Best Blu-ray Movie Deals

Best Blu-ray Movie Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals | New deals  
 All countries United States United Kingdom Canada Germany France Spain Italy Australia Netherlands Japan Mexico
Dune 4K (Blu-ray)
6 hrs ago
Blackhat 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
Insidious 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
The Last of Us: The Complete First Season 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
Time Bandits 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
Yakuza Graveyard (Blu-ray)
11 hrs ago
Max Fleischer's Superman (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
Spy x Family: Season One - Part One (Blu-ray)
12 hrs ago
The Italian Job 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
The Rules of the Game 4K (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
The Godfather Trilogy 4K (Blu-ray)
The Last of Us: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
15 hrs ago
What's your next favorite movie?
Join our movie community to find out

Image from: Life of Pi (2012)

Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Blu-ray > Blu-ray PCs, Laptops, Drives, Media and Software

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 06-11-2009, 06:16 AM   #1
primitiveskin primitiveskin is offline
Active Member
primitiveskin's Avatar
Feb 2009
Greater Los Angeles Metroplex
Default Plastic Blu-ray Disc Cases: What Sizes Are They & Who Makes Them?

Last updated: 2-26-10

Why are U.S. BD cases thinner than European ones? (revised 8-12-09)

The standard DVD case is 14mm thick, whereas Blu-ray Disc cases in the U.S. market are typically either 11mm or 12.5mm thick, the MeadWestvaco Vortex and Viva Elite, respectively. Since one of the considerations in the U.S. market is being able to have more merchandise occupy the same volume as pre-existing shelf space, you should be able to stock more BDs than DVDs in the same amount of space.

The thinness, and shorter size, of Blu-ray Disc cases also provides a tangible distinction from that of standard DVD cases. In the retail setting, when holding a Blu-ray title, there is less likelihood of you mistaking it for a regular DVD, especially if you consider that the BD case is also more likely than not going to be a distinct shade of translucent blue!

There may also be a bias in thinking that Europe may be more of a collectors market. So, the 14mm, and presumably, 15mm thickness of European BD cases can better accommodate printed supplemental material, as well as swing trays for bonus discs.

Why are U.S. BD cases either 11mm or 12.5mm thick? (added 8-15-09)

This is a legacy issue harkening back to the days of the format war between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, when movie studios pledged their allegiance by making their titles exclusively available on one format over the other. The 11mm MeadWestvaco Vortex case was developed for the BD camp, while the 12.5mm Seastone Elite (the Elite case intellectual property would later be acquired by Viva) was adopted for HD DVD use. Sony and Disney were early supporters of the BD format, which is probably why they continue to use the Vortex case for their new releases.

But, you say, what are these "12mm" cases that some sites seem to be selling? Most likely, this is a rounding error, and, in all likelihood, these sites are selling 12.5mm generic cases. Although, some members have expressed a dislike for generic 12.5mm cases by citing their flimsiness. Now, if some sites actually are selling 12mm cases, the perception that generics are in fact flimsier could be justified, since obviously they're using less plastic, which would logically make the cases thinner.

Can cover inserts be easily swapped from one size case to the next?

Obviously, some cover inserts will look horrible when placed on other cases. For instance, you can't expect a 6mm cover insert to look good on a 11mm or 12.5mm case, and vice versa. Depending on the cover art on the spine, 11mm and 12.5mm inserts might be interchangeable. To go from 11mm or 12.5mm to 14mm or 15mm might not be feasible, if the spine cover art is too thin, the front and rear cover art might start to encroach on the spine.

What is the relationship between MeadWestvaco and AGI Media? (added 8-15-09)

MeadWestvaco is the parent company of AGI Polymatrix and AGI Media. The Vortex case was originally developed by AGI Polymatrix. Meanwhile, Amaray is an AGI Media brand name, that unfortunately, over time, is considered by many to be a generic term for all manner of DVD and BD packaging, like the misuse of Xerox for photocopies or Kleenex for facial tissue. Specifically, Amaray brand BD cases are 14mm wide and have a capacity of up to three discs.

What is an eco-case? (added 8-15-09)

Eco-case is a generic term for "green," eco-friendly media packaging, that on this forum has somehow become utterly, and inexplicably, synonymous with, and only with, the 12.5mm Viva Eco-Box case. This happenstance is ridiculous on many levels, notwithstanding the fact that regular DVDs are also starting to be packaged in eco-cases. Granted, Viva also makes the Eco-Box for DVDs (, but it should also be taken into consideration that other case manufacturers are touting, or being acclaimed for, the "green," eco-friendly benefits of their cases as well, such as the Scanavo Vixible and the Univenture Hi Def UniKeep Wallet, to name some other types of available BD cases. Plus, paperboard is obviously another, easily recyclable, material that can be made into eco-cases.

