The name Blu-ray Disc is derived from the blue laser (violet coloured) used to read and write this type of disc. Because of its shorter wavelength (405 nm), substantially more data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format, which uses a red (650 nm) laser. A dual layer Blu-ray Disc can store 50 GB, almost six times the capacity of a double-dual layer DVD (or more than 10 times if single-layer).
Blu-ray Disc was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion picture production. As of July 30, 2008 more than 720 Blu-ray Disc titles have been released in the United States and more than 460 Blu-ray Disc titles have been released in Japan.
During the high definition optical disc format war, Blu-ray Disc competed with the HD DVD format. On February 19, 2008, Toshiba — the main company supporting HD DVD — announced it would no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders, leading almost all other HD DVD supporters to follow suit, effectively ending the format war.
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is the industry consortium that develops and licenses Blu-ray Disc technology and is responsible for establishing format standards and promoting business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc. The BDA is divided into three levels of membership: the Board of Directors, the Contributors, and the General Members.