The speed of progress in the world of technology can at times be bewildering â€“ in good and bad ways. While it seems as if technology is constantly changing at rapid speeds, in some areas it takes what feels like an eternity to go from announcing a new technology to getting our hands on it.
It is incredible to think that it was six years ago that Toshiba first announced a 100GB Blu-ray disc and a whole year since the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced the official BDXL 128GB read-only and 100GB rewritable standards. Yet only now are we going to see the first 100GB rewritable BDXL disc going on sale. Panasonic has announced its new triple layer BD-RE XL discs which will go on sale in Japan from 15 April for 10,000 yen (Â£75). The snappily titled LM-BE100Js will be the worldâ€™s first rewritable Blu-ray discs and will offer a viable alternative to a HDD for the first time.
However you will need newer hardware in order to write to these BDXL discs, as the manufacturing process (which combines a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer of 25GB, which are then doubled up) is incompatible with the lasers in most Blu-ray players. We saw the worldâ€™s first BDXL writer in the shape of the Pioneer DBC-206MBK last December and Buffalo and Plextor have since brought their own compatible drives to the table.
When Panasonicâ€™s BD-RE XL discs will be available in this part of the world is unknown but at least they are finally available somewhere and we hope we wonâ€™t have to wait too long to get our hands on them.