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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the slowly-but-surely dept.

Sony 250

jones_supa writes "From last summer you might remember the Sony & Panasonic plans to bring next generation optical discs with recording capacity of at least 300GB. Various next-gen optical discs from different companies have been proposed, but this joint effort seems to be still moving forward. The disc is called simply Archival Disc and, roadmap and key specifications are out. First-wave ADs are slated to launch in summer of 2015 and will be able to hold up to 300GB of data. Archival Discs will be double-sided, so this works out to 150GB of data per side. Future versions of the technology will improve storage density, increasing to 500GB (or 250GB per side) and 1TB (500GB per side) as the standard matures."

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250 comments

What are these shiny discs you speak of? (3, Funny)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 5 months ago | (#46448373)

whats a disc? I thought our souls were already uploaded to iCloud and Netflix ?

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448503)

Bandwidth isn't cheap in some areas...

it's dirty cheap actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448547)

just only for greedy tele-cos who like to rape the masses

Re:it's dirty cheap actually (2)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about 5 months ago | (#46448873)

just only for greedy tele-cos who like to rape the masses

FTFY: just only for greedy tele-cos who like to rape them asses

Re:it's dirty cheap actually (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 5 months ago | (#46449143)

what's a tele-co?

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#46449759)

"Bandwidth isn't cheap in some areas..."

It wouldn't matter if it was. Time after time, we have seen problems arise... not because of "online technology", but because of human failure. Failure of the people you're supposed to trust at "the other end".

PEOPLE at these organizations have repeatedly failed in areas of organizational ability, reliability, and trustworthiness.

Unless and until we have the technology that can replace human trustworthiness (or lack thereof), "cloud" storage will not be ready for prime time. Even if you make it snoop-proof, who's to say it will still exist a week from now?

You can't prove reliability and trustworthiness, you can only prove its opposite. And they have. Many many times now.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (4, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 months ago | (#46448525)

Ten years ago, I had a pretty large DVD collection. I still do, I guess, though it's archived in big folders now rather than the original cases, for space reasons. I was in no way unusual in that; almost everybody else I knew at the time had a DVD collection.

Today, I actually have a relatively large blu-ray collection. But nobody else I know does. In my case, I have the large blu-ray collection because I watch a lot of anime and support for that on streaming services is patchy (Crunchyroll isn't bad, but older shows do vanish from it with no notice sometimes). But if I wasn't interested in niche stuff, there'd be no practical (as opposed to philosophical) reason to continue to collect physical media.

With a large collection of the movie-buying public having looked at blu-ray and gone "meh", I think the challenge of trying to movies to a new generation of optical media is probably insurmountable.

And the other uses of optical media?

The newly launched games consoles have blu-ray drives - but I suspect they're the last generation to support optical discs. More and more sales are shifting online and that proportion will only grow as broadband speeds improve. Even for online-only refuseniks, Vita-style memory-card distribution may prove more convenient in the long run. I honestly cannot remember the last PC game I bought via a physical copy. Probably the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft - because I guessed that Blizzard's download servers would die on launch day.

And for data archival? My experience of writable CDs, DVDs and BDs is that they're time-consuming to write to, physically fragile, space-inefficient and unreliable over time. If I want a local backup these days, I pick up an HDD, fill it up and then store it away.

So yeah, this all feels a bit like nugatory effort...

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 5 months ago | (#46448629)

But, while broadband speeds increase, broadband penetration may not (probably won't).

So, I have a feeling that Netflix, Gamefly, etc. will still ship physical disks... and console games will too.

I also think that instead of changing standards to increase data density, or using any extra density a new format brings, we'll see things that are more about control (DRM)

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448829)

But, while broadband speeds increase, broadband penetration may not (probably won't).

Also, while broadband speeds increase, bullshit transfer quotas may not (probably won't).

Gotta have a way to leverage your last-mile monopoly to force people onto your streaming service, after all.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 5 months ago | (#46449109)

Maybe where you live the ratios have not increased but where I live they have. The government in some countries are getting involved and forcing ISPs to provide a minimum level of service as well as setting limitations on what they can charge overage on. Cheap access to unlimited information normally equals a more educated population and better social awareness.

Companies like Bell have found other ways around charging more for bandwidth. Instead they control content and charge large dollars for it. Same goes with Rogers who not long ago purchased exclusive rights to NHL games in Canada for 5.4 billions.

Generally in my experience users who use more than 1 TB of transfer per month are downloading illegal content. Question is, should the infrastructure be there to support you? Probably not but your online freedom is yours, right? I would debate that if you want freedom online you need to pay for it. ISPs have equipment cost, employee cost and overhead cost. Someone has to pay for it and logically the bigger users should pay a proportional share of the pie and that is why caps are put in place.

