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Sanyo Invents 12X High-Speed Blu-ray Laser 194

Lucas123 writes "Today Sanyo said it has created a new blue laser diode with the ability to transfer data up to 12 times as fast as previous technologies. The laser, which emits a 450 milliwatt beam — about double that of previous Blu-ray Disc systems — can read and write data on discs with up to four data layers, affording Blu-ray players the ability to store 100GB on a disc, or 8 hours of high-definition video."
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Sanyo Invents 12X High-Speed Blu-ray Laser

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  • by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:55AM (#25273979)
    "man thats a lot of porn!"

    and on a more serious note, what would a normal PC user use this for?

    archiving video (see above)?

    archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

    an easy method of archiving an entire HDD in a few disks?

    when you look into it only video/HD makes such a disk make sense.

    and on a *much* more serious note, stop waxing lyrical about the storage capacity and start talking about the durability, its life span, its resistance to UV, its archival qualities. I would be much more interested in a 4GB disk that actually had a change of lasting >10 years in a normal environment (for me..? room temp, light sealed bag).
    • Resistance to UV is only useful if you leave your discs out on your desk in the daytime. Come that point, though, i'd be more worried about coffe-rings after you mistake your archive for a coaster.
      • Resistance to UV is only useful if you leave your discs out on your desk in the daytime. Come that point, though, i'd be more worried about coffe-rings after you mistake your archive for a coaster.

        I added cork to a bunch of failed burns to make drink coasters. For the bigger non regular size drinking glasses (ever see the 16 oz coke holiday glasses/hugs?)

        on topic:

        I would like to have 100GB+ disk backup. If it was RW even better. I use RW DVDs for a few home based backup. Format the DVD-RW disk and use it like a big floppy. Yes, there are flash drive and external hard drives that are bigger, but this was setup before flash drives were out. Older non geek people trust a CD/DVD more then the flash drive

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 )

      Asking what a user will use it for is shortsighted. DVDs have not been enough for me for several years (I backup using HDDs, cheaper considering my time). Even 100GB disc isn't all that exciting - perhaps HVDs will come out with 320-1TB data, but I suspect flash will be there sooner anyway.

      Yes, there is porn for some but that's hardly the only use. For me, I tend to scan in a lot of books that were never printed in quantity. Depending on the book, if it's just for information or if there are important p

      • by Skye16 ( 685048 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:42PM (#25274571)

        How, precisely, do you scan in books? Do you have to manually scan each page?

        I'd really have no trouble spending a few hundred dollars on a scanner that would basically do it for me. I really want to move to an e-book, but most of the books I love are rather modest Fantasy books that aren't available in e-book form. A flat bed scanner would take me probably a year to get my entire collection scanned in, and that just won't do.

        • It'd require destroying the book, but.

          Sheet feed duplex scanner

          Just cut off the binding and feed in the book, it'll take a little while but you should have a nice PDF at the end.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bennomatic ( 691188 )
          I used to work in the UC Berkeley library's conservation department, and what they did for scanning purposes--really, archiving rare works to microfilm--was to set the to-be-preserved books in a frame, manually flip a page, lower a non-glare glass cover over it to flatten the book, and snap a picture from a camera above.

          I imagine that the process is the same for precious books now, just with digital cameras instead of microfilm.
          • by Skye16 ( 685048 )

            I don't really have precious books, and since these things are going to disintegrate at the rate I re-read them anyway, destroying them in the process of scanning them is not such a bad thing. Plus it seems like it'd be faster :O

        • How, precisely, do you scan in books? Do you have to manually scan each page?

          We have a project at work that is doing this with a small library of books (I think we're up around 35,000 pages scanned so far).

          You cut the spine off of the book and drop the pages in the scanner's automatic document feeder. There are scanners available that can scan both sides of the page as they feed through - we're using a Kodak scanner that does about 50 pages a minute.

          Pages are scanned to TIFF files and then converted to PDF. We are using Acrobat Capture, which is fairly reliable but as we get into

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:14PM (#25274231) Homepage

      and on a more serious note, what would a normal PC user use this for?

      It's telling that people are likely, these days, to ask how a normal PC user would use these disks to store his own data, rather than how media companies will use this to distribute their products more cheaply.

      Anyway, yes, this would be handy for backups/archives. What else do people use physical media for? I have to back up 5TB of data every week, so don't tell me that these disks have gotten too big for practical application. Even at home, it'd be nice to be able to back up my entire computer onto one disk.

      Go ahead and figure out how to store massive amounts of data on cheap plastic with no moving parts. I'll figure out a use for it.

      • Here's my backup method:

        - Use c: or USB driver for temporary storage of not-yet-viewed movies & tv shows.
        - if video is junk, delete it; If the video is good, buy the legal DVD or Bluray version.
        - if not available legally (example: Earth Final Conflict), copy on both my C: and my external USB drive, so if one fails I still have the other.

        I've never felt any need to burn anything to DVD-R unless giving-away material to a friend. The advantage of this method is I don't waste a lot of money on blanks, and

        • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @02:48PM (#25275995) Homepage

          Well first, even if you buy a legal version of video, that doesn't necessarily mean you get media. iTunes movies and TV shows, for example, are sold without media. If you want to back that stuff up, you'll need something additional. Second, even if you have a legal DVD or Bluray version, you might want to backup that purchased copy. Third, I wasn't specifically talking about movies or TV shows. I'm not even necessarily talking about video.

          And then beyond all that, backing up to an external USB drive doesn't necessarily serve my purposes unless I'm buying new USB drives on a regular basis. I'm not just talking about maintaining a running mirror of my current hard drive contents, but maintaining a backup. By that, I mean that sometimes you want to keep copies at set increments, like having a monthly backup that you keep and don't overwrite. Not only does this protect you from a catastrophic failure of your hard drive, but also protects you from data being