Blu-Ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc, is a digital optical disc storage format developed in 2003 and released in 2006 as the first format that was capable of storing high-definition video on a disc, with significantly more capacity than a conventional DVD. Blu-Ray is also used for storing, playback, and pointing of 3D video content.
Blu-Ray discs are designed for data storage, audio and video playback, and are available in three sizes—12 cm (BD25), 8 cm (BD9), and 8 cm (BD5).
The BD25 and BD9 discs have a storage capacity of 25 and 9 GB, respectively, while the BD5 is usually used to replicate smaller single-layer DVD discs. It is also the closest size to DVD and can store up to 5 GB of data.
Blu-Ray discs are designed for high-definition video and are capable of delivering 1080P video and lossless multichannel audio via HDMI cables, as well as including interactive menus, multi-angle viewing, and other features not found on traditional DVDs.
Blu-Ray players are available for most major hardware platforms, including PC, Mac, and PlayStation 3, and can play both Blu-Ray and DVDs. Blu-Ray drive players are available for some laptops and desktop computers, and there are some external DVD burning solutions.
Three different disc formats of Blu-Ray have been developed over the years—the original Blu-Ray Disc, the BD-R (or Blue laser recordable disc), and the BD-RE (or Blue Laser Erasable Disc). The latter two are used for recording or burning data to optical discs, with BD-R discs being used for write-once and BD-RE discs being used for recording multiple times.
Blu-Ray is a popular optical media choice due to its ability to store significant amounts of data, its high-definition video and audio capabilities, and its compatibility with most consumer electronics and computers.