Entertainment TV & Film What Does Does Blu-Ray Mean? Share PINTEREST Email Print lucentius/Getty Images TV & Film Movies Best Movie Lists Comedies Science Fiction Movies War Movies Classic Movies International Movies Movies For Kids Horror Movies Movie Awards Animated Films TV Shows By Carey Bryson Updated January 27, 2019 Traditional DVDs are going the way of VHS tapes and are being replaced by new Blu-ray discs. The new technology is taking over the film and television industry. With the explosion of new Blu-ray titles, many families are making the switch and investing in Blu-ray players. What Does Blu-Ray Mean? Blu-ray is a media format designed to replace the DVD format. Blu-ray uses a different type of laser to read the discs, allowing more data to be stored on a single disc. As Blu-ray can store more data, it can provide a much better picture (Hi-def) than the DVD format as well as better audio. Will a Blu-Ray Player Still Play DVDS? If you have an extensive DVD collection, don't worry; you don't need to replace your DVDs with Blu-rays. All Blu-ray players can play existing DVDs. Additionally, most Blu-ray players include technology advancements that allow the players to improve the visual playback of existing DVDs. What Do I Need to Play a Blu-Ray Disc? Blu-ray playback can require several pieces of equipment for the best experience. Additionally, certain players may not be capable of playing all of the special features on the new Blu-ray discs. What is BD-Live? BD-Live is a service that uses an internet connection on the Blu-ray player to access additional content, features, and interactivity. This can include movie discussions, additional video content, and other related content. Not all Blu-ray discs contain BD-Live features. Blu-ray packaging will indicate discs that use the feature. What Do I Need to Use BD-Live? BD-Live requires two main components – a Blu-ray player that supports the Profile 2.0 (BD-J 2.0) system and an Internet connection to the player. Is BD-Live Content Rated as Part of the Movie? Before watching BD-content with your children, it's important to know that the MPAA does not rate any BD-Live content nor is the content regulated. Each company is free to use the format as they please. Companies like Disney have announced plans to use BD-Live on a majority of upcoming titles while some other companies have not announced plans. On certain Blu-ray discs, people are able to chat, much like on Instant Messenger, with friends or send and receive mail. Various community forums are possible. Some studios, like Disney, require a BD-Live account to be set up, but if kids know the account information, they can still access public forums or send and receive messages. Additional Features Blu-ray has more advanced interactivity options than DVD, allowing for elaborate games, educational content, and enhanced video options (like picture-in-picture viewing for commentaries and behind-the-scenes). The movie menu is updated and can be accessed while watching the movie. Also, many Blu-ray discs include a digital copy of the movie that can be used on a portable device like an iPod, PSP, Zune, and so forth.