Should I be concerned with "clone" or "knockoff" cases? (added 7-13-09)

"Clones" and "knockoffs" are...bad terminology, often seemingly used on this forum in conjunction with discussions about 12.5mm generic Blu-ray Disc cases. Nobody seems to be making a big deal about not being able to buy replacement 11mm Vortex cases, but everybody screams bloody murder that they can't find 12.5mm Viva Elites. The reason that there's no clamor for genuine 11mm Vortex cases is the ready availability of Nexpak PremierPaks, but guess what, those are in fact, generic cases. Granted, they are well made, but they are generics nonetheless.

In my mind, terms like "clones" and "knockoffs" have a connotation of counterfeits being sold as the real thing. Later on I will describe two styles of generic 12.5mm cases that are being sold in the U.S. market. Now, these cases are definitely not as good as the Viva Elites that they are meant to replace, but as previously mentioned, with the lack of retailers for genuine Viva Elites, do you really have a choice, other than getting the generics, if you really want to buy replacement 12.5mm cases?

With that being said, retailers may confuse potential case buyers with faulty sales presentations. Typically, an item description will specifically say that their 12.5mm case is a Viva Elite, but the photo that they use is that of a generic case. So, obviously, let the buyer beware.

Actually, I would argue that there is in fact a knockoff of the Viva Elite case, which is made by...Viva itself, in the form of its "green," eco-friendly, Eco-Box cases. From the exterior, Eco-Box cases appear to be Viva Elites, but when you open the cases...aren't you going to be in for an unexpected, "delightful" treat!

What's the difference between polystyrene and polypropylene? (revised 9-15-09)

Polystyrene is a more rigid, perhaps too brittle, plastic that most people will be familiar with if they have ever dealt with CD jewel cases. The material is still widely used to make clear, transparent digi trays, which are then glued onto fold-out cardboard to make multi-disc digipaks, or into books to make...digibooks. Polypropylene (PP), is the plastic that is used in DVD and Blu-ray Disc cases. Intrinsically, polypropylene is a cloudy plastic, but when it is biaxially oriented (BOPP), it becomes crystal clear and is often made into sheets. The clear plastic sheet that is glued onto the front of a BD case to hold the cover insert in place is made of BOPP.

The swing trays in multi-disc MeadWestvaco Vortex cases (and, presumably, the ones in multi-disc 14mm Amarays) are made of polystyrene. Alternatively, polypropylene is used for the swing trays in multi-disc Viva Elite cases.

What's the difference between "translucent" and "clear?" (revised 8-13-09)

A standard DVD case, besides being taller and thicker than a Blu-ray Disc case, is opaque (light can't pass through, so you can't see through it), and while it might be one of many different colors, is typically black. Blu-ray Disc cases are typically...translucent blue (light can pass through, so you can see through it, but details may not be entirely clear since you're looking through a blue filter), although, for marketing purposes, other colors such as green, which was used for The Incredible Hulk, can be produced.

Opaque cases are colored by adding pigments to the polypropylene. When clarifiers are added to PP, the opacity is reduced, while the clarity increases, which can make a case transparent. Then, colorants can be used to add tints, such as blue, to translucent cases.

The Scanavo Vixible is the only BD case utilizing clear (no colorants added) polypropylene windows (in colored "frames") that appear to be completely transparent, so no colors/tints are obscuring the detail on a double-sided cover insert. Cases marketed specifically as being "clear" or "superclear," may actually be translucent white. How clear/transparent a case will appear to be is entirely dependent on the type of clarifier used in the manufacturing process, with apparently third generation clarifiers being the ones that give the clearest, most transparent, results.

What colors can cases be? (added 10-24-09)

The standard color for Blu-ray Disc cases is blue, and as previously mentioned, other colors (or the lack of color, as with "clear" or "superclear" cases) can be used for marketing reasons. So, what colors can be reproduced for BD cases? While polypropylene colorants can supposedly be produced to match any Pantone color, it would obviously be easier to create tints for specialized colors like metallics, fluorescents, and pastels on an opaque case, as opposed to a BD case that retains its signature translucent property.

Why aren't there buttons on some disc hubs? (added 6-18-09)

Most disc hubs have a button or other design feature that when pressed, will change the physical shape of the hub and allow the disc to be easily removed. For lack of a better term, and no knowledge of what the actual terminology is for this design feature, I will refer to these as "button-release disc hubs." Other hubs, such as those on swing trays in multi-disc cases, have NO buttons. Rather, gentle force must be exerted so as to use pressure to snap the disc onto and off of the hub. Again, not knowing what the terminology is for these types of hubs, I will refer to these as "friction-release disc hubs," as you are fighting "friction" to remove or replace a disc on its hub. Scanavo appears to favor friction-release over button-release for its disc hubs.

