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Blu-Ray FAQ

The war is over and Blu-ray is the last format standing. Some people may take this as a sign to drop everything, including SD (standard definition DVD) and run to your local Blu-ray developer/replicator. But before you jump, here is a brief FAQ to help you make an informed decision.

01.   How much does Blu-ray cost to make?
02.   How fast can I have my Blu-ray discs manufactured?
03.   What is Blu-ray?
04.   Where does the name Blu-ray come from?
05.   How does it work?
06.   Is a Blu-ray disc physically larger than a SD DVD?
07.   How much information can be put on a BD?
08.   What are some of the features of Blu-ray?
09.   Will my SD DVDs play on a Blu-ray player?
10.   Will my BD play on my old DVD player?
11.   Will my BD be compatible with all Blu-ray players?
12.   How many region codes will Blu-ray have?

Q: How much does Blu-ray cost to make?
A: Blu-ray utilizes the Advanced Access Content System (AACS). This system is designed to prevent illegal copying of  DVDs and it’s inclusion is mandatory on all Blu-ray disks. As with Macrovision for SD DVDs, AACS has licensing and royalty fees. The client applies for an AACS license with a one-time fee of $3000. Then there’s an AACS per title fee ranging from $1500 - $1785, a $.05 per disc fee, mastering fees, and other miscellaneous fees.  These do not include the cost of authoring or replication.
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Q: How fast can I have my Blu-ray discs manufactured?
A: BD turn times are currently over 14-21 days.
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Q: What is Blu-ray?
A: Blu-ray also known as Blu-ray disc (BD), is a next generation format developed to deliver High Definition video content and or large amounts of data.
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Q: Where does the name Blu-ray come from?
A: The name Blu-ray refers to the laser used to read the disc.  A BD uses a shorter wavelength blue laser as opposed to the red laser used for SD DVDs and CDs.
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Q: How does it work?
A: Larger capacity on Blu-ray discs is achieved through the use of a shorter wavelength laser as opposed the larger red laser used on SD DVDs. The blue laser allows BD to utilize  smaller pits and lands than are used on SD DVDs.  Pits and lands are the method by which information is stored on an optical disc. Because the pits and lands are smaller they can be placed closer together resulting in more information being stored on the same size disc. In conjunction with different optics and faster disc rotation, BD discs can store 5X more data than SD DVDs.
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Q: Is a Blu-ray disc physically larger than a SD DVD?
A: No. The physical size and shape of the disc are the same as a SD DVDs and CDs.
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Q: How much information can be put on a BD? 
A: A BD-25 is a single layer disc and can hold up to 25 GB (Gigabytes) of data or HD/SD video.  A BD-50 is a dual layer disc and can hold up to 50 GB of data or Video.  For a BD-25, this translates into approximately 4 hours of HD video or 11 hours of SD video.
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Q: What are some of the features of Blu-ray?
•  Increased disc capacity allowing for HD video.
•  6x the resolution of DVD with 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio.
•  New menu integration with increased interactivity and menu navigation
   over top of playing video.
•  Network/internet connectivity
•  Improved disc coating with increased resistance to scratches and smudges.
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Q: Will my SD DVDs play on a Blu-ray player?
A: Currently there are no requirements in the specification for Backwards compatibility. Backwards compatibility will be a product dependent issue.  Refer to manufacturer and model specifications for more information.
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Q: Will my BD play on my old DVD player?
A: No.  Blu-ray discs will not play on SD DVD players.
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Q: Will my BD be compatible with all Blu-ray players?
A: Compatibility with Blu-ray players is not guaranteed. The format is still very new and, as when SD DVD was first introduced, there are bugs to be worked out. Some older players may need firmware upgrades and there is evidence of compatibility issues. As always, no DVD is 100% compatible so test your DVD early and often.
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Q: How many region codes will Blu-ray have?
A: Blu-ray will have 3 region codes A, B, and C.  They are as follows:

A - Americas; East and Southeast Asia.
B - Africa, Europe, Oceania; Middle East; French territories; Greenland.
C - Central and South Asia; Mongolia, Russia, and People's Republic of China



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