But in the case of more users downloading copyright material, paying overage is too much yet they would not pay for the $700 in content they illegally obtained. All this to say that you comment on monopoly greed is only partially justified.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 5 months ago | (#46448781)

Funny that in a civilization where it's all about having more and more stuff, more and more people have no issues about having their stuff ephemeral or dematerialized.

I'm gonna go build myself a real stone castle and fill it with antique furniture. When you won't be able to get your pictures off Facebook because your bandwidth is capped at 20Mb except for ComcastView and GooglePlusPlus, I'll have my local storage out of reach of marketers and spooks, and they won't remotely disable my books.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 5 months ago | (#46449135)

You know the 80s are over right?

Online content has much value. Is it miss used? Maybe a little but I can tell you it makes my life easier.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448975)

And for data archival? My experience of writable CDs, DVDs and BDs is that they're time-consuming to write to, physically fragile, space-inefficient and unreliable over time.
Don't use crappy media. I have 12 year-old DVDs that still scan with few PIE and PIO errors. I expect the same will hold true with Blu-Ray.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 months ago | (#46449023)

I got my first CD-RW drive in 1999. Some of the discs I wrote on it still work perfectly. Others are completely unreadable. There's no pattern to it - no particular manufacturer's media has fared better than another's. I have cheapo 20-for-a-dollar discs that still work and expensive ones that don't - and vice versa. I also have discs written much more recently which have become unreadable. For all I know, the discrepancies are as much down to which disc was stored on the top of the spindle or in the outer-most pockets in the wallet as to anything in their manufacture.

Which means that as a long-term archival solution, optical discs are just too erratic.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46449839)

There is a pattern, you just don't see it. Taiyo Yuden discs stored properly and burned with a good drive (Pioneer or LiteOn in a pinch) will last. There are a few other quality brands like Verbatim and TDK, but none are on a par with Taiyo Yuden for CD-Rs and DVD-R/DVD+R.

Everything else is hit and miss, even if stored properly.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 5 months ago | (#46449005)

But if I wasn't interested in niche stuff, there'd be no practical (as opposed to philosophical) reason to continue to collect physical media.

I'm the complete opposite. I have some digital stuff but otherwise I continue to collect physical media whenever I can because I'll always have access to it and some big company won't be able to pull the licensing agreement and suddenly the movie/show/game is gone from my collection on Amazon or something because the big company wants more money from Amazon for their 20 year old movie.

When it comes to physical media the first sale doctrine is king so in addition to the already mentioned benefits of always having my media I can also sell or lend my media without interference or limitation.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449221)

However most computers (including tablets in that) being sold don't have any optical drives anymore. Both the small factor ones - like the Lenovo X series) and the medium factor (Lenovo Yoga) don't carry optical drives. On the high end, the HP Z820 workstation class machine doesn't have one unless you specifically add one to it. So you might have access to that media, but eventually it will be like it is today trying to run down a way to read an old 8 1/2 inch floppy disk. The only way around that is to continually format shift. The DRM they use attempts to prevent you from doing it though. But eventually you will need to get that DVD content onto something else (maybe some form of flash storage) or you won't be able to easily access it anymore.

External DVD drives (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46449835)

So you might have access to that media, but eventually it will be like it is today trying to run down a way to read an old 8 1/2 inch floppy disk.

How "eventually" are you talking about? I don't see external USB CD, DVD, and BD readers going away at least in the next decade.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 months ago | (#46449903)

Right hows your VHS collection going then? VHS tapes were still sold often only 10 years ago.

The problem is never if you have the 8mm, 8-track, vinyl, cassette, minidisk, etc.
The problem is if you still have a functioning player for such thing.

There are original Wax cylinders created by Thomas Edison. There wasn't a player for them for 80 years. until someone custom made one at great expense.

digital copy only means you at least get to keep a functioning player as well. By using smart backups and doing so often enough. along with upgrading storage media, and VM's as needed you can play your stuff for at least your lifetime.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

s122604 (1018036) | about 5 months ago | (#46449239)

There is some usage of disks (be they CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray) in WORM archives.

A previous place I worked at provided an online service for medical data that was supported by a huge, custom built DVD "jukebox"
At some point in the last decade the economics of large hard disk arrays rendered this technology effectively obsolete.

If the dollar per GB economics of these disks were attractive enough, they could, potentially, make a comeback in applications that are willing to put up with the latency of mechanical part of the solution.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 5 months ago | (#46449503)

"... because I watch a lot of anime.."

There's a shocker.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448579)

NetFlix doesn't have everything. For some reason it doesn't have ANY of the Good Eats! With Alton Brown. No Star Wars. No Indiana Jones. Occasionally some Bond movies - now it's just Skyfall.

It would be great to get a series on one or two disks instead of these huge boxes.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46448843)

they just got clone wars onto netflix so expect star wars soon as well

now that disney owns star wars you can expect more than periodic releases on dvd or blu ray with slightly more content for GL to get more money from you

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (3, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 5 months ago | (#46449319)

It would be great to get a series on one or two disks instead of these huge boxes.

