In early September, Sharp Corp. announced it had developed a process for fitting up to 100GB of data on one Blu-ray Disc, double the current 50GB.
Not to be outdone, TDK Corp. in Japan Oct. 6-10 reportedly will show off its new process for fitting 320GB on one disc, squeezing 32GB on each of the 10 layers of the disc.
But donâ€™t hold your breath for a complete TV series on one Blu-ray any time soon, cautions Andy Parsons, SVP of corporate communications and new product planning for Pioneer and chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association promotion committee in the United States.
â€œI think there will be applications for larger capacity recordable discs, but it would be difficult for [discs larger than 50GB] to achieve compatibility with the installed base of players,â€ he said. â€œThis is because player manufacturers design players to meet published specifications that define maximum media capacity, which in the case of Blu-ray Disc, is 50GB on two-layer media.â€
For now, higher-capacity Blu-ray Discs from companies such as Sharp and TDK will likely stay in the recordable media realm and wonâ€™t be found among the read-only published discs sold at retail, Parsons suggested.
He said future Blu-ray players could support higher capacity Blu-ray Discs, â€œmuch as how tape formats such as VHS gradually added higher recording capacities that were playback-incompatible with older decks.â€
â€œBut interestingly, virtually all published content in VHS was released in two-hour SP mode, since it was the lowest common denominator among the installed base of tape decks,â€ he added. â€œPretty much any VHS deck could play pre-recorded movies regardless of their age. This is synonymous with my argument for the longevity of 25/50GB Blu-ray Disc media for publishing.â€