Blu-ray Video Codec
A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression and/or decompression for digital video.
For Blu-ray video, all players are required to support the following codecs: MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and SMPTE VC-1. MPEG-2 is the codec used on regular DVDs, which allows backwards capability. MPEG-4 AVC was developed by MPEG, Sony, and VCEG. VC-1 is a codec that was mainly developed byMicrosoft. BD-ROM titles with video must store video using one of the three mandatory codecs; multiple codecs on a single title are allowed.
The choice of codecs affects the producer's licensing/royalty costs as well as the title's maximum run time, due to differences in compression efficiency. Discs encoded in MPEG-2 video typically limit content producers to around two hours of high-definition content on a single-layer (25 GB) BD-ROM. The more-advanced video codecs (VC-1 and MPEG-4 AVC) typically achieve a video run time twice that of MPEG-2, with comparable quality.
MPEG-2 was used by many studios for the first series of Blu-ray Discs, which were launched throughout 2006. Modern releases are now often encoded in either MPEG-4 AVC or VC-1, allowing film studios to place all content on one disc, reducing costs and improving ease of use. Using these codecs also frees a lot of space for storage of bonus content in HD(1080i/p), as opposed to theSD (480i/p)typically used for most titles. Some studioshave released bonus content on discs encoded in a different codec than the main feature title. For example, the Blu-ray Disc release ofSuperman Returns uses VC-1 for the feature film and MPEG-2 for bonus content. Today, Warner and other studios typically provide bonus content in the video codec that matches the feature.
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