Blu-ray movies feature high definition video and audio as well as advanced interactive features.
The problem with today's DVDs is that they only support standard definition and don't have
storage capacity to satisfy the needs of high definition (HD). That's where Blu-ray comes in, it offers up
to 50GB of storage capacity and enables playback, recording and rewriting of HD in all
of the HD resolutions including 1080p. Blu-ray discs are also more resistant to scratches
and fingerprints than today's DVDs, while still preserving the same look and feel.
Compared to standard definition, which is the resolution used in today's TVs and DVDs, high definition
offers up to six times the amount of detail.
Comparison of standard definition (PAL/NTSC) and high definition (720p/1080p) resolutions.
Blu-ray movies can be encoded with different codecs, which codec that will be used for a
specific movie is up to the movie studio that has made that movie. Some studios might
prefer one codec and other studios another, but the specific movie also affects the
codec of choice. However, all this means little for the consumer since it's mostly a
technical aspect and not something that's visible for the eye (unless you are a video expert).
Supported video formats
MPEG-2 - enhanced for HD, also used for playback of DVDs and HDTV recordings.
MPEG-4 AVC - part of the MPEG-4 standard also known as H.264 (High Profile and Main Profile).
SMPTE VC-1 - standard based on Microsoft's Windows Media Video (WMV) technology.
Blu-ray movies support HD audio formats and lossless audio. As with the video codecs,
it's up to the movie studios to decide which audio format(s) they use for their releases.
Supported audio formats
Linear PCM (LPCM) - offers up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio.
Dolby Digital (DD) - format used for DVDs also known as AC3, 5.1-channel surround sound.
Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) - extension of DD, increased bitrates and 7.1-channel surround sound.
Dolby TrueHD - extension of MLP Lossless, lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio.
DTS Digital Surround - format used for DVDs, offers 5.1-channel surround sound.
DTS-HD - extension of DTS, offers increased bitrates and up to 8 channels of audio.
In addition to the outstanding video and audio quality, the extra storage capacity also means there will
be plenty of room for additional content and special features. This combined with the new BD-J interactivity
layer adopted by Blu-ray will bring the menus, graphics and special features to a whole new level. For
example, you will be able to bring up the menu system as an overlay without stopping the movie, and you
could have the director of the movie on the screen explaining the shooting of a scene while the scene is
playing in the background. The advanced interactivity combined with the networking features of Blu-ray will
also allow content producers to support new innovative features such as downloading extras, updating content
via the web, and watching live broadcasts of special events.
Although a large portion of all Blu-ray movies are region free (when this is written about two-thirds of all Blu-ray
movies are region free) below is a map of the official regions.
Region A: America, Japan, Korea, South East Asia
Region B: Greenland, Europa, Africa, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand
Region C: China, India, Russia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Central, and South Asia.
You can use search movies to find region free and region locked titles.
There are many Blu-ray movies available today and new movies are being released continuously. For a complete and
up to date list, please see the Blu-ray movies section.