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From CES: Panasonic working on 4-layer 100GB BD-R (Blu-Ray recordable) technology


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#1 of 7 David_Rivshin

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Posted January 10 2008 - 10:04 AM

Disclaimer: This is entirely from memory, so I could easily be remembering some details incorrectly.

I just got back from CES last night/this morning, and I'm surprised I haven't seen this particular piece of information mentioned anywhere. Apologies if I've missed it in another thread as I've been catching up.

Tucked away in the Blu-Ray Panasonic's (rather large) booth, there was a display talking about Blu-Ray recordable media. The main points were:
- hard coating for enhanced durability (available now)
- 6x recording speed (scheduled for summer 2008)
- 4 layer 100GB disks (scheduled for 2009)

I asked whether the 4 layer disks would be compatible for existing or future stand-alone players, but the rep I was speaking too didn't have that information. He did say he was asked that same question by multiple people before, and would try to find out from one of the engineers. Unfortunately when I came back around a few hours later I could not find the original rep I spoke with, and the other one was giving a presentation.

If anyone else has any more information on that topic, I'd love to hear it. I assume that if 4-layer recordable disks can be played in a stand-alone device, that 4-layer pressed disks would be possible as well. 100GB per (single-sided) disk would be great in some instances.

-- Dave

#2 of 7 Mikah Cerucco

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Posted January 11 2008 - 03:40 AM

Why bother letting something like backwards compatibility restrict you? Just run out and buy new stuff -- preferably Sony new stuff.
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#3 of 7 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted January 11 2008 - 11:14 AM

LOL. Some folks are soooo cynical. Posted Image Posted Image

Personally, I don't see how much practical use 4-layer BD has for HDM application. I can see for personal home recording use, but not quite so much for prerecorded content other than future HD TV series and such. How much space would a high quality transfer of a 3.5-hour movie take for instance? Would it really benefit noticeably to go beyond BD50 for that? That's besides the fact that an intermission split across 2 discs (for bathroom break and what not) wouldn't be such a bad thing anyhow, LOL. Posted Image I suppose it might benefit from BD100 if there are loads of extra feature content, especially if they put them into IME/PiP format.

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#4 of 7 David_Rivshin

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Posted January 13 2008 - 08:50 AM

I was also curious as to what use the extra 50GB could be put to, so I wondered about what a max-bitrate encoding would take. Basically a BD superbit type concept.

This has the data transfer rate numbers for BD: Blu-ray.com - Blu-ray FAQ.
The maximum bitrate for BD A/V is 54Mbps, but only 40Mbps of that can be used for video. The rest would, I assume, be mainly for audio tracks. So, I ran two sets of numbers, the first assuming 40Mbps video and just 2Mbps for audio, and the other using the entire available bandwidth. The results for the first case is that we have about 79 minutes per layer, and in the second case we have about 61 minutes per layer.

Going to the perennial long-movie example of LotR:RotK-EE (252 minutes), we see that it will probably fit snugly in 4-layers if it maxes out the video bandwidth available along with some lossless audio tracks. Granted, an intermission between disks is probably not a bad idea in that example, but I wouldn't complain about it all being on a single (4-layer) disk either. I could also image a more common 2.5-3hr movie with extras fitting on a 4-layer disk without any compromises to the movie.
Of course, in most cases, I'd expect that the same content would end up being fit onto a dual-layer disk by just scaling the A/V bitrate down as necessary. But, I can still hope that at least some films might want to go the max-quality route.

Then there's also the question of whether one 4-layer disk might be cheaper to manufacture, package, and ship, compared to two 2-layer disks. I honestly don't know the answer to that, but I could imagine it going either way.

-- Dave

#5 of 7 PaulDA

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Posted January 13 2008 - 12:51 PM

TV on disc is ever popular and I could see an application for that here (fewer discs to hold episodes). The extras in HD rather than SD would also benefit from a higher capacity disc. Not a must, but certainly an interesting option.
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#6 of 7 RonR

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Posted January 13 2008 - 09:39 PM

Panasonic getting their br players working correctly would be a nice starting point..

#7 of 7 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted January 15 2008 - 06:58 AM

While the idea of higher capacity is appealing, I am very sceptical of the long term viability of any of these multilayered formats after a high failure rate (that I have seen in my collection) of dual layer DVDs - especially given the relatively low data density of DVD compared to any HD product.

Frankly, I don't see any of these disc based products being around for very long given an inevitable move to solid state.