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Third-generation optical discs are meant for distributing high-definition video and support greater data storage capacities than DVDs, accomplished with short-wavelength visible-light lasers and greater numerical apertures.

The disc uses blue-violet lasers of greater aperture, for use with discs with smaller pits and lands, thereby greater data storage capacity per layer. In practice, the effective multimedia presentation capacity is improved with enhanced video data compression codecs such as H.264, and VC-1.

Two major competitive formats were present:

  • Blu-Ray discs
  • HD-DVD

Support in VLC

Codecs support
Codec VLC 1.0 VLC 1.1 VLC 1.2 Remarks
H.264 Yes Yes Yes GPU acceleration recommended
VC-1 Partial Partial Partial VC-1 Interlaced isn't ready
MPEG-2 Yes Yes Yes FFmpeg or libmpeg2
EAC3 Yes Yes Yes FFmpeg, libavcodec > 52.0
TrueHD Yes Yes Yes FFmpeg, libavcodec > 52.40

DTS Core

Yes Yes Yes libdca or FFmpeg
DTS-HD Master Audio No No No Core is played
Blu-Ray Subtitles No Yes, libavcodec > 52.40 Yes FFmpeg
HD-DVD Subtitles No No No
HD-DVD Files (.evo) No No No
Blu-Ray folders Partial Partial Partial
Discs No No Partial