Who would use them? Serious question.

Netflix likely won't adopt any future disc standards for the disc side of their business. Blu-ray is already an additional charge, and they've made it very clear that they view that side of their business as a dying, legacy one, and they even made an effort to divest themselves of it back when they tried to split it off a few years back. Storefront video rentals are nearly extinct, with Redbox and digital distribution displacing them, and Redbox certainly won't be offering whole series anytime soon, since it makes no sense for them to do so. For movies, blu-rays already serve all of their needs. In other words, there's no market for AD rentals.

I suppose Amazon and other retailers may sell the discs, but who would buy them? Hardcore collectors, sure, but outside that niche? The way I see it, you primarily have two types of folks:
1) The folks already using blu-ray. Theoretically, AD would draw primarily from this group, since they are the ones who would care about any benefits it has to offer, but it seems to me that its primary benefit is easier distribution than blu-ray, which is something that digital distribution already deals with for most people, and it's already being adopted by this group as the next step beyond blu-ray. As for content availability, most people would prefer to purchase a few extra blu-rays during a transitional period to the digital distribution that they've already started adopting, rather than investing in an entirely new format so that their shelves will be a bit tidier.

2) The ones who have to be dragged forward. They're the ones still using DVDs and who will only upgrade when they are forced to do so. Since AD players are likely to be backwards compatible with DVDs, these people will see no reason to purchase anything more expensive than DVDs, which, as is the case today with blu-rays already on the market, will keep the market for DVDs alive and healthy. They'll never upgrade to AD, since AD isn't forcing them to upgrade in the same way that DVD forced them to upgrade from VHS.

Really, the only use I see for these discs is...wait for it...archiving. Assuming they have a decent shelf life, I could see these replacing, or at least supplementing, the backup tapes that are still widely used in business settings.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46449873)

Some people still like to own their media rather than just streaming or renting DRM laden downloads. As long as you can rip whatever optical format they deliver music and video on there will still be a market I think, and you will always be able to rip.

Ishtar skipped DVD (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46449883)

[Cheapskates] will see no reason to purchase anything more expensive than DVDs

Until movie distributors start skipping DVD and going straight to BD, AD, or whatever for new releases. The film Ishtar, for instance, skipped DVD [badassdigest.com] .

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46448631)

whats a disc?

It's something that still works if you loose your internet connection or the DRM server goes down.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#46448833)

whats a disc?

It's something that still works if you loose your internet connection or the DRM server goes down.

If your bluray player's private key is exposed, then publishers can place that key on a blacklist and include that blacklist on future discs.
When your player plays the disc, it will check the blacklist and refuse to play until you get a new key, which will require you to update the firmware on your player.
All bluray players are required to be firmware updatable, either via USB, via a burned disc with the firmware on it, or via the internet. Regardless, the ultimate source of the update will be the internet. If you own prominent bluray player model, you could get lucky and the firmware update may be included on the disc.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 5 months ago | (#46449151)

I don't know about the DRM server bit, even with disks games still require DRM servers.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (2)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46449911)

even with disks games still require DRM servers

Since when do games for any PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, or Nintendo DS product require a server for single-player, split-screen, or LAN play?

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449209)

Obviously not Dr. Who. I imagine he can spell "lose."

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449235)

And I imagine your mother can spell "loose."

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46449533)

Ooh, you mean a hard drive! I've been busy ripping everything I have on disc, as discs are just a pain.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#46449581)

I have really fast broadband over cable, so I signed up for the online backup service Crashplan so I would have an offsite copy of all my data. I ran into two killer problems: notwithstanding my blistering upload capacity, the backup service still plods along at 500kb or less, meaning that my 1T archive disk will take about six months to backup. The cherry on top is that my ISP imposes a usage cap, which prevents me from taking advantage of even that speed. If optical discs of 300G or more become available, I will be all over them like scandal on politicians.

Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#46449821)

You bring up another problem. Bandwidth.

What good does it do to have 1TB optical disks, if the write speed is only 350kB/sec? It would take more than a month of steady writing to fill up a disk.

It will probably be faster than that, but who knows? I checked TFA, and it says absolutely nothing about bandwidth, either read or write.

Amazing! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448429)

More proprietary garbage. Everyone knows they'll try to do the same thing they do with everything else: Infest everything with DRM and secrets to stop 'pirates.'

Re:Amazing! (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46448467)

If it stays just archival storage, something that is desperately needed, then there is no need for DRM, and no barriers to adoption. If they try and make it a video standard and bring content producers on-board, they are doomed. But if not, they stand to make a LOT of money as we are desperately in need of a replacement for tape.

