Sony and Panasonic reveal Archival Disc format with up to 1TB of space

Sony helped to launch the Blu-ray disc player and format in 2006, which quickly defeated the rival HD-DVD to become the true successor to DVD. Now Sony has announced the next generation disc format, at least from a storage standpoint, with today's reveal of Archival Disc.

Sony and its partner Panasonic first announced their plans to create a next-gen disc format in July 2013,  Today's press release not only gives a formal name to the format for the first time but also offers up a roadmap for future disc support. Unlike DVD or Blu-ray, which are both designed primarily as formats for video and games, Archival Disc has been developed to create a long term storage system.

Sony states:

Optical discs have excellent properties to protect themselves against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them robust media for long-term storage of content.

The first Archival Disc products are scheduled to ship in the summer of 2015. They will have a storage capacity of up to 300GB at first but Sony and Panasonic plan to boost those numbers up to 500GB and eventually to 1TB of space.

Source: Sony | Disc image via Shutterstock

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This is so awesome. Just sucks that we have to wait so long. I have data cd's from <2000 still going strong so I welcome this with open arms!

"They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve"

Really have they ever tried to read a BR disc in a DVDrom drive NOT GOING TO HAPPEN LOL
anywho all crap aside nice Idea but it's a little to late to the table between cheap HDD's and the cloud who's going to want to wait the time it's going to take to burn a 1TB BDR disc

Blu-ray discs use different lasers from DVD/CD(a blue colored laser ). Thats the main reason why it isnt backwards compatible. Not every blu-ray player supports more than dual-layer blu-ray either.
For AD format it means you will not have to upgrade your drive just because the technology evolves.

Athlonite said,
"They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve"

Really have they ever tried to read a BR disc in a DVDrom drive NOT GOING TO HAPPEN LOL

Ever tried to read a DVD disc in a BDrom drive BECAUSE THAT WORKS AND THATS WHAT THE ARTICLE IS TALKING ABOUT LOL

Common sense is so uncommon.

not really sure why they still think that plastic easily damaged discs are the future. its kinda sad that Sony gave up on the Mini Disk concept.

I don't think I've ever scratched a disc, at least not bad enough to make it unreadable. What are you guys doing with yours, playing frisbee and shuffleboard with them?

Anyway as pointed out earlier these aren't for every day use, you burn them, put them in their jewel case and then put them in a fireproof safe, bank vault, etc. never to be touched unless needed.

Would be a nice way to back up a NAS with, for instance, 20 TB of movies on it. Sure it would take 20 discs, but I'd have a backup without having to re-rip my whole collection.

Yeah, well I set up my RAID with 1 disk tolerance (I should have done 2) and have already had a disk fail and not lost anything. If something catastrophic happened like a UPS failure or improper shutdown and my RAID was ruined, it would be nice to have a backup it. Just having the blu ray is not good enough because I would have to spend weeks re-ripping them all.

I'm sure they'll be pretty expensive at first, probably anywhere from $20 to $100 a disc. Blurays used to be very expensive too, but now can be had for about $1 a disc.

For storing 1TB, I would not mind paying 100$ for a disc.

Just as an example, I have more than 25GB of family pictures and just burning them on DVD-R's piss me off.

I don't trust HDD's. I prefers to spend 200$ to backup my stuff on 2 discs than buying 1 HDD and have a mechanical failure. .. Not saying discs are better neither.

Shadowzz said,
if you're willing to spend that much on 1TB for storage.... Get hard drives?

Exactly. NewEgg ships hard drives in a nice bubble wrap drive holder/case that can take a beating. I've been using whatever 2-TB drives that were on sale for $79 and storing them in the plastic case. Lots of data saved cheaply. USB 3.0 dock makes it easy to read when needed.

ZeroFearX said,
I don't trust HDD's. I prefers to spend 200$ to backup my stuff on 2 discs than buying 1 HDD and have a mechanical failure. .. Not saying discs are better neither.

HDD's have longer lifespans than CD's.
compact disc based media has a span of 5-15 years. While HDD's are more based on 3-5 years of 24/7 usage times. While the magnetic degradation over time on HDD's is well over 70 years. Don't know the specs of this AD format, but if its like CD/DVD/Blu-ray, then don't expect them to last more than 15 years tops.

daily used a compact disk "might" last longer, but for backup storage.... HDD's or tapedrives are currently supreme.

