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Book Aims to Demystify Blu-ray

11 Dec, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

How many pages does it take to explain Blu-ray Disc?

Well, if you want to get really, really technical about Blu-ray, the answer is 432. That’s the size of Blu-ray Disc Demystified, an exhaustive tome covering every bit rate and audio codec of the high-definition format. Authored by four Blu-ray technology experts, the book was released in November and retails at $59.95.

The authors of the book — Jim Taylor, SVP of the advanced technology group at Sonic Solutions; Charles Crawford, co-founder of Television Production Services; Chris Armbrust, founder of Marin Digital; and Michael Zink, director of advanced technology at Technicolor — discussed its contents Dec. 11 as part of a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) presentation.

The book isn’t for fanboys looking to celebrate Blu-ray’s victory over HD DVD. Rather Demystified acts as a tip book for Blu-ray developers, offering all the nuts and bolts about the format, as well as applications for working with Blu-ray. Comparisons between DVD creation vs. Blu-ray are prevalent.

“The bad news is that the Blu-ray format is vastly more complex than DVD,” Armbrust said. “The good news is that the [Blu-ray Disc Association] has made a commitment to quality control.”

The book offers chapters on Blu-ray content protection, facts and myths about the technical issue of Blu-ray, and reasons why Blu-ray works, and even reasons it doesn’t.

“One of the reasons we keep coming back to Blu-ray as the [high-definition] standard is the bit rates,” Armbrust said. DVD has a maximum video bit rate running at about 10 mbps, with Blu-ray coming in as high as 48.

The authors speculated that by mid-2009, the copy protection for Blu-ray (Advanced Access Content System, or AACS) may be opened to approved output devices, allowing Blu-ray owners to make copies of their content legally.

For more information about the book, visit www.mhprofessional.com.

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