The Evolution of Blu-Ray - The way the Blu-Ray Disc Was Born
It's an intriguing story, with major battles thrown in for good measure, a tale that is certainly worth reading regardless of whether you're not a tech junkie.
As a way to truly understand Blu-ray, you have to go back to the earlier 80's when CDs or Compact Discs were introduced. CDs were a huge leap forward in case you compared it to the current media back then; for the reason that the CD offered more storage, better sound quality and quickly took over as the universal standard for pre-recorded, recordable and rewritable media. CDs had around 650MB of storage capacity that was revolutionary during the time for data storage and retrieval.
However, no technology stands still, especially if you think about our insatiable demand for more compact storage and better quality images. Hence, we had the creation of the DVD from the 90's which had a 5-10 X surge in capacity over the CD. The DVD allowed for high quality, standard definition video distribution and recording, let alone accommodating larger data application. Another key element to the seamless transition, was that the DVD spec used the same factor since the CD which allowed for full backwards compatibility. These key factors would not be lost about the development in the next generation media; this being the Blu-ray Disc.
The beginnings from the Blu-ray began in the mid '90's with the creation of HDTV sets. Consumers soon realized there seemed to be no media effective at recording or playing back High Definition
content. There have been no mediums that could store HD codecs, excluding JVCs Digital VHS and Sony's HDCAM; but nothing practical just like the CD and DVD media.
However, it absolutely was known that using lasers with shorter wavelengths you could create optical storage with higher density. Because of this knowledge, Shuji Nakamura invented practical blue laser diodes. Its commercial use was delayed by a patent lawsuit, but eventually the Blu-ray disc became available and the next thing during the evolution of storage media began.
The Real Difference: The many benefits of Blu-ray Discs versus DVDs.
Although blu-ray disc are exactly the same physical dimensions of a DVD or CD, they are designed for storing and reading much more data. The true reason for this really is its application of a blue laser rather than the red laser employed by DVDs and CDs. The blue laser includes a shorter wavelength, a smaller aperture lens as well as a thinner cover layer on the disc that makes it possible to create a smaller beam spot size capable
of storing and reading much more data on the disc.
Of course, no discussion will be complete without mentioning the very heated battle between two opposing technologies: Blu-ray vs HD-DVD. Each disc format have major backers, behind Blu-ray stands Sony, Dell, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung... and backing HD-DVD we have now Toshiba, NEC and many major movie studios Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros and New Line Cinema.
Although believe Blu-ray has won the battle and may probably end up being the dominant high-definition technology. (Beta anyone?) The leading argument being space for storage, since Blu-ray offers 25 GB for single-layer and 50 GB for dual-layer; this is in comparison to HD-DVD which provides 15 GB for single-layer and 30 GB for dual-layer.