This probably isn't a response to the 3D onslaught or even "superbit" releases like the upcoming Avatar 2D disc, but just in case the standard 50GB Blu-ray discs were beginning to feel a bit -- how do you say... cramped? -- the Blu-ray Disc Association's rolling out a new BDXL format capable of holding up to 128GB (write-once) or 100GB (rewriteable). Before you get too excited, you should know that you'll need a new player to access these -- even a firmware update won't save the PS3 this time -- since they go up to three or four layers deep and will likely need a more powerful laser. While our home movies can be compressed just fine, corporations currently still using other mediums for archiving might appreciate the extra space, as well as the new IH-BD discs, designed with one 25GB read-only layer, and one 25GB rewritable layer on the same platter. If you're looking for a place to permanently back up that super high-res "amateur photography," take heart -- a consumer version is in the works, though it will first be aimed at markets where Blu-ray Disc recorders are popular, or available at all (read: maybe Japan, definitely not the US). No word when the new hardware will actually hit the market, but final specs are due "in the next few months." In the meantime, check out the full details after the break.
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Blu-ray Disc Association Announces Additional Format Enhancements
LOS ANGELES --(Business Wire)-- Apr 03, 2010 The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced two new media specifications that use Blu-ray Disc technology to provide targeted functionality for commercial and consumer applications. The specifications for BDXL™ (High Capacity Recordable and Rewritable discs) and IH-BD (Intra-Hybrid discs) are expected in the next few months.
The BDXL specification, which is targeted primarily at commercial segments such as broadcasting, medical and document imaging enterprises with significant archiving needs, will provide customers with write-once options on 100GB and 128GB capacity discs and rewritable capability on 100GB discs. The discs reach these capacities by incorporating three to four recordable layers. A consumer version of BDXL is also expected, particularly in those regions where BD recorders have achieved broad consumer acceptance.
"Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs," said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. "Leveraging Blu-ray Disc to meet this need provides professional enterprises with a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images using a proven and widely accepted optical technology."
The Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc (IH-BD) incorporates a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer so as to enable the user to view, but not overwrite, critical published data while providing the flexibility to include relevant personal data on the same physical disc. This allows for consumer specific applications where combining published content with related user data on a convenient, single volume is desirable. Both the ROM and the RE layers on IH-BD discs provide 25GB of capacity.
Because both BDXL and IH-BD are specially designed formats with specific market segments in mind, newly-designed hardware is required to play back or record BDXL or IH-BD media. However, because the new media specifications are extensions of current Blu-ray Disc technology, future BDXL and IH-BD devices can be designed to support existing 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray Discs.
About Blu-ray DiscTM
Blu-ray DiscTM is the next-generation optical disc format for high definition audio-video and high-capacity data software applications. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 25 gigabytes of data and a double-layer Blu-ray Disc holds up to 50 gigabytes of data.
About the Blu-ray Disc Association
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for promoting and developing business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc - the next-generation optical disc format for storing high-definition movies, games, photos and other digital content. The BDA has more than 170 members. Its Board of Directors consists of individuals affiliated with the following member companies: Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Hitachi, Ltd., Intel Corporation, LG Electronics Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Pioneer Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, TDK Corporation, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures and Television, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
The Blu-ray DiscTM name and Blu-ray DiscTM logo are registered trademarks of the Blu-ray Disc Association.
BDXL™ is a trademark of the Blu-ray Disc Association.