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Sony Technology

Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward 250

jones_supa writes "From last summer you might remember the Sony & Panasonic plans to bring next generation optical discs with recording capacity of at least 300GB. Various next-gen optical discs from different companies have been proposed, but this joint effort seems to be still moving forward. The disc is called simply Archival Disc and, roadmap and key specifications are out. First-wave ADs are slated to launch in summer of 2015 and will be able to hold up to 300GB of data. Archival Discs will be double-sided, so this works out to 150GB of data per side. Future versions of the technology will improve storage density, increasing to 500GB (or 250GB per side) and 1TB (500GB per side) as the standard matures."
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

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  • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slaker ( 53818 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:05PM (#46448813)

    The replacement for tape is different tape. Optical media isn't going to catch up to the data densities or transfer rates that tape has to offer any time soon. The (kinda old) LTO4 changer I use for my personal stuff handles 800GB/tape and only needs about three hours per tape. This new disc format isn't even going to be competitive with an eight year old tape spec.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:25PM (#46449023) Journal

    I got my first CD-RW drive in 1999. Some of the discs I wrote on it still work perfectly. Others are completely unreadable. There's no pattern to it - no particular manufacturer's media has fared better than another's. I have cheapo 20-for-a-dollar discs that still work and expensive ones that don't - and vice versa. I also have discs written much more recently which have become unreadable. For all I know, the discrepancies are as much down to which disc was stored on the top of the spindle or in the outer-most pockets in the wallet as to anything in their manufacture.

    Which means that as a long-term archival solution, optical discs are just too erratic.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:50PM (#46449319)

    It would be great to get a series on one or two disks instead of these huge boxes.

    Who would use them? Serious question.

    Netflix likely won't adopt any future disc standards for the disc side of their business. Blu-ray is already an additional charge, and they've made it very clear that they view that side of their business as a dying, legacy one, and they even made an effort to divest themselves of it back when they tried to split it off a few years back. Storefront video rentals are nearly extinct, with Redbox and digital distribution displacing them, and Redbox certainly won't be offering whole series anytime soon, since it makes no sense for them to do so. For movies, blu-rays already serve all of their needs. In other words, there's no market for AD rentals.

    I suppose Amazon and other retailers may sell the discs, but who would buy them? Hardcore collectors, sure, but outside that niche? The way I see it, you primarily have two types of folks:
    1) The folks already using blu-ray. Theoretically, AD would draw primarily from this group, since they are the ones who would care about any benefits it has to offer, but it seems to me that its primary benefit is easier distribution than blu-ray, which is something that digital distribution already deals with for most people, and it's already being adopted by this group as the next step beyond blu-ray. As for content availability, most people would prefer to purchase a few extra blu-rays during a transitional period to the digital distribution that they've already started adopting, rather than investing in an entirely new format so that their shelves will be a bit tidier.

    2) The ones who have to be dragged forward. They're the ones still using DVDs and who will only upgrade when they are forced to do so. Since AD players are likely to be backwards compatible with DVDs, these people will see no reason to purchase anything more expensive than DVDs, which, as is the case today with blu-rays already on the market, will keep the market for DVDs alive and healthy. They'll never upgrade to AD, since AD isn't forcing them to upgrade in the same way that DVD forced them to upgrade from VHS.

    Really, the only use I see for these discs is...wait for it...archiving. Assuming they have a decent shelf life, I could see these replacing, or at least supplementing, the backup tapes that are still widely used in business settings.

  • by boristdog ( 133725 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @06:02PM (#46450169)

    I live twenty minutes from a high tech city. A city that even hosts a world-reknowned "interactive" conference (along with a movie and music conference) around this time of year.

    The best uncapped bandwidth I can get? About 1.2 Mbps. And it's wireless with intermittent drops in coverage.
    The best capped bandwidth I can get? About 9 Mbps, but I'm limited to 12GB/month.

    Hundreds of thousands of people live near this same city with similar or worse bandwidth availability. Unless I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to start my own ISP and run some fiber for me and my neighbors, that's what we're stuck with.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl