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Sony, Panasonic Developing 300GB+ Optical Disc Standard

By - Source: Sony | B 24 comments

Sony and Panasonic want a 300 GB optical disc by 2015.

On Monday Sony announced that it has agreed to work with Panasonic in developing a next-generation standard for an optical disc with at least 300 GB of storage by 2015.

The agreement arrives after both companies, who previously developed products based on the Blu-ray format, realized that optical discs will need larger capacities in years to come, especially as growth in the archive market continues to accelerate. Yet, why continue to use optical discs? Hard drives and solid-state drives have plenty of storage capacity, right? They're not long-term solutions.

"Optical disks have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored," the companies said in a statement. "They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content."

This standard will be based on technologies each developed separately, Sony said. Just last year, Sony commercialized a file-based archive system in its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products which housed twelve 25 GB optical discs within a single, compact cartridge. In July, Panasonic launched the LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices which uses a magazine of twelve 100 GB optical discs. A maximum of 90 magazines can be stored in the LB-DM9, totaling 108 TB (the announcement claims 180 TB).

"In recent years, there has been an increasing need for archive capabilities, not only from video production industries, such as motion pictures and broadcasting, but also from cloud data centers that handle increasingly large volumes of data following the evolution in network services," Sony said. "By actively promoting the adoption of a new standard for next-generation high-capacity optical discs, they intend to offer solutions that preserve valuable data for future generations."

Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard, the company said.

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  • 14 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , July 30, 2013 8:05 AM
    This amount of storage will be required when 4K movies go mainstream. Not everyone will have internet connection fast enough to stream 4K. Therefore optical discs will be needed again.
Other Comments
  • -6 Hide
    wavetrex , July 30, 2013 7:56 AM
    I wouldn't mind a 300GB disk, but if it's cost per gigabyte is higher than for HDDs (which is the case for today's BluRay), then no thank you.
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , July 30, 2013 7:58 AM
    As the article clearly states, this is mainly targeted towards archivists. 300 GB is an insane amount of space for a movie release, or a game, and is unseemly for an OS. Optical discs just make more sense for long-term storage (even if i do still prefer it for my games/OS/movies). This isn't so much a replacement for consumer Blu-Ray, as it is a replacement for niche and commercial Blu-Ray.
  • -3 Hide
    Daniel Revas , July 30, 2013 8:04 AM
    Why is this such a big deal when this is out there?

    300GB? So what?
  • 14 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , July 30, 2013 8:05 AM
    This amount of storage will be required when 4K movies go mainstream. Not everyone will have internet connection fast enough to stream 4K. Therefore optical discs will be needed again.
  • 2 Hide
    kujospam , July 30, 2013 8:47 AM
    Ubercake, I did not look up the specs. The question isn't can in 5 years can the AVERAGE internet connection handle ONE 4k stream. It's if it can handle AT LEAST THREE. The average house hold that uses streaming as a video service streams from more than one location. Wife watching her show, Husband watching his show, and a kid or two watching their shows. Wither that be from the TV, Computer, Tablet ( yes I know that won't require 4k), etc. It isn't uncommon in my house old for the older kids to be watching something on netflix or hulu, and my wife and I watching something else. Or even different items.
  • 1 Hide
    rwinches , July 30, 2013 8:58 AM
    This in for near line hive storage. The NSA would be a good customer. A lot more cost effective than powered drives.
    If the LB-DM9 has advanced compression tech it might store a max of 180 TB on 108 TB of Disk.
  • 1 Hide
    evo_7 , July 30, 2013 9:02 AM
    Umm yeah uber, i think you're being short-sighted. I do prefer a USB/junk drive and cloud storage but sh*t I have to archive, this would be ideal given price point. To not have to dedicate a whole external/internal HD to projects and being able to more easily sort them versus relying on file-sorting and which HD would be another positive.

    That said, not everything in technology has to be based on how useful it is to "you" let alone no one can map out the net benefits to other technologies this may aid in developing.
  • 3 Hide
    dimar , July 30, 2013 9:16 AM
    BDXL should be enough for 4k blu-ray content using h265 codec. But I guess 300GB will allow us to have Lord of the Rings extended 4k editions on a single disk :-)
  • 2 Hide
    anything4this , July 30, 2013 9:26 AM
    You guys speak as if you were the targeted audience..
  • 0 Hide
    annymmo , July 30, 2013 9:28 AM
    How about an upgrade where the disk doesn't need to spin around.
    With small mirrors it should be possible to cheaply accomplish that.

    That's what I want to see in DVD development, make it work better.
  • -1 Hide
    hannibal , July 30, 2013 11:42 AM
    This is for commersial, but we really need some bigger storage for 4K and 8K content. And now even 1080p content via internet is pure crap, when considering quality... Pity but true. It may be good enough for handheld phone or tablet... but not for big sreen or even tv.
    Here bigger is better... did I really say that...

  • -1 Hide
    egowhip69 , July 30, 2013 11:47 AM
    This is being looked at as a replacement for things like LTO. I highly doubt there would be any initial application for home use. It might trickle down as 4k becomes more prevalent, but this is for business archive solutions.

    I for one would love it. you could have ~10 disks for the same space used by an LTO tape... that would be 3Tb in the same space. Plus, I'm sure you can get much better read and write speeds than the 160Mbps currently enjoyed by LTO. And if they actually get 300Gb on first gen, then LTO would be a thing of the past.

    Plus, the disk format could be allow your archive machine to be setup into a carousel configuration (500 disks per tier, and the system starting with 5 tiers and expanding out to ???), making high density archive an actual possibility.
  • 2 Hide
    zertam , July 30, 2013 1:22 PM
    I'd like to see 80mm sized discs become more standard - would be neat to have a 3.5" optical disc drive.
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , July 30, 2013 2:54 PM
    I think these companies have been at this long enough to know what kind of tech to develop. Bluray may have had bad sales but that does not deminish the benifit of the technology, bluray movies make dvds look like i animated them with ms paint. Sales is the short coming of the companies still demanding $30-50 (AUD) for a damn movie that cost probably a few cents to shit out of the factory.

    And yes there is some pretty amazing tech out there with insane capacity but it seems obvious to me that these companies do not develop that kind of tech for whatever reason. be it viability, marketability, cost and whatever else.

    I think its interesting to see what these companies do when it comes to storage, there are some very real world reasons why optical still exists (as the article addresses).
  • 0 Hide
    giovanni86 , July 30, 2013 5:10 PM
    With Storage devices at 4TB's i for one would like something bigger then a 25/50GB disc.. I had a 1TB drive dying on me the cheaper solution was to burn about 20 BR discs since i was tight on money.. Would of been nice if all i needed was 3 of these instead of 20.. Just saying, if there was a 1TB optical disc I'm all for it!
  • 0 Hide
    saymi , July 30, 2013 8:25 PM
    Optical disks are cheapest archiving mediums. Tape drives too but optical disks have robust access times according to them. They might be also making another generation of money grabbing plan from consumer! Who knows?
  • 0 Hide
    mrmez , July 30, 2013 10:05 PM
    4K could be a boost for piracy.

    Any encryption etc will likely be cracked very quickly, as it has been in the past.
    Disc burners will be out soon enough, and disc cost will fall rapidly.

    No more ISP's tracking your online file sharing. Back to old school copying.
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