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The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

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The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Old 04-27-09, 01:25 AM
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The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Is Blu-Ray doomed if the inventors introduce consumer electronics featuring this within the next couple of years?

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/te...ref=technology

April 27, 2009
G.E.’s Breakthrough Can Put 100 DVDs on a Disc
By STEVE LOHR

General Electric says it has achieved a breakthrough in digital storage technology that will allow standard-size discs to hold the equivalent of 100 DVDs.

The storage advance, which G.E. is announcing on Monday, is just a laboratory success at this stage. The new technology must be made to work in products that can be mass-produced at affordable prices.

But optical storage experts and industry analysts who were told of the development said it held the promise of being a big step forward in digital storage with a wide range of potential uses in commercial, scientific and consumer markets.

“This could be the next generation of low-cost storage,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering, a technology research firm.

The promising work by the G.E. researchers is in the field of holographic storage. Holography is an optical process that stores not only three-dimensional images like the ones placed on many credit cards for security purposes, but the 1’s and 0’s of digital data as well.

The data is encoded in light patterns that are stored in light-sensitive material. The holograms act like microscopic mirrors that refract light patterns when a laser shines on them, and so each hologram’s recorded data can then be retrieved and deciphered.

Holographic storage has the potential to pack data far more densely than conventional optical technology, used in DVDs and the newer, high-capacity Blu-ray discs, in which information is stored as a pattern of laser-etched marks across the surface of a disc. The potential of holographic technology has long been known. The first research papers were published in the early 1960s.

Many advances have been made over the years in the materials science, optics and applied physics needed to make holographic storage a practical, cost-effective technology. And this year, InPhase Technologies, a spinoff of Bell Labs of Alcatel-Lucent, plans to introduce a holographic storage system, using $18,000 machines and expensive discs, for specialized markets like video production and storing medical images.

To date, holographic storage has not been on a path to mainstream use. The G.E. development, however, could be that pioneering step, according to analysts and experts. The G.E. researchers have used a different approach than past efforts. It relies on smaller, less complex holograms — a technique called microholographic storage.

A crucial challenge for the team, which has been working on this project since 2003, has been to find the materials and techniques so that smaller holograms reflect enough light for their data patterns to be detected and retrieved.

The recent breakthrough by the team, working at the G.E. lab in Niskayuna, N.Y., north of Albany, was a 200-fold increase in the reflective power of their holograms, putting them at the bottom range of light reflections readable by current Blu-ray machines.

“We’re in the ballpark,” said Brian Lawrence, the scientist who leads G.E.’s holographic storage program. “We’ve crossed the threshold so we’re readable.”

In G.E.’s approach, the holograms are scattered across a disc in a way that is similar to the formats used in today’s CDs, conventional DVDs and Blu-ray discs. So a player that could read microholographic storage discs could also read CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs. But holographic discs, with the technology G.E. has attained, could hold 500 gigabytes of data. Blu-ray is available in 25-gigabyte and 50-gigabyte discs, and a standard DVD holds 5 gigabytes.

“If this can really be done, then G.E.’s work promises to be a huge advantage in commercializing holographic storage technology,” said Bert Hesselink, a professor at Stanford and an expert in the field.

The G.E. team plans to present its research data and lab results at an optical data storage conference in Orlando next month.

Yet, analysts say, the feasibility of G.E.’s technology remains unproved and the economics uncertain. “It’s always well to remember that the most important technical specification in any storage device, however impressive the science behind it, is price,” said James N. Porter, an independent analyst of the storage market.

When Blu-ray was introduced in late 2006, a 25-gigabyte disc cost nearly $1 a gigabyte, though it is about half that now. G.E. expects that when they are introduced, perhaps in 2011 or 2012, holographic discs using its technology will be less than 10 cents a gigabyte — and fall in the future.

“The price of storage per gigabyte is going to drop precipitously,” Mr. Lawrence said.

G.E. will first focus on selling the technology to commercial markets like movie studios, television networks, medical researchers and hospitals for holding data-intensive images like Hollywood films and brain scans. But selling to the broader corporate and consumer market is the larger goal.

To do that, G.E. will have to work with partners to license its holographic storage technology and expertise, and the company is already talking with major electronics and optical storage producers, said Bill Kernick, who leads G.E.’s technology sales unit. The holographic research was originally related to G.E.’s plastics business, which it sold two years ago to the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation for $11.6 billion.
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Old 04-27-09, 01:38 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Great... one movie and 200 hours of forced previews.
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Old 04-27-09, 03:01 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Big deal. We hear about something like this every now and then.

