Hewlett-Packard backs Blu-ray disc technology

Palo Alto (CA) - Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced that it will use Blu-ray disc technology as successor for the DVD across "many" of its product lines such as consumer desktop and notebook PCs, personal workstations and digital entertainment centers.

The Blu-ray industry group scored a major win with HP's official announcement to integrate the technology into its product strategy and leave the competing standard HD-DVD aside for now. HP as well as Dell, the two largest PC manufacturers, already had announced public support for Blue-ray in at the Consumer Electronics Show in January earlier this year. A spokesperson for Dell also confirmed that the company had no interest in offering HD-DVD products in the foreseeable future.

According to HP, Blue-ray at this time is best positioned to replace current DVD technology and become the next standard for personal computing data storage and viewing high-definition movies. The company believes that the technology offers advantages over the HD-DVD in recording versatility, interactivity and capacity.

Blu-ray discs initially will become available in versions with up to 50 GByte of space, which is enough to record 26 hours of standard definition television and eight hours of HDTV, HP said. The competing HD-DVD format will be offered in 15 and 30 GByte versions initially. Sony, credited with the invention of Blu-ray, said that its technology will scale to 100 GByte in 2007 using four-layer technology and later up to 200 GByte with eight layers.

As HD-DVD, Blu-ray is based on blue lasers, which use shorter wavelength that the traditional red laser of DVDs and allow an increase of data density for data stored on 12-cm Blu-ray discs (BD) or HD-DVDs. Blu-ray discs are expected to become available in three different versions: The BD-ROM is a read-only format for software, games and movie distribution, the BD-R a write-once and the BD-RE a rewritable format for storing HDTV videos and data.