I don't know what they'd really do with this technology in terms of consumer usage. They could store 100 movies on one disc...but how much would that cost you? $2000? The problem is in the licensing fees that the dvd manufacturers would have to pay for all those movies. We already know how difficult it can be just to get one movie out on dvd and have it financially successful for its publishers.
What else can such a disc be used for? Well, tv shows on dvd? You could easily store an entire season's worth (or more) of a favorite tv show. Maybe they can finally start introducing soap operas onto home video; you could probably cram a whole year's worth of a soap onto one disc. But again--the licensing and royalties would make that one disc cost a fortune.
I don't know if this technology will ever be used for home video. I think it'll be used more for scientific data storage, not home use. PLUS--think of the playback equipment that would be involved. We already have dvd players and BluRay players that jam up on ONE movie--think of the poor player that's trying to read through 100 layers. The playback equipment would have to cost a fortune as well. BUT--maybe in a few years, IF they really want to do this--they can make it happen.
This disc was just created for the reason we are reading about it nothing more. It won't be used for consumer usage like purchasing a film or TV show. Nice press release item but alas that is all it ever will be. I can see major companies using these discs for computer tech purposes etc but not on the average consumer level.
Only Dark Shadows has ever been released in its entirety on home video.
I'm pretty well connected with the soap fan community--they do often wish for their favorite soaps to be released on dvd. It's just the storage problem that prevents it. A typical soap has 250 episodes per year. If the show is an hour long, that would be about 50 discs in standard def, and therefore unfeasible for home video. But the 500 gigabyte could probably store that entire year on one disc.
What about major motion picture franchises like "Star Wars", "Harry Potter" and the James Bond series? Imagine if you will the complete collected works of Sean Connery's 007 titles one a single disc, Roger Moore's on another and Pierce Brosnan's on a third, Daniel Craig's on a fourth and the remaining Bond titles on a separate volume. That's over 20 movies on just 5 discs!
Of course there are a few related items that can be put on one 500gb disk. You mention a few. There are others for cinephiles. For example, some might like the collected works of Jean Luc Godard on a single disk. Or every movie that Henry Fonda ever made. One could go on—but what’s the point?
Very few consumers would buy a new delivery system only in order to reduce the size of their collections.
Personally I can’t sit without interruptions to all that can be contained on a single Blu-Ray disk. At some point, I need to go to the bathroom, let a cat in or out or make some popcorn.
And at that point I can pop in another disk.
The consumer market for this as a movie/TV series deliver is very small.
It might be useful as a backup device at the consumer level.
When you go up to 3 dimensions, you need 2 lasers focusing on 1 spot to return the proper value. Since discs are generally written in either a spiral or circular pattern you pretty much have to have a receiver of some sort in there. One laser vertical, one laser horizontal, and 1 piece receiving the "value", something has to be mechanical in nature.
This presents the issue. Once you introduce something mechanical, you introduce two further issues, latency, and accuracy.
Our friend the Hard Drive demonstrates where our problem lies. A drive has a mechanical arm that moves across a platter, trying to find the right spot. The majority of the time spent in a transfer is moving that arm, which is comparably slow to streaming off the values once it gets in the right spot. A drive is spinning 120 times per second at least, it only needs one of those rotations to get the bits.
So our first problem is that it's slow to place.
The second problem is that as more data is packed in the same area, it becomes harder to hit the proper spot to find the data. A drive today is so tightly packed that the head actually bounces around on tracks in the general area trying to find the right one. So it takes longer to find the right spot the bigger the drive is. I'm not saying today's drives are slower, but they have a harder time hitting the right spot than yesteryears drives did.
What this means with holographic media is that you have an enourmous problem with seeking. The stuff can pack bits in at phenomenal densities, but getting it back out is slower. The more stuff that's in there, the more moving around something has to do to find it.
It's *really* hard with optical media, because a mote of dust floating past can give a false reading. Whereas drives are reading magnetics, that little bit of shadow, that slight vibration, can give the wrong value. You're no longer reading in 2 dimensions, you're now in 3 dimensions, so focusing is that much harder.
To put it another way, take 2 laser pointers and crisscross the beams. Something has to be at the end of one of those beams to read the value. Then toss a ball in front of that beam, that split second is enough to give the wrong value. Try doing it while moving those beams, if you don't make multiple passes, you're registering the wrong value.
It's a non-issue with optical media, it's spinnging dozens, even a hudred times per second. It can read those value 2 or 3 times to verify without a hiccup.
It is an issue with holographic media, because you're no longer rotating the media, but rotating around the media, which is slower.
In short, it's great backup material, but our future lies in solid state memory at the moment. Just as fast, can easily reach the same densities in the same amount of time, and more reliable.
They'll never do it because of marketing reasons. If an entire season of a TV show came on one disc most consumers will expect a 1-disc set price, regardless of actual length of content on the disc. Making TV Shows multi-disc sets allows the perceived value vs. a single disc movie release stay intact.