Details on the New Blu-Ray Format: BDXL – Can Hold 128GB of Data on 4 Layers

     April 3, 2010


With the recent news of Avatar‘s Blu-ray release, it’s become abundantly clear 50GB may just not be enough anymore.  It’s being reported on engadget that the Blu-ray Disc Association is planning on introducing the world to BDXL.  This new format will still produce wonderful 1080p HD video, but will be capable of holding 128GB of data as opposed to the current generation of Blu-ray discs that hold only a mere 50GB.

More after the jump:

blu-ray.gifThe reason Blu-ray will now be able to hold 128GB of data is through the use layering.  The current Blu-Rays that we’ve just gotten used to usually have two layers on the disc.  The BDXL discs will us four. Therefore allowing for it store 128GB (write-once) or 100GB (rewritable).  However, the bad news is that this means we are all going to have dip into our pockets again to upgrade our hardware.  These extra layers (that will allow for more features and data storage) will more than likely require the use of a more powerful laser that most Blu-ray players (including the PS3) don’t have right now.  It’s been made clear that currently the demand for this technology is mainly coming from the media houses for archiving purposes, but we can all be assured that this will eventually make its way into the general consumer’s home theatre.

Here’s the press release:

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 BDXLTM (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.

BDXLTM is a trademark of the Blu-ray Disc Association.


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