Digital (DD).
DTS-HD: an extension of DTS, this format offers increased bitrates and up to 8 discrete channels.
Please note: although Blu-ray Disc supports all the above formats, it is dependent on the content manufacturer to decide which are included on the release of a particular disc and you may require an additional hardware decoder to access some formats.
Does Blu-ray Disc have Region Coding?
Yes. Regions are specified below.
Imposed by the film studios due to the staggered theatrical release of movies worldwide and to protect exclusive markets, region coding was designed as a method of ensuring discs would be playable only in certain geographical locations.
Region A: North America, South America, East Asia except for China
Region B: Europe and Africa
Region C: China, Russia and other countries
What is the new copy protection technology on Blu-ray Disc?
Blu-ray utilises a rigorous content protection system called AACS (Advanced Access Content System) and an additional, unique system called BD+
In simple terms, the AACS protection is incorporated as a part of the content itself and can detect compromised hardware.
BD+ allows the Content Protection to be renewed automatically by new discs. This means that if a player has been hacked, it will not remain so indefinitely and the protection can be renewed.
Blu-ray also allows discs to be watermarked (BD ROM-Mark) to render piracy extremely difficult.
Can I play Blu-ray Disc on my existing DVD player?
No. To ensure playback you’ll need a dedicated Blu-ray player, Sony PlayStation 3 or a BD-Rom drive in your PC.
Can I play DVDs on a Blu-ray player?
Yes. Blu-ray players have been designed to be backwards compatible with regular DVDs so you can continue to enjoy your existing collection. In addition, Blu-ray equipment will allow upscaling of a DVD image up to a resolution 1080i/1080p for maximum visual quality.
Can I play Blu-ray Disc in a HD DVD player?
No. Blu-ray Discs are not compatible with HD DVD machines. Playback of Blu-ray Discs is limited to equipment bearing the Blu-ray Disc logo.
Do I need a new high definition TV to use Blu-ray Disc?
No. Pre-recorded Blu-ray Disc titles will play on any standard definition TV set, even if the video was encoded in High Definition.