A Blu-ray DVD writer is a device that uses a laser to record data on optical Blu-ray discs. It is similar to a CD writer or DVD writer but can also write to the high-capacity Blu-ray format. Blu-ray technology is named for the blue laser that is used in reading and writing the discs, as opposed to the red laser used with standard DVDs.
Video of the Day
Blu-ray emerged as the new standard for digital disc storage in 2008. For several years Blu-ray and HD-DVD were pitted against one another in a format war that was ultimately decided when video game and home video producers began to favor the Blu-ray format. As with previous disc storage media, one of the first pieces of hardware to be made widely available was a stand-alone player for inclusion in a home theater setup. Later, Blu-ray drives for personal computers were offered by most major computer manufacturers. Finally, recorders made their debut in the form of both computer drives and as stand-alone consoles in 2009.
Blu-ray discs offer an advantage over standard DVD media due to the increased storage capacity obtained by using the blue laser. Because a laser with a shorter wavelength both writes and reads a Blu-ray disc, the physical information represented on the surface of the disc can be smaller, with room for more of it on a disc of the same size. Single layer DVDs have a storage capacity of 4.7 gigabytes, and a single layer Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25 gigabytes, with a dual-layer disc holding twice that.
First Blu-Ray Writers
The first Blu-ray writers were available in Japan, where many of the electronics companies that produced them are headquartered. In 2008 a standard format for BD-R (Blu-ray Disc Recordable) and BD-RE (Blu-ray Disc Re-recordable) was finalized by the Blu-ray Disc Association, which had developed the initial Blu-ray technology. Over the ensuing months, Blu-ray writers were offered with ever increasing write speeds. This feature is important due to the large capacity of a Blu-ray disc; at a speed of 1x, it could take more than three hours to fill a dual-layer Blu-ray disc with data. Writers with a 6x writing speed can perform the same task in just over half an hour. Faster writers are in the plans for most major Blu-ray writer manufacturers.
Blu-ray writers have several distinct uses, all of which follow from earlier writers for CD and DVD formats. Optical discs that can be user-created are useful for backing up and transporting data, especially in quantities that are too large to transfer via standard Internet connections. As part of a home theater, a Blu-ray writer can be used to record digital programming in place of a digital video recorder using a hard drive. Several manufacturers offer Blu-ray writers with large internal hard drives for recording television programs and later writing them to Blu-ray discs.
Several further advancements followed the introduction of Blu-ray DVD writers. Manufacturers began to offer writers with higher writing speeds, approaching the approximate maximum for efficient, error-free authoring of 12x. There have also been efforts to produce experimental quad-layer (and even six-layer) Blu-ray discs with a capacity of more than 100 gigabytes. Additional uses of the Blu-ray writer technology include a Mini Blu-ray Disc format for use in hand-held video games and high-definition camcorders.