Tagged: blue laser

Ultra Density Optical (UDO) (2003 – )

Ultra Density Optical (UDO) is an optical disc data storage format that uses phase-change, and blue laser technology (similar to Blu-ray) to store substantial amounts of data on a disc in a cartridge very similar to the older 5.25-inch magneto-optical disc format that it was developed to replace.

UDO discs were first announced by Sony in 2000, and launched by Sony and Plasmon in 2003 with a capacity of 30 GB. UDO 2 was launched in 2007 with a capacity of 60 GB.

UDO discs are available in rewritable format, or as write once in which case the phase change method used means the data cannot altered once written (True WORM) making it very stable for long-term storage. A third format became available in 2005, Compliant WORM, that allows specific data on the disc to be destroyed while leaving other files intact.

As of 2017, UDO drives and discs are still available but since 2008 all brands of UDO disc have been manufactured by Mitsubishi in Japan.

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Sony Professional Disc for DATA (2004 – 2007)

Professional Disc for DATA (also known as ProDATA) was an optical disc format introduced in 2004 by Sony. It was intended for creating backups of data, and had a capacity of 23GB per side.

It is virtually identical to (but incompatible with) Professional Disc, used for the XDCAM digital video system. However, both formats used blue lasers, and both discs came in protective caddies.

Both write-once and rewritable versions were available.

In 2006, recordable Blu-ray discs (BD-R and BD-RE) became available, and in 2007, Professional Disc for DATA was declared ‘end of life’ by Sony. Since 2009, Sony has also introduced the ability to store data on Professional Discs for the XDCAM system, in a dedicated ‘User Data’ folder.

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Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) is a high-capacity optical disc that can be erased and re-recorded multiple times, and is a type of Blu-ray Disc that can be read in all Blu-ray Disc drives. The similar BD-R discs can only be written to once.

BD-RE drives can be found in computers and personal video recorders (PVRs).

Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs, 100 GB for triple-layer, and 128 GB for quadruple-layer.

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Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) is a write-once high-capacity optical disc, and a type of Blu-ray Disc that can be read in all Blu-ray Disc drives. The similar BD-RE is a rewritable version.

BD-R drives can be found in computers and personal video recorders (PVRs).

Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs, 100 GB for triple-layer, and 128 GB for quadruple-layer.

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Professional Disc (2003 – )

Professional Disc (PFD) is an optical disc video recording format introduced in 2003 by Sony. It was designed for the XDCAM digital video system, and uses blue laser (like Blu-ray).

Professional discs come in four different capacities, depending on the number of layers, ranging from 23 GB for a single-layer disc, to 128 GB for quad-layer discs. The different discs come in different colours to distinguish them (black, red, yellow or white for single, dual, triple and quad layer respectively).

Sony’s Professional Disc for DATA was a variant of Professional Disc that was intended for data storage. The discs are not compatible with Professional Discs intended for XDCAM video use, and the format was declared ‘end of life’ by Sony in 2007.

Since 2009, Sony has introduced the ability to store data on Professional Discs for the XDCAM system, in a dedicated ‘User Data’ folder.

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Blu-ray Disc (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc is an optical disk format for high-definition video. The standard was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (a consortium of companies, including Sony) and was released in 2006.

The discs themselves are the same size as DVD (120mm), but are capable of storing 25 GB per layer, with dual-layer discs being the industry standard for movies on Blu-ray Disc. Mini Blu-ray Discs (80mm) are also available, similar to MiniDVD.

Information is stored at a much higher density than DVD due to the use of blue lasers.

From its introduction until 2008, Blu-ray competed with HD-DVD, which was launched a few months prior to Blu-ray. By as early as January 2007, Blu-ray was outselling HD-DVD, helped by Sony including Blu-ray Disc support in the PlayStation 3.

As well as motion pictures, Blu-ray is used for distributing games for consoles such the Sony PlayStation 3 and 4, and the Xbox One, and recordable (BD-R) and rewritable versions (BD-RE) are also available for data or video storage. In 2013, High Fidelity Pure Audio was launched, using audio-only Blu-ray Discs.

Blu-ray Disc titles usually ship in packages similar to but slightly smaller than a standard DVD case, with the format prominently displayed across the top of the case. Some Blu-ray Discs come packaged with a DVD version of the film, as well as digital copies that can be played on computers.

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High Fidelity Pure Audio (2013 – )

High Fidelity Pure Audio is an audio format using Blu-ray optical discs, and launched by Universal Music Group in 2013.

The audio content is uncompressed, and where standard Compact Disc audio is sampled at 44.1 KHz at 16 bits, High Fidelity Pure Audio’s sampling rate is between 96 KHz and 192 KHz at 24 bits.

Previous attempts to offer hi-fi sound included Super Audio CD (SACD) and DVD-Audio, neither of which gained a significant market share.

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HD DVD (2006 – 2008)

HD DVD was an optical disk format for high-definition video, and for data. Principally supported by Toshiba, it was envisioned as the successor to DVD.

Prior to HD DVD and its competitor Blu-ray, there was no easy way for consumers to playback high-definition content other than unpopular formats such as D-VHS / D-Theater. Sony and Philips, along with Pioneer, developed the Blu-ray disc using shorter wavelength blue-lasers, but the DVD Forum announced in 2002 it wanted to pursue a competing blue-laser format, and adopted the Advanced Optical Disc from Pioneer and NEC (later renamed HD DVD).

HD DVD was launched in 2006 with players and films from major studios such as Warner Home Video and Universal Studios. In 2007, HD DVD recorders were released in Japan.

HD DVD discs have a single-layer capacity of 15 GB, and dual-layer capacity of 30 GB. HD DVD players are backward compatible with DVD and CD. There was also a hybrid HD DVD format which contained both DVD and HD DVD versions of the same movie on a single disc, and there were also some hybrid players that could play both HD DVD and Blu-ray disc.

As well as dedicated players, HD DVD drives were available for PCs and for the Xbox 360 game console. Recordable HD DVD discs were available in the form of HD DVD-R and HD DVD-RW.

In early 2008, Toshiba abandoned the format and HD DVD Promotion Group was disbanded after major content manufacturers and key retailers began withdrawing their support for the format in favour of Blu-ray. Around one million dedicated HD DVD players had been sold.

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