here’s some links and some blu-ray information. I needed to do my homework since I realized how little I actually knew about Blu-ray…
Blu-ray Disc is a next-generation, optical disc format that enables the ultimate high-def entertainment experience. Blu-ray Disc provides these key features and advantages:
Maximum picture resolution. Blu-ray Disc delivers full 1080p* video resolution to provide pristine picture quality.
Largest capacity available anywhere (25 GB single layer/50 GB dual layer). Blu-ray Disc offers up to 5X the capacity of today’s DVDs.
Best audio possible. Blu-ray Disc provides as many as 7.1 channels of native, uncompressed surround sound for crystal-clear audio entertainment.
Enhanced interactivity. Enjoy such capabilities as seamless menu navigation, exciting, new bonus features, and network/Internet connectivity.
Broadest industry support from brands you trust. More than 90% of major Hollywood studios, virtually all leading consumer electronics companies, four of the top computer brands, the world’s two largest music companies, PLAYSTATION® 3 and the leading gaming companies, all support Blu-ray Disc.
The largest selection of high-def playback devices.Blu-ray Disc is supported by many of the leading consumer electronics and computing manufacturers. That means you can maximize the use of your HDTV and your home entertainment system with the widest selection of high-def playback devices—including players, recorders, computers, aftermarket drives and the PLAYSTATION® 3 game console.
Backward compatibility**. Blu-ray Disc players enable you to continue to view and enjoy your existing DVD libraries.
Disc robustness. Breakthroughs in hard-coating technologies enable Blu-ray Disc to offer the strongest resistance to scratches and fingerprints.
Dolby Authoring and Mastering Solutions for High-Definition Disc Media, Blu-ray DVD, HD DVD, and DTV
Blu-ray.com – Blu-ray Movies, Players, Recorders, Media and Software
codecs for Blu-ray
Linear PCM (LPCM) – up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio. (mandatory)
Dolby Digital (DD) – format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) – extension of Dolby Digital, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
Dolby TrueHD – lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)
DTS Digital Surround – format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio – extension of DTS, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
DTS-HD Master Audio – lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)
Blu-ray Disc for Movie Distribution
Most people know about Blu-ray Disc’s basic features: It can store 25 GB (single layer) or 50 GB (dual layer) on a single-sided disc – about 5 to 10 times the capacity of DVD. As a result, Blu-ray Disc supports the highest quality HD video available in the industry (up to 1920 x 1080 at 40 Mbit/sec). Large capacity means no compromise on video quality. Furthermore, a Blu-ray Disc has the same familiar size and look as DVD, allowing for compatibility with existing discs.
Compatibility across full family
Blu-ray Disc Rewritable (BD-RE) and related video specifications were first defined in 2003. The Blu-ray Disc ROM format for movie distribution is fully based on this specification when it was defined in 2004. As a result, users can play home-recorded discs on all of their Blu-ray Disc equipment; there are no playback compatibility issues as with rewritable DVD formats. The Video Distribution format was widely expanded to offer content producers a full range of additional features unavailable in the home recording format.
The BD-ROM format for movie distribution supports three highly advanced video codecs, including MPEG-2, so an author can choose the most suitable one for a particular application. All codecs are industry standards, meaning easy integration with existing authoring tools, and choice from wide range of encoding solutions. All consumer video resolutions are available:
– 1920 x 1080 HD (50i, 60i and 24p)
– 1280 x 720 HD (50p, 60p and 24p)
– 720 x 576/480 SD (50i or 60i)
The BD-ROM format for movie distribution supports various advanced audio codecs, so an author can choose the most suitable for a particular application. The high capacity and data rate of Blu-ray Disc allow for extreme high quality audio in up to 8 channels to accompany High Definition video. Final audio specifications include DTS (core format), Dolby Digital AC-3 and LPCM (up to 96/24) . Optionally, the format might support DTS++ and LPCM 192/24 7.1.
Exceed DVD feature set
The Blu-ray Disc movie distribution format was designed to offer all of the features and the familiar user interface model of DVD-Video. However, content producers have a wide array of new and extended features to be included in a Blu-ray Disc title. For this, two profiles are available:
Offers all features of DVD-Video and more. The authoring process is in line with DVD-Video creation.
Offers unparalleled flexibility and features, because it is based on the Java runtime environment. It allows for extensive interactive applications, and offers Internet connectivity.
“HDMV” mode was designed to offer exciting new features, while keeping the authoring process as simple as possible. It streamlines the production of both Blu-ray Disc as well as DVD-Video titles, as the production process incorporates many identical phases. It offers improved navigational and menu features, improved graphics and animation, improved subtitling support and new features like browsable slideshows.
Unlike DVD-Video, the Blu-ray Disc format allows for data to be read from a different location on the disc, while uninterruptedly decoding and playing back video. This allows the system to call up menus, overlay graphics, pictures, button sounds, etc. at user request without stopping playback. Some examples of possibilities will be explained later.
Two individual, full HD resolution (1920×1080) graphics planes are available, on top of the HD video plane. One plane is assigned to video-related, frame accurate graphics (like subtitles), and the other plane is assigned to interactive graphical elements, such as buttons or menus. For both planes, various wipes, fades and scroll effects are available, for example to present a menu.
