Types of discs:

    Blu-ray Disc™ technology makes the task of choosing which basic media type to use easy with three different formats:

    BD-R (Blu-ray Disc Recordable) - a write-once recordable format for high definition video recording and PC data storage.
    BD-RE (Blu-ray Disc Re-writable) - rewritable format for high definition video recording and PC data storage.
    BD-ROM (Blu-ray Disc Read Only Memory) - read only format used to store purchased high definition movies, music, software, and games.

    Types of capacity:

    Recordable Blu-ray Discs can store 25GB or 50GB of information. With so much space available, you can archive all your favorite pictures, music, videos, and other important data across much fewer discs than when using CD or DVD media.

    Types of authored discs:

    There are different types of formats in which Blu-ray Discs can be authored:

    BDAV - a ?plain' format that is intended for home video with no interactivity. A BDAV disc is basically video on a disc. Content on a BDAV disc is playable on a Blu-ray Disc player from beginning to end.
    BDMV - a common format used for both home video and movie studio films which offers a complete menu system. Here, the menus are an updated take on the type used for DVD-Video. This format is also highly compatible with both early and current generations of Blu-ray Disc players.
    (BD Java) - by using the Java programming language, content providers can create much more exciting and interactive discs than ever before. Menus are even more imaginative complete with advanced text, picture, video, and animation features. Search and bookmark functionalities are common. And fun games and activities can be made available and playable with compatible Blu-ray Disc players.

    Blu-ray Disc player profiles:

    The BD-ROM specification defines four profiles that Blu-ray Disc players can support:

    Profile 1.0 - also called ?BD-Video,' this was the first type Blu-ray Disc player released out to the market. Players with this profile are not required to support advanced features such as secondary audio and video and Internet connectivity.
    Profile 1.1 - dubbed ?Bonus View,' Blu-ray players of this type are required to handle picture-in-picture images and video while providing support for secondary audio. Internet connectivity is not a required specification.
    Profile 2.0 - given the name ?BD-Live,' these types of players offer full support for picture-in-picture content while also being able to connect out to the Internet. Discs with BD-Live features can be used to download additional bonus content, trailers, cell phone ring tones, and even games from movie studios. Unique interactive features will also be made available on select BD-Live movie discs.
    Profile 3.0 - called ?BD-Audio,' players of this type are for audio only. Video decoding capabilities and BD Java support are not required. At this time, there are no BD-Audio players nor are there any disc releases for that format.

    Supported video CODECs:

    Blu-ray Disc supports various video technologies to give you the best video you have ever seen:

    MPEG-2 - this is the same type of video coding used for DVD-Video. It offers quality compression of video and audio and was mainly used when Blu-ray Disc movies first went to market. Current use of MPEG-2 has been relegated to lower-budget movie release titles and home video.
    VC-1 - originally developed by Microsoft, this video coding method offers advanced compression, bit rate, and resolution support.
    H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC - this is a highly advanced video compression standard which can give excellent picture quality even at low bit rates. Video compressed in this format is also used in devices such as cell phones, portable media players, and handheld game systems.

    Supported audio CODECs:

    Blu-ray Disc content providers can encode sound in any of the following formats to challenge even the most advanced home theater setups:

    Audio CODEC Description
    Linear PCM (LPCM) Up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio
    Dolby Digital (DD) Format used for DVD-Video discs; up to 5.1-channel surround sound
    Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) Extension of Dolby Digital; up to 7.1-channel surround sound
    Dolby TrueHD Lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio
    DTS Digital Surround Format used for DVD-Video discs; up to 5.1-channel surround sound
    DTS-HD High Resolution Audio Extension of DTS; up to 7.1-channel surround sound
    DTS-HD Master Audio Extension of Dolby Digital; up to 7.1-channel surround sound