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DVD's Answer To D-VHS

19 Feb, 2002 By: Hive News

Nine companies have jointly established the basic specifications for a next generation large capacity optical disc video recording format called "Blu-ray disc" and have plans to promote and license it within the year, the companies announced today.

The Blu-ray disc enables recording, rewriting and playback of up to 27 gigabytes (GB) of data on a single-sided, single layer 12cm CD/DVD size disc using a 405nm blue-violet laser.

The new format uses a short wavelength blue laser light, which is narrower than a standard DVD's laser. The tracks in the disc, which would be comparable to the grooves in a vinyl record, are also about half the width of those found on a regular DVD, thus allowing for the greater storage capacity.

By using a short wavelength blue violet laser, the Blu-ray Disc successfully minimizes its beam spot size by making the numerical aperture (NA) on a field lens that converges the laser 0.85. In addition, by using a disc structure with a 0.1mm optical transmittance protection layer, the Blu-ray Disc diminishes aberration caused by disc tilt. This also allows for disc better readout and an increased recording density. The Blu-ray disc's tracking pitch is reduced to 0.32um, almost half of that of a regular DVD, achieving up to 27 GB high-density recording on a single sided disc.

Because the Blu-ray disc utilizes global standard MPEG-2 Transport Stream compression technology compatible with digital broadcasting for video recording, a wide range is recordable. It is possible for the Blu-ray disc to record digital high definition broadcasting while maintaining high quality and other data simultaneously with video data if they are received together. In addition, the adoption of a unique ID written on a Blu-ray Disc realizes high quality copyright protection functions.

The Blu-ray Disc is a platform capable of storing sound and video while maintaining high quality and access the stored content in an easy-to-use way. This will be important in the coming broadband era as content distribution becomes increasingly diversified, the manufacturers said. The companies involved in the announcement will respectively develop products that take full advantage of Blu-ray disc's large capacity and high-speed data transfer rate. They are also aiming to further enhance the appeal of the new format through developing a larger capacity, such as over 30GB on a single sided single layer disc and over 50GB on a single sided double layer disc. Adoption of the Blu-ray Disc in a variety of applications including PC data storage and high definition video software is being considered.

Companies that established the basic specifications for the Blu-ray Disc are: Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Pioneer Corp. Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., Sony Corp., and Thomson Multimedia.

In addition to actively promoting the new format throughout the industry, the companies plan to begin licensing itas soon as specifications are completed. Licensing is expected to start around spring 2002.

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