Blu-ray DiscAlthough the first Blu-ray players were available in mid 2006, it wasn’t until 2009 when the prices of the players and high definition discs came down, that they really started taking off. If you are thinking about getting your first player, or even upgrading to your next, our Blu-ray FAQ may help answer any questions you have about the format.

If you have any questions specific to Blu-ray that we’ve not covered here, please use the comments field at the end of the page to ask!


What is a Blu-ray Player?

A Blu-ray player is like a DVD player, but plays high definition Blu-ray discs. Read more »


Can you can play DVDs on a Blu-ray player?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Blu-ray players were designed to be fully backwards compatible so they can play standard DVDs as well as the latest high definition Blu-ray discs. If you are looking to replace a DVD player therefore, it makes sense to buy a Blu-ray player instead.


Can you can play Blu-ray discs on a DVD player?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to play Blu-ray discs on a DVD Player because of the different laser that is used to read the data.


What are Blu-ray profiles?

A Blu-ray profile is set down by the Blu-ray Disc Association and basically describes the capabilities that a Blu-ray player should have to meet the particular profile. Read more about Blu-ray profiles »


What are Blu-ray regions?

Like DVDs, Blu-ray players and discs are locked to specific worldwide regions, meaning that players bought in UK, won’t be able to play discs bought in the US. Read more about Blu-ray regions »


is it worth upgrading to Blu-ray?

If you have a high definition television, then upgrading to Blu-ray is essential to get the very best from it. Whilst DVD will still look great, the extra image and sound quality is very noticeable as our DVD v Blu-ray comparison shows.


Do I need an internet connection for Blu-ray?

No, but to get the best from the BD-Live format, it will come in useful. Many Blu-ray players are Wi-Fi Ready or even have Built in Wi-Fi to help make it easy to connect.


Why is it called Blu-ray?

The term Blu-ray basically refers to the colour of the laser that is used to read the data from the disc. It is actually a blue-violet coloured laser, but they left out the violet part to make it more catchy! The ray part refers to the ‘optical ray’ that reads the data.


What is BD?

BD is the somewhat confusing abbreviation for the term Blu-ray Disc. Where it may have been more logical to name it BR or BRD, ‘Blu-ray’ is actually a single word, so the abbreviation BD refers to Blu-ray Disc.


What is BD-Live?

BD-Live refers to the profile, or minimum specification of the Blu-ray player. BD-Live is the minimum specification you should be aiming for. Read more about Blu-ray profiles or view the players available.


Is the term ‘Blu-ray’ misspelt?

No, the Blu-ray Disc Association deliberately chose ‘Blu’ so they could trademark the term.
Although the term has been around for a few years now, ‘Blu-ray’ is definitely one of those words that catch people out with the spelling. It does seem un-natural as not only is it spelt differently (‘Blu’ not ‘Blue’!), but there is a dash in the middle, and the first letter is always in capitals – it’s no wonder people get confused and end up spelling it ‘incorrectly’.

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2 Comments to “Blu-ray Frequently Asked Questions”

neil on December 10, 2010 said:

i have a sony bravia kdl-40v2000, a sony bdv-f500 blu-ray home theatre system and sky hd. my tv has just one hdmi slot and cannot see any optical cable slot.

am i correct in thinking i need to buy a hdmi switch to have one cable to go from blu-ray to tv, another from sky to tv (both using swich) and then an optical cable to run from sky to blu-ray?

is there any other way of getting all three to work?

many thanks

Home Cinema Buyer on December 20, 2010 said:

An HDMI switcher like the Neet would do it.

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