Today, Phillips has announced a new Blu-ray optical drive and media, providing up to 50GB of storage on a single disc. This is a considerable amount more than current dual-layer DVDs that can fit up to 8.5GB.
The two speed “triple writer” drive is also capable of burning DVDs and CDs, so only one drive is necessary in a machine. The drive will be shipping in August, while writable media (BD-R) will be available from July. Re-writable media, or BD-RE, will be available around September.
Initial media will only be single layer and will fit up to 25GB, compared to the 50GB of the dual layer discs, which won’t be available until Christmas. At 1x speed, it will take roughly 135 minutes to burn 25GB, or close to 70 minutes when at 2x.
There are no set dates planned for a notebook drive, but expect to see them in 2007. Due to the slower than DVD spin speeds, burning a Blu-ray disc actually uses less power than burning a DVD, should you be concerned about your current power supply.
Pricing will be around 849 euros for the drive, 15 euros for the 25GB BD-R writable media and 20 euros for the BD-RE re-writable media. Nero 7 will be bundled with the device, which has been Blu-ray compatible for some months and makes burning a Blu-ray as easy as burning a DVD.
Expect a full review in the near future.