Sony and Panasonic partnering to create next-gen optical disk, with 300GB+ storage

Many of us have ditched out CD-ROMs and DVD players in favour of the cloud, or at least memory sticks and cards, but Sony and Panasonic want to change that.

The two companies announced earlier today that they’re partnering up to create the next generation of optical disks. And these won’t be your granddad’s CDs either. The two companies are looking at creating high capacity disks with minimum 300GB of storage.

The optical disk has some very nice advantages when it comes to long term memory storage, being resistant to both water and dust, and highly resilient if kept in a proper case. These attributes make a high-density optical disk a very good choice when it comes to backing up large amounts of data.

While these disks are designed for professional products and companies, we may eventually see them trickle down to regular consumers. Sony and Panasonic said they’re aiming for a 2015 launch for the new optical disk format.

Source: Sony | Padlocked DVD image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Weird why they boast about 300gb, while Blu-Ray can already theoretically go up to 1TB (per layer) and they are already talking about optical discs capacities of 25tb and up.

It's not gonna change. Specially since flash memory and internet connection speed will continue to progress.

The last time i used a disk outside of console gaming and movies was probably a good 5 years ago easily. There's just no reason anymore. I'm not even sure i'll include an optical drive in my next pc. I'm not even sure my current optical drive is even working rofl did not use it for a while.

Even for movies i'm streaming more and more these days. Using disk only for movies i buy. On PC i buy everything on steam. On console i plan to buy online next gen too if the price are good and competitive.

While i would not say disk is a dying media it's certainly not as big as it used to be and it will continue to decline at a steady rate.

I wouldn't mind using this for a permanent backup in conjunction with my disk-to-disk backup. It would allow me to do permanent offsite backups. I have approx. 1TB worth of data.

If I had the money to have a BR drive and some discs then I would certainly use them to back up data.
In fact, it would solve a few wasted hours and many DVDs worth.

I don't mind having it backed up on my hard drive, but a physical disc is also my choice, considering I don't run any RAID or whatever... these yearly backups I do manually are all I have.

I can't wait. We need advances like this for data archiving.

These would also be great as a high-end enthusiast's video format. Think 8K resolution, 12-bit color movies.

I said this last time everyone jumped on the 'why do we need 50gb optical discs' when bluray was first announced

This will be a god send to those who work in the cold storage business. We keep terabytes of data on special watermarked WORM discs. They are sat offsite with a security company and have to be kept for legal reasons.

We have loads of optical jukeboxes constantly burning data. If we can get bigger discs, we don't need as many jukeboxes, which in turns lowers our server count. Less servers, less power and things to administer.

They've gotta be kidding if they think 300Gb optical discs are going to be practical for backups in this day and age. I'm gonna have to replace the 2TB hard drives I use for backups soon--and when I compare myself to others, my storage needs are pretty modest.

And because Sony's involved, this damn format is going to be loaded with DRM as well (looks at Cinavia with evil eyes). No thanks. Put it on and I'll only bypass it.

ZipZapRap said,
And because Sony's involved, this damn format is going to be loaded with DRM as well (looks at Cinavia with evil eyes). No thanks. Put it on and I'll only bypass it.

Please. Sony was involved with CD & DVD. And Cinavia has yet to harm "legit" consumers.

PeterTHX said,

And Cinavia has yet to harm "legit" consumers.

Rubbish. Trying to rip a blu-ray for my own use, regardless of any draconian EULA, is a constant battle as Cinavia is often updated. I don't share my files, I don't torrent. Cinavia is a joke, and that you defend it means you either work for Sony, or you have no clue about it.

ZipZapRap said,

Rubbish. Trying to rip a blu-ray for my own use, regardless of any draconian EULA, is a constant battle as Cinavia is often updated. I don't share my files, I don't torrent. Cinavia is a joke, and that you defend it means you either work for Sony, or you have no clue about it.

Seems YOU have no clue since Cinavia isn't "updated" like BD+ : it's an audio watermark in the master.

SONY...seems you owe me some money since I apparently work for you.

I'd say that for mixed media (photos, videos, etc.) USB keys are a better alternative. They also have higher transfer speeds.
For single type media, an optical disc might be a better option, but I'm not entirely sure about durability being such a strong argument. As long as you properly look after your things, they'll last. Doesn't really matter what the thing is.

Unfortunately aiming these products at businesses is a bit of a waste of time.

When you consider the native capacity of an LTO6 tape is 2.5 TB (possibly double with compression) and they are much safer to store for long periods of time, I don't see businesses moving off of tape for backup purposes any time soon, except for disk-to-disk(-to disk) solutions.

Writable optical media tends to degrade over time much faster than pressed media so unless that gets solved it is a no goer for archival purposes,

I don't know about your ISP, but with all the download caps and speed limitation that some/many people have to deal with, streaming a 4K movie is simply impossible.

So, optical media is far from dead. And if you want 4K, you don't want over-compressed 4K because it's pointless, losing all the image quality. So bring on 300GB 4K movies!