Re:Amazing! (5, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | about 5 months ago | (#46448813)

The replacement for tape is different tape. Optical media isn't going to catch up to the data densities or transfer rates that tape has to offer any time soon. The (kinda old) LTO4 changer I use for my personal stuff handles 800GB/tape and only needs about three hours per tape. This new disc format isn't even going to be competitive with an eight year old tape spec.

Re:Amazing! (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 5 months ago | (#46448857)

I've thought about going tape for local backup, but I never felt comfortable with it, because I have the impression that the lifespan of tape is poor. What's your experience in tape lifespan (which I suppose also involves how often/whether you rewrite instead of getting a new tape)?

(Currenly local backup for most of my stuff is "put it on the file server", where it's mirrored, which is of course not perfect. But the file server is also backed up offsite through CrashPlan.)

Re:Amazing! (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46449685)

LTO lasts 15+ years (and if you can afford the drive, chances are you won't need to re-use tape too often). Cheap tape was always bad.

However, it's vital to verify tapes as you write them. Non-cheap tape doesn't really "go bad", but can be bad when created (even though the tape drives verify in hardware, I've seen issues). You don't need to verify the whole tape, just verify something on the tape, ideally with a different drive.

Re:Amazing! (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46449043)

The replacement for tape is different tape. Optical media isn't going to catch up to the data densities or transfer rates that tape has to offer any time soon. The (kinda old) LTO4 changer I use for my personal stuff handles 800GB/tape and only needs about three hours per tape. This new disc format isn't even going to be competitive with an eight year old tape spec.

Tape may be faster to write for now, (They never said the speed...) a single file restore will not be. Especially if it is towards the end of the tape. THis has alwayse been the limiting factor of tape.

Re:Amazing! (1)

rk (6314) | about 5 months ago | (#46449573)

QFA has mitigated this problem for quite some time now. Simplistically, an index is built identifying files and their relative positions on the tape. The tape is loaded and then fast forwarded to that location to restore it. I had a 4-tape capacity "mini-library" nearly 15 years ago that could do this. A small single file could be restored in a minute or two.

Re:Amazing! (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46449619)

First copy is to spare HDD (kept in a box). Tapes are the "just in case". It's just much easier to store tape off-site: mail to a friend, stuff in storage or safe deposit, whatever.

Tape drives are quite expensive, but if you can afford them they rock. If I had the bandwidth, I'd use glacier or whatnot, but since I have DSL I'm saving for tape.

Re:Amazing! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46449141)

If it stays just archival storage, something that is desperately needed....

This is too little, too late.

Anything that requires me to be physically present to swap media during a backup isn't even up for consideration.

300Gb of data per disc means I'd have to swap discs a dozen times to back up my current pile of data data. Not happening.

By the time it reaches 1Tb per disk I'll have even more data to back up. Half a dozen swaps? Still not happening. I want to set the backup going then go to bed while it does its thing.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449417)

The DRM wouldn't be an issue with blank media, just like BD DRM, or CSS isn't an issue with my optical backups.

Optical is in an interesting niche. Tape is the best bang for buck, but drives, controller cards, a fast machine (tape drives are not slow, and even at lower speeds, a modern drive will shoe-shine), and a decent backup program are expensive.

Optical has a fairly low barrier to entry (A C-note for a DVD burner for example), can be read by virtually any OS, and can be written to by many utilities.

Not intended for consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448439)

Like Blu-ray XL, consumers will not see these discs. Get ready to stream 90 GB 4K movies?

Re:Not intended for consumers (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about 5 months ago | (#46448573)

The problem is cost for Blu-ray XL, at about $50 a disk, most people or companies won't use them.

Re:Not intended for consumers (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#46448877)

Like Blu-ray XL, consumers will not see these discs. Get ready to stream 90 GB 4K movies?

Amazon says they will, if they're willing to pony up the dough.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ... [amazon.com]

I've owned a BluRay burner for years and have yet to burn a BluRay. This week will be my first attempt, and I have very low hopes.
Luckily, I got a 3 pack for $7.

Compared to 4TB? (0)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#46448443)

So, what do I need a 300GB, when I can go to Fry's and get 4TB drive and just plug it in?

Re:Compared to 4TB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448539)

So, what do I need a 300GB, when I can go to Fry's and get 4TB drive and just plug it in?

And when you run out of space, you just buy another unit and plug it in? Why have a unit always on just for an archive? Sucking up power just for a day that you might need the archive.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 5 months ago | (#46448657)

When you've used up the 4TB, you'll be able to get a 40TB drive and copy over your old data so you won't need to have two drives always on.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#46448815)

So, what do I need a 300GB, when I can go to Fry's and get 4TB drive and just plug it in?

And when you run out of space, you just buy another unit and plug it in? Why have a unit always on just for an archive? Sucking up power just for a day that you might need the archive.

