Singulus Technologies Develops Replication Line for 100GB Blu-ray Discs
Posted September 12, 2013 02:57 PM by Webmaster
Singulus Technologies AG announced that it has successfully developed BLULINE III, a new replication line capable of manufacturing triple-layer Blu-ray Discs with a storage capacity of 100GB. The BLULINE III will allow the production of next generation optical discs using the current BLULINE II machines for dual-layer Blu-ray Discs.
Following the announcement Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer of Singulus Technologies AG, commented: "Just in time for the market introduction of the new ultra-high definition television technology (4K or Ultra-HD), we completed the development of the production technology for the new triple-layer Blu-ray Discs with 100GB storage capacity. For Singulus Technologies AG, in the Optical Disc segment the year 2013 has been very positive overall. Until the end of this year's August we received significantly more orders for Blu-ray Disc production machines than in the prior-year period. We also see good opportunities for the sales of our Blu-ray production equipment in the future. The positive life cycle of the Blu-ray Disc will continue for some years with the launch of the new ultra-high definition television format".
The following information was also provided with the official announcement:
"The further advancement of today's Blu-ray Discs, the triple-layer Blu-ray Discs with 100GB storage capacity, is the preferred playback medium for the new 4K technology. With the realization of a new and specifically designed data compression method for the ultra-high definition technology, the storage volume per information layer can be increased from 25GB to 33GB. In its committees, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is currently discussing the specifications of new, global standards. Singulus Technologies already completed the marketable concept of a new replication line.
At the IFA 2013 media and technology companies provide insights into the future of television: Sky, Astra, Sony, Harmonic, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and the German TV-Platform present ultra-high definition. The new generation of high definition television provides four times the resolution (3,840 x 2,560 pixels) of HDTV. 4K will become less expensive: in Berlin a Chinese manufacturer is presenting new Ultra-HD TVs with a price tag of less than €2,000.
In the 1st half of 2013 Blu-ray Disc sales increased by 41 % compared with the same period one year ago (German Association of Audio-Visual Media (BVV), August 2013). With a share of more than 90 %, physical media (Blu-ray and DVD) also continue to dominate sales in the home entertainment market in 2013. Blu-ray Disc sales in the U.S., the international key market, will expand with a double-digit growth rate in 2013. This favorable trend is amplified by the market launch of the new ultra-high definition television technology and the upcoming market introduction of the new gaming consoles Playstation PS4 by Sony and Microsoft's Xbox One. Both gaming consoles are even expected to be equipped with a Blu-ray drive with 4K support to win the consumers' favor. At several gaming conventions and the IFA, the two new consoles were a highlight."
'In the 1st half of 2013 Blu-ray Disc sales increased by 41 % compared with the same period one year ago (German Association of Audio-Visual Media (BVV), August 2013). With a share of more than 90 %, physical media (Blu-ray and DVD) also continue to dominate sales in the home entertainment market in 2013. Blu-ray Disc sales in the U.S., the international key market, will expand with a double-digit growth rate in 2013.'
Sounds like somebody besides myself wants physical media to stick around for a while, more power to them!
No, 100 GB discs likely would not work on current BD players. However, as a means of providing 4K content, these would be perfect for a 4K-BD format (one with H.265 as the video codec and hopefully capable of understanding higher framerates so movies like The Hobbit can be seen as intended).
As an aside, I don't see how physical media will be displaced anytime soon with the bitrates needed constantly climbing. Can you stream 4K right now from YouTube? Yes, but depending on your connection (and the kind of compression they use on their end) your experience is likely to end in tears.
Unfortunately, quality isn't a high priority for the majority of the streaming market - most are perfectly content with SD. Physical media isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but prices may start going north, as collecting returns to the more niche vhs/ld models of yesteryear. Of course, this will also mean more limited availability, especially with lower profile titles.
I'm very interested in hearing better clarified how they were able to tweak it to 33gb per layer, when they still can't reliably use the entire 25gb - sounds more like they've improved compression rahter than actual usable disc capacity - as well as why they chose to limit it to three layers, when Sony claimed even more layers per side were possible with BD, seven years ago. I assume the later is mostly what they could more affordably do, still using current replication lines - similar to HD-DVD's approach to maximizing cost efficiency. It may make more sense to do now than it did then, but I'm curious if Sony wasn't full of it, why they're not able to do more 7 years later.
@Thomas Veil: Agreed. The consumer electronics/technology side is of course exciting. But back on the studio side, the catalog release situation worsens. If/when we get a 4k BD format--although I love Warner and Criterion's output--I wonder about the depth of releases available besides, say, AVENGERS 7 and FAST & FURIOUS 12. There are too many titles which have yet to hit BD for me to be as excited by this as I would otherwise be. Watch and see: Not unlike the non-anamorphic first DVD release of TITANIC that took years to street (by the time that happened, the display market had so progressed that that DVD was no longer an exemplary way to watch the film on a widescreen display), we're probably gonna get TRUE LIES and ABYSS just in time for the real heat to be on the newest true 4k releases. Another fly in the ointment is the possibility (likelihood?) that it will be largely/exclusively Sony that supports 4k BD right out of the gate.
