Two individual HD resolution graphics planes are available on top of the video plane. One plane is assigned to video-related graphics (like subtitles) and the other plane is assigned to interactive graphical elements such as buttons or menus.
Button graphics Menu buttons support 256 color graphics and animation. Buttons can be called and removed during video playback and there is no need to return to a separate menu screen.
Button sounds Loaded into memory of the player. When a user highlights or selects a menu option the sound can be played (a button click or a voice-over explaining the highlighted menu choice). These button sounds can even be mixed with the running audio from the movie or menu.
Multi-page menus A menu can consist of several pages and users will be able to browse through the menu pages, while the audio and video remain playing in the background.
BD-J, or Blu-ray Disc Java, is the interactive platform supporting advanced content for Blu-ray Disc. BD-J mode was designed to offer the content provider almost unlimited functionality when creating interactive titles. It is based on Java 2 Micro Edition.
BD-J allows bonus content on BD titles to be far more sophisticated on DVD. Like network access, picture-in-picture and access to local storage.
Having a full programming environment available on every Blu-ray Disc player provides developers with an extremely flexible platform for creating innovative new content types.
The author has freedom in designing the user interface. It can display up to 32-bit dynamically generated graphics and it supports the display of pictures in standard file formats like JPEG, PNG, etc.
Playback control The BD-J application can act as the sole interface to the disc's contents. The BD-J environment offers all of the playback features of HDMV mode. Video can be scaled dynamically so that it can be played in a small size in the corner of a menu and resume full screen when a selection is made.
Storage A Blu-ray Disc player can contain a small amount of non-volatile system storage (flash memory). This system storage can be used to store bookmarks, favorites from a disc, training course results, etc. A Blu-ray Disc player may also be equipped with Local Storage (hard disk, to allow large amounts of data like audio/video to be stored).
Internet connection The BD-J system supports basic internet protocols like TCP/IP and HTTP . The player may connect to the disc publisher's web site to unlock certain content on the disc or dynamically display certain info on the screen. The disc's program may be extended with JPEG pictures or audio fragments downloaded from the Internet, or it can even stream full new audio/visual content to Local Storage.
The next generation optical media battle is on going. Blu-ray seems to have the upper hand but the next two years will tell which one wins.
The Blu-ray Disc format for movie distribution offers two profiles for the creation of titles. It was designed to allow for the streamlined development of Blu-ray Disc (HD) and DVD-Video (SD) titles at the same time, if needed. Basic menus and navigation can be identical. It also offers many new functions that will benefit the author by offering flexible ways of creating disc content and the end users by offering new functionality compared to DVD-Video.