BDA Signs Off On Higher-Capacity BD Format For Pro Uses

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Blu-ray Disc Association

(BDA) this week revealed a new higher-capacity format called BDXL that more than doubles the amount of storage from current-generation Blu-ray discs.

The association also announced a new hybrid format, called Intra-Hybrid discs (IH-BD), that would allow placing read-only BD-ROM material on one 25GB layer while allowing writing on a second 25GB layer on the same disc.

Specifications for both formats are expected to be issued in coming weeks, the BDA said.

The new BDXL specification was designed to store up to 128GB of content on write-once Blu-ray discs and 100GB on rewritable discs.

The expanded-capacity system is intended, at least initially, for professional applications for the broadcasting and medical industries that have a need for high-capacity archiving.

According to a BDA statement, the first BDXL discs are expected to reach the market in a few months.

"Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical-disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs," Victor Matsuda, BDA global promotions committee chairman, said in a statement.

The IH-BD incorporates a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer enabling the user to view, but not overwrite, 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, according to the BDA.

Both the ROM and the RE layers on IH-BD discs provide 25GB of capacity.

Consumer versions of BDXL discs are expected to eventually surface in markets where Blu-ray Disc recording is popular.

The BDXL system enables up to four recordable layers on a disc, compared with only two layers currently available.

Both formats will require new hardware to read and record material, although existing Blu-ray discs should be playable on the new equipment. In the case of BDXL, the additional layers will require more powerful laser pickups and therefore will not be compatible with current Blu-ray Disc equipment. 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, the BDA said.


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