Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Improvements and Succession

Blu-ray Disc

In 2006, a new format called Blu-ray Disc (BD), designed by Philips, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic, was released as the successor to DVD. Another format, HD DVD, competed unsuccessfully with this format in the format war of 2006–08. A dual layer Blu-ray Disc can store 50 to 100 GB.[29][30]

However, unlike previous format changes (e.g., audio tape to compact disc, VHS videotape to DVD), there is no immediate indication that production of the standard DVD will gradually wind down, as they still dominate, with around 87% of video sales and approximately one billion DVD player sales worldwide. In fact experts claim that the DVD will remain the dominant medium for at least another five years as Blu-Ray technology is still in its introductory phase, write and read speeds being poor as well as the fact of necessary hardware being expensive and not readily available.[5][31]

Consumers initially were also slow to adopt Blu-ray due to the cost[citation needed]. By 2009, 85% of stores were selling Blu-ray Discs. A high-definition TV and appropriate connection cables are also required to take advantage of Blu-ray disc. Some analysts suggest that the biggest obstacle to replacing DVD is due to its installed base; a large majority of consumers are satisfied with DVDs.[32] The DVD succeeded because it offered a compelling alternative to VHS. In addition, Blu-ray players are designed to be backward-compatible, allowing older DVDs to be played since the media are physically identical; this differed from the change from vinyl to CD and from tape to DVD, which involved a complete change in physical medium.

This situation can be best compared to the changeover from 78 rpm shellac recordings to 45 rpm and 33⅓ rpm vinyl recordings; because the medium used for the earlier format was virtually the same as the latter version (a disc on a turntable, played using a needle), phonographs continued to be built to play obsolete 78s for decades after the format was discontinued. Manufacturers continue to release standard DVD titles as of 2010, and the format remains the preferred one for the release of older television programs and films, with some programs such as Star Trek: The Original Series requiring remastering and replacement of certain elements such as special effects in order to be better received in high-definition viewing.[33] In the case of Doctor Who, a series primarily produced on videotape between 1963 and 1989 (and thus expected to be difficult to upconvert to high definition), BBC Video reportedly intends to continue issuing DVD-format releases of that series until at least November 2013.[34]

Holographic Versatile Disc

The Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) is an optical disc technology that may one day hold up to 3.9 terabytes (TB) of information, albeit the current maximum is 500GB. It employs a technique known as collinear holography.


The 5D DVD, being developed in the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, uses a multilaser system to encode and read data on multiple layers. Disc capacities are estimated at up to 10 terabytes, and the technology could be commercially ready within ten years

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