Blu-ray Disc recordable

Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) refers to two direct to disc optical disc recording technologies that can be recorded on to an optical disc with an optical disc recorder. BD-R discs can be written to once, whereas Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) can be erased and re-recorded multiple times. Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs,[1] 100 GB ("XL") for triple-layer, and 128 GB for quadruple-layer (in BD-R only).[2]

The minimum speed at which a Blu-ray Disc can be written is 36 megabits (4.5 megabytes) per second.[3]


As of April 2018, there are five versions of Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) and four versions of Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R). Each version includes three Parts (a.k.a. Books): Basic Format Specifications, File System Specifications, Audio Visual Basic Specifications. Each part has sub-versions (e.g. R2 Format Specification includes Part 3: Audio Visual Basic Specifications Ver.3.02, Part 2: File System Specifications Ver. 1.11, Part 1: Basic Format Specifications Ver. 1.3).[4][5][6]

DateRE VersionR VersionBy Parts[6][lower-alpha 1]Changes
Part 1Part 2Part 3
20021.0[7]RE V1.0RE V1.0RE V1.0
  • BD File System (BDFS), computer-incompatible
  • BD Audio/Visual (BDAV) format
  • BD content protection (BDCP) [8][9]
20052.0[10]1.0RE V2.1
R V1.3
RE V2.1
R V1.1
RE V2.1
  • New UDF 2.5 file system for computer use; UDF 2.6 also available for BD-R
  • Uses AACS[11]
  • Hybrid formats (inapplicable to recordable discs)[12]
  • New BD-R Low To High physical format.[13]
September 20063.0[14]2.0[4]RE V2.1
R V1.3
RE V2.1
R V1.1
RE V3.0 +
  • New camcorder sized (8 cm) discs
  • "Camcorder" added to product categories
  • BDMV (Blu-ray Disc Movie) application format
June 20104.0[15]3.0[16]RE V3.0
R V2.0
RE V3.0
R V2.0
RE V4.0 +
RE V2.1
New BDXL definition:
  • Multi-layered BDAV rewritable/recordable disc with 2× and 4× speeds
  • 100 GB capacity
  • "Professional Device" added to BD product categories[17]
December 20175.0[18]4.0[19]RE V3.1
R V2.2
RE V4.0
R V3.0
RE V5.0 BDXL expansions:
  • New 128 GB BD-R capacity
  • Ultra HD broadcast recording support


As of December 2017, the following speeds are seen in Blu-Ray specifications for R/RE discs:[6]

Drive speed Data rate 25GB BD-R(E) write time 50GB BD-R(E) DL (25GB/layer) write time 100GB BR-R(E) XL TL (~33GB/layer) write time
[1]36 Mbit/s4.5 MB/s4.29 MiB/s~95 min.~190 min.~380 min.
72 Mbit/s9 MB/s8.58 MiB/s~47 min.~94 min.~188 min.
144 Mbit/s18 MB/s17.17 MiB/s~24 min.~48 min.~96 min.
216 Mbit/s27 MB/s25.75 MiB/s~16 min.~32 min.~64 min.

2× speeds are mandatory for all formats, with 4× and 6× being optional for non-XL BD-R media. Since BD-RE 5.0/BD-R 4.0, a read speed of 4× is mandatory for UHD support.[6]

Note: Add extra time for disc verification phase and time for erasing the disc in the case of BD-RE.


As of April 2018 (approximate pricing):

  • BD-R/RE drive US$50 and above[20]
  • 6× single-layer BD-R disc (25 GB) US$0.42 each in quantity;[21]
  • 10× single-layer BD-R disc (25 GB) CN¥2.04 each in quantity;[22]
  • 6× double-layer BD-R disc (50 GB) US$1.64 in quantity;[23]
  • 2× single-layer BD-RE disc (25 GB) US$0.82 in quantity;[24]
  • 2× double-layer BD-RE disc (50 GB) US$3.15 in quantity;[25]
  • 4× BD-R XL disc (100 GB) US$5 in quantity;[26]
  • 4× BD-RE XL disc (100 GB) US$11 in quantity;[27]

Recording mechanisms

HTL (high to low)

"Normal" BD-R discs use a phase-changing alloy or a composite that decreases the reflectivity on recording, i.e. "High To Low".[28] Sony, for example, uses an inorganic[29] composite that splits into two laminar components with low reflectivity.[30] Composites used may include BiN, Ge3N4, and Pd-doped tellurium suboxide. A pair of layers with copper alloy and silicon that combines on recording may alternatively be used.[31] Similar to CD-RW and DVD-RW, a phase transition alloy (often GeTeSb or InAgTeSb)[31] is used for BD-RE discs. Melting the material with a very high power beam turns it into an amorphous state with low reflectivity, while heating at a lower power erases it back to a crystalline state with high reflectivity.[32]

In both cases, the data layers are surrounded by a pair of dielectric layers. An adhesive spacer layer and sometimes a semi-reflective layer is used for multi-layer discs.[31]

BD-R LTH (low to high)

