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