Most drives can easily spin down when not in use. Then there is a small delay as the platters spin back up but the power consumed when a drive is not spinning is quite minimal.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 months ago | (#46448823)

Pretty much.
CD-Roms first became popular when 80 meg hard drives were considered large.
Now, you can buy few terabytes of space for $100--$200. Parceling out your data in 25 GB chunks, at a dollar a disk doesn't seem all that thrifty, unless you distribute large amounts of data to people who don't have high speed connections.

I know, it's slightly cheaper as a backup option-- if your time isn't worth much.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (1)

Quila (201335) | about 5 months ago | (#46449307)

I was doing CD-ROMs in 1993. It required a very special full-height SCSI 1 GB hard drive that did not recalibrate itself from time to time, and a $3,000 1x SCSI writer. Turn off all services, screensavers, etc., hit write, and don't breathe for the next hour or so. Underrun buffer? What's that?

Re:Compared to 4TB? (3, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | about 5 months ago | (#46448555)

Glad you weren't making the decision back when floppy disks were 1.44M and my Hard Drive was 250M...

Without knowing the specifics, this could be a great form of backup, which judging by the name, is exactly what this is for.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (2)

Snuusnuu (2631385) | about 5 months ago | (#46448561)

Because optical media fares better for long term storage compared to mechanical drives.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#46448899)

Because optical media fares better for long term storage compared to mechanical drives.

Not recordable optical media. It turns to useless shit very rapidly. Pressed discs fare much better, but you won't be pressing discs unless you're distributing thousands of copies of the same data.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448571)

You are not the target market for this.

The target market is the guys who use tape to do backups. Though you would want to hit 3-4TB per disc to be in the same realm...

For people who do one off backups I could see the attraction of 1TB backups on disc. Especially if they can get the cost down to say 2-10 dollars per disc.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448733)

Tape backups aren't really the target. This is intended to replace UDO disks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_Density_Optical which were mostly used in jukeboxes for paper work heavy businesses such as financial institutions storing loan documents.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46449295)

Tape backups aren't really the target. This is intended to replace UDO disks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] which were mostly used in jukeboxes for paper work heavy businesses such as financial institutions storing loan documents.

Yes, for some reason all of our CT scans are stored on MO even though we use an online PACS [wikipedia.org] for everyday use. We have a whole roomful of the stupid things and they only hold 500 MB a piece. We have to store them for 20 years (in the case of a minor patient) or at least 7 (Statute of Limitations). A 300 GB system is a big enough upgrade for us to consider it.

If it ever ships.

Of course, I'm waiting for holographic storage, but I'm a patient kind of guy.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46448603)

This way they can charge you $10 a pop for the blanks that cost pennies to make (after up front costs), > 50% of which will be wasted on bad recording sessions or discs that didn't get filled. They can also charge you more for the burner/player than that 4TB hard drive costs, and sell "premium" machines with the differentiator being that the lower line models only have BluRay burners....

I won a notebook that came with a BluRay burner, I think I played one BluRay movie in it, one time just to see that it worked. I've burned a few dozen DVDs in it, though most of them would have been fine on a 700Meg CD, never burned the "sample" blank BluRay that came with it - never had a need.

I think this new generation of Disc burners is akin to the tape drives of 20 years ago - a way to get data off the live system and put it in a closet somewhere. "Sure, we can restore that at any time" - with about 50% success when put to an actual real-world test. In the early 1990s, we tried shipping data cross-country on tape cartridges - we ended up with a system where we made triplicate tapes, ship 2, keep 1 and confirm successful restoration on the other end before wiping the source.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46448647)

For one, hard drives are a tad fragile to mail... And as backup device left unpowered, they have known reliability problems.

Re:Compared to 4TB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448875)

So, what do I need a 300GB, when I can go to Fry's and get 4TB drive and just plug it in?

Generally speaking, optical disks are a lot less prone to being rendered useless if you bump them sharply or shake them. The largest problem with optical up to this point is the disc itself is too exposed to mis-handeling and other physical damage, if they can come up with a decent closed-case tech which isn't to bulky and doesn't run the risk of acting like sandpaper, I might look into this. As it stands, my important backups are still archived to tape.

Translation: Where is the consumer solution? (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about 5 months ago | (#46449125)

I can't find any data on MSRP now, but back in the day it seems to me that there were storage choices that were not so cost-prohibitive for consumers.

4mm and 8mm drives with multi-gigabyte capacities that compared favorably with hard drives of the time could be had for $hundreds to $a thousand or two, with media costs in the $10-$25 per tape range. At the time, there were also MO drives that had significant capacities in similar ranges, with slightly higher media costs.

Back then, the capacity of one removable cartridge/disk was much closer to the capacity of consumer market hard drives. You might have to go through 1-4 tapes or cartridges to back up all of your data, but that meant less than $100 for each additional complete backup set.

