Blu-Ray Disc: Latest Optical Disc Format Explained

Just when we think technology can't get any better, along comes something to prove us wrong! If you've heard the latest commercials for new DVD's or CD's and they mention something called "Blu-Ray" or "Blu-Ray Disc", you're probably wondering just what this is. Briefly, this is the latest optical disc format which has been developed by the Blu-Ray Association, or "BDA." This association is made up of the major players in the electronics world, including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony, and many more. This format was developed for recording, rewriting and playback in high-definition video, and for increased storage capabilities on DVD's and CD's. This format stores more than five times the data as the current technology. Called "Blu-Ray" because of the blue-violet laser used (rather than the traditional red laser), the blu-ray laser can focus the laser with more pinpoint accuracy, allowing data to be packed more tightly so that more data can fit on a disc. This article will explain more about the technology and how it is being used to enhance our entertainment enjoyment.

Blu-Ray Disc Uses

You're probably wondering just how you can make use of this new technology, among other things. You'll find this in many entertainment devices, such as dvd's and cd's. You'll even find it in some of the game systems. Here's more information on each device that Blu-Ray is available in. You'll note that the prices are a lot higher than current technology. Unless you have to be the first person on your block to have own one, you'd do well to wait a bit before purchasing one. As technology improves and more players hit the market, prices will drop.

  • Blu-Ray Players
    To play the blu-ray dvd's and cd's, you'll need something to play them on. Blu-ray player manufacturers include JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony. There are many others entering the market as well. At the time this article was researched and written, Samsung had several models available, ranging in price from $488 to around $1,000. Sony's prices range from about $450 to $700 for their several models.
  • Blu-Ray Recorders
    Some companies are just beginning to release blu-ray recorders at the time this article is being written. According to PC World, Sharp's entry into the blu-ray recording market will be in December 2007, in Japan. It's initial cost will be around $3,050. Matsushita (Panasonic) released a model in July 2007. Other makers only have prototype models at this time. Watch for more manufacturers to release blu-ray recorders in the near future.
  • Games and Game Players
    Sony Playstation 3 is currently the only game maker using this technology, although other makers were expected to enter the market soon at the time this article was written.. Still a little spendy, we checked prices at and found prices between $400 and $500 for the Sony Playstation3. Many games are being released as you read this, just in time for Christmas. Prices average around $60 each game at

  • Music
    More music titles are being added to the list of blu-ray music cd's. We found the best prices at A few titles that were available at the time this article was written include cd's by Tony Bennett, AC/DC, U2, Led Zeppelin, and more--too many to name here. More will be added. At the prices for blu-ray cd's weren't too awfully more expensive than the standard ones.
  • Movies
    This category is where you will see the majority of the blu-ray media. At the time this article was written, six of the eight major motion picture studios were committed to blu-ray, including Disney, MGM, Lionsgate, 20th Century, Sony and Warner. The other two, Universal and Paramount, haven't joined yet, but they may do so in the future. You will find blu-ray movies available in every genre (comedy, action, drama, etc.) with more being added all the time. At you can order blu-ray movie titles for very little more than standard dvd's. And at you can get a list of available dvd's as well the upcoming releases.

Final Thoughts

This is all pretty new technology, and as with all new technology, it's quite expensive at first. Waiting a while before buying blu-ray players and recorders should see improvements in technology and lower prices too. The cd's and dvd's may come down in price as well, although currently they aren't much more expensive than standard ones.

Oh, and one other piece of good news! Blu-ray technology is what is called "backwards-compatible." This means that you don't have to start your movie and music collection all over again like we did to replace the VHS format. While the effects won't be the same, your standard cd's and dvd's will play on the new blue-ray disc players. How could you go wrong?

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