For consumers the great news is the Blu-ray Disc has quickly won a format war with its now dead competitor, HD-DVD. Known as BD for short,, the Blur-Ray Disc was designed to supersede the DVD format. While BD's are the same size as DVDs and CDs, they contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) the norm for feature-length video discs and additional layers possible in the future. The name Blu-ray Disc refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs.
Blu-ray Discs may also come with a digital copy in which users can download the music or movie to a portable device capable of operating with a file in contrast to a DVD. Digital copies may be used on iPods, iPhones, and iPads, as well as other tablet and smartphone devices. Audiophiles will enjoy lossless quality file formats such as FLAC or Apple Lossless when downloading music releases that include digital copies. These can be used on any computer and many portable players.
With the large amount of space on a Blu-ray Disc, High-definition video may be stored with up to 1920×1080 pixel resolution at up to 59.94 fields per second, if interlaced. Alternatively, progressive scan can go up to 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 24 frames per second, or up to 1280x720 at up to 59.94 frames per second.
For audio, BD supports Dolby Digital (AC-3), DTS, or linear PCM. Optionally, publishers may support Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well as lossless formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. BD-ROM titles must use one of the mandatory schemes for the primary soundtrack. A secondary audiotrack, if present, may use any of the mandatory or optional codecs.
Here at Mediaversal.com we are primarily seeking high resolution audio, along with high definition video to enjoy releases in the best way possible. While multi-channel audio is available for up to 8 descrete channels, many titles are still releasing material in 5.1 surround sound. It is rare to find a music release in anything greater than 5.1 at this time.
We look for releases that include one of the following Lossless formats, LPCM, Dolby True HD, or DTS HD Master Audio. Mmany titles include any of these audio streams using 24 bit sample rates and a 192 kHz sampling frequency for up to six channels. While Lossless is preferred, the runner ups sound very good and include a minimum of 5.1 channels at 24 bit sample rates, with up to a 48kHz sampling frequency. These high-definition audio streams include, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Digital Surround, DRA, and DRA Extension.
For more information on Blu-ray Disc, please see the Blu-ray Disc Article on Wikipedia.