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Media Portables Hardware

Panasonic To Ship Form Factor-Standard Blu-ray Drive 94

Lucas123 writes "Panasonic plans to unveil the thinnest Blu-ray Disc drive made yet at the upcoming CES show. The drive is 9.5mm high, which allows it to fit into standard laptop form factors instead of requiring manufacturers to redesign systems to fit high-def DVD players as they've been doing. 'Panasonic has already begun offering samples of the drives to laptop makers with the hope that the companies will build it into new PCs.'"
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Panasonic To Ship Form Factor-Standard Blu-ray Drive

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  • ...what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moogied ( 1175879 )
    Sony, one of the largest laptop manuf.'s, doesn't make bluray's for the laptop??

    I'm confused..

  • They are a bad role model for all the other drives that now have to canibalize themselves to keep up.
  • Man, I was wondering what was taking them so long. The blu-ray disk is a standard size polycarbonate substrate, just like the CD and DVD. What is it about blue laser optics that's been holding this up?


    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by fireboy1919 ( 257783 )
      Could it be the embedded computer that's built-in to the devices in order to do DRM? That seems like it'd take quite a lot of work to get working on small devices.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by ByOhTek ( 1181381 )
        why, just because it takes almost as much computing power as running vista it would be hard to put in a slim optical drive??
      • Not sure my post was modded troll; I'd really like to know the answer to this question. Blu-ray comes with a virtual machine to do DRM - with all that this entails. It has to have its own address space, interpreter, and microprocessor if it's going to fully support the blu-ray spec.

        Does such a requirement ramp up the size or power requirements of these devices?
      • by jcr ( 53032 )
        Could it be the embedded computer that's built-in to the devices in order to do DRM?

        I doubt it. It's not anything a typical ARM core couldn't do.


      • 1) Most the DRM is not on the drive, but on the host (ie: your x86 proc)
        2) Whatever needs to be done on the drive is just software that can be run on a micro-controller. Not much bigger than the one that already handle the ATA interface.

        So the answer would be: NO.

        It is probably just mechanical issues that might not be very difficult to solve but just take more time.
  • "The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by timeOday ( 582209 )
      So what data rate is 1x for Blu-Ray? I'd assume "x" is different than for, say, CDROM.
      • Re:Speed (Score:5, Informative)

        by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Friday December 28, 2007 @02:00PM (#21841172)
        From blu-ray.com [blu-ray.com]:

        How fast can you read/write data on a Blu-ray disc?

        According to the Blu-ray Disc specification, 1x speed is defined as 36Mbps. However, as BD-ROM movies will require a 54Mbps data transfer rate the minimum speed we're expecting to see is 2x (72Mbps). Blu-ray also has the potential for much higher speeds, as a result of the larger numerical aperture (NA) adopted by Blu-ray Disc. The large NA value effectively means that Blu-ray will require less recording power and lower disc rotation speed than DVD and HD-DVD to achieve the same data transfer rate. While the media itself limited the recording speed in the past, the only limiting factor for Blu-ray is the capacity of the hardware. If we assume a maximum disc rotation speed of 10,000 RPM, then 12x at the outer diameter should be possible (about 400Mbps). This is why the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) already has plans to raise the speed to 8x (288Mbps) or more in the future.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Guspaz ( 556486 )
          While the media itself limited the recording speed in the past

          The media itself limited recording speed in the past because the discs would shatter if you spun them too fast. It'd be nice if they let us know what has changed with BluRay that means that discs won't tear themselves apart at high rotational speeds. Are they not made of the same polycarbonate materials as HD-DVD/DVD/CD are?
          • The discs can only be spun so fast - only so many cm of linear disc "groove" space can pass the laser in one second. The increased data rate comes from increasing the density of information on that disc so that there are more bytes per cm. The density difference accounts for capacity increases from CD to DVD to BD/HD-DVD.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Divebus ( 860563 )
        Blu-ray 1x data rate = 36 Mbits/sec
      • I always assumed the "X" made the assumption that the disk takes as long to record as a CDrom could take to play. i.e. 1x is about 72 minutes (or 80 minutes) to record regardless of the format. Obviously, the higher capacity disks' 1x would have a higher data-rate, though.
    • "The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs."

      Umm... Isn't 2x the fastest Bluray write speed available in standard consumer-grade gear right now?

      They cost $400+, and I don't see any faster ones at Newegg.

      • The fastest is at 6x though there are no 6x media right now.
        These days most of new desktop BD drive products are 4x at $500.

        LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray Drive/HD DVD Reader
        http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140332/article.html [pcworld.com]

        >The GGW-H20L is the first Blu-ray Disc burner to support 6X speed for writing to BD-R.
        >That's up from 4X on the GGW-H10N, and up from 2X on the early Blu-ray Disc burners
        > from Plextor, Sony, and Pioneer. In the PC World Test Center's evaluation, the
        > drive's performance reflected i
  • The new Dell XPS one machined have an option for the dual layer blu-ray drive built directly into its monitor. It's about time the announce one for standard laptop size drive bays.
  • Isn't the Optiarc BC-5500S a standard laptop sized Blu-Ray drive?
  • Best prices on NewEgg: Blu-ray is $10 per 25G = 40 cents per gib. Hard drive is $100 per 500G = 20 cents per gib. I'd love a BDR, but as long as hard drives are cheaper, it's just stupid.

    On top of that, BD disks have the recordable goo on the bottom side, which makes them less durable than both CDs (goo on top) and DVDs (goo in the middle).
    • Best prices on NewEgg: Blu-ray is $10 per 25G = 40 cents per gib. Hard drive is $100 per 500G = 20 cents per gib. I'd love a BDR, but as long as hard drives are cheaper, it's just stupid.

      Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps people would like to share hi-def media with one another? As well, given how until very recently BD-R drives were very expensive, economies of scale have not yet resulted in a lower price for media. That will obviously change over time.

      On top of that, BD disks have the recordable g
    • by Guspaz ( 556486 )
      Which would be why blu-ray discs that aren't in caddies have special coatings on their bottom surfaces that make them MORE durable than both CDs and DVDs (unless they themselves are treated).

      The coatings really do work quite well. They don't make the surface completely unscratchable, but they do make them far more durable than a standard CD/DVD.
    • Even laptop hard drives (that are more expensive) have a degree of thickness to them that precludes things like mailing in envelopes - with a Blu-Ray drive I'd keep using hard drives for primary backup, but probably switch to Blu-Ray discs for copies beyond that. Great for more widespread offsite distribution.
  • I have a Toshiba A200 laptop here with a HD-DVD drive and radeon hd 2400 graphics. The drive looks standard size to me, but thats just judging by whats visible with it open, I have no desire to pull this out of the laptop to check.
  • No thanks. I'll wait for the standard form factor combo drives.

  • http://store.fastmac.com/product_info.php?products_id=338 [fastmac.com] last time i checked that will work in my mac book pro with out having to mod its case... or a mac book ... or almost any mac.... oh the star at the bottom says no support for pc... but it says it will fit and its been out for a while. i guess there is no love for hd dvd in this world since it is a inferior product
  • 9.5mm vs 12.5mm (Score:2, Informative)

    by illogict ( 889976 )
    AFAIK, all currently available Blu-ray drives were 12.5mm-high: that is the height of most laptop optical-drive units (for nearly every consumer-oriented laptop), whereas those that are professional-oriented (Lenovo and HP) are 9.5mm high. The question is that HP has been offering a Blu-ray drive on some of its laptops (8510w and 8710w) for several months, meaning that Blu-ray 9.5mm-drives have been already available for at least several months...
    • by jabuzz ( 182671 )
      You are indeed correct, the standard laptop optical units are indeed 12.5mm high. The 9.5mm high ones are for sub notebooks and the ultra slim models. Though I would note that Toshiba do a 7.6mm DVD drive that they include in their Portage R500 range.
  • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Friday December 28, 2007 @07:00PM (#21843940)
    Is it just me or does anybody else find this extreme thin fetishism to be a little bit out of control? I can see how thin, in the absence of other considerations, can be desirable from the standpoint of it takes up less space in my pocket or on my desk. However, we see device manufacturers producing products which overheat and die because they wanted that last 2mm of thinness instead of a long lasting and stable product or they put a really small battery in the device, substantially reducing uptime when running on battery, simply to save that few millimeters again. I wouldn't even mind so much except that it is becoming difficult for people like me, who value other qualities besides just "thinness", to find the electronics that we want at a reasonable price instead of planned obsolescence consumer grade junk that sacrifices the functional characteristics of the device for the physical looks and dimensions of the device (among the least important characteristics in my opinion).
    • My laptop, and its Ultrabay devices, is 5 years old. It is just over 1 inch thick. I carry it every day in my backpack, etc. and will not buy another laptop thicker than this. The only way to make a laptop as thin as this with an optical drive is to use the 9.5mm form factor. In the 5 years of heavy use, I have not had an optical drive failure nor have I heard of one. It certainly doesn't overheat at all.

      On a related note, I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the computer case manufacturers for not includi
    • by jgoemat ( 565882 )

      I think the main reason they were making them this small was to fit in existing form factor products. For instance, now you could simply check 'blu-ray drive' when designing your laptop at Dell and they'll give you one instead of the standard DVD drive. This makes it interchangeable without having to design a special laptop housing just for the blu-ray drive.

      However, we see device manufacturers producing products which overheat and die because they wanted that last 2mm of thinness instead of a long las

  • Now, combine this with HD-DVD and standard CD/DVD* in a single drive and I'll consider it. Make me choose one or the other and I decline them all.
  • 9mm is not a very common standard and is mostly used for smaller laptops. 12.7mm is the most common standard and used in most laptops.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?