With the emerging trend of HDTVs becoming more common, and consumers getting used to High Definition quality and expecting the same from their pre-recorded media, the logical next step is the distribution of packaged media in HD format. Blu-ray Disc is the ideal format to suit this need.
Due to its huge capacity, the Blu-ray Disc format not only allows for a movie to be stored in the absolute best High Definition quality on a disc, but it also offers room for additional extras such as making of and special features. Blu-ray Disc even offers the room to store these extras in HD quality as well. There's no need to pack an additional disc to store these bonus materials, thereby eliminating costs for content providers and simplifying the end-user experience.
The large capacity of Blu-ray Disc may also be utilized to create discs with large amounts of material in standard definition quality, such as TV shows. Where a typical season of a TV show required multiple disc sets, entire series can now be stored on one Blu-ray Disc (for example: Seinfeld - Seasons 1-3, 40 episodes requires eight DVD's. This could fit on one or two BDs depending upon bonus content).
What's more, the capacity and the enhanced interactive and network features of the Blu-ray Disc for Movie Distribution format also offers new and unprecedented features. For example, additional video material may be stored on the disc in a "locked" way, only accessible to users who have been authorized to do so after an online payment procedure. Additionally, users might be able to make direct purchases of merchandise related to the disc's content, such as sequel discs or theater tickets. The interactive features of Blu-ray Disc go way beyond those offered by DVD-Video, adding additional value to a title release on Blu-ray Disc.
Lastly, although the Blu-ray Disc format does incorporate advanced codecs, it provides enough room to use the MPEG-2 format for encoding of High Definition images at a high bitrate. As MPEG-2 is the de facto industry standard used for DVD, digital broadcasting, HDTV and most other industry areas involving digital video, there is very broad industry support for MPEG-2 authoring equipment.
Refer to the Blu-ray Disc Key Characteristics section for more information about the production costs of a Blu-ray Disc and the unmatched copy protection features of the Blu-ray Disc format.