Next-gen DVD standard agreed

Sky Ray Blu copy protection provokes concern

Updated Manufacturers have agreed a standard for the next generation of DVDs, which will be capable of holding more information than existing discs.

The Blu-ray disc, so called because it works with a blue laser that operates at a higher frequency than current technology, can store up to 13 hours of film, compared to the a limit of around 133 minutes for single-sided, single-layer discs.

The new discs can hold up to 27GB of information on a single-sided, single-layer 12cm CD/DVD size disc.

Nine consumer technology firms (Sony, Philips, Samsung, LG, Thomson, Hitachi, Pioneer, Matsushita and Sharp) have signed up to the standard. It is hoped that will avoid a repeat of conflicting approaches that came with the introduction of DVDs in 1996.

DVD players which can record and play Blu-ray discs are expected to hit the market between 2003 and 2004.

The firms involved are aiming to further enhance the appeal of the new format through developing a larger capacity, such as over 30GB on a single sided single layer disc and over 50GB on a single sided double layer disc. ®

Update

Based on earlier reports we incorrectly overestimated the capacity improvement of the new disk format, thanks for putting us right on that.

The current DVD standard allows for double-layered discs, which pack 7.95GB of data, double-sided discs which have 8.74GB, and even double-side-double-layered discs which offer 15.90GB. So saying that Blu-ray disc offer six times more capacity is misleading.

Users also wrote to express concern about a line in the press release which reported “the adoption of a unique ID written on a Blu-ray Disc realizes high quality copyright protection functions”, which many of you felt will annoy customers.

External links

Large capacity optical disc video recording format "Blu-Ray Disc" established (joint announcement by the firms concerned)