Blu-ray gives hours more viewing pleasure

Nine companies today announced that they have jointly established the basic specifications for a next generation large capacity optical disc video recording format called the ‘Blu-ray Disc’.

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

The companies that established the basic specifications for the Blu-ray Disc are Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Pioneer Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, and Thomson Multimedia.

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

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 uses ‘MPEG-2 Transport Stream’ compression technology that is compatible with digital broadcasting for video recording, a wide range of content can be recorded. In addition, the adoption of a unique ID written on a Blu-ray Disc can be used to support copyright protection functions.

The nine companies involved in the announcement are aiming to further enhance the appeal of the new format by developing larger capacity discs with over 30GByte for a single sided single layer disc and over 50GByte for a single sided double layer disc.