BD-R LTH is a write-once Blu-ray Disc format that features an organic dye recording layer. "Low To High" refers to the reflectivity changing from low to high during the burning process, which is the opposite of normal Blu-rays, whose reflectivity changes from high to low during writing. The advantage of BD-R LTH is it can protect a manufacturer's investment in DVD-R/CD-R manufacturing equipment because it does not require investing in new production lines and manufacturing equipment. Instead, the manufacturer only needs to modify current equipment. This is expected to lower the cost of disc manufacturing.[33]

Old Blu-ray players and recorders cannot utilize BD-R LTH; however, a firmware upgrade can enable devices to access BD-R LTH. Panasonic released such a firmware update in November 2007 for its DMR-BW200, DMR-BR100 and MR-BW900/BW800/BW700 models.[34] Pioneer was expected to ship the first LTH BD drives in Spring 2008.[35] Sony upgraded the PlayStation 3 firmware enabling BD-R LTH reading in March, 2008.[36]

In 2011, France's Ministry of Culture and Communication conducted a study on the suitability of data archival of LTH (low to high) discs compared to HTL (high to low) discs. The data they collected indicated that the overall quality of LTH discs is worse than HTL discs.[37][38]

See also


  1. RE and R definitions from the same date have different Part 1 and Part 2 specifications, but share the same Part 3 specifications.


  1. "Blu-ray FAQ: How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray disc?". (not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association). Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  2. "BDA approves BDXL quad-layer Blu-ray standard". AfterDawn. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  3. "Blu-ray FAQ: How fast can you read/write data on a Blu-ray disc?". (not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association). Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  4. "Format Specification - R2". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  5. White paper – Blu-ray Disc Format, 3. File System Specifications for BD-RE, R, ROM, August 2004 (PDF), retrieved 2010-06-10
  6. Blu-ray Disc Association. "Blu-ray – All Books, As of December 2018" (PDF).
  7. Blu-ray Disc Association. "Blu-ray – All Books, As of June 2010" (PDF).
  8. Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE1 Content Protection". Archived from the original on 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  9. Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE (Key) 1 Content Protection". Archived from the original on 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  10. "Format Specification - RE2". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  11. Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE 2 Content Protection". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  12. Blu-ray Disc Association. "Hybrid Format Specification". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  13. LTH was included in the "Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format Ver.1.2" specifications.
  14. "Format Specification - RE3". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  15. Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE4 Format Specification (BDXL)". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  16. Blu-ray Disc Association. "R3 Format Specification (BDXL)". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  17. Staff Reporter (2015-12-21). "Portable Blu-Ray Players features". NotASingleDrop. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  18. Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE5 Format Specification". Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  19. Blu-ray Disc Association. "R4 Format Specification". Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  20. Electronics, Computers & Accessories, Blu-ray Burners. Amazon. Retrieved on 2018-04-21.
  21. PlexDisc 633-814 25 GB 6x Blu-ray Logo Top Single Layer Recordable Disc BD-R, 50-Disc Spindle . Amazon. Retrieved on 2018-04-21.
  22. "【铼德刻录盘】铼德(RITEK)BD-R蓝光光盘/刻录盘 10速25G 可打印 桶装50片" [RITEK BD-R, 10x 25G printable, 50-disc spindle]. Jingdong (in Chinese). Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  23. Smart Buy 50 Pack Bd-r Dl 50gb 6x Blu-ray Double Layer Recordable Disc Blank Logo Data Video Media 50-discs Spindle.... Amazon. Retrieved on 2018-04-21.
  24. Verbatim Blu-ray Disc 50 pcs Spindle - 25GB 2X BD-RE Rewritable Bluray - Inkjet Printable. Amazon. Retrieved on 2018-04-21.
  25. 10 Verbatim Bluray Bd-re Dl 50 Gb Rewritable Blueray Original Spindle (Japan). Amazon. Retrieved on 2018-04-21.
  26. "10 Verbatim Bluray 100gb BD-R XL Triple Layer 4x Speed Blu-ray Inkjet Printable Discs". Amazon. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  27. "3 Sony Blu Ray 100 GB BD-RE BDXL 3D Bluray Triple Layer Bluray Printable Disc". Amazon. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  28. "Not all Blu-ray discs are created equal, but does BD-R quality matter?". Digistor Blog. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  29. "Recording/Playback Mechanism and Recording Materials". Sony Global. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  30. "Recording/Playback Mechanism(-R) "Laminar Phase Separation"". Sony Global. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  31. "14. Disc Construction and Manufacturing". Hugh's News BD FAQ. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  32. "Recording Mechanism (-RE) "Phase-change material"". Sony Global. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  33. Pioneer and Mitsubishi Develop Low cost BD-R Discs Using Organic Recording Layers, CDR info.
  34. Firmware Adds Support for LTH BD-R Discs to Panasonic Recorders, CDR info.
  35. Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi and Maxell Release First LTH BD-R Discs, CDR info.
  36. PS3 firmware update v2.20 available – added support for LTH BD-R, After Dawn.
  37. French research: Avoid Blu-ray LTH discs for data archival. myce. Retrieved on 2013-06-14.
  38. Qualite des Disques Blu-Ray Enregistrables pour L’Archivage des Donnees Numeriques. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communica. Retrieved on 2013-06-14.
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