What are "security barriers?" (added 8-12-09)

"Security barriers" appear to be additional support walls molded near the top and bottom edges to improve the structural integrity of the case. However, these walls are actually an anti-theft measure intended to minimize attempts at breaching the top or bottom by slitting the shrink wrap open and then trying to slip the disc out! This is why DVDs are oftentimes sold with three edge labels on them: 1) The top with the title printed on it; 2) One on the side, sealing the finger well opening; and 3) A bottom label. Although early Lionsgate BD releases shipped in Elite cases, which have security barriers, they needlessly had three edge labels plastered on them.

Why aren't replacement Viva Elite cases more readily available from retailers? (added 1-30-10)

Part of the reason behind the limited availability of Viva Elites in the replacement Blu-ray Disc case market may have to do with the fact that their designs, in comparison with the competing MeadWestvaco/AGI Polymatrix Vortex cases, haven't been locked down. Rather, Viva Elite cases continue to evolve over time, whether it's the style of the BD logo for the branding bar on the front of the case, or the configurations of their multi-disc cases. So, Viva Elites may become periodically available for sale, but only until those stocks are depleted as the next generation of cases starts to trickle into the marketplace.

Where can I buy Blu-ray Disc cases? (added 1-30-10)

Refer to the maintained by Sussudio.

6mm Viva Elite (single- & double-disc cases) (revised 2-26-10)

Slim cases that share some of the characteristics of Viva's 12.5mm cases. Slim singles have booklet clips, whereas, doubles (and rightly so, since there probably wouldn't be room for it) do NOT. Single-disc cases use the same button with four inward-pointing arrows on the disc hub as on the 12.5mm Elites. However, there have been at least two versions of the double-disc case: One with teeth, like on a standard CD jewel case (ex. The Ultimate Matrix Collection), which are just as vulnerable to breakage; and a circular button on a five-pointed star (ex. Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology).

11mm MeadWestvaco Vortex (single- & double-disc cases)

These are the cases that are commonly used for Sony and Disney releases. Features include: 1) The "embossed" Blu-ray Disc logo that is actually molded into the front of the case, giving the impression of a raised symbol and lettering; 2) The hideaway security latch that can be folded inward and locked into place, rather than doing something drastic, like cutting them off if you don't like them; and 3) A rather distinctive button on the disc hub that has a single, upward-pointing, buck-toothed tab to hold the disc in place (Pat. No. 6,123,192).

Two rounded corners at the top of the case are opposed by two squared-off corners at the bottom. The ends of the spine are squared-off and don't extend all the way to the top or bottom. The singles and the doubles use the same buttons to hold discs in place on the hubs.

11mm MeadWestvaco Eco-Lite Vortex (single- & double-disc cases) (revised 10-25-09)

Thanks to binarymelon for posting a link to PDF spec sheets that show the design for "green," eco-friendly versions of the single- and double-disc Vortex case:

These cases use less polypropylene, NOT by punching out plastic from the case and leaving gaping holes, but by having thinner sections. The main, structural parts of the case are 0.84mm thick, whereas, the "skin" portions of the case are thinner at 0.61mm.

11mm Nexpak PremierPak (single- & double-disc cases)

Replacements for 11mm Vortex cases (sharing the "embossed" logo and the hideaway security latch), Nexpaks have rounded corners opposed by squared-off corners at the top and bottom of the spine. The top and bottom of the spine taper to points like on the Viva Elites. The singles and doubles use different buttons to hold discs on the hubs.

11mm Scanavo (single-disc case) (added 8-23-09)

Similar in style to the Vortex, this Scanavo has the molded "embossed" Blu-ray Disc logo at the top of the front of the case, but lacks the hideaway security latch. The BD is most likely held on a friction-release disc hub.

11mm Scanavo Vixible (single-disc case) (revised 8-23-09)

The Scanavo Vixible case is all-plastic, and is considered to be a "green," eco-friendly case, because its use of clear polypropylene allows a double-sided cover insert to be easily read, thus reducing the need for placing some additional printed material under the booklet clips. As with the regular 11mm Scanavo case, the "embossed" BD logo is molded onto the case, and the Vixible appears to use a friction-release disc hub.