Menu buttons can have three different states: Normal, Active and Selected. They support 256 color full-resolution graphics and animation, thereby greatly surpassing the capabilities of DVD-Video. Buttons can be called and removed during video playback, there is no need to return to a “menu screen”.
Button sounds can be loaded into memory of the Blu-ray Disc player. When a user highlights or selects a menu option, the sound can be played (such as a voice-over explaining the highlighted menu choice, or button clicks). These button sounds can even be mixed with the running audio from the movie or menu.
In DVD-Video, playback was interrupted each time a new menu screen is called. Due to Blu-ray Disc’s ability to read data from the disc without interrupting the current audio/video stream, a menu can consist of several pages. Users will be able to browse through the menu pages or select different menu paths, while the audio and video remain playing in the background.
In DVD-Video, user browsable slideshows were not possible with uninterrupted audio. As a result of Blu-ray Disc’s ability to read data from the disc without interrupting the current audio/video stream, users can browse through various still pictures while the audio remains playing. This applies not only to forward and backward selecting: A user can make different selections on what picture to view (or select from a screen presented with thumbnail images) while the audio remains playing.
In DVD-Video, subtitles were stored in the audio/video stream, and therefore they had limitations on the number of languages and display styles. Again, it is due to Blu-ray Disc’s ability to read data from the disc without interrupting the current audio/video stream, that subtitles can be stored independently on the disc. A user may select different font styles, sizes and colors for the subtitles, or location on screen, depending on the disc’s offerings. Subtitles can be animated, scrolled or faded in and out.
“BD-J” mode was designed to offer the content provider almost unlimited functionality when creating interactive titles. It is based on Java 2 Micro Edition, so programmers will quickly be familiar with the programming environment for BD-J. Every Blu-ray Disc player will be equipped with a Java interpreter, so that it is capable of running discs authored in BD-J mode.
Graphical User Interface
In BD-J mode, the author has complete freedom in designing the user interface. The interface is controllable by using standard navigational buttons on the remote. It can display up to 32-bit dynamically generated graphics (millions of colors), and it supports the display of pictures in standard file formats like JPEG, PNG, etc.
The BD-J application can act as the sole interface to the disc’s contents (thus replacing the player’s on-screen controls as with discs authored in HDMV mode). The BD-J environment offers all of the playback features of HDMV mode, including the selection of subtitle, trick play modes, angles, etc. Video can even be scaled dynamically, so that it can be played in a small size in the corner of a menu, and resume full screen when a selection is made.
A Blu-ray Disc player might contain a small amount of non-volatile system storage (flash memory). This system storage can be used to store game scores, bookmarks, favorites from a disc, training course results, etc. As a manufacturer’s option, a Blu-ray Disc player may also be equipped with Local Storage (hard disk, to allow large amounts of data like audio/video to be stored).
The BD-J system supports basic Internet protocols like TCP/IP and HTTP. The player may connect to the disc publisher’s web site to unlock certain content on the disc (after certain conditions, like payment, are met), or dynamically display certain info (like theater playing schedules for a movie) on the screen. The disc’s program may be extended with JPEG pictures or audio fragments downloaded from the Internet, or it can even stream full new audio/visual content to Local Storage.
The Blu-ray Disc format for Movie Distribution offers two flexible profiles for the creation of titles. It was designed to allow for the streamlined development of Blu-ray Disc (HD) and DVD-Video (SD) titles at the same time, if needed. Basic menus and navigation can be identical. However, it also offers many new functions that will benefit both the author (by offering flexible ways of creating disc content), as well as end users (by offering exciting new functionality compared to DVD-Video)
Blu-ray Disc for Video
What is the quality of Blu-ray Disc video?
Blu-ray Disc offers HDTV video quality that far surpasses any other medium or broadcast format available today. With High Definition video with a resolution of up to 1920×1080 and up to a 54 Mbit/sec bandwidth (roughly double that of a normal HDTV broadcast), no other format can match Blu-ray Disc’s video quality. Furthermore, due to the overwhelming capacity of a Blu-ray Disc, no tight compression algorithms that may alter the picture quality are required, as with other formats that offer less recording space. Depending on the application, Blu-ray Disc also supports other video formats, including standard definition TV.
How much video will fit on a Blu-ray Disc?
As with DVD, this depends on the decisions on the usage of video bandwidth, the number of audio tracks and other criteria made by the author of the disc. Furthermore, the choice of the used codec also influences playback time. On average, a single-layer disc can hold a High Definition feature of 135 minutes using MPEG-2, with additional room for 2 hours of bonus material in standard definition quality. A double-layer disc even extends these numbers up to 3 hours in HD quality and 9 hours of SD bonus material. Using any of the advanced codecs, these numbers can even be significantly increased.
Do I need a new (HD) 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. Likewise, a Blu-ray Disc recorder can also record standard definition video, for example from regular TV broadcasts or camcorders. A Blu-ray Disc can store around 10 hours of broadcast quality standard definition video on a single-layer disc, or around 20 hours on a dual-layer disc.
How does Blu-ray Disc region coding work?
Contrary to DVD, the Blu-ray Disc region coding system divides the world into only 3 regions, called regions A, B and C. The usage of region coding on a Blu-ray Disc movie title is a publisher’s option. A Blu-ray Disc player will play any movie title that does not have region coding applied, plus all titles of its corresponding region.
– North America
– Central America
– South America
– South East Asia
– Middle East
– New Zealand
– Rest of World