In recent years, Blu-ray discs are often used, and are becoming the mainstream recording media to replace DVDs, as being used in software for game consoles like PS3 and PS4. In this content, we introduce basic knowledge and types of Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray drives.
・1. Basic knowledge of Blu-ray disc
A Blu-ray disc is an optical disc that can record a large amount of data compared to a DVD. It is named “Blu-ray disc” because data is read by a bluish-purple laser. The size of a Blu-ray disc is 12 cm in diameter, which is the same as a DVD, however the maximum recording capacity of a DVD is 4.7 GB for one layer and 8.5 GB for two layers, while a Blu-ray disc has a large capacity of 25 GB for one layer and 50 GB for two layers. High-quality video recording is also possible.
・2. Blu-ray disc type
Blu-ray discs also have standards, though not as much as DVDs, there are roughly three types of standards. Here, we introduces the types of Blu-ray Disc standards and their differences. Some Blu-ray discs are written for video (recording) and data, but the structure is almost the same although the notation is different.
・2-1. Rewritable type
A disc that can be rewritten repeatedly as well as read data is referred to as “BD-RE”. There are also standards that can record large volumes of data, such as BD-RE DL (capacity 50GB) that can record in two layers and BD-RE XL (capacity 100GB) that can record in three layers, and about 1,000 to 10,000 times depending on the product. Since it can be rewritten many times, it is recommended when saving data temporarily.
・2-2. Addendum type
A type of disc that can be written only once in addition to reading data is referred to as “BD-R”. Similar to the rewritable type, there are also standards such as BD-R DL and BD-R XL, which have multiple recording layers and a large capacity. Unlike BD-RE XL, BD-R XL has 3 or 4 recording layers, and in the case of 4 layers, 128GB of data can be recorded. It is possible to add data if there is free space without finalizing, but since it cannot be rewritten, it is suitable for recording data that you want to store for a long time.
・2-3. Read type
This is a read-only disc and is called as “BD-ROM”. Discs used for PS3 and PS4 game software and movie software are subject to this standard.
・3. Basic knowledge of Blu-ray drive
A Blu-ray drive is an optical drive that can read and rewrite Blu-ray discs. There are small differences depending on the drive, such as compatible media, performance, and connection methods.
・3-1. Compatible discs for Blu-ray drives
Most Blu-ray drives support BD-R, BD-RE, BD-ROM, and some can play and write CDs and DVDs. However, since the writing speed differs depending on the Blu-ray drive, it is recommended if you write data frequently, check the writing speed. Also, please note that older Blu-ray drives may not support the latest Blu-ray Disc standards.
・3-2. Other functions of Blu-ray drive
Blu-ray drives equip various functions depending on the model, such as those that can play 3D images and those that support “Ultra HD Blu-ray”. “Ultra HD Blu-ray” is a new standard that can record 4K video and enjoy more beautiful video than conventional Blu-ray discs. In addition, the “cache” of Blu-ray drives differs depending on the product. The cache is a function that temporarily stores some data in memory to improve the processing speed when writing data. The larger the cache capacity, the faster the writing speed. The cache is sometimes called a “buffer” and is expressed in MB. Since functions installed in the Blu-ray drive differ depending on the product, it is better to check the product details.
・4. Blu-ray drive type
Blu-ray drives can be broadly divided into two types depending on the connection method. Here, we introduces the features and advantages of each type.
・4-1. Internal Blu-ray drive
This is a Blu-ray drive mainly installed inside a desktop computer. The interface is SATA, which has the advantage of not taking up space because it is built into the personal computer. However, when adding or replacing a single drive after purchasing a computer, it is necessary to tamper with the wiring inside the computer, so some knowledge is required to install it.
・4-2 External Blu-ray drive
This is a type of Blu-ray drive that connects to a computer with a USB cable, and in recent years there are many external Blu-ray drives that support USB 3.0. Many small laptops and Macs do not have an optical drive. An external Blu-ray drive has the advantage of being easy to use if it has a USB port. Since the maximum writing speed differs between products that supply power at the same time with a USB connection and products that supply power separately with an AC adapter, it is recommended that those who write data frequently choose a product that comes with an AC adapter.
・5. Conclusion Let’s learn the type and function of Blue-ray drive and choose the suitable one for you
Blu-ray drives have different functions and performances depending on the product as well as the connection method. Especially when using 4K video and 3D video that have been used in recent years, the function is an important factor when choosing a Blu-ray drive. Based on the characteristics of each Blu-ray drive, choose the Blu-ray drive that suits your usage.