12.5mm Viva Elite (single-, double-, & triple-disc cases) (revised 6-24-09)

There have been at least two variants of the 12.5mm Viva Elite case used in the U.S. market, or three if you count the Viva Eco-Box in its single- and double-disc incarnations (The Silence of the Lambs and Taken, respectively). All Viva Elite cases have "VIVA" molded in raised lettering on the inside of the spine, "ELITE" molded in raised lettering on the disc tray, four inward-pointing arrows (which are vulnerable to breakage) on the disc hub button, and the tops and bottoms of the spine taper to points (which also makes these areas prone to breaking). The older Elites have a whitish pad-printed Blu-ray Disc logo, which can be pulled off if a standard, "full" DVD-type of retail title label has been placed at the top of the case, rather than the "indented" Blu-ray retail label that goes around the logo. The newer Elites simulate an embossing that gives the impression of the case having been stamped, leaving a sunken, silver foil stamp BD logo.

All four corners of an Elite case are squared-off. If you look at the top or bottom of the disc tray on a Viva Elite, you will see six ribs, along with three ribs running along the right side. There are also a total of four security barriers, two on the left (booklet-side) and two on the right (disc tray-side). The singles and doubles use the same type of button on the disc hubs:

The triple-disc version of the 12.5mm Viva Elite has hinges molded onto the inside of the spine that can accept a double-disc swing tray. The double-disc swing tray places discs back-to-back, but off-center, as the the button-release disc hubs are offset from one another.

12.5mm Viva Eco-Box (single- & double-disc cases) (revised 10-25-09)

The "green," eco-friendly version of the Viva Elite case uses less polypropylene via die-cut cutouts that punch out gaping holes in the case. The cutout on the booklet-side of the case resembles the international recycling symbol, while the disc tray-side has a cutout of a six-spoked wheel. There is a tendency for squarish, radio-frequency electronic article surveillance security tags to be applied hanging over one of the holes in the recycling symbol, which can become problematic if the adhesive on the security tag then becomes attached to the back of the cover insert.

12.5mm Generic Single- & Double-Disc Cases

There are at least two styles of generic 12.5mm cases available as singles and doubles. I don't know who manufactures them, or at least who distributes them.

12.5mm generic single- and double-disc cases available from Octave Systems (, for example, are similar to the Nexpaks, with the rounded corners on these cases opposed by squared-off corners at the top and bottom of the spine. On the inside, the ends of the spine are squared-off and extend all the way to the top and bottom. Like the Viva Elites, these generics also have six ribs, in a different pattern, at the top or bottom of the disc tray, but there are also six ribs on the right edge, and obviously, the disc hub button is different. Finally, there are only two security barriers on the left, booklet-side of the case, as opposed to the four that an Elite case has:

Alternatively, 12.5mm generic single- and double-disc cases available from Polyline (, for example, have four squared-off corners like the Viva Elites. On the inside, there are only four ribs at the top or bottom of the disc tray, with NO ribs along the side. The ends of the spine do not quite taper off to points at the top and bottom, and they aren't square either, so let's just describe them as being rounded. The single- and double-disc cases do not use the same button to hold discs onto the hub. The single-disc case is missing the third, centered booklet insert retention clip. This clip is usually only missing on double-disc cases, because obviously, it would get in the way of a disc residing there. Like the single-disc generic case above, there are only two security barriers, however, the double-disc version of this generic case has four barriers:

14mm AGI Amaray (single-, double-, & triple-disc cases) (revised 6-24-09);;

Normally, this would be a standard European Blu-ray Disc case, however, my copy of Akira used one of these. They have an "embossed" logo like on the Vortex cases, but lack the hideaway security latch. And what do you know, these cases use the trademarked Amaray button on the disc hub....

Multi-disc versions of this 14mm case have a pair of hinges molded to the inside of the spine to accommodate either a single- or double-disc swing tray.

14mm Scanavo Vixible (single-disc case) (revised 8-23-09)

Presumably for the European market, this Vixible differs from its 11mm counterpart not only in thickness, but it looks like the intention is for the Blu-ray Disc logo to be pad-printed onto the case, rather than be molded directly onto it. Like the 11mm Vixible, this case most likely uses a friction-release disc hub.

15mm Viva Elite Cases (1 to 6 discs) (revised 1-30-10)

As previously mentioned, the design of Viva Elite cases continues to evolve over time. I believe that the current generation of 15mm Elites used in the U.S. market for multi-disc sets utilize a single set of snap hinges that can accept an assembly created by inserting a pair of swing trays into adapters with the following configurations:
4-disc: 4 disc hubs on two double-sided swing trays (ex. Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season);

5-disc: 4 disc hubs on two double-sided swing trays + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case;

6-disc: 1 disc hub on the booklet-side of the case + 4 hubs on two double-sided swing trays + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case

15mm Viva Eco-Box (single-, double-, and triple-disc cases) (added 10-4-09)

Presumably for the European market, the 15mm version of Viva's "green," eco-friendly Elite case, in addition to having cutouts for the international recycling symbol and a six-spoked wheel, has snap hinges that can accept either a single- or double-sided swing tray.

