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Blu-ray founders rename, open group to new members

Blu-ray Disc Association to lead tech's consumer push

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Sony and 12 other supporters of Blu-ray optical disc technology have formed the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) to promote the system over rival blue-laser technology from the DVD Forum.

The BDA represents an expansion of the 13 members' Blu-ray Disc Founders (BDF) organisation, formed in May 2002. The BDF will be folded into the new body. Choosing a new name opens the way to allow other firms to join, something a little tricky to do if the organisation nominally contains only founder-members.

The new body will continue to develop the common Blu-ray standards and specification, and push the technology as "the new standard for next-generation high-capacity entertainment and PC-based optical storage media", as well as an enterprise data storage system.

Blu-ray today offers a 25GB storage capacity, but that's likely to increase to 50GB later this year, courtesy of double-layer discs. Sony, Philips, Matsushita/Panasonic et al will pitch the higher-capacity discs and drives toward consumers. The association also wants to define a 'BD-ROM' spec. for pre-recorded content.

The DVD Forum, meanwhile, is touting its own blue-laser technology, which unlike Blu-ray is compatible with older DVD technology. This enables HD-DVD machines to play older discs and ensuring disc manufacturers can more easily re-tool their production lines for the new format. ®

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