Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the successor to today's DVD format for high definition entertainment. It offers 5 times the picture quality of DVD and advanced interactivity. It enables recording, rewriting and playback of high definition content, and storing large amounts of data. Blu-ray is currently supported by the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer, recording media, video games, and music companies. The format also has support from all Hollywood studios and countless smaller studios.
Co-developed by Sony, Philips and Pioneer, Blu-ray Disc takes its name from the blue laser pickup which reads the digital data stored on the disc. Because the blue laser has a shorter wavelength, data can be stored more densely on a Blu-ray than on a red-laser DVD.
Here are the 6 Key Differences Between Blu-ray and DVD:
- Storage Capacity - The main benefit of Blu-ray Disc over DVDs is
the increased storage capacity. The Blu-ray format offers as much as 5 times the
storage capacity of traditional DVDs. It can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc
and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. This increased storage capacity translates to higher
video resolution and audio quality on your TV screen. Because Blu-ray Disc can store
25 GB of data you can fit an entire HD movie on a single layer disc.
- Picture Quality - The DVD format is limited to a resolution
of 720 x 480 which is called SD (Standard Definition). This resolution looks fine
on a standard old "tube” TV utilizing all available pixels on the screen. However,
if blown up to accommodate a widescreen HDTV the picture needs to be up-converted
and looks grainy.
Blu-ray resolution can be as high as 1920 x 1080, which is called Full HD (High Definition). This superior resolution is
what really makes Blu-ray video stand out from DVDs. A higher resolution image means
the viewer sees sharper and clearer detail when they watch the screen.
Furthermore, Blu-ray Disc uses a progressive scan format that projects the entire image in each frame. By contrast, DVDs
use an interlaced format where individual frames project alternating lines of video.
Progressive scan images are clearer and sharper than interlaced images.
- Audio Quality - Blu-ray's extensive storage capabilities mean that
it can store lossless, or uncompressed, audio. Most DVDs on the market today use
compressed audio, which results in lower quality audio reproduction. This is critical
especially for the music market, which strives to deliver the best audio quality.
- Bonus Features - The added space that gives Blu-ray better picture
quality and better audio quality also gives the medium added space for lots of bonus
features. More commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scenes footage
are possible with the extra space. Unlike DVD players, Blu-ray players can be connected
to the Internet as well, allowing for Internet-enhanced content.
- Cost - Blu-ray Disc players cost slightly more than DVD players;
however, prices are going down rapidly. Blu-ray Disc players can be purchased for
as little as $60 and high definition TVs for as little as $299.
- Menus - Blu-ray Disc offers better interactivity than DVD – specifically,
with menus that can run concurrently with the film. For example, while watching
the movie, the viewer can launch a popup menu on the screen, allowing the viewer
to access any part of the movie without having to stop playback. This makes the
entire user experience much more satisfying. This pop up menu feature is not available
on DVD, which requires you to stop playback and access the menu, interrupting movie