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Sony & Panasonic Plan Next-Gen 300 GB Optical Discs By the End of 2015 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the building-it-better dept.
SmartAboutThings writes "If you think optical discs are dead and are a sign of the past, maybe you need to take this into consideration – Sony and Panasonic have just announced in Tokyo that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of developing the next-generation optical discs that are said to have a recording capacity of at least 300GB. The two companies have even set a deadline for this ambitious project: before the end of 2015."
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Sony & Panasonic Plan Next-Gen 300 GB Optical Discs By the End of 2015

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  • by benjfowler (239527) on Monday July 29, 2013 @01:45PM (#44414447)

    ... it being so completely hidebound by strong DRM, that it'll be completely unusable -- and in due course, completely irrelevant?

    SO typical of Sony.

    This turkey is DOA.

    • by Shados (741919)

      Unfortunately that describes Blu Ray, and that, also unfortunately, worked out just fine.

    • This is correct. I would actually be interested in Blu-Ray if it were open and not DRM'ed to death. 50 GB per disk with a $1 cost per disk in an unlocked format would have its followers but instead they would rather keep it locked up.

      • by nabsltd (1313397) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:23PM (#44415023)

        I would actually be interested in Blu-Ray if it were open and not DRM'ed to death. 50 GB per disk with a $1 cost per disk in an unlocked format would have its followers but instead they would rather keep it locked up.

        Writable Blu-Ray discs don't have any kind of DRM. If you have a Blu-Ray writer and software, you can write whatever you want on the disc. There is free and libre software available that runs on a variety of operating systems.

        • by PRMan (959735)
          And it plays on any Blu-Ray machine.
        • by markdavis (642305)

          And yet no-name 50GB bluray writable discs still cost $4 EACH! And it wasn't long ago that it was many times that, and remained that for years. THAT is why it had no future as a general file storage medium. Not enough bang for the buck.

          Meanwhile, blank NAME BRAND 4.7GB DVD's are $0.22 Even per GB, that is still half the cost. New formats need to be at least as cheap on a per GB, if not significant less expensive. Plus they need to be much faster and at least as reliable.

          I suspect if Sony is involved

    • by steelfood (895457)

      The CD was created by Sony. DVD was created by Panasonic.

      I wouldn't put it past them to put in DRM. It wouldn't surprise me if the DRM was completely bypass-able.

  • They need something to store 4k stereoscopic movies.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Even streaming BluRay quality movies is difficult on most home connections. Sure, Netflix has "HD" content, but it's nowhere near the quality level of BluRay. And even if they did have the same quality, I don't want to be transferring 25 GB over my connection every time I want to watch a movie. At least not with the caps most ISPs enforce. There's going to have to be some kind of new media format if they ever want to start selling 4K TVs. The only alternative is to have people plug portable hard drives
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Meanwhile the USB flash drives are quickly growing in capacity - already there are 512GB USB [kingston.com] Sticks on the market. (OK, expensive, but considering the fact that they are getting cheaper all the time it's not a big deal, and when the optical disks comes out they may be obsolete already)

  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday July 29, 2013 @01:52PM (#44414541) Journal

    But what are they going to do about the I/O? It takes me about 20-30 minutes to write a single 5 GB DVD and verify the data on the disc. Now with a 300 GB disc, it will take me a full day to write a disc?

    I hope they have a plan to address the bandwidth limitation of these discs, and not just focus on "EHRMAGAWD BIG DISC!" for the consumer shock value.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      My question is whether they will even bother supporting consumer-level writing devices in the first place. I think they are more interested in selling 4K stereo movies at 48 fps (which admittedly could be cool). The article seems to emphasize magazine-changing devices for the video production industry, which is another application that does NOT involve $30 burners and $2 blanks on newegg.
      • I really don't care about insane high resolutions, but I'd love to get movies on 60 fps.

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
          doesn't matter how many fps the blue ray or your tv have, if it was filmed in 24fps that's what it will be. the blue ray or the tv could interpolate to get faux high FPS, but then you get the soap opera effect and still the pan blurring (because each movie frame in the panning shot will be blurred, so there's no way to interpolate in an unblurred fashion.
          • by Culture20 (968837)
            Just watching Star Wars in HD on a friend's TV gave the soap opera effect. It was very disconcerting to watch the princess witness the destruction of Alderaan with a cheesy feeling to the scene as there was too much detail on some things and too little on others.
          • Yes and no.

            "2:3 pulldown" [wikipedia.org] has been used to interpolate a frame in-between two source frames (mostly) in order to convert 23.976 fps to the standard NTSC 29.97 fps. This has been done for years at studios for VHS sources, and then done on the digital player in your home for DVD.

