Got a burgeoning Blu-ray collection but no way to backup all those discs? Since Blu-ray burners and media are still relatively expensive, direct-copy methods don’t make a lot of financial sense. Fortunately there’s the free x264 software library which now can compile Blu-ray compatible h.264 encoded content to subsequently be recorded on standard single and dual layer DVD-R’s. From the blog of Jason Garrett-Glaser, the current primary x264 developer:
“With x264’s powerful compression, as demonstrated by the incredibly popular BD-Rebuilder Blu-ray backup software, it’s quite possible to author Blu-ray disks on DVD9s (dual-layer DVDs) or even DVD5s (single-layer DVDs) with a reasonable level of quality. With a free software encoder and less need for an expensive Blu-ray burner, we are one step closer to putting HD optical media creation in the hands of the everyday user.”
The implications of this are pretty big for the average computer user and home theater owner. It means that when software incorporating these new x264 libraries, such as ffmpeg and MEncoder, becomes available, users will be able to burn high definition, near Blu-ray quality video onto their inexpensive DVD-R media using an inexpensive DVD burner. These discs will play in any Blu-ray player and have the capacity to hold a full length movie. Considering the amount of data a standard Blu-ray disc holds (25GB per layer with up to two layers per disc – although 100GB Blu-ray discs may be on the horizon), this level of high quality content compression while broadening optical media compatibility is an achievement.