back to article Sony and Panasonic plan 300GB Blu-Ray replacement for 2015

Sony and Panasonic have announced a partnership to develop a new format of optical storage disc for data archiving to replace Blu-Ray, and plan to get a 300GB disc in the market by the end of 2015. In a canned statement the two companies said they had "a proven track record in developing Blu-ray Disc format technologies, and by …

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Seems Irrelevant

Optical media is increasingly niche. More and more content is delivered digitally and then moved around by flash. Also more and more content is being consumed on tablets and other devices which can't practically be built to read optical media.

What's the market now? I get that sneakernet can be faster than internet and that some people have restrictive bandwidth caps, but it seems like this would be increasingly moving towards just being an archive format. The discs are probably cheap and long lived, but I don't see them as being used for even a fraction as many applications as DVD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems Irrelevant

Let me know how downloading a 300GB movie works for you. How about streaming? Even if you had a 100Mbps Internet connection and could sustain 100% utilization for that single transfer, it would take nearly 3 1/2 hours to download that 52 minute movie. To make it manageable, the content will need to be highly compressed and the advantage of 4k starts to diminish. Sure you have more pixels, but a low bitrate will make it look ugly; pixelation, artifacts, etc.

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Bronze badge

Re: Seems Irrelevant

But very few people want 4k video. Many people still buy DVD because it's £5 cheaper than Bluray so I'd say that although Bluray won the battle it has yet to win the war and become what I'd consider a successful format. It only sells as well as it does thanks to all the Playstations out there, I think most people even non techie can see a shift to downloads like with their music.

Remember the "next big thing" in audio was to be the super audio CD with better sound quality. What actually happenned was that on a global scale the majority decided to go for MP3, a quality lower than CD but with many advantages such as download.

I use Ultraviolet to watch movies and the quality is fine for most of my viewing on various devices including the lounge telly. I think as a geek who spends a lot of time reading geek sites you've made the classic mistake of thinking everyone else also want cinema quality at home because that's all you read. The "normals" just wanted a bigger but thinner screen and barely noticed the transition to high def.

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Re: Seems Irrelevant

I believe Google Fiber is a gigabit. Other ISPs will also be that fast before 4K gets big.

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MJI
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Re: Seems Irrelevant

I hate MP3s but I own a few SACDs and DVD-A

This annoyed me!

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Bod

Re: Seems Irrelevant

"Let me know how downloading a 300GB movie works for you"

Let me know when the average consumer not only wants but could even see a blind bit of difference in a 4K set up anyway, let alone afford it.

Non starter for the consumer.

Hell, most of my friends and family still use DVD and having seen HD stuff, their reaction is yeah it's nice, but they're happy with their little 26" telly in the corner of the room and would not be able to tell the difference. And I agree. My folks have a smaller telly, only 720p and they play DVDs on it and standard def Sky. It looks great on that size telly. HD is a high cost for them and really only marginal benefit, and they're only really interested in watching the show or film, not how good it looks.

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Mushroom

Re: Seems Irrelevant

I want 4K video and I ditest MP3.

Next.

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Bod

Re: Seems Irrelevant

and MP3s... yes, the vast (and I mean vast) majority don't really give a crap about the quality, they just want the music. Passing some kids the other day walking through the local park and they were happy listening to whatever autotuned crap it was on their mobile phone speaker. Mono speaker, truly awful quality. Oh whilst on a call to someone and letting the person at the other end listen to the music fed back from the speaker to microphone and over the network. Even worse. They all enjoyed it.

Same with the millions of iSheep and clones with terribly fitting ear buds that clearly are poor quality because it's leaking so much sound, but they don't care.

Sad for those of us who do, but we are the minority.

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Coat

Re: I use Ultraviolet to watch movies

Coo. I'd heard that a few of us were Tetrachromic, but I had no idea we were evolving out-of-band receptors too!

Oh, OK -->

You can probably see through my invisibility cloak anyway, with vision like that!

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Re: Seems Irrelevant

"But very few people want 4k video. Many people still buy DVD because it's £5 cheaper than Bluray"

But very few people want HD video. Many people still buy VHS because it's £5 cheaper than DVD.

There's a pattern here...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems Irrelevant

I believe that is what the article said.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems Irrelevant

Or keeps disc rental relevant for awhile.

