back to article Pioneer proudly pitches 400GB Blu-ray optical disc

Pioneer has pressed what it claims is the world's first 16-layer optical disc. It's keeping mum about the medium's format, but it's telling that each data layer has the same capacity as a Blu-ray Disc. With 16 layers and a per-layer capacity of 25GB, that's a staggering 400GB in total, plenty of room not only for all the …


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  1. Brian


    ummm, great, so probably would cost a few hundred squid, but my mind straight away went for "single point of failure" ie... all that money for a single disk... a single scratch and its all gone... read only...... means another disk is needed...

    Seeing as its difficult to return opened dvds of any sort... can't see that changing... which means money down the drain/rather big risk (I'm quite good with my disks... but still accidents and damage do occur).

    Now if it was write once, could be used for archiving and such

  2. Jez Caudle

    You just know ...

    ... that when these babies hit the general public someone is going to send you a disk with one single 10k Word file.

  3. Steve Foster


    Now they just need to get the darn things on sale for a reasonable price before USB Flash drives reach 400Gb (they're at 32Gb and rising).

    Optical media is going to go the same way as tape is doing.

  4. Stu

    So... can read the first 25gb per side using a normal BluRay drive, but you need a special 400Gb optical drive to pick up the remaining 93.75% of the disk capacity??

    Any news on when such devices will eventually appear? Hopefuly some time short of 2020.

  5. Peter Clarke

    Endless Possibilities

    .... for government departments to download complete database files and lose in the post. National ID database anyone?

    Could also be useful for Google to forward all the user data to Paramount

  6. John


    Digital distribution will cut down the number of discs being manufactured, but then that takes more infrastructure hardware and more datacentre power.

    Whatever happens, one day a storage medium will never have enough room.

  7. Iain


    Will it play on currently available optical drives?

    So what little money we have left over after buying food and fuel will be taken up purchasing yet another new machine to play the ever-changing and laughably named 'industry standard' disc in a few years time? I'm still using DVDs and boy do I ever feel like a dinosaur.



  8. Ian

    Another optical media format...

    ...that we'll never see.

    Doesn't matter if it's compatible with Bluray drives, we'll still never see it.

    Why? For the same reason we never saw the 34gb DVDs that were touted as possible shortly after DVDs release.

    For some reason, these high yield optical discs as with much seemingly cool technology that gets touted just never actually arrive.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Great news !

    Windows 7 finally has its distribution format, AND they have time to finalize it before the behemoth actually goes on sale.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    doesn't matter at all

    If it's bluray compatible or not. until there is an industry-wide standard non-drm disc and reader and i can back the darn thing up myself for damage control, I won't be buying one. bluray has NOTHING to offer and I don't plan on buying any device the vendor has control over like that, thank you.

  11. Alex

    @"doesn't matter at all"

    Your loss then, and our gain :o)

  12. Kristian Nilssen

    duh stupid!

    So if it's read only - what's the bloody point - just another coaster - and how do they know it's 450Gb if they haven't filled it up with dvd rips yet?

  13. Duncan Hothersall

    @ Alex

    Who precisely gains from someone not adopting an optical disk format? Please explain.

  14. wulff heiss
    Thumb Up

    @Jez Caudle

    10k word file? this is so office 6 *G* - haven't seen a word file that small in ages...

  15. Highlander

    Blu-Ray compatability?


    The Blu_ray standard ratified is dual layer. But one of the features of the technology was supposed to be that it could handle multiple layers without needing a different mechanism. I can't remember how many layers the technology anticipated, but it's more than two. The theory is that a simple firmware update would be all that was needed to enable existing Blu-Ray devices to read discs with additional layers. I believe that this type of thing was demonstrated at one of the E3 shows (2006 IIRC) bu no one has seen anything except dual and single layer discs in the wild.

    Hitachi previously showed 4-layer 100GB discs that they claim could be read by a standard BD player after a firmware update...

    It kinda makes sense to build the drive with more than dual layer discs in mind when it's quite clear at the time of design that greater than dual layer is a possibility.

