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Blu-ray Disc

March 7, 2005
James Huguenin-Love
 VHS: analog
DVD: digital
BD: high-definition
 Enables recording,
rewriting, and
playback of high-
definition video
 Capable of storing
information that the
DVD and CD are not
capable of holding

Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”

 Blu-ray disc (BD) is appropriately named after
the blue laser used to write the data
 The first blue laser was developed in 1996 by
Shuji Nakamura (Nichia Corporation)
 In 2002, an alliance was formed, called the Blu-
ray Disc Association, including the likes of
Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard, and
Royal Phillips
 The “e” is intentionally left out of the name due
to trademark restrictions
Disc Characteristics
 Single layer: 25 GB
Dual layer: 50 GB
 Diameter: 120 mm
 Thickness: 1.2 mm
 Center hole
diameter: 15 mm
 Uses GaN laser of
wavelength 400 nm
 The smaller laser,
compared to the
DVD and CD, keeps
the process more
efficient (~5 mW) Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”
Disc Characteristics
 The power
conservation allows
the development of
platforms and high-
speed recording
 BD-ROM: read-only
 BD-R and BD-RE:
recordable formats
(RE: rewritable; R:
recordable once)

Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”

Disc Characteristics

Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”

 Numerical Aperature measures the ability of a lens to gather

and focus light. As the numerical aperture increases, the
focusing power increases and the beam size decreases
 Phase change implies that the disc section is either an
amorphous or crystalline state. The reflectivity changes
accordingly thus representing a binary bit
Recorder Characteristics
 Over two hours of HDTV can be placed on a single
layer BD, which correlates to over 13 hours for
standard TV
 The transfer rate is 36 megabits per second
 At 1x speed, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to
record an entire single layer BD
 Recorder Cost: $1,500 - $2,500; BD Cost: $26
 Expected to be available in the U.S. by 2006
 This issue has introduced a competitor, the HD-DVD, that based its
technology around being compatible with the DVD
 Recently the BDA has developed recorders that are BD/DVD/CD compatible
 JVC has advanced the BD by developing a BD/DVD combo disc that stores
both DVD and BD data. It is composed of two DVD layers and a third BD
layer storing 33.5 GB total

Courtesy <http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english/press/2004/bd-dvd.html>
Protection System

 HDTV contains a copyright bit that is

detected by the BD recorder. If the
broadcast has no copyright bit, then the
BD recorder is allowed to store the
 Uses the Data Encryption Standard
(DES) that has a key length of 56 bits
 A Key Block and Disc ID are written into
the ROM area to prevent illegal copying
 Error rates increased in reading and writing after
the original BD suffered scratches and fingerprints
 For protection, the prototype BD was enclosed in a
 The case increased the size of the disc drive

Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”

 A hard coat was
derived of an
resin that has a scratch
resistance similar to
the DVD
 An artificial fingerprint
reagent is placed on
the disc surface to
resist fingerprint oils

Courtesy Blu-ray Disc Founders “Blu-ray Disc Format White Paper”


 Expect the BD to become more

prevalent once the HDTV market
establishes its presence
 Audio and video will reach higher
qualities with larger storage space
 Look for BD with more than two layers
as the technology is further refined