Now current consumer drive sizes are in the multi-terabyte range, while capacities of removable storage are such that you'll need 10-15 instances of media to back up your collection, and each media item is $50-$100. I have 18TB online right now. This means with a 300GB storage capacity, I'll need 30-45 instances of blank media for a single backup set. Back in the day, I had an Archive Python autoloader that used 4 DDS tapes and had a capacity of 96GB compressed, with a total online storage capacity of something like 40GB. In short, I had _excess_ capacity for less than $100 per backup set in a single operation.

At this level, it makes much more sense to just by a pile of multi-terabyte hard drives (4TB drives are currently less than $150 street price) and use them. Faster, cheaper, and without the up-front cost of the mechanism (backup drive) to pay for.

For consumers, dedicated backup technologies seem to have gone the way of the dodo.

Re:Translation: Where is the consumer solution? (1)

anybody_out_there (2814321) | about 5 months ago | (#46449395)

I can't find any data on MSRP now, but back in the day it seems to me that there were storage choices that were not so cost-prohibitive for consumers.

Not so cost-prohibitive? "Back in the day", I remember a particular consumer 20MB (not a typo) HDD went for about $1500. A tape backup system was similarly priced (from memory).

I shudder to think what an educational institution paid for the massive *5MB* networked drive hooked up to the old Apple IIs. Ya know, back in the day.

Now get off of my lawn! :-)

Yes, yes, yes. (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about 5 months ago | (#46449585)

I paid $600 at one point for a used full-height hard drive that was made out of a solid hunk of alloy for the first hard drive for my PC.

So?

Way to let the point fly over your head.

By the time we were mid-'90s, we could get backup solutions that were—yes—$1,000 to $3,000 for the mechanism and $15-$30 for each piece of media.

But they:

- Would cover the space of most consumer drives at the time within 1-4 cartridges
- Would thus backup your entire consumer data library for $50-$150 per complete backup

This can't be done any longer. Not even close.

My point wasn't to get into a "history" pissing match. Sheesh, yes, also back in the day there were no such things as digital computers or hard drives or printing presses or even written script and everything had to be passed along as oral tradition, which meant that the cost of a backup was the cost of a human life.

As I said, this misses the point entirely. One might have hoped that in the process of getting here from the mid '90s we'd have gone forward rather than backward on the ability to make backups on removable storage media.

Re:Translation: Where is the consumer solution? (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46449527)

For some reason this has me wondering what the cost breakdown is between the mechanical part of a hard disk and the controller portion.

Is there ever a use case for a cartridge-style drive that basically houses the controller and all you insert is the platter container?

Could they devise a cheaper disk cabinet that plugged just platters in and used a common controller?

Great: Bonus Content (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 5 months ago | (#46448463)

500gigs of it now.

Re:Great: Bonus Content (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46448625)

I'm thinking the movie you want to see is encrypted and buried in such a sea of garbage that it becomes impractical to extract it without the master key....

Re:Great: Bonus Content (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 5 months ago | (#46448889)

No worries. Get the master key, decrypt it, extract the parts you want. Isn't that how they handle blurays now?

Nothing about shelf-life. (4, Informative)

0xG (712423) | about 5 months ago | (#46448481)

Bitrot is the enemy, especially when you call it "Archival".

Re:Nothing about shelf-life. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448615)

Bit rot doesn't mean what you think it does.

What you're talking about is optical disk rot. Bit rot is what happens when perfectly good code stops working, simply because the rest of the world moved forward, and made it { not compile | not link | crash | ... }.

Re:Nothing about shelf-life. (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 5 months ago | (#46448817)

Bit rot actually does mean what he thinks it means. And it means what you think it means too [wikipedia.org] . Both uses for the term are correct.

Re:Nothing about shelf-life. (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about 5 months ago | (#46448689)

Not only that, but the size advantage of optical media is simply gone.

When CDs first came out, they easily held several times the capacity of a standard HDD. DVDs were much the same way. Then, a few decades go by, and little changes. BlueRay holds much less than a stock HDD, and was that way when it finally won the format wars.

Now, they have a format that doesn't even come close to a stock HD. (My laptop has a 250 GB SSD, my desktop computer has twin 2 TB drives) This new format would just *barely* cover my laptop, and would be a pain to archive my desktop on.

Re:Nothing about shelf-life. (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 5 months ago | (#46449189)

Hopefully they will be using something similar to the M-Disc [mdisc.com] technology to make this archival format more reliable. Organic dyes don't seem to have quite enough staying power (though I just went through some 10-15 year old CD-Rs the other day and they were still readable).

Here come the flippers (3, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#46448521)

People hate flippers, and if you 'double-side' the drives to avoid that, you'll be about doubling their costs, and that's not popular either.

Re:Here come the flippers (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#46448601)

"People hate flippers"

That's simply not true [imdb.com] !

I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449011)

http://ipdb.org/search.pl

Re:Here come the flippers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448753)

If the format is accepted, most of the drives will probably be sold in jukeboxes to replace aging UDO https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_Density_Optical jukeboxes.