15mm Scanavo (single- and double-disc cases) (added 8-23-09)

The regular 15mm Scanavo BD case is presumably for the European market. The double-disc version of this case allows two discs to overlap one another. The "embossed" Blu-ray Disc logo is molded onto the case, and both versions of the case should use friction-release disc hubs.

15mm Scanavo "Criterion" (single-disc case) (added 8-23-09)

Used for releases from The Criterion Collection, these cases differ from standard Blu-ray Disc cases in several ways. No colorants have been added, and while the case is not completely transparent (the clarity of the case isn't as clear as the BOPP sheet that holds the cover insert in place), to use a term that some sites use in their marketing, it can probably be characterized as being "superclear." There is no branding bar (where the BD logo normally resides) at the top of the front of the case, rather, the cover insert is taller and takes up this space. Finally, a button-release disc hub holds BDs in place.

15.8mm MeadWestvaco Vortex Cases (3 to 4 discs) (revised 1-30-10)

These cases have a pair of hinges molded, NOT onto the inside of the spine, but on the disc tray-side of the case. A double-disc swing tray, which places the discs back-to-back so that the friction-release disc hubs are in alignment with one another, can be snapped into place on the hinges. A tab on the edge of the swing tray allows it to lock in place over the disc tray-side of the case, so as to minimize movement while the case is in transit. There are NO security latches on these cases.

21.8mm MeadWestvaco Vortex Cases (5 to 6 discs) (revised 1-30-10)

A pair of hinges are molded onto the booklet-side of the case, in addition to the pair of hinges that are molded onto the disc tray-side. As above, back-to-back double-disc swing trays snap into the hinges. The tabs along the edges of the swing trays allows one tray to be locked into place over both the booklet-side of the case, while the other tray can be secured over the disc tray-side of the case. Like the 15.8mm cases, these thicker versions do NOT have any security latches.

25mm Viva Elite Cases (7 to 10 discs) (revised 1-30-10)

As previously mentioned, double-disc swing trays place the discs back-to-back with off-center button-release disc hubs. Configurations for the latest generation of these cases are presumed to be as follows:
7-disc: 6 disc hubs on three double-sided swing trays (one tray clipped on towards the disc tray-side of the case) + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case;

8-disc: 1 disc hub on the booklet-side of the case + 6 hubs on three double-sided swing trays (one tray clipped on towards the disc tray-side of the case) + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case;

9-disc: 8 disc hubs on four double-sided swing trays (one tray clipped on towards the booklet-side of the case & one tray clipped on towards the disc tray-side of the case) + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case;

10-disc: 1 disc hub on the booklet-side of the case + 8 hubs on four double-sided swing trays (one tray clipped on towards the booklet-side of the case & one tray clipped on towards the disc tray-side of the case) + 1 hub on the disc tray-side of the case

Last edited by primitiveskin; 04-01-2010 at 06:49 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Thanks given by:
ArrestedDevelopment (12-19-2016), cotts902 (11-09-2015), DaveSimonH (06-10-2015), Here2Learn (02-21-2021), JEDGAR1000 (03-16-2022), meree (04-09-2016), Russ103 (08-30-2015), strumdogg (07-27-2015), teddyballgame (10-29-2022), thebrid (07-06-2019), TheDean (11-01-2022), themoviefanatic (07-01-2016), TheWalkingDead (06-29-2014), UpsetSmiley (06-16-2018), Wernski (11-01-2022), Zak2000 (07-20-2021), zen007 (09-12-2020)
Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Blu-ray > Blu-ray PCs, Laptops, Drives, Media and Software

Similar Threads
thread Forum Thread Starter Replies Last Post
Blu-ray resolution sizes on PS3 & 720p/1080i LCD TV Newbie Discussion bigwillie 6 03-25-2008 04:24 PM
Blu-ray 2 disc cases Blu-ray Technology and Future Technology blu-ray fan002 14 01-03-2008 08:43 PM
Blu-ray Disc cases & Blu-ray Disc Towers? Blu-ray Technology and Future Technology DepTii 1 12-22-2007 07:03 PM
2 Disc Blu-Ray Cases Blu-ray PCs, Laptops, Drives, Media and Software johnmhemp 2 12-10-2007 06:37 PM

amaray, case, elite, vortex

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:25 AM.