The Rise of Blu-Ray Discs

It was the year 2000 when DVD’s started to seriously threaten and challenge the efficiency of the standard VHS tape. History tells us that by 2003 DVD’s drastically outsold VHS as it was drastically more powerful, efficient, cheaper, and most importantly to the average consumer: more attractive. It was slim and sleep – not bulky and clunky like the VHS were.
Even then in 2000 the first Blu-ray disc prototypes were being worked on with the first official Blu-ray player prototype being released in Japan in 2003. The name comes from the color of the laser that reads the wavelengths on the disk, compared to the red laser that a standard DVD player used when playing a DVD.
The need for a better storage disc came about for two reasons. One reason was film distributors needed more than one DVD to fit all their content on. Distributors usually would put just the film on one DVD and then the deleted scenes, trailers, and other goodies on the other DVD. The other problem the DVD had was its inability to play videos in full HD.
A Blu-ray disc is superior to the DVD in every way. It can project in 1080p, it can produce HD sound, and it was suitable for 3D movies. But just because the Blu-ray was better on paper didn’t mean it would be easy to get an entire industry to shift its direction. DVDs were incredibly popular and selling at record paces. By 2005 it was hard not to find a family who tossed their VHS player up against their garage doors with the rest of their trash.
It wasn’t until 2006, however, that the entertainment industry decided that they needed this new technology. Up against stiff competition with Toshiba’s HD-DVD discs, the market was split – initially in the favor of HD-DVD. The incredibly popular PlayStation 3 had thrown its full support behind Blu-ray as it was its primary storage device when the console launched in 2006. This one movement changed the entire war between these two discs.
By 2007 blu-rays outsold HD-DVDs 2 to 1, and by February 2008 Toshiba officially stopped backing HD-DVD. Blu-ray officially had won the war.
Blu-ray players continue to be popular in 2011; however it has not fully eliminated the DVD market. Many Blu-ray films come packed with a Blu-ray, DVD version of the film, and even a digital copy of the movie. Blu-ray players can be connected to the internet as well and can have software updates to help play the latest versions of Blu-ray discs.
As sad and costly as it is to say goodbye to our vast collection of DVDs, the technology is old and outdated. Blu-ray is the future. Picture quality and even sound quality is clearer and sharper than in standard definition.

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