They have to get the studio support, not to mention consumer interest. It takes a long time to get a format established, and then they want to milk it for all it's worth. The support is behind BD and will stay that way for a while, with downloads likely being the next thing.

Sure, they could make the quality better, but they already have their hands full getting the average joe to buy into 1080p. Good luck selling something higher to anything but a niche market. Even the thought of keeping it 1080p, but using higher bitrates or even uncompressed video (if this actually has the bandwidth required to deliver it) would be difficult, considering how the masses are satisfied with video downloads, and more discerning people are generally happy with healthy BD bitrates. It might be useful for 3D, but they're going to try to get that on BD, and any "new" format could just be a version of BD with more layers.

This could be nice for backups though, if they can produce the media cheaply enough. However, when you can get a 1TB hard drive for under $100, some will opt for that instead of a 500GB optical disc.
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Old 04-27-09, 04:02 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by rich-y View Post
Is Blu-Ray doomed if the inventors introduce consumer electronics featuring this within the next couple of years?
No. How exactly would they sell it to consumers other than as a backup, which the studios would never allow? How do you sell 100 titles on one disc? Blu-ray is capable of holding four layers, double its current capacity, but no one is using it.
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Old 04-27-09, 07:38 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by rich-y View Post
Is (INSERT NAME OF TECHNOLOGY HERE) doomed if the inventors introduce consumer electronics featuring this within the next couple of years?
Welcome to the world of consumer electronics
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Old 04-27-09, 08:32 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Of course BD is doomed. Just as Beta, VHS, 8-Track, real to real is/was doomed.

Don't know if this is the technology to doom it (don't think it is). But something else will be coming along.
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Old 04-27-09, 09:49 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

I'd like to see them come up with some kind storage/playing on something like a memory stick. Just buy a stick with the complete series of a tv show, stick it in the slot, pull up the menu and play. Would solve the space shortage for entertainment media in the retailers.
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Old 04-27-09, 01:18 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by rich-y View Post
Is Blu-Ray doomed if the inventors introduce consumer electronics featuring this within the next couple of years?
No. You'd have to show me the consumer-level business case for this technology for me to think it would and I don't see anything close to that in the article.
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Old 04-27-09, 02:21 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
How do you sell 100 titles on one disc?

Exactly. Who picks which 100 movies I would get on my DVD? Not to mention how much a disc packed with 100 movies would cost.
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Old 04-27-09, 04:17 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

I might as well stop buying Blu-rays now.
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Old 04-27-09, 04:49 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Damn, where did I put my DVD collection again. I know it's around here somewhere.
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Old 04-27-09, 05:10 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by auto View Post
damn, where did i put my dvd collection again. I know it's around here somewhere.
Good one.

Doesn't this mean we could have discs with 10 Blu-ray moves on them, complete with awesome supplemental packages? Of course what studio is generous enough to offer something like that?


How about "The Complete Joss Whedon Collection"?
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Old 04-27-09, 07:52 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

First Swine flu and now this!!!
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Old 04-27-09, 07:53 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by GenPion View Post
Good one.

Doesn't this mean we could have discs with 10 Blu-ray moves on them, complete with awesome supplemental packages? Of course what studio is generous enough to offer something like that?


How about "The Complete Joss Whedon Collection"?
I'm sure that'll cost $200. :P
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Old 04-27-09, 08:03 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by Maxflier View Post
Exactly. Who picks which 100 movies I would get on my DVD?
Mill Creek.




Last edited by David Levine; 04-27-09 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 04-27-09, 08:20 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by David Levine View Post
Mill Creek.
For their quality, you could probably get 400 or more per disc.
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Old 04-28-09, 12:12 AM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Of course BD is doomed. Just as Beta, VHS, 8-Track, real to real is/was doomed.

Don't know if this is the technology to doom it (don't think it is). But something else will be coming along.
I still have reel to reel. You don't?

My question is: When a bit of finger grease gets on the disc and blocks about 78.5GB of data.....how annoyed do you get?
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Old 04-29-09, 06:38 PM
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Re: The END of BLU-RAY? G.E. says it can now fit 100 DVDs on a standard-sized disc!


"Guess I'll be buying the White Album again"
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