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The Blu-ray Format Reinvents High Definition Storage

January 14, 2015

There’s a keystone in every great invention.

The use of digital technology has become increasingly prevalent since the late 1940s. As technology grew, so did the need for additional means to store digital information. The compact disc (CD) was created to solve that issue, but ultimately fell short. CDs were succeeded by digital video discs (DVDs); although boasting six times the storage capability of CDs, DVDs were not ideal for high definition media.

The demand for high definition movies, audio, and video games was at its highest during the early 2000s—this lead to the creation of the Blu-ray Disc format. 

History of Blu-ray

The first Blu-ray player became available to the general public in 2003. Before that occurred, Dr. Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara invented blue laser diodes—lasers with shorter wavelengths (up to 405 nanometers) were used to read and write Blu-ray discs. The short wavelengths enable the blue laser diodes to write larger amounts of content on the discs themselves.

Nakamura’s innovative diodes led to collaboration between consumer electronic giants Sony and Phillips; the two companies applied the diodes to two rewriteable disc formats: Ultra Density Optical (UDO) and DVR Blue. These formats ultimately paved the way for Blu-ray.

Capable of providing five to 10 times the storage capacity of its predecessor DVDs, Blu-ray Discs were primed to become the next high definition storage media.

Early Blu-ray Players     

The initial DVR Blue prototypes were created by Sony in 2000, and two years later, DVR Blue became known as Blu-ray. In 2003, the Sony BDZ-S77 Blu-ray player made its debut in Japan; at that time, movies had yet to be released on Blu-ray format. Before movie studios gave Blu-ray players the green light, the devices would need digital rights management.   

To appease movie executives, several electronic companies formed a consortium that established standards and licenses for the new format; first called the Blue-ray Disc founder group, they later became the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

The BDA consisted of Sony, Phillips, Panasonic, LG Electronics, Sharp, Hitachi, Samsung, and Pioneer. As time progressed, the Blu-ray format gained legitimacy, and more Blu-ray players were being released.

Samsung’s BD-P1000 player hit the market in 2006, and it was soon followed by Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game console. The PlayStation 3 used Blu-ray as its main storage medium, and the console helped push Blu-ray further into the limelight. Sony’s devices were in direct competition with Toshiba’s HD DVD player, but by 2008, the HD DVD format had become obsolete.

Benefits of Blu-ray

The Blu-ray Disc format can store between 25 to 50 GB of memory, and it provides the highest definition video quality possible. Additionally, Blu-ray has exceptional content protection to safeguard against illegal movie and video game reproductions. Though the first Blu-ray player cost nearly $4,000 dollars, modern devices are much more economical and plentiful as well.

Blu-ray is supported by every major consumer electronics company in the world. To provide such high quality storage, playback, and audio, Blu-ray players depend on various Keystone products: test points, tips and probes, LED Spacer Mounts, Battery Clips, Contacts and Holders, plugs & sockets, and PC Card computer brackets.

The Blu-ray format creates a unique experience that has yet to be recreated by any other format. With key contributors such as Acer Inc., Fujifilm, Universal Studios and others, you can be assured that Blu-ray technology will continue to advance.