Difference between BD XL and UHD Blu-ray?


First off, apologies if I picked the wrong area for this topic. Mods, please feel free to move this to a more correct location if one exists.

I had the opportunity to burn a Ultra HD Blu-ray movie on a 100GB BD XL BD-R disc a while back. I wanted to see what would happen when I tried to play the disc on a stand-alone UHD Blu-ray player. I remember there being some discussion more than a year ago about whether UHD Blu-ray disc format is the same as BD XL.

I can now attest that they are not the same format. I tested the disc on two stand-alone players, and both nibbled on the disc for maybe half a minute before spitting it out with an error message about unreadable media (or something to that effect anyway).

I’d be interested to hear from someone who has actual knowledge about the differences between these two disc formats. Anyone?


BD XL is just a disc format, UHD Blu-ray is a video format for Blu-ray players.
You even can burn an UHD movie on a 50GB Blu-ray disc, if it is not bigger than 50GB.

Does your content have the right file structure of an UHD Blu-ray and the right file format?
I think it is UDF 2.50 like for normal Blu-rays, but I don’t know exactly.


I’m aware of disc formats. I was referring to UHD Blu-ray as a disc format here since UHD Blu-ray discs appear not to be BD XL but something else. I have burned an UHD movie on a 50GB BD-R, and it works on stand-alone players. An UHD movie on a BD XL movie does not work. Yes, I used UDF 2.50, exactly like on BD-R discs.


Not all Standalone-players are compatible to BD XL discs. Maybe this is your problem


But if UHD Blu-ray format and BD XL were the same format, one would expect all players to play BD XL discs. QED, they are not the same format. Can you tell me which players are compatible with BD XL discs? I know that Panasonics and the first player Samsung launched are not.


I have no XL-media and no UHD-drives, so If I´m wrong please someone correct me

BD XL is a disc-format.
UHD is a file format with additional disc-formats.

If a drive can read BD XL it doesn´t mean it can play UHD because it have to know the file-format (and the added disc-format of 66GB and 100GB). I guess my PC-drives can´t do it, a new drive like Pioneer BDR-211 or LG BH16NS60 is needed.

In theory all BD XL compatible players should have the logo

I guess almost all UHD-devices can also read BD XL because UHD uses BD XL-technology and added 66GB and 100GB. But single compatibility problems can happen


“because UHD uses BD XL-technology and added 66GB and 100GB”

What do you base that on? Links, please.


I highly doubt they developed totally different disc/drive format for UHD. Until we see large use of home authored UHD movies on BDXL-R media (if that ever happens) we won’t get “R” support on standalone players. It is the same story from the early days of the DVD era when manufactures claimed that their players can only support ROM because R was totally different thing. When people find way to do a booktype/bitsetting change magically those R media become readable (in most cases) on the very same standalone players.

Inability to play/read UHD discs on older BDXL computers drives is limited by HDCP2.2/AACS 2.0. Even if you have Pioneer BDR-211 you probably will face with bunch of compatibility issues related to your CPU and GPU.

Update: Or maybe UHD disc are made artificially non-compatible with older BDXL drives in the same way as SACD (many of them are single layer DVD 4.7GB disc) is not compatible with DVD drives. Just my theory…


Dunno how good your german is


I don´t know 66GB-discs, it don´t exist in the BD XL specs. The 100GB could be BD XL compatible, don´t think they made an alternative standard for 100GB-discs.


I never was the 1st to get a player for new technologies, so I don´t had the compatibilty problems. My first DVD-player I bought 2004, it was cheap and played +R/-R, VCD, SVCD etc. Expensive brands weren´t so compatible.

Atm I have no plans to buy a UHD-player.

AFAIK the developing for successor of UHD had already started, Japan presented a standard 2016, but the name and the standard itself can be different to the UHD-successor.

If all the formats are to expensive (player, discs), I don´t know how successful UHD and it´s successor can be. Maybe the streaming-provider will be rule the movie-market in near future and UHD will only be for the guys who collected movies on discs.

Personally, I don´t like formats let me think that the developing of the copy-protection costs more than all other things.


BDXL format is specified as triple layer configuration: 3x33GB and quad layer configuration: 4x32GB. Using 66GB dual layer disc (2x33GB) for UHD content seems like “bending” the BDXL specification for purpose of copy protection or maybe reducing production costs.

However there is truly different blu-ray disc/drive format introduced by Sony last year used in its ODA gen. 2 cartridges. It’s using land and groove recording and has narrower track pitch and can achieve ~45GB per layer (~270GB per triple layer dual sided disc). The problem (as with every new format) is that recorders and cartridges are extremely expensive.

Personally I’m not interested in the UHD format - just too much hassle vs benefits to adopt it.


My German’s good enough. Thanks for the link, even though it doesn’t prove the claim; it even says UHD-BD and BD XL are not identical. I don’t see any links to actual technical data published by BDA, for example. The article also gets some details wrong which doesn’t make it any more trustworthy :slight_smile:


Can be true, but it´s hard to find good articles for UHD and BD XL

And for sure, the manufacturers of devices are more interested to sell new devices than update their old devices.

I guess even the most newer productions are not native 4K, so it´s hard for me to find a reason to buy it.

I would be interested if I can burn more GB on a single disc, but not if the prices for one 100GB disc is 12x higher than a 25GB disc


Best references I could find:





Like I thought, the specs are very similar. 66GB at UHD and 128GB at BD XL is different. And UHD only specified ROM, not R/RE, BD-XL vice versa

So the hardware of BD-XL compatible drives should read also UHD-discs, but only if the FW allow it.


Nice find, it explains everything.

So technically UHD 66/100 is BDXL-ROM disc with bunch of content protection modifications.

I love the explanation about 50GB UHD discs:
“In the case of 50GB disc the disc structure is the same as the 50GB disc which is defined in
25GB/50GB BD-ROM format (version 1.0). But 50GB Ultra HD Blu-ray™ disc cannot be played back
by the players designed with 25GB/50GB BD-ROM format (version 1.0) because of incompatibility of
video coding method, content protection system, Disc Information, etc…”


Off topic

It also explains the “Hard Coat” formulation that gets damaged when BD-R is stored in CD wallet:
"…as a result, it was concluded that colloidal silica-dispersed UV-curable resin is one of the
most promising candidates, in which scratch-resistance, optical property, and productivity are

It is resin - that’s why such damage is repairable by applying heat or leaving discs aside for few days/week.


It simply say: Buy new players :no_mouth:


Hi, Bro…can you please confirm is burning a UHD movies (total file size less than 50GB) into 50GB dual layer BD-R is working on stand-alone player? Is that playable for any normal player?Please advise, because currently I faced the same problem which u faced before, as I believe.thanks


Others have tried this and failed. There is no existing spec for home-recorded UHD-BD discs.

It is possible that some players with some firmware might recognize the disc as a playable UDH-BD, but if you are looking for reliabaility and compatability this is not the way to go.


Thanks for your advice, but what about burning UHD-BD to BD-XL 100GB disc? will it playable in a standalone player? Have you try?