So, what is Blu-ray?

Everyone is talking about Blu-ray print these days and I thought I really want to talk about the misconceptions people have about it.

Remember my sources come from the Blu-ray website which is : http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/

So here it is

Blur-ray is not a video or an audio format. It is simply a type of disc that holds more information. Blu-ray and not Blue-ray is known as Blu-ray “Disc” (BD), I highlighted Disc earlier because I wanted you to know that, that’s all it really is.

It is the name of a new optical disc format (which makes it a hardware and not a software) jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. Which means, it is“hardware” again – which can hold huge amount of data like a DVD can.

Earlier you had VCR which could show you really bad print movies which if you play on your TV today will look very bad, especially because your TV may support HD (High Definition) and are bigger than the TV you owned then (which means pixilated movies). But then things became digital and VCD’s were introduced. This meant that it could be kept nicely without getting any fungus or dirt to spoil the print. VCD’s however were good but not as clear as DVD because you could easily see the patches (pixels). You would usually find that action scenes or scenes that moved looked like they were dragged against the screen.

Thanks to DVD, we reached the standard definition format which meant that you had a good quality movie you could see on your TV. Again, they called it standard definition which means  it ever made it to HD quality.

Thanks to cable, we could see some channels which made a big impact on the quality of sound and the video by introducing high definition video and audio.  What I am trying to say here is, if you use a DVD to view a movie and see the same movie on a channel that gives you HD quality, you will see that the channel gave you enhanced color, sound and clarity beyond imagination without any lag when there were scenes that involved faster graphics.

Then is when a question arose as to how people can see HD quality movies when they do not have the disc that can hold that kind of movies. Which meant, that the movie was so huge because it was meant to give you that experience that it would not fit in your usual DVD or rather even double layered DVD (which means it has about 8GB of data storage instead of the usual 4.7gb)

So they made a new kind of CD (Compact disc) called Blu-Ray Disc. This format offered more than five times (thats 5) the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and could hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc (just like the regular 4,7gb DVDs) and 50GB on a dual-layer disc (The kinds I like). You also have 100 and 128 GB Blu-ray discs (My ultimate happiness lies with more). This extra capacity combined with the use of advanced video and audio codec’s makes consumers a promise of unprecedented HD experience.

So, this means, your HD quality movie will be the same as it in on the cable channel like it would be when you actually insert the Blu-ray disc in a Blu-ray compatible player. Yes, which means, you need a separate kind of a player for these HD movies.

So, why am I explaining all this to you? Simply because the market sells you near blu-ray print quality movies and I kind of don’t like that term. What is wrong about it? The fact is, whatever you do, the only way to get that quality is to have that kind of a disc with that kind of space to manage that. And the DVD (hardware for your movie) cannot give you that experience no matter what you do or near it. May be you won’t understand it because you may have a 32″ or a 42″ screen and your TV may not show you those errors. These errors would be more prominent with bigger TVs as they are the ones who have even more pixels to manage the picture you see which means, it needs more quality and Blu-ray fulfills that.

So they say it’s a near Blu-ray format… especially those people on streets who sell you movies… its just a term used very well to fool you.

Like I said, you can only hold a glass of water in a glass like DVD and Blu-ray is like a tank in comparison to it. People say there are movies in Blu-ray format which is false. The format is Blu-ray for the hardware (in which the movie goes). The movie could only be of these formats which is

MPEG-2 – enhanced for HD, also used for playback of DVDs and HDTV recordings.
MPEG-4 AVC – part of the MPEG-4 standard also known as H.264 (High Profile and Main Profile).
SMPTE VC-1 – standard based on Microsoft’s Windows Media Video (WMV) technology.

So if someone says that an ancient movie is available in Blu-ray – ITS A BIG LIE, Why do I say it? Because it will still be up to the movie studios (the maker of that movie or its distributor) to decide which video codec(s) they use for their releases on the Blu-ray disc and only then will it be available (or copied to Blu-ray discs) and if its  a blue-ray version, it’s going to be very big for you to write it on a DVD as it’s a highest quality (big size) movie.

You can of course copy anything like songs, movies, data and more of a blu-ray disc as its a disc and it can store big files. But will it give you Blu-ray quality if you save a file that is small just because its on DVD – of course not. It will only save it the way it was. If you need a HD print to be copied, you will need to find ways to get that kind of a quality print online or some other way.

Simply, it’s like me saying, I have a movie format which has a size of 4 GB, will you help me write it on a regular VCD? The answer you will give me is, “NO I can’t because the VCD is only 700mb in size”. You cannot reduce the size of that file and keep the same quality as it will not fit in it. If you did it, your movie will look patchy as the quality has reduced.

Again, the quality of the movie has nothing to do with it being on Blu-ray disc. If you have a HD movie that is best quality and you need to copy it on one disc, Blu-ray disc is your answer. And that’s why, movie makers and distributes prefer that format more now so that they give you best quality – that is all they want it for. I want it, so I can make many copies of my data and keep it safe so if my HDD ever crashes, I won’t have to cry my eyes out.

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One response to “So, what is Blu-ray?

  1. A lot of older titles are also coming out on Bluray….it does wonders for the classics such as “Ben Hur”, “Lawrence of Arabia” etc. The best thing about the format is that there is a quantum leap in the SOUND as well as the picture quality. This is because Dolby Digital 5.1 (which is the standard audio format on DVD) is compressed; while its HD counterpart on Bluray preserves the dynamics (i.e. the contrast between really soft and REALLY loud) of the original in all its glory. Which means, however, that you need to have equipment capable of decoding these new HD-audio formats….and speakers which can do them justice!

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