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Blu-Ray Discs

'There was a press briefing by the Blu-Ray Disc partners earlier in the day. Blu-Ray Discs represent the next generation of optical storage offering capacity far in excess of current DVD technology.

Thanks to the new blue-violet laser technology a smaller beam spot can be created and consequently more data can be stored on the disc. A single layer Blu-Ray Disc has a capacity of 25GB while a dual layer disc can store 50GB. The Hollywood studios see this as an ideal medium for distributing High Definition movies, with a single layer disc holding up to three hours of full resolution High Definition video.

Another advantage for the Hollywood studios is the robust copy protection that’s integrated into the Blu-Ray Discs. With piracy being a major issue for the movie studios, effective copy protection is reason enough to support the new format.

Samsung was showing off a prototype Blu-Ray recorder.

Blue-Ray has received support from many of the biggest consumer electronics companies for some time such as Philips, Sony, Samsung and LG. But looking back at DVD it’s obvious that to succeed Blu-Ray will also have to make inroads into the IT market. It was therefore significant that both Dell and HP have also announced their support for Blu-Ray Discs.

PC drives will be key to the success of Blu-Ray.'

The disc replication process is similar enough to the standard DVD process to make the transition cost effective, and Sony will have a production line running in Japan by April 2004.

Blu-Ray products are expected to hit the market in 2005 and many manufacturers already have prototype models on display. With DVD being the most successful consumer electronics product in history, the industry is hoping for similar consumer adoption for Blu-Ray.

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