Not necessarily. Just because someone has a 4K TV doesn't even start to imply that they have a broadband connection without caps. That is a very silly assumption (and you know what they say about assumptions...).

Shadowzz said,
I don't think that people that can afford 4k resolution TV's will be on limited broadband with bandwidth caps.

Did you think before posting this reply? Money has nothing to do with the services that ISP gives... Did you think about rural folks that may want 4K but ISP decided they were too far to bring high speed Internet, let alone unlimited one.... Use your head.

Shadowzz said,
I don't think that people that can afford 4k resolution TV's will be on limited broadband with bandwidth caps.

Not true at all. In many areas, especially in the US, there are no uncapped options anymore. Even in a larger metro area like mine, I have a choice between Time Warner Cable with a 250GB/month cap and AT&T U-verse with a 250GB/month cap. No matter what price tier or speed I could pay for, they are all capped at 250GB.

4k movies are at the minimum 10 years away from normal people house. And 10 years is optimistic it could very well be 15. People just changed their TV and everything for 1080p They wont change all that again for 4k anytime soon. Specially since LCD TV usually last for a good 10 years without too much trouble.

10-15 years is a lot of time. By then you'll probably have cheap TBs ssd and TBs limit might very well be the norm. My limit is 110GB and it's the basic connection.

xpxp2002 said,

Not true at all. In many areas, especially in the US, there are no uncapped options anymore. Even in a larger metro area like mine, I have a choice between Time Warner Cable with a 250GB/month cap and AT&T U-verse with a 250GB/month cap. No matter what price tier or speed I could pay for, they are all capped at 250GB.

Ah thanks, I was under the impression the USA was a 1st world internet country by now. Bandwidth limits are horrible, can't imagine life with it as I often download a lot and we've been bandwidth limit free since dial-up.

It would be great if the price is substantial less expensive or even half the price of blu-ray then it might actually be a good idea to buy and use it. Optical disk will always have a place in the tech world as long they constantly improve it to much larger storage roughly 1TB in a very compelling price.

I can imagine those storage is design for 4K content and hopefully it isn't too far from our vision.

It will be a big hit as long as the media is affordable like blank DVD. Last time I check a blank normal DVD is only 20 cent. A high quality for wedding gold one is 50 cent. So if I can replace that I think it would be hit. 300 GB flashdisk still expensive in 2015. Cloud? In my country it still slow and expensive by that time too. HDD? Not practical or portable.

Nice, the current 50gb bluray discs are pretty damn small really. Most people can't backup a harddrive on it, you have to split it onto multiple discs. 300gb will be enough for most for backing up their harddrives.

I wonder if they will be using a blue laser, i'd be pretty certain they will.

"The optical disk has some very nice advantages when it comes to long term memory storage, being resistant to both water and dust, and highly resilient if kept in a proper case."

and after a few years the the organic layers on the disk will degrade until it's no longer readable anyway?

Yeah, if it requires a new player in order to be read then I can't see the adoption rate being that great. But for the most part I still use optical storage for my things, so this is interesting news for me.

Definitely. We're already seeing streaming technologies being adopted more rapidly than optical storage for audiovisual media. The digital and connected future is unavoidable.

We've yet to see widespread adoption of Blu-ray as a data storage device yet, what makes them think yet another new format that is even larger will be any different?

Shadowzz said,
Blu-ray is used a lot for movies/games. But I still have to encounter the first person to use Blu-ray as a data disk.

My point exactly. Most people clearly don't want or need ~50gb optical disc storage, let alone 300gb.

Calm down. Technology is in a constant state of flux and doesn't stand still, so it makes total sense for companies to LOOK AT creating the next generation of products and standards for possible future use. Doesn't mean it's going to happen 100% but if you don't look at whether it's possible and worth doing then you'll never know.

High capacity discs will more than likely have its uses, not just for consumers.

Shadowzz said,
Blu-ray is used a lot for movies/games. But I still have to encounter the first person to use Blu-ray as a data disk.

It's used quite a bit in the server world, debian for instance offers a BluRay image for download. With the price of hard drives and external storage though, disc based media isn't used anywhere near as much any more though, but it does still have it's place beside tape storage.

Shadowzz said,
Blu-ray is used a lot for movies/games. But I still have to encounter the first person to use Blu-ray as a data disk.

Because Blu-Ray has still a very small market share of all the optical discs sold today. It's around 15%, which isn't much after so many years as DVD nearly ruled the market in the same timespace.
PC and Mac users simply don't use it as harddrives offer more manageable storage for a good price.
HVD should have been pushed out some time ago as that offers a theoretical 5TB for a 12cm disc (or something in that order). Problem is with those high density optical media is the longer seek times and the fragility.

Edited by Thief000, Jul 29 2013, 1:35pm :

torrentthief said,

bluray supports upto 128gb using BDXL not 200gb.

Indeed, but all those newer formats require new hardware yet again. It's one of the reasons why Blu-Ray hasn't gained the mass traction when it started, because of all the revisions required to catch up to the features of HD-DVD back then, almost each one requiring new hardware.