Re:Here come the flippers (1)

tedgyz (515156) | about 5 months ago | (#46448831)

That reminds me of a Kenwood CD drive [pcstats.com] I bought for my computer. It used a multi-beam technology called TrueX to parellelize reading. It cost more than most readers at the time, but only about 20% more. The technology worked well if you were ripping the whole disc.

Dead on Arrival (-1, Troll)

tedgyz (515156) | about 5 months ago | (#46448641)

How stupid can they be? I didn't even buy into the blu-ray hype. I only got a blu-ray player recently because a relative gave us their old one. I went out and bought one blu-ray disc (Prometheus). The movie glitched out halfway with audio and video garbage. Luckily it came with a DVD and online copy. It is the first and last blu-ray disc I will buy.

Sony is still angry about losing the beta-vhs war and is now fighting a battle nobody cares about anymore. Just like discs, the whole company is obsolete.

Re:Dead on Arrival (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448745)

"How stupid can they be? I didn't even buy into the electric car hype. I only got an electric car recently because a relative gave us their old one. I went out and took a drive to the beach. The car battery glitched out halfway and I had a flat tire. Luckily I had the phone to call the insurance guys. It's the first and last electric car I will drive."

I hope your first girlfriend didn't dump you to leave you hating all women.

Re:Dead on Arrival (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448771)

You got a hand-me-down DVD player and it glitched out, what a shocker

Buy yourself a decent BluRay player that has LAN access and the ability to either decode video itself or can pick up an XBMC server and then boosh you have all your videos on your TV

I bought an LG a few years ago that can play most of my videos right off a network share or use my Plex Media Server and it still does BluRay and DVD

So yeah, disc media may be declared dying but having a cheap ($200) cross media player in your living room is pretty goddamn handy

Re:Dead on Arrival (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#46449053)

You got a hand-me-down DVD player and it glitched out, what a shocker

Buy yourself a decent BluRay player that has LAN access and the ability to either decode video itself or can pick up an XBMC server and then boosh you have all your videos on your TV

I bought an LG a few years ago that can play most of my videos right off a network share or use my Plex Media Server and it still does BluRay and DVD

So yeah, disc media may be declared dying but having a cheap ($200) cross media player in your living room is pretty goddamn handy

Do not count on using your BluRay player as a player for any ripped content.
They all have (or will soon have) Cinavia DRM built in, which will trigger on any ripped content that has that watermark. There is currently no known way to detect and remove the Cinavia watermark.

I rip all my shit and play it via an old Windows box using CCCP http://cccp-project.net/ [cccp-project.net] (and it all works even in Windows Media Player if you disable the media foundation thing). All HD audio formats are bitstreamed to my receiver, and you get full control over whateverthefuck you want. A PC is the ONLY true solution to playing content, because it's the only one you have any real control over. The only real drawback is the space / power requirements. You're not going to compete with those small media player boxes or the shit built into your TV, but they're come with DRM, compatibility issues (or future compatibility issues), and more often tan not a shitty interface.

Re:Dead on Arrival (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46448803)

You seem to be saying that you're stupid, rather than the people you stupidly claim are stupid.

You got a crappy hand-me-down Blu-Ray player, and this led you to derp about the format being the problem rather than your miserly nature.

Re:Dead on Arrival (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 5 months ago | (#46448953)

sigh.

"looks like I'll have to buy the White Album all over again."

one of the best movie quotes I can remember hearing. really sums up the media 'upgrade!' wars.

(and yes, I think I did have the white album on vinyl, 8-track and cassette; and when cd came out, yes, I bought the white album all over again. I won't buy it any more. well, I don't think I will, lol)

Re:Dead on Arrival (1)

tedgyz (515156) | about 5 months ago | (#46449101)

That is too funny. I just watched MiB with my son last weekend. I laughed when I heard that line because it was so long ago, but people still keep doing the same thing.

At least with physical media you have control. If you bought it on itunes you are locked into the Apple-verse for life.

Rewritable? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 months ago | (#46448721)

Will there be a rewritable variant? (Skimmed the article linked to and I didn't see it mentioned.)

While I realize people mostly picked on this, I like(d) using DVD-RW and DVD-RAM for video archiving. Yeah, now I mostly just download (non-copy-protected) things to a computer, but it was much handier having it built into the recorder.

Re:Rewritable? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 months ago | (#46449133)

This isn't going to be for you. This is basically a replacement for Ultra Density Optical [wikipedia.org] .

Will it support iPhone? (1)

fluor2 (242824) | about 5 months ago | (#46448977)

I sure hope so. Or at least the iPad.

White Album (1)

zooker (463103) | about 5 months ago | (#46448997)

Now I'll have to buy that damned white album again!

Two possible uses... (2)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#46448999)

I see two possible uses for this.

