Tip #612: The Background of Blu-ray Disc

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #612: The Background of Blu-ray Disc

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

A quick look at the history of Blu-ray Disc.

The Blu-ray Disc logo.

Topic $TipTopic

I’ve gotten a fair amount of email recently asking about Blu-ray Discs.

The specs for Blu-ray Disc were developed by Sony and unveiled in October, 2000 specifically for HD media. The first Blu-ray prototype was released in April, 2003. The format is now controlled by the Blu-ray Disk Association.

Blu-ray Disc was named for the blue laser it uses to read and write media. Blue lasers support higher density storage than the red lasers used by DVDs.

A single layer Blu-ray Disc holds 25 GB, a dual-layer holds 50 GB. While vast at the time of its release, these small file limits today mean that we need to use significant media compression to get our files to fit. Currently, Blu-ray Discs support HD, HDR and 3D media formats, all within the same storage capacity.


  • The original DVD was designed for SD media and holds about 4.7 GB single layer or 8.5 GB dual-layer.
  • CD-ROMs hold between 650 – 700 MB.


Tip #613 has a list of all supported Blu-ray Disc distribution formats.

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