PlayStation Universe

Blu-ray Overview

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Most PlayStation 3 owners are aware that their console offers Blu-ray playback capabilities, but do they know what this means?

With both Blu-ray and HD-DVD competing for domination in the high definition market, we thought we'd take a step back, and explain what exactly Blu-ray is and what it can do.

For starters, Blu-ray is exactly what it sounds like, a disc based media format that uses a blue laser to read its data (CDs and DVDs use a red laser). The major difference with a Blu-ray disc, or a BD, is that it is able to store high definition (HD) video because it holds more than five times as much information as the standard DVD. Blu-ray was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), who comprises of several large companies, including Apple, Dell, and Sony.

When deciding on whether you should upgrade to Blu-ray, perhaps by using the PS3, there are a few things you'll need first, starting with an HDTV. This is absolutely necessary when stepping up to an HD video format, as the TV is almost always going to be the limiting factor when dealing with 1080P video outputs. To benefit the most from Blu-ray, you should own a 1080P TV with HDMI input. However, lower resolutions are still very impressive and will probably cost a lot less too. HDMI will allow your player to output in the highest possible resolution and audio settings to give you the most beneficial results. Apart from the TV and a Blu-ray player, the final thing you'll need is, of course, Blu-ray movies! You've most likely seen blue cases at your local electronics store. These are Blu-ray cases. They are slimmer and shorter than the standard DVD case.

Blu-ray videos tend to cost a bit more than their standard DVD counterparts, as Blu-ray is more costly to make and it's still a premium movie experience. Why are there so few movies? Currently, Blu-ray is still in its infancy. However, with so many movie studios supporting BD, the number of movies available is steadily increasing.

Currently, Sony Home Pictures, Disney, Fox, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment are the biggest studios to back only Blu-ray. Warner Bros. is a major player in BD's success, as most of the titles in HD that have been released so far are distributed by WB. Warner also supports HD-DVD. There are appoximately 300 movies that have been released so far in BD.

For those of you who have yet to explore high definition video, it is time to step into the future. The amount of detail and clarity that you will see will amaze you, and the sound quality will blow you away!

Be sure to check back here at PSU for the latest in Blu-ray news. Also keep on the lookout for new features, previews, and reviews for Blu-ray releases in the future.

Source: High Def Digest