            When you use Handbrake to convert a DVD that has the source material in 23.976 and don't tell it to use the telecine filter, you'll get jittery video if you play it on some devices that don't properly perform this technique. Most me

        • I really don't care about insane high resolutions, but I'd love to get movies on 60 fps.

          Some high-speed cameras can go as high as 100000 fps (maybe higher?) So, I guess there's that?

      • We all said the same thing about CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays when they first came out. Eventually the technology will be available for this to be a consumer device at an affordable price. While it is appealing to have a single disc for full system backups, it looses a lot of it's value if it runs at DVD drive speed. I could use a USB 3.0 external drive that is cheaper and faster.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I expect they will be primarily for reading, much like current optical discs. Primary uses will be selling 4k/8k video and games consoles. Both Sony and Panasonic see 4k/8k as the next big selling points for TVs now that 3D is dying down.

      I doubt writing will ever be very affordable. PVRs will use HDDs and like BluRay the recorders and blank media will remain expensive. There just isn't demand, even for BluRay. Also, why make pirating your media easier?

      I'm glad it's happening though. The nightmare scenario i

    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:07PM (#44414767) Homepage
      Speaking of I/O, there's the problem of the actual HDMI/Displayport connection. Many 4k TVs only have a 30 Hz refresh rate [arstechnica.com] at full resolution. Basically, the bandwidth of existing cables isn't enough to handle a 4k movie at a higher refresh rate. They're going to have to come up with a whole to cable standard just to deal with the increased resolution.
      • DisplayPort 1.2 has way more bandwidth than necessary for 4K video in HBR2 mode - 17.28Gb/sec. DTS-HD Master Audio is 7.1 lossless, and uses up to 24.5Mb/sec. That leaves over 17 Gbps for video, so let's do the math:

        4096 x 2160 x 32bpp = 283,115,520 bits per frame.
        283,115,520 x 60Hz = 16,986,931,200 bps = 15.82 Gb/sec

        They'll be fine with DisplayPort 1.2, which is available on hardware from a year or two ago.

    • But what are they going to do about the I/O? It takes me about 20-30 minutes to write a single 5 GB DVD and verify the data on the disc. Now with a 300 GB disc, it will take me a full day to write a disc?

      That seems a tad slow. I can write and verify a 5GB DVD in about 8-10 minutes, and that's using a four-year-old burner. You may want to see if something on your machine could be tuned a little better.

    • by adiposity (684943)

      They don't care about consumer writing of discs, just consumer reading (preferably in blu-ray players made by Sony themselves).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    by then everything will be so locked down the only thing able to take up 300gb space will be all the fucking laws we need to follow to be on the internet

  • by danaris (525051) <danaris@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Monday July 29, 2013 @01:54PM (#44414581) Homepage

    Capacity's all very good, but what about speed?

    Current-gen optical disks are, as I understand it, dramatically slower than SSDs, which is where a lot of storage is moving these days.

    If these new ones aren't significantly faster than the old, I don't really see them catching on in the mainstream.

    Dan Aris

    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:53PM (#44415399) Homepage

      SSDs aren't really what killed home-burned optical media, it was USB sticks in multi-GB size at reasonable cost. For storage a 4TB HDD for $179 [newegg.com] beats a stack of optical discs by miles and makes discs unfeasible even as backup, the reason to burn discs was portability but USB sticks mopped up that market. Today either you copy to your stick and bring it (push) or your buddy visits with his stick to bring home (pull), either way you don't need any one-time discs. Or using any online service instead, that too.

      The downside to HDDs (and for that matter SSDs) is that they need babysitting, the one thing I'd like optical media for is if they can promise me high-capacity discs I can put in a drawer (or more likely a safety deposit box), forget for 20-100 years and still read fine. Wouldn't even need to be a home burner, as long as I could have a home reader - I'd upload a disc image to some burning service, they'd ship the finished disc in the mail. There's a lot of static data I'd like to keep without having to copy from HDD to HDD regularly in order to keep it alive.

      • The downside to HDDs (and for that matter SSDs) is that they need babysitting, the one thing I'd like optical media for is if they can promise me high-capacity discs I can put in a drawer (or more likely a safety deposit box), forget for 20-100 years and still read fine. Wouldn't even need to be a home burner, as long as I could have a home reader - I'd upload a disc image to some burning service, they'd ship the finished disc in the mail. There's a lot of static data I'd like to keep without having to copy from HDD to HDD regularly in order to keep it alive.

        No current inexpensive optical media is likely to last more than about a decade (and some cheap stuff lasts a lot less long than that). There exist archival-quality optical disks, but they are much more expensive and hard to find than the regular stuff.

