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Sony and Panasonic commit to Blu-ray replacement by 2016

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Sony BR
Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-ray player - soon to be obsolete?

Sony and Panasonic have announced that they're developing a new 300GB optical disc format to be launched by the end of 2015.

Sony and Panasonic, the joint originators of the current Blu-ray disc format, have revealed that they're working on a high-capactiy optical disc follow-up.

In a joint statement, the two companies revealed an agreement to develop "a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs" with a recording capacity of at least 300GB. The new format will be ready by the end of 2015.

The two tech giants claim that this as-yet-unnamed new format is intended for professional archiving usage. They say that optical discs are still the preferred format for long term data storage owing to their dust and water resistant properties, as well as their "inter-generational compatibility."

However, it's easy to see this new standard finding its way into general consumer usage thanks to a standard that's already on the market, albeit in limited fashion: 4K.

Blu-ray discs currently hold a maximum of 50GB of data. The first 4K or UHD film available to buy - a documentary called Timescapes - takes up 160GB of data. Considering this film is just 52 minutes in length, the unsuitability of current dual-layer Blu-ray format to carry 4K content is clear.

Even BDXL quad-layer Blu-rays, which can hold as much as 128GB of data, would be unable to hold a full-length 4K feature film - not to mention its attendant bonus material.

It's perhaps no coincidence that both Sony and Panasonic have revealed large, expensive 4K UHD TV sets in 2013. It's in both companies' interest to develop a viable format to carry 4K content to consumers if it's to sell the Ultra High Definition format as the future of home entertainment.

Next read our Sony BDP-S3100 budget Blu-ray player review.

Via: BBC

Mombasa69

July 30, 2013, 12:18 pm

300gb still wont be enough for long term, they should be aiming for 1tb minimum, there's also the HVD Holographic Versatile Disc technology in development, with 6tb of storage.

Texatom

January 8, 2014, 2:13 pm

3D was a bust with zero content and 4K is only needed for 80"+ TV's. My personal belief is SONY needs to continue the GTV even though sales are poor there too. I love that device!!

Texatom

January 8, 2014, 2:16 pm

Sony and and Panasonic make affordable premier consumer electronics, even though most consumer don't care about quiality anymore. Back in the real world, I am more dissapointed the Panasonic Plasmas are being phased out. The VT50 and VT60 series are phenomenal!!

khizar_07

March 10, 2014, 11:31 am

Is 4K really needed for 80"+ TV's? How big is the screen at the cinema?
It depends on how far you sit from the screen. You will get pretty dizey sat very close to a big screen TV.

TmNc

January 10, 2016, 10:26 pm

at first they said 300GB would be the basic storage capacity. 500GB would be midrange, and 1TB high. but no, they chose to keep the current wavelenght for the discs and the miserably small bitrate and small storage of 66GB dual layer as the bottom entry storage capacity (lol), and 100GB triple layer bd disc (also lol cause there have been up to 128 GB "ex-generation" blu ray discs) but i am mainly laughing for the low bitrate [for any resolution really, not just 4K] (108 Mbps for double layer and 128 Mbps for triple layer) my answer = fail fish. around 300 Mega Bytes per second should be the right lossless bitrate (when you press pause it won't have any anomalies like blurs and static effects unlike the current blu ray movies when you press pause you see blur everywhere and unlike DVD quality, there is a very much visible static effect going on throughout the entire movies through all the screen). Each picture (if you buy a 23.976 fps movie) is very low bitrate unfortunately. for 1080p, lossless but still compressed should be 5 Mega Bytes per second [crisp blurless picture without static effect] (yes 5 times 23.976 = 119.88 Mega Bytes per second (remember, not Mega bits per second). Of course, the data would be much much larger than with the current compression. talking about around 864 GB for a 2 hour 1080p movie [without audio data]. so, we need another much cheaper storage technology than current SSD, HDD, SSHD, and such. mainly cause people like me don't like this kind of compression. hate it. i recorded few gameplay videos on my PC 1920x1080 @60 fps at a bitrate of around 186 Mega Bytes per second and there's no static effect at all, no blur when pausing during high motion, etc. in other words, it looks the same as when i play the games. looks perfect. current 40 Mega bits per second? give me a break... looks like shit. but i still watch it :(

Harry Manak

January 30, 2016, 1:48 am

4K is only good if you have a picture of 65 inches diagonal and larger, to be noticeable. The cinema or theatre screen is generally about 12 to 15 ft tall X 28ft to 44 ft wide.(average dimensions ) some screens are larger and some smaller than this) The theatre screen has thousands of holes in it for the sound speakers to give you the sound (frontal sound) and subs, from the back of the cinema screen. The small holes ranging from just 2.5mm to as large as 6mm in diameter all throughout the whole screen in uniformity. So the picture may not be as sharp as expected. There are other factors that affect the screen focus such as temperature, sound waves, lens quality, temperatures of the projector lens varies due to the glass in the lens, adjusting as the virtue affects of cold to hot and vice versa. There is more but I will stop here for now. Yes a big one is where you are sitting in the cinema or theatre has a bearing as well. If too close to screen, you will see a fuzzier, slightly out of focus picture, and you may be scrambling with your eyes and neck to try to follow the big tall and wide screen picture to catch all the action. The screen can be dirty, and or discolored, taking away some light, and some details, etc) A professional such as 1st class projectionist as myself) can safely remove the dirt off the screen. Screen damage can occur if not done in full accordance to professional Hollywood rules etc) same goes for the lens and mirror cleaning, only authorized service personell should be doing this. ) The cellulose film can stretch a minute amount depending on the dryness, or humidity it has, and the direct temperature of the film entering the projection gate. if the film has played for over a 2 month period, and hasn't been kept clean, no dust environment) then some scratches will appear on it and the lens magnifies these scratches which will further slightly degrade the picture on the screen. The lens if dirty on any or both sides will not yield a sharp picture, and nor will plexiglass or glass through which the image finally leaves the projection room, if dirty wilI, take away the sharpness too. It is estimated that about half of the worlds commercial projectors have gone to digital projection versus cellulose, film medium. between April of 2016 and Sept of 2017, due to the sit back ratios as well, you will probably enjoy a much nicer better picture at home versus the theatre. The film manufacturers have improved on film characteristics over the years though so some of the physics may not be in play much anymore. Projectionist HM. hope this has helped.

Roberto Ruiz

March 6, 2016, 1:35 am

Despite the fact that 4K benefit is neglilible, they have not realized yet that people does not want a ton of CDs-DVDs-blurays-HVDs-wtfiscommingnexts hanging on their libraries. They prefer streaming or having their media in an HDD.

Stoatwblr

March 12, 2016, 4:08 pm

HVD is a washout from the look of things (as of 2016, the companies seem to have ceased to exist) and there's definitely demand for larger than 128GB capacity from the computer backup side of things (Tape drives are only really economic past 200TB or so and the cloud isn't viable past a few TB.)

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