ZeroFearX said,
I don't trust HDD's. I prefers to spend 200$ to backup my stuff on 2 discs than buying 1 HDD and have a mechanical failure. .. Not saying discs are better neither.
Yeah, they do all sorts of accelerated ageing tests in the lab but no-one knows IRL under normal usage and storage conditions what sort of shelf life these will have. I mean, they claimed CDs would last a 100 years but unless you're storing them in a climate-controlled air-tight safe I doubt they'll even last more than a decade or two given disc rot, bronzing and what not.

Shadowzz said,

HDD's have longer lifespans than CD's.
compact disc based media has a span of 5-15 years. While HDD's are more based on 3-5 years of 24/7 usage times. While the magnetic degradation over time on HDD's is well over 70 years. Don't know the specs of this AD format, but if its like CD/DVD/Blu-ray, then don't expect them to last more than 15 years tops.

daily used a compact disk "might" last longer, but for backup storage.... HDD's or tapedrives are currently supreme.

Say what?! So all my mint condition PSOne games are on "short time"?

AR556 said,

Say what?! So all my mint condition PSOne games are on "short time"?

Those are pressed CDs, the pits are actually embedded into the plastic. Those will last a lifetime if taken care of. With CD-R on the other hand the pits are burned into a chemical dye which over the years will degrade to the point that the laser can no longer read them.

Thrackerzod said,

Those are pressed CDs, the pits are actually embedded into the plastic. Those will last a lifetime if taken care of. With CD-R on the other hand the pits are burned into a chemical dye which over the years will degrade to the point that the laser can no longer read them.

Good answer, thanks!

ZeroFearX said,
I don't trust HDD's. I prefers to spend 200$ to backup my stuff on 2 discs than buying 1 HDD and have a mechanical failure. .. Not saying discs are better neither.

The average usable life of a hard drive is about 5 years. Average, remember. You can use HD Tune to scan new HD's for data transfer anomalies. If the curve has deep dips, send the drive back. If you don't drop them, archive hard drives last for a very long time. I have some small IDE drives over 15 years old. Test them before using them, you'll trust hard drives a lot more that way.

seeprime said,
The average usable life of a hard drive is about 5 years.
But that's average lifespan given regular use, right? I'd say an HDD used only for archiving data and lying unused at all other times in a safe location would be both cheaper and far outlast burned optical discs, wouldn't you?

Romero said,
But that's average lifespan given regular use, right? I'd say an HDD used only for archiving data and lying unused at all other times in a safe location would be both cheaper and far outlast burned optical discs, wouldn't you?

Which is then up to storage quality and magnetic degradation. Which could be up to or far over 70 years'.

What happened to the holographic discs? (nevermind the question is rhetorical)

While I am positive that my next laptop will not have a optical drive, I will be looking forward to get an external drive. the fact I use optical disks less and less these days does not mean I don't use them anymore. Storage is a perfect low-cost use for these.

This is what I was talking about earlier. Gahhh!! One should NEVER put their data on the line, especially in these times. I've already buried my data in the wilderness on some current archival discs (bug out location maintained by me and a few others). We built some faraday cages the other day for our retrieval systems, will be testing'em with some mean equipment. I digress, these discs might be useful later on once available if it's not too late

They do this all the time. Usually wait 30-60 minutes for a good story to pop up on BPN and then claim it as their own as they post it on the front page. They very rarely give credit.

Yep, I've seen so many tech news sites do this. They'll simply skip the credit for where they read the news and link directly to the source, as if they heard it first from there.

Yup, that's why I don't post in the forums or even tip them now. At least when you do it on reddit, you get karma! Gold too if you're lucky.

As far as I'm aware, Neowin has always give credit when the news team has been given a tip through the "Contact Us" form. In all other cases, credit is at the discretion of the author.

#Michael said,
Except that John is notorious for trolling BPN and posting stories from there as if they were his own. It happens a lot.

Like I said, if you want credit, submit a news tip. What you say could well be true (I wouldn't want to get involved in any conjecture), but front page news authors are under no obligation to credit random forum posts unless it goes through "official channels".

TheCyberKnight said,
Scratched disks can easily be polished for revival.
We're talking long term data storage here.

Not the way my kids scratch, crack, and break them. I'm going digital from now on. Since I'm in the MS ecosystem, I buy XBox Movies and TV Shows where warranted. The rest of my collection is ripped on my NAS patiently awaiting VLC for my Windows 8 machines, Windows Phones, and hopefully one day Xbox One...

I think you guys are misunderstanding. this is for archival purposes. you burn the disk and put it away from kids, anything that would damage it. and if that one rare case that you need to get something off of it, you drop it or break it.... well, sucks for you