Thanks to high definition video, pictures, and other digital files, we need increased amounts of storage. Soon, the storage capacity of Blu-ray discs could double. In fact, companies such as Sharp, TDK, and Verbatim are already making plans to launch new discs that can store up to 100GB of data.
According to a statement, Sharp will start selling a Blu-ray disc with a capacity of 100GB in Japan starting today. The VR-100BR1 disc conforms to the BDXL format specification announced in April by the Blu-ray Disc Association. Last week, TDK made plans to start selling 100GB Blu-ray discs in September. Verbatim has also announced plans to ship 100GB Blur-ray discs next year.
Currently, Blu-ray discs support storage capacities of 25GB for single-layer discs and 50GB on dual-layer discs. In order to achieve 100GB, the new discs will add a third storage layer. Theoretically, the BDXL format can support storage capacities up to 128GB using a fourth storage layer.
Unfortunately, BDXL discs will not work in the traditional Blu-ray drives we have available today. As a result, users will need to purchase new drives if they want to take advantage of the increased storage and new format.
In addition to the discs, Sharp has announced the Aquos BD-HDW700/BD-HDW70 Blu-ray disc recorders that will support the new discs and be able to record to them. These recorders also launched today in Japan.
Although most Blu-ray discs today are used for movies, the Blu-ray Disc Association is hoping the new BDXL format will attract new applications such as data backup and high-definition video storage.