Nice for data archiving, but not from Sony, please.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems Irrelevant

Gigabit isn't gigabit though; you still have a lot of shared resources along the way up to and including where the content is coming from. Google is not using 100Gbps links to the local distributions points to feed Google fiber customers. You are also talking about a service that is available in one city, another that is being converted and then a third that is planned. Back to 100Gbps, Gen 1, the optic alone is $100,000. Even the Gen 2 is/will be pricey.

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Boffin

Re: Seems Irrelevant

"To make it manageable, the content will need to be highly compressed and the advantage of 4k starts to diminish."

I'd say the advantage of 4k starts to diminish at about 3 to 4 feet on the 56" OLED screen mentioned in the article.

Consider that a 56" 16:9 screen would be a tick under 49" wide and that 4,000 pixels across that width would provide 50 pixels per degree (ppd) at a distance of about 29 inches. Knock it back to 35 inches and that jumps to about 57.4 ppd and going all the way back to 51 inches pushes it over 78 ppd. At a typical viewing distance, for the sake of defining a convention let's call it twice the diagonal measure of the screen, 112 inches this becomes 162.7 ppd. Now then, unless you have exceptional visual acuity or like to sit rather close to the set all those extra pixels aren't really getting you a better picture because the resolution of the eye starts to peter out in the 50 to 60 ppd range.

To put this into perspective at 10 inches distance, the iPhone 5 and 4 gives 57.4 ppd and 55.4 ppd respectively. Likewise the Galaxy 4S with an impressive 1920 pixels across its 5" screen gives 78.1 ppd at the same 10 inches which is double the diagonal measure of the screen. So how far away would these phones have to be to give the same 162.7 ppd of the 4k TV? 21.1 inches for the S4 and 28.6 for the iPhone 5. I don't know too many people who complain about the crappy pixelated display on these phones and most people won't see the difference.

One last kicker, the above defined convention of a viewing distance that is twice the screen diagonal is fairly arbitrary but what it does is make the visual area constant among devices. In the first paragraph with the 56" TV at a 35 inch viewing distance would be like holding an iPhone 5 a mere 2.5 inches from your pupil and yet the picture would be just as clear as the phone would be at 10 inches. Perhaps I'm just a half blind clueless git but I don't much see the point of 4k TV on anything but an absolutely giant set that is to be watched from a considerable distance.

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MJI
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WTF?

Re: Seems Irrelevant (PhilW)

Now can one of the downvoters tell us why you downvoted him?

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

I get the feeling they have not heard a HD music format in action

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The way it could become relevant...

...would be to have decently priced extensible changers. You know the 100 disk CD changers that used to be available in the 1990s. You'd need that under computer control with a lot more slots. If you keep adding bigger and bigger changers you'll eventually break even with harddisks.

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Silver badge

Re: The way it could become relevant...

First step for it to become relevant is to work reliably using bog standard devices and media you can go and buy in a computer shop (or off Amazon nowdays). I tried to use BR as backup media and gave up after a week of fighting with it. Average time to write one disk - 6-9 hours, failure rate 20%+. No thanks. It ended up cheaper to set-up a remote backup facility and backup remotely to an old NAS there.

The market for new optical media is dead. The only reason DVD is still out there is because of the massive legacy install base accompanied by a distribution channel.

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Boffin

But...

What happened with the BD 16 theoretical layers? No-one's bothering to do that anymore?

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Thumb Up

Re: But...

BluRay and Sony XDCAM disk is similar and the XDCAM's hold either 23 GB of data (PFD23, single-layer, rewritable), 50 GB (PFD50, dual-layer, rewritable), 100GB (triple-layer, rewritable) or 128 GB (PFD128QLW, quad-layer, write-once). So no doubt this disk will be close to the variant you are talking about, but it will be used Professionally not on the consumer side as the article talks about Pro.

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Anonymous Coward

Sony... Oh well.

Unfortunately with Sony's involvement you know that the format...

- will be priced absurdly high.

- will be smothered with poorly implemented DRM.

- will arrive at least 2 years late.

- will, 'for your protection and enjoyment', require the installation if a root kit (a 'rights management driver') if you want to play the disc on a PC.

