The name Blu-ray Disc is derived from the blue-violet laser used to read and write this type of disc. Because of its shorter wavelength (405 nm), substantially more data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format, which uses a red (650 nm) laser. A single layer Blu-ray Disc can store 25 gigabytes (GB), over five times the size of a single layer DVD at 4.7 GB. A dual layer Blu-ray Disc can store 50 GB, almost 6 times the size of a dual layer DVD at 8.5 GB.
Blu-ray Disc is similar to PDD, another optical disc format developed by Sony (which has been available since 2004) but offering higher data transfer speeds. PDD was not intended for home video use and was aimed at business data archiving and backup.
* About 9 hours of high-definition (HD) video can be stored on a 25 GB disc.
* About 23 hours of standard-definition (SD) video can be stored on a 50 GB disc.
* On average, a single-layer disc can hold a High Definition feature of 135 minutes using MPEG-2, with additional room for 2 hours of bonus material in standard definition quality. A dual layer disc will extend this number up to 3 hours in HD quality and 9 hours of SD bonus material.
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