First, taking the name as indicative of the intended purpose, for backups. In that regard, I consider these DOA, since anyone who can fit their entire life in 300GB can use the cloud easily enough, and those of us who rip everthing we own to a home file server would already require literally dozens of these to store a complete backup. Sorry, boys, but even Grandma has a 2TB drive these days (whether or not she's used more than 2% of it).

Second, and more likely - 4k video. I don't really know where I stand on that one, because on the one hand, even BluRay has more or less flopped (it has made good ground in "replacing" DVDs, but for the most part people won't pay more for BD content); on the other hand, 4k finally represents a serious increase in quality over 480p. I still don't know if people would pay more for it, but having seen a few examples of 4k content on a 4k monitor... Just wow.

Still, if the blanks don't cost $5 each and if the DRM doesn't make these virtually worthless for anything but playing in a standalone player, I suppose these count as a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, with Sony involved, we can pretty much take it as given that they'll blow both those constraints without hesitation.

Cheap archival would be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449137)

I'd like a write-once media that could hold 1TB / disc, had the (possible) life span like M-Disc, and only cost $1 / disc.

It'd be nice for backups and less space usage than tape.

Too late, optical media has been dead a decade (0)

xiando (770382) | about 5 months ago | (#46449161)

> 2014
> Optical disc
lol, really? get with the times

yeah I got suckered into collecting CDs back in the day. I learned my lesson when I bought a "CD" and put it in my cd-player and it broke it (well, just locked the tray and I had to open it to remove the disk) and I noticed it wasn't a Compact Disc(tm) but something the same size with "copy protection". I skipped the DVD thing entirely. Buying a blueray player or disc never crossed my mind, that came along long after I got used to getting my media from the internets. I don't think it matters if they present some fancy new disc with 300GB or 300TB, I won't be buying no optical media again and no fancy talk about size or whatever will change that. It's too late.

Not Archival (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 5 months ago | (#46449359)

They don't mention the materials used for fabrication, so the "archival" claim is not supported.

More importantly, a disk-based storage medium is not likely to be useful as "archival" due to both format rot, and the inevitable loss of accessibility as the market moves to other devices. Can you read your MO or Bernoulli disks today?

This (US Patent 8,085,304) [uspto.gov] is a truly archival technology. One that a naive user with a flatbed scanner and computer could find and read. Say, for example a government in 300 years, or an archaeologist. Sure, quick calculations show that it could hold only 5 GB (if encoded in 4-bit) for the same weight as a CD, but it is the only truly archival idea out there.

kinda off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449421)

kinda off topic but i remember the days when a 650/700 megbyte CD was considered big. Then computer games came on 2 or more CDs... I still have Age of Mythology that came on 2 CDs. then single-sided DVD discs.

750MB Zip Drive (1)

SrLnclt (870345) | about 5 months ago | (#46449543)

Reminds me of zip drives... hey - we've got a new 750MB model! By that time the market had already moved on to CDs and USB flash drives.

Pretty much all of my audio, pictures, and video lives on my NAS. It almost seems quaint when I have to fire up the DVD player.

Dye-based = JUNK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449583)

Unless these disks are using the laser to burn permanent damage into solid material, like plastic or a foil layer, they are a complete waste of time. Anyone who has used any write-once CD or DVD media knows it is a complete crap-shoot whether you can access the data even a few years later. And don't give me garbage about using 'proper' brands, either. As the great electrolytic capacitor scandal that afflicted almost every manufacturer of electronics a few years back testifies, NO company, not matter how big the brand, is proof against using cheap and nasty 'counterfeit' chemicals to save a few cents.

Maybe there are some 'perfect' dyes for optical storage use, but there is ZERO ability to know if the disk you hold in your hand uses such dyes, no matter where you bought it from.

Mass produced, pressed optical disks use metal foil, of course, and there is every reason to think these disks will be readable in hundreds of years so long as long as the disk properly seals the foil (which is often not the case- but certainly could be guaranteed).

Also, we have the irony that re-writeable optical disks, using a very different technology from 'pressed' and write-once, ending up both being cheaper and better than write-once.

In an actively managed environment, ANY optical disk is a bad joke in every respect compared to storage on a HDD. But for passive storage, where the reasons for future access to the data are uncertain, but we think someone may have good use for it at some unspecified time, storing data in a pattern of physical 'dots' on a RELIABLE optical disk still seems like a good idea. However, the whole industry needs to focus on 100% provable long term readability of 100 years+.

The potential uses as I can see them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46449647)

First Near Line storage for DC's, This would be a layer between Hard Disk and Tape Storage.
Second WORM style storage, for levels of revision control.
Third archival purposes (depending on the materials used). Though if archival it will most likely be like the early BluRay and DVD archive storage systems, where the discs were actually in cartridges. The BluRay cartridges for Sony's backup system were actually air tight cartridges and the inside of the drive had a positive air pressure, to prevent dust from entering the system.

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