- will have absurd amounts of non-skipable adverts, dire warnings about piracy killing kittens etc...

No thanks.

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Re: Sony... Oh well.

...and they'll rush the product to market before its finished, constantly updating the standard over the next 6 or 7 years, meaning either cheaper players wont work and others will constantly be requiring updates and then we can start all over again with Super HDMi cables and the debate on how much we should spend!

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Bub

Re: Sony... Oh well.

Sony.... root kit... DRM.... evil evil evil..................yawn

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony... Oh well.

- will be priced absurdly high.

Wiindows 8

- will be smothered with poorly implemented DRM.

Windows 8

- will arrive at least 2 years late.

Windows Vista (okay 7, but lets faceit, it's a vista service pack that they sold)

- will, 'for your protection and enjoyment', require the installation if a root kit (a 'rights management driver') if you want to play the disc on a PC.

Windows 8

- will have absurd amounts of non-skipable adverts, dire warnings about piracy killing kittens etc...

Trying to read the licence on windows 8

-and they'll rush the product to market before its finished

Windows 8 / xbox 360

Sorry, I just felt with the stupid sony bashing based on BS, there should be some microsoft bashing to even it out, what with the upcoming console war, and lack of Eadon.

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Sony... Oh well.

Sony formats

At least have always aimed to be better than the opposition.

But think CD was a huge success.

Beta was better.

Never heard Elcassete or whatever it is called but supposed to be good.

ATRAC was a good audio compression algorithm

BluRay is more future proof than HD-DVD

Sony have developed a lot of good formats.

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Re: Sony... Oh well.

The original CD format was defined, invented and demonstrated (in 1979) by Philips. Sony dropped its format and joined with Philips to define the final CD-DA format to which Sony contributed the CIRC error correction, Philips the manufacturing process, EFM and defect resilience.

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Bod

Re: Sony... Oh well.

"Sony have developed a lot of good formats."

MiniDisc... oh wait.

SACD... oh wait.

Proprietary Memory Stick, that's a great idea too ;)

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Silver badge

Re: Sony... Oh well.

Eh, Bluray wasn't all that good compared to HD-DVD. It's a little larger per layer, but early Blurays still used MPEG2, HD-DVD did not.

Also, HD-DVD's spec required two decoders for PiP video, Bluray did not, so older players are hardware left out of features of later Bluray discs.

Essentially, Bluray's spec was half baked from the start, and anything but future proof.

You've handily missed out the multitude of pointless memory cards.

Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Duo Pro, whatever the new card is in the vita, etc...

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WTF?

Re: Sony... Oh well.

...and lack of Eadon.

You mean you're not Eadon? Who knew?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony... Oh well.

Mod! Mod! Eadon is back!

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FAIL

Re: Sony... Oh well.

Unfortunately with Sony's involvement you know that the format...

- will be priced absurdly high.

Who's pointing a gun to your head to buy it? Tell you what - when you're ready and overjoyed at working for $3 a day, then you can argue always-low prices for discretionary purchases have some positive moral content

- will be smothered with poorly implemented DRM.

Right, because who needs property rights? By the way, I'm confiscating your house. Freedom of the bricks-and-mortar superhighway, see? Enjoy.

- will arrive at least 2 years late.

Hey I thought you didn't want it anyway?

- will, 'for your protection and enjoyment', require the installation if a root kit (a 'rights management driver') if you want to play the disc on a PC.

See above.

- will have absurd amounts of non-skipable adverts, dire warnings about piracy killing kittens etc...

Because piracy only kills kittens, it has nothing to do with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs and careers in the arts, industries even, being destroyed.

No thanks.

Who cares what a cretin like you thinks anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony... Oh well.

I can't be Eadon. I failed to put MS FAIL! at the end of my post.

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@Tapeador

Tapeador, you're a troll.

How do I know? Because nobody can be that stupid for real...

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MJI
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Re: Sony... Oh well.

BD can handle all the same codecs as HDDVD, just that it can hold more data, which with a longer film is very important.

Being able to support MPEG2 1440x1080/50i to me is very important.

Home burnt from HDV

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony... Oh well.

All true about MS, but no need for it.

The so-called Sony bashing was simply someone pointing out the bleeding obvious in regard to how the company behaves.