        Just because you can put an optical disk in a safe deposit box and not have it suffer from magnetic degradation doesn't mean it's not going to suffer from any degradation over time. (IIRC, the dye used in burnable optical disks degrades over time, so after X

  • Too little, too late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swilver (617741) on Monday July 29, 2013 @01:57PM (#44414637)

    Wake me when optical disc capacity exceeds harddisk capacity again... like it used to when the CD was released.

  • ....InPhase's tapestry was demonstrably there in 2008, and it was writable, but they went under due to bad management. I'm sure Sony & Panasonic aren't the current IP holders, so whatever they break to market is going to be technologically inferior to boot.
  • By the end of 2015 USB sticks will probably be twice that capacity and 4 times faster without needing a special drive to write/read them.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:10PM (#44414815)

    So 300GB of bootleg songs.
    Say 4MB/song
          300/0.004 => 75,000 songs -> ~ 1/2 a year songs
          at $2,250 per song thats $168.75M
          at $222,000/24 songs thats $693.750M
    I bet wallmart will sell full discs for $50.

  • I was going to jump on here and point out (along with everyone else so far) that this is a dumb idea. Consumers simply won't care. Then I decided to RTFA... From Sony's website where I saw, "standard for professional-use" and "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
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      If they cant get as robust as SDLT then video professionals will not care.

      WE already spool to SDLT for archival. It's robust enough to not worry about data degradation for long term storage. Plus it's already past that mark. SDLT600 is highly common in professional video and film studios for archiving.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:11PM (#44414847)

    at a reasonable price

    i get it selling game of thrones season by season. but there is no reason why i shouldn't be able to buy an entire TV run of a 20 year old show in one box for $40 or so

  • First there was VHS vs. Beta, than there was CD vs. MiniDisk, than there was BlueRay vs. HDDVD. Now finally Sony will have the digital media market all to itself. If only anyone would still care.
  • by Dishwasha (125561) on Monday July 29, 2013 @02:18PM (#44414951)

    Great! Now I will only need 27 optical discs to backup my data.

  • Will it be backwards compatible with Blu-Ray, DVD, & CD, so people only have one optical player collecting dust on the shelf as they stream everything from a local computer or across the internet?
  • considering how irrelevant both companies are anymore. Sony and Panasonic have lost in the consumer electronics markets, partially because they insist on stuff like this. In an era when everything is moving into the "cloud", Sony and Panasonic are looking to make a new generation of optical disks? Will all their TV's have slots built in to insert these disks in?

    I am surprised Sharp and RCA don't join them in their alliance of irrelevancy.

  • What's with the second link, to the idiot with the blog? It adds nothing to the discussion at all, throws in some factual errors just for giggles... He specifically says this is going to be for "consumer use" when the Sony press release explicitly says "professional-use" right at the top.

    Sony is big into MO discs, as a more expensive alternative to tape for archiving and backup. So I expect this will be just another entrant into that market, still lagging far behind magnetic tape in capacity. They claim

  • It's more about DRM refresh than anything else. BluRay has been completely cracked, same for HDCP. Watch to see a NEW digital video design come out along with this to protect that precious content from all you scumag consumers!

    • by edelbrp (62429)

      Exactly. This is more about the content and how to cheaply produce and distribute it securely than something for next gen computers. This will be more for broadcasters, movie theaters, and perhaps game/media consoles. It wouldn't surprise me if the big leap in the technology is being able to press each disc with it's own unique encryption key that has to be 'activated' over the Internet before it can be decrypted and played.

    • by cpghost (719344)

      BluRay has been completely cracked, same for HDCP

      [citation needed]

      I agree w.r.t. HDCP being broken, but AACS, unfortunately, is still very (too) strong. Some brave folks are capable of using a cracked version software BluRay players to extract the keys of some popular discs, and that's about it. As long as this procedure can't be automated, we won't see a BluRay/AACS-encoded mplayer/vlc on Linux (or some other OS) anytime soon.

      As long as AACS isn't totally broken, steer clear of BluRay discs at any co

  • We already have PS3 games on blu-ray that have to install to the Hard drive to deal with the seek times and supposedly have the same data in multiple places on the disk. This should be even more of that fun.

  • What the hell ad you people doing to get coasters all the time? The times I get coasters is if the laser is flaking out (or in the case of the very expensive Ricoh drive I had years ago, inadequate lubrication on the optical sled. I went through five drives under warranty then when warranty ran out I fixed it for good with lithium grease), or if the software doesn't detect I put a CD instead of a DVD in and tries to write a DVD-sized data image to disk. Other than that, no problems- and I have discs from 19

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