My original plan was to blog entirely about our trip to Louisville and then respond to my students’ wonders, however, one of my students seemed to be pressing the issue and wanted to know now.  Let’s call her Veruca Salt, for protective purposes.  :)

Veruca’s question was: “What is the difference between Blu-ray discs and DVDs.”

This wonder was sparked by our viewing of the classic movie, The Outsiders, when another student huffed and said:  “Ms. Brasdis, don’t they have this in Blu-ray?”

So, with that being said, let’s discover the difference between Blu-ray discs and DVDs.  It may just leave your head spinning.  :)

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First of all, let’s talk about what Blu-ray discs are.  Blu-ray discs are a format of optical discs for recording, rewriting, and playback of high definition (HD) videos.  The reason this format is known as Blu-ray discs is because the laser that is used to create and read the data is blue-violet, as opposed to the standard red that DVDs use.

The name Blu-Ray is derived from the color of the ray and is not a mis-spelling.  The Blu-ray Disc Association reports that they left off the ‘e’ from the word ‘blue,’ so that the name ‘Blu-ray’ could be easily registered as a trademark.

So back to the main question:  what’s the diff?

Blu-ray discs have the capability to store more data (25GB on a single layer disc, 50GB on a double layer) and play back at a higher resolution.  Because of these two facts, Blu-rays are expected to (eventually) replace DVDs.  With the rise of more HD products, the demand for higher quality digital media also rises, hence the recent explosion of Blu-ray discs.

But wait!  There is good news!  That is…if you’re not sold on switching to Blu-ray just yet.

The Blu-ray Disc Association reports that Blu-ray is backward compatible with DVD, which means no need to worry about your old DVD collection becoming obsolete. Phew!

The association also reports that Blu-rays and DVDs will co-exist for “quite some time” until there becomes a bigger demand and production of HDTVs.

So now that you’ve been schooled about the difference between these two different disc formats, why don’t you mosey on over to Wonderopolis.org to find out what makes HD so special.

What is High-Definition?

And while you’re at it, hold a movie match-up using the same movie in both Blu-ray and DVD.  Then after each viewing jot down the qualities that caught your eye.  You can debate over which format is better until your faces are blue (no pun intended) or just enjoy the fact that you are becoming a Blu-ray buff.  It’s up to you and the possibilities are endless!

Just remember to have fun and always wonder.

<3 Sam

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