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Goodbye to Blu-Ray, Sony And Panasonic Release 1TB Optical Discs

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Recent announcements from Tokyo made by Sony and Panasonic say that the two companies have developed discs that will be able to hold up to 1TB of data. The discs, currently called “Archival Discs”, will soon make Blu-Ray discs obsolete and will allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats to allow the discs to remain functional as technology evolves.

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The use of these discs is aimed towards the professional field to provide a dependable solution to storing important data in the future. The discs are also expected to expand the market for long-term storage solutions and will be beneficial for HD video storage or storing large volumes of data. A plus point for using optical discs for storage is their durability, water resistance and the ability to withstand temperature and humidity changes.

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The first release will be in the summer of 2015, starting with a 300 GB version. After that the companies will release a 500 GB version with subsequent development, and finally a 1TB version. New hardware will also be released along with the 300GB disc, and thanks to the intergeneration compatibility, the same hardware will be compatible with the 1TB version as well. Subsequent developments will involve signal processing improvements along with high linear density processing as shown by the diagram below.

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Although this may seem like an amazing big leap from the current Blu-Ray discs (which offer 25GB of storage) that we have, but to put it into perspective, just think about the history of removable data storage devices. Thirty years ago, we were using floppy drives with only 750kB of storage until the early 80’s when the first compact discs offered 700MB of storage. When you think about it this way, we have certainly come a long way in terms of permanent data storage devices.

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The partnership between two giant companies like Panasonic and Sony means that there will also be no format conflict. And currently, both companies are developing hardware that will popularize the use of the new Archival Storage discs. Panasonic is developing a new changer system that will allow data transfer rates of up to 216 MB/second. Sony has developed a new optical disc storage system called the XDCAM which will be able to house 12 optical discs in a compact cartridge as one storage unit.

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The news may not seem that amazing compared to other technological advancements, but it provides a much needed solution to professions where storing data securely is a necessity. And while many of us have portable hard drives that can store as much data as the discs, the discs will provide a more approachable option to those of us looking to permanently store large bulks of data in one place.

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11 Comments to Goodbye to Blu-Ray, Sony And Panasonic Release 1TB Optical Discs

  1. now as bdxl 100gb-1tb you can now get 4k 5k to fit on a 1tb. 25 is enough to save a whole movie on ?? ours. still 4k needs more space. cams with 1tb would be nice. and full 22.2-32.2 sound support. and we uses sb 128-1024. that was jues the beginning. lovely if it comes to store big files. of corse you can destroy a 1 tb easly.but if you can take more copies then ever a 22.7 or 23.1 gb with imgburn youc could have many dvd with pics exel word power point big as 100gb eatch. thin about 36-47 even 71 mega pixel cams. all info can be read in ine file. god bless world.

  2. I think you guys have it all wrong. Hard drives have moving parts, so they can suddenly fail, and you’re screwed. Cd’s, dvd’s, and blu-rays have no moving parts. So long as you keep them away from heat, the sun, and don’t store them flat with stuff sitting on top of them, they are supposed to last a very long time. Flash drives are also considered very good with very low failure rates.

    Plus, a lot of you are talking about storing your movies on them. I’m a photographer, and have huge photo files. It’s not uncommon to shoot 1,000 photos at just one wedding. Most photographers shoot about 20-30 weddings per year. I’ve also scanned all my documents into pdf’s, and take an occasional home video from my cell phone or something. A little 2 minute video from my tablet is something like 15mb. Heaven forbid I should shoot a 20 minute video. These things really add up on space.

  3. And what would possess someone to use this over solid state storage? A 128gb USB3 flash key is $60 on Amazon – that’s not the cheapest price, just literally the first search result that came up. As prices continue to drop on NAND flash storage, optical products look increasingly outdated. Slow random access, horrific transfer rates, low durability, and awkward portability hurt optical media. External hard drives are less than $75 for a terabyte or more, also running USB 3.

    Apple has dropped all their optical media support. PCs from Dell, Toshiba, HP, and others are following their lead. The computer market will have completely discarded optical by the time this format hits the shelves.

    To place the nail on the coffin, user burnable optical media has never had a shelf life much beyond five years. Sure, professionally mastered discs last quite some time, but I’ll bet that mix CD you made in 1998 is unplayable. I do not see any reason why that would cease to be the case.

    Too little, too late, no one cares.

    • I have been going through backing up cos (from 1997) and dad’s (2004) and had a high success rate at retrieving data. The main culprit was discs that had been left out and we’re scratched (human error). Yes disc can be scratched but if stored properly away from heat (and kids) discs can last longer than people give them credit for. Buy good quality discs and your chances of getting your data back in years future increases your chances. I figure a few hundred discs I had 5 that did not yield good results. If your data is important duplicate and store multiple copies in different places.

    • Marco Valleggi

      My CD , burned in 1995 is still playable and readable, also my frist cd-rom burned in 1995 is still readable… so…

  4. The author is perhaps incorrect with the predictions of blu-ray’s demise.

    This format has zero use in the home video market. In a time where we see 2-4 movies crammed on to one 25b blu-ray, there is just no need for a 300gb to 1tb disc for movies.

    Furthermore, the Playstation 4 and X-Box One have just been released, both of which use blu-ray technology. Sony has already stated that they plan on the PS4 being viable for about a decade. With gaming consoles increasingly becoming the prime home video player, it’s doubtful that these new discs will take over any time soon.

    As a matter of fact, with the way technology rolls on, it’s extremely likely that an entirely new format will have been developed by the time the next generation of consoles are released. That will be the format that takes over for blu-ray, not this.

    • While I agree that BluRay isn’t about to go away any time soon, something like this could come in quite handy for people that don’t mind going digital with their movie collections, etc. Getting them to play on your home theater system is one thing, but I know there are already ways to stream from your PC to your TV through devices like Roku, etc. Or hook up directly via an ethernet cable.

  5. So… My BDXL drive is obsolete already????????? Man I was impressed at 128GB of data storage. But this……

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