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Blu-ray Disc Association Unveils High-Capacity Formats
Blu-ray Disc Association Unveils High-Capacity Formats

By Barry Levine
April 5, 2010 1:08PM

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The Blu-ray Disc Association unveiled new specifications for high-capacity write-once and rewritable discs. The BDXL format enables up to 128GB of storage on write-once Blu-ray discs and 100GB on rewritable discs, while the IH-BD disc will incorporate both read-only and rewritable layers. Consumer and business storage applications are envisioned.

Blu-ray discs may become more than just the prerecorded vehicle for high-definition movies. On Saturday, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced new media formats to enable write-once options on 100GB and 128GB Blu-ray discs, and rewritable capability on 100GB discs.

The two formats are called BDXL, for high-capacity recordable and rewritable discs; and IH-BD, for Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray discs. Details about the specs are expected to be released within the next few months.

'Proven and Widely Accepted' Technology

BDXL, which utilizes three to four recordable layers to achieve storage up to 128GB, is intended primarily for use in industries that have heavy archive storage requirements, such as broadcasting, medical imaging and document imaging. A consumer version of BDXL is also expected to be released.

BDA official Victor Matsuda said that "professional industries" want to "transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs." He added that using Blu-ray to meet this need leverages "a proven and widely accepted optical technology."

The IH-BD format uses a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer, which allows some portion of the disc to be viewed but not overwritten, while data can be written elsewhere on the same disc.

Both layers in the IH-BD format offer 25GB of capacity, and the BDA said it envisioned the format being used in consumer applications where published content and user-generated data are both wanted. This could lead toward new kinds of special features for games and movies, with data added by the user.

The new formats will require newly designed hardware, although it is expected that the new players will be downwardly compatible with existing Blu-ray discs. BDA did not release information about the timetable for release of the new hardware. These formats, along with 3D-capable players, point to the emerging next generation of Blu-ray hardware.

'Convergence' Between Business, Consumer Apps

Currently, a single-layer Blu-ray disc stores up to 25GB, and a double-layer disc stores up to 50GB. A single-layer, recordable DVD is about 4.7GB.

Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said that the migration of large-capacity, writable Blu-ray discs "speaks to the growing convergence between business and consumer applications."

This technology could find a place in businesses needing high-capacity, compact storage, she said. But, DiDio added, she estimated only "about two percent or so" of businesses would use this kind of storage.

She noted that the consumer market for this technology could grow as well, especially for serious amateur photographers and videographers. DiDio noted that "we always think we'll never need all that storage space," yet many consumers find out that, eventually, they do.

The BDA is the main industry trade organization behind the Blu-ray format. Its members include Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Intel, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Royal Phillips, Samsung Electronics, Pioneer, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and others.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2010-04-06 @ 2:57pm PT
Only 2% or so .... :-)

Lets come back in 10 years and review what Ms.Didio says. A bit like when B.Gates said 640KB should be sufficient for everybody.

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