Sony Europe’s Recording Media &
Energy division today announced that its first Blu-ray Disc
media will ship in Europe in March 2006. Single-layer BD-RE (Blu-ray
Disc Rewritable) media will be available in store from mid March and
single-layer write-once BD-R (Blu-ray Disc Recordable) media will be
available from April. Sony is also set to launch dual layer discs later
this year. The single-layer Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BNR25A) and
Blu-ray Disc Rewritable (BNE25A) media offer a storage capacity of
25GB, more than five times that of a normal DVD and enough for
approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes of video at a bit rate of 24Mbps,
or 10 hours and 30 minutes at 5Mbps.1 The new generation media support
2X speed which equates to a data transfer rate of 72 Mbps (9 MB/s),
making the discs suitable for video recording as well as data storage
and file backup. In addition, Sony’s Blu-ray Disc media will
feature its unique AccuCORE™ technology as standard, ensuring
reliable data recording, increased disc protection and enhanced
High storage capacity, a clear roadmap and innovative, versatile
features make Blu-ray Disc media the logical optical disc format of the
future – and the format at the heart of the new high
definition world. Initially, Sony introduced the first generation
cartridge discs in Japan a couple of years ago. Now, the new generation
of cartridge free Blu-ray Disc media will offer users the convenience
of being the same size and shape as a normal DVD disc, capable of doing
everything a DVD can do and much more. With it, Sony is taking a
forward-thinking approach aimed at becoming the number one Blu-ray Disc
hardware, media and content provider.
“Sony is strongly positioned to offer customers an
all-embracing, high-definition experience as a result of pioneering
activity in the High Definition world. Our range of integrated High
Definition equipment, including camcorders, VAIO PCs, televisions and
projectors, already covers everything from source to output,
commented Fritz Handtke, Marketing and Operations Director, Sony RME.
“We are committed to becoming a dominant player in
the Blu-ray Disc media market in 2006. Given our technological
expertise, our focus is on providing thrilling new High
Definition’s entertainment experiences and the highest
capacity PC data storage of any optical format.
For more than 30 years, Sony has been leading the way in recording
media and the company can leverage synergies from being one of the few
organisations developing and manufacturing both hardware and media.
Sony has a network of advanced global production facilities and will
manufacture the first Blu-ray Disc media at its recording media factory
in Japan. To achieve exceptional reliability and durability for
archiving, the Sony BD-R discs utilise a laminar phase separation
recording mechanism using inorganic recording material. The BD-RE
recording and rewriting mechanism uses advanced phase-change material
that alters its reflectivity when a laser changes it from a crystalline
to an amorphous state and back.
Sony has utilised its unique AccuCORE technology in development of its
Blu-ray Disc technology which offers the following key advantages:
- Stable Writing (BD-R/RE) – The formation of a
high-precision, flat and uniform cover layer to ensure stable recording
and playback. The Sony technology ensures that the fluctuation between
inner and outer perimeters is a maximum of only ± 0.5
- Temperature Durability (BD-R/RE) – Delivery of a
disc structure which is stable against temperature and humidity changes
to prevent damage from warping. The susceptibility to warping
(inclination) of Sony’s Blu-ray Discs is about half of that
of a CD or DVD.
- Overwriting Reliability (BD-RE) – Sony has
developed a durable recording layer which ensures that jitter hardly
rises even after repeated overwrites, resulting in stable recording and
- Scratch Guard (BD-R/RE) – The scratch-resistant
high performance hard coat which protects the disc against scratches.
Abrasion tests show that Sony Blu-ray Discs are about 100 times more
durable than discs without hard coating.
- Anti Static (BD-R/RE) – The high performance hard
coat results in an extremely low electrostatic charge which
significantly reduces the adhesion of dust. Tests show that about 50%
of generated static electricity was discharged after two minutes.
- Stain Resistant (BD-R/RE) – Sony’s high
performance hard coat provides for highly stain resistant discs. Stains
that would normally interfere with optimal recording and playback
capabilities, for example those caused by marker pen or fingerprint
stains, are now repelled by the resistant coating.
- Archival Reliability (BD-R/RE) – Sony has
utilised its highly reliable recording material design and thorough
manufacturing control to create a disc that is extremely resistant to
data and image corruption and deterioration over long periods of time.
Chamber tests show the error rate increase during ageing acceleration
tests are extremely small. This ensures a clear picture can be played
back without distortion after long archive, giving an estimated life of
30 years or more.
Sony is on the Board of Directors3 of the Blu-ray Disc Association
(BDA) comprising of more than 170 member companies from the consumer
electronics, information technology, media and software industries, as
of February 2006.