BD Key Characteristics
- Broadest Industry Support
- Content Protection
- Robustness of Disc
Broadest Industry Support
History has shown that unified industry support for a particular format is most likely to lead to success. Therefore, the participation of the world's most renowned consumer electronics manufacturers and IT companies are leading in the success of the best standard for next-generation storage: Blu-ray Disc. Blu-ray Disc is supported by leading hardware manufacturers across the CE and IT fields from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Korea, including Dell, HP, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Thomson/RCA. Finally, major blank media manufacturers including TDK are supporting the Blu-ray Disc format as the successor of DVD. This broad industry support will lead to a broad selection of Blu-ray Disc products, including home video decks, PC drives, PCs line-fitted with Blu-ray Disc drives and blank media, to be available when the format is launched in the various regions in the world.
The Blu-ray Disc format is designed to stay relevant for at least 10 to 15 years. Its high storage capacity of 25 to 50 GB allows for the best-possible High Definition video quality and satisfies even the most demanding data storage needs. As we have seen with DVD in the past, most premium titles require two discs. This is why Blu-ray Disc incorporates the additional storage space that is required for a High Definition feature film including bonus bonus material in the new standard from the beginning. Formats with a lesser capacity are only suitable as interim solutions, requiring them to be replaced much sooner than a format that takes tomorrow's data storage needs into account from day one. This will of course require multiple investments in production equipment, and will lead to increased consumer confusion.
Blu-ray Disc provides some of the strongest copy protection methods ever developed for any consumer format. It makes Blu-ray Disc the best choice for any content publisher wanting assurance that their valuable assets are protected from piracy. Based on feedback from the content industry and taking a cue from the lessons learned by other formats, the Blu-ray Disc format incorporates a robust copy protection mechanism, which not only relies on implementation at the playback device, but which also includes precautions at replicator level, which will be strictly controlled. Unlike the voluntary implementation of CSS protection in DVD, the copy protection mechanism for Blu-ray Disc is mandatory and will be governed by strict licensing procedures.
Blu-ray Disc is developed to offer the best long-term profitability model for content providers. Although it might require a nominal investment in advance, it provides greater and longer-term profit potential. This is because the format is designed to last for a period of at least 10 to 15 years. Due to its enormous storage capacity, short-erm replacement of the technology is unnecessary, unlike other format proposals that might require less investment in advance, but higher investments in the long term due to the replacement of the technology when it becomes outdated. At comparable volumes, Blu-ray Disc production costs are within 10% of DVD production costs, although a Blu-ray Disc offers 5-10 x the capacity. It is by far the cheapest format measured in cost per GB. Since Blu-ray Disc requires fewer slots in a replication line compared to other formats, it will bring costs on par with DVD, or even cheaper, much sooner. Production facilities can produce many more Blu-ray Discs in the same time period as DVDs. Also, contrary to some rumors circulating, Blu-ray Discs do not require cartridges for any of the format variations (BD ROM, BD RE, and BD R).
The Blu-ray Disc format offers the highest capacity of any consumer media format to date, also greatly surpassing the capacity of other format proposals. Blu-ray Disc's huge capacity allows not only for the highest quality High Definition video to be recorded at large bitrates (thereby eliminating the need for tight compression that could affect picture quality), it also opens the doors to new and existing applications. Think of extra sessions on a disc that could be unlocked when a user's Blu-ray Disc player connects to the Internet to validate authorization. Or what about bonus material and special features that will eventually also be recorded in High Definition quality? With Blu-ray Disc's large capacity, these extras can be included in high quality on the same disc, so there is no need for separate bonus discs to accompany the movie title. Only Blu-ray Disc will be able to offer these value-added options.
Robustness of Disc
As the result of recent breakthroughs in the development of hard coating for Blu-ray Disc, the discs offer much stronger resistance to scratches and fingerprints than other existing and proposed formats. Hard-coated Blu-ray Discs do not require a cartridge and can be used as a bare disc, similar to DVD and CD. This avoids extra production costs, and allows for small form factor applications, such as the implementation of Blu-ray Disc drives in a notebook computer. The hard-coating technology is used for BD ROM discs, giving them the same bare disc look and feel consumers know from DVD, and it can be applied to rewritable and recordable Blu-ray Discs as well.