    Whether this disc works with Blu-Ray, and whether any Blu-Ray players can actually be extended this way remains a big question.

    Personally I have a feeling it won't matter too much, 50GB is enough for the purposes of Blu-Ray for now.

    DEspite the statements of Steve Foster, flash storage is not now, nor will it be in the near future, a viable solution simply because of the cost. Just as with DVD, the price of BD writable media will fall. The cost of pressing pre-recorded BDs will fall and unless flash devices with capacities ranging from 32GB to 64GB become available for $1 or less (which is where the cost of pressing a BD is headed), they aren't going to compete with the optical disc format.

  16. Terry Blay


    I know for a fact that there are terrible people in this world who, since the demise of the floppy, and in the absense of any other suitable medium, have happily burned a few hundred KB onto a blank DVD, and not worried about it at all.

    I really can't see this changing, although if I personally saw someone throw away 399.9999GB of spare capacity like that I'd have to bitchslap them immediately. Saddest thing is maybe I wouldn't... I'd get used to it like everyone else eventually.

    My point is... the whole green credential thing is a bit meaningless when it's only as good as the end user who is often as ignorant as many other end users on such matters. Why even mention it?

    The technology is great though! I remember my first 1GB HDD and wondering how the hell I was ever going to fill it... this in the early 90's!

    Mine's the one with 16 layers ;)

  17. Jeffrey Nonken
    Thumb Down

    What's the point?

    For consumer playable multimedia, I don't see much point in this. Frankly, I think DVD is good enough for most people. Hell, VHS was good for a generation, and people stayed away from the superior Laserdisc technology in droves. (And SVHS, for that matter.)

    High-capacity discs are nice and all, but as several people pointed out, as long as they're vulnerable to physical damage you're just putting more and more data in danger at once.

    And while it's got a great WOW factor, cranking up the resolution on crappy movies and TV shows just means you see how crappy they are that much better. Even good movies that weren't made to be seen that closely are going to show their blemishes more clearly.

    Shouldn't they be working on improving the content first, then worrying about getting a wall-sized TV into everybody's home to watch it?

    As a read-write medium this is useful. As a read-only medium? Yawn. So you can pack the entire LOTR trilogy on one disc, with all the extras, at super-high resolution. So what? That just means more menus to go through when you insert it.

    And more advertisements. Yay! Every time I insert a tape or disc now I get 10 minutes of ads I have to bypass, plus 2 minutes of FBI warnings in 13 different languages, plus another warning, plus three logos with fanfares. And then another ad, like as not. I rip DVDs as soon as I buy them and copy the main movie to a new DVD just so I don't have to go through that horsecrap over and over again.

    16 layers means 16 times the room for advertisements and useless nonsense.

    Not that I am bitter.

  18. Richard


    Imagine. All 10 seasons of Stargate, high quality, one disc. Excellent.

  19. John O'Hare

    @Jez Caudle

    An empty(!) word file is already 24,576 bytes, so that 10KB must have been quite some time ago.

    Now if you're talking about files created by OO...

  20. Wayland Sothcott

    @Highlander and the 10k Word Document

    I think there is still a place for a medium to put a Word document on. Floppies which were 1.44MB now look small in capacity and cluncky. However CDs are too physically large and are also easy to damage.

    The USB stick although universal are a bit costly. What we lack is a small cheap flash universal flash storage. We have dozens of candidates, all those camera memory cards. It would be nice to have a memory card that cost 25p that could hold say 32MB. But oh no, everything has to cost £15 and to keep the price there they just keep increasing the capacity.

    So we will be recieving 10k word documents on 400GB disks just as we today recieve 10k word documents on 700MB CDs

  21. Jonathan Tate
    Paris Hilton

    Cheap storage medium for 10KB Word files?

    No dirt cheap medium? Here in the states I can run down to the Staples across the street and buy a 1GB USB stick for $5 or less (£2.53, according to Google). Are you telling me you guys in the UK can't do the same?

    Paris, 'cause both she and I really don't know about the pricing of flash memory internationally.

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