Sony have a serious image problem. Unfortunately justified. Living on former glories (yeah, MS blah blah).

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Thumb Down

Re: Sony... Oh well.

"- will be priced absurdly high.

Wiindows 8" (sic)

Sorry, but I think you'll find that the upgrade from 7 to 8 was the cheapest ever.

It's still rubbish though.

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Silver badge

" ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

I'd prefer about 4GB (or less) of interesting story, believable plot development and good acting. There are other things/skills they could try to deliver but they need to get the basics right first.

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Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

"Who needs story when you have explosions KABOOM!"

- Michael Bay

I'd actually be happy with what you just said in videogames. Tired of new games coming out ,pushing the limits of graphics etc to fill up the entire disk and give us some gun wank, only to find out that the game is a carbon copy clone of CoD with a few extra polygons per model and a new handgun you'll never use. Not to mention when you buy a game for £50 and then find out it's only takes about 5hours to complete, and 2 of those 5 hours are cutscenes and arduously slow loading screens whenever you go into the pause menu (I'm looking at you Fable 3)

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MJI
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Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

Disc full of games.

Lets look at my latest purchase

Limits of graphics pushed - yes for console

Story - definately - very emotional

Lots of guns - no

Short SP - 8 hours in and no where near end

Hard - very

But produced by a Sony owned studio.

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Silver badge

Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

okay my example wasn't that great, it does vary a lot by studio. There are some that do launch amazingly intricate game worlds with hours upon hours of gameplay and additional gameplay. But there are just as many people launching games with terrible stories and 3h of gameplay if you're any good. (would be a bit mroe if you didn't spawn right next to where you died)

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Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

We'll all be lucky if there's 4k of good acting etc to be found in among whatever gets released in this format.

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MJI
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Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..."

Would be good for Fallout type games!

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MJI
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Re: " ... 300GB-worth of CGI wizardry ..." (Wowfood)

There are a lot of really good games and space used doesn't really come into it.

Short but very good, Journey

Long, hard and very well executed, The Last of Us

Lots of shorter games are more about the multiplayer than the single player

This generation we have been careful to buy decent games rather than cheap games.

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This isn't about BluRay but the net Generation of XDCAM disk used in Professional TV Production http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XDCAM

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Enough...

"...a new format of optical storage disc ..."

Here's a question: I know USB sticks and comparatively more expensive to produce that spinning plastic. But that's mostly due to the fact they have to be re-writeable. How cheaply can WORM memory be made so that you can burn a movie (or three) onto a small chip?

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Gold badge

Re: Enough...

It's probably not how cheaply the WORM memory could be made, but how fast it could be written to.

You'd have to come up with something rather funky to beat the few seconds of time it takes to press a read-only CD, DVD or BD in mass production.

The plant, labourforce etc is a fixed cost. If a disc pops out of the machine every 5 seconds, then the cost is materials + 5 seconds of overhead. If your machine writes a 300Gb stick every 10 minutes.......(!)

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Re: Enough...

True, but did you ever see a VHS duplication plant...

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First news story for the Playstation 5?

and the PS4 hasn't even been released yet.

If Sony are true to form the PS5 will have a 300Gb optical drive just to make sure it get's into living rooms and rival systems don't take hold.

It worked for both DVD (PS2) and Blu-Ray (PS3) despite HD-DVD being the better tech...

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Silver badge

Re: First news story for the Playstation 5?

This may be a question of ignorance on my part, but how was HD-DVD the better format?

It had a smaller storage capacity (15gb vs 25gb) it had a slower transfer rate (36mb vs 53mb or with video etc 30 vs 48)

So at launch HD-DVD was slower, had less capacity, and from the stats it supported pretty much the exact same codecs and audo as the BD (Except HD-DVD had better support for dolby)

Was it cheaper or something?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: First news story for the Playstation 5?

I believe the total lack of region coding (on disc or on player software) may have had something to do with it. Also something about because it was an "extension" of a DVD (file systems etc) but with more on a disc, the existing software could be made to handle HD-DVD much more easily. In a similar vein a dual-layer HD-DVD/regular DVD was possible and slightly more elegant than having to flip from BD side to DVD side. But I could be wrong, this was quite a while ago.

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MJI
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Re: First news story for the Playstation 5?

HD-DVD was smaller capacity and not as tough

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