The way I see it, 4K is probably going to be a niche format in my own home. 1080p is going to suit me just fine by most standards. I've seen Blu-Rays projected on a friend's calibrated 1080p projector and it looked stunning. That's not to say 4K won't look better, but I'll probably reserve purchases for my absolute favorites. I doubt that 4K is going to make say "Office Space" all that more immersive.
wasn't there supposed to be something like this but for the red laser like 5 years ago? anyone else think something fishy is going on - start releasing the 4K movies and now look, we have an even better disc for them!
@blondedevil: who knows, there was so much misinformation coming from microsoft and toshiba during the war, there's no telling what was said. I wouldn't put much stock in it though. Toshiba abandoned red laser for use in HD-dvd, fairly early, knowing it couldn't compete. Their new plan was to retrofit existing dvd lines for a faster, cheaper changeover. Which sounds like that's the route being planned for 4k. It certainly doesn't sound like they're creating a completely new format built purely around the demands of 4k video and the ever-evolving home-video market, like BD did for 1080p. Understandable as that may, considering the economy, so forth and so on. But, if they do 4k 3D especially, it'd have been nice to have more than 100 gb, even more so if the percentage that's actually usable is significantly less. It'd take closer to 1 tb of data to get the same type of lossless fidelity with video that we now enjoy with audio. I remember them talking possitively about 1tb discs back in 2006/2007 too - but don't know what's become of it since.
It's been hard enough convincing people to upgrade their dvds. Upgrading again so soon, may hurt physical media more than it helps. Far fewer collectors had extensive vhs or ld collections; they didn't have so much to lose in upgrading to dvd. DVD made them collectors, so BD was a harder sell, 3D even harder. 4k is so far beyond the perceptual resolution capabilities of any sized flat panel display, you're going to have even more people who can't justify the upgrade based on what they see, unless the studios make large scale improvements to a title in re-mastering (read: they used a severely outdated, decade old, or otherwise inadequate for even 1080p master for the existing BD). Even 4k FP owners may not see a significant improvement over 1080p to 4k scaling for existing BDs already drawn from 4k or even really well rendered 1080p masters.
I absolutely hate the idea of an all digital, ownerless future, where I'll be dependent on my internet connection (speed and reliability) or the potential for hard disc failure, which in my experience is much more likely than a disc going bad. But, the studios want it - that much is clear. And ultimately, even for disc loyalists like myself, should the streaming/download market reach equal or better share with discs, it'll come down to paying considerably more for discs or missing out on movies we want that are digital exclusive, or giving in to the corporate dream of total control of their properties.
@pro-b: the tone was unnecessary. My post was sincere, not in any way mocking of what they're trying to do. I was at the Blu-ray Festival in 1997. Met a couple BD.com boys when they were headed to the bar: friendly chaps, seemed to be holding a drink almost as much as the Fox exec assigned to the event, as I recall - studio tab and all. I don't believe you were one I met though. Point is: I may be semi-retired, but I'm hardly new to the tech, so I don't typically follow every link or typo, for lack of time; not to mention, I had some strange, sudden fever this afternoon. It's either mostly passed, or Goodies is doing the trick for the moment, though I still can't imagine where the violent shakes game from, and I'm still disinclined to study this more closely, considering it's still a ways out. I'd rather get more than three hours sleep for two nights in a row, instead.
Maybe one should think outside of the gaming/entertainment confines for use of these dense disks. This expanded data capability could very well be used to store detailed training data. Imagine high resolution complete surgical procedures captured in 3D, with recorded monitoring data and doctor's commentary, that could be shared in medical schools and hospitals.
The 100GB claim is vaporware. Read this line carefully: "With the realization of a new and specifically designed data compression method for the ultra-high definition technology, the storage volume per information layer can be increased from 25GB to 33GB." Data compression does NOT increase the ACTUAL capacity of a disc, especially when the data is ALREADY compressed -- whether lossy (VC-1, AVC, MVC, etc.) or *especially* lossless (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA). The ONLY ways to increase an optical disc's capacity are (a) more layers or (b) more pits per layer.
Under perfect conditions they *might* be able to squeeze 100GB onto the disc via compression. However, with only ONE additional layer and NO change in pit density, the ACTUAL capacity of these discs is 75GB -- *NOT* 100GB. The existing BDXL spec is more appropriate for higher-density discs, though it will likely require modification (it presently supports only BDAV format, not BDMV); it apparently has the extra pit density to achieve 100-128GB. (NOTHING in the press release says they're using BDXL; they only claim "data compression" which is dubious.)
4K is four times the resolution of 1080p, do the math. I don't think 100GB discs will be big enough for most 4K transfers. This is probably being used for blu, but considering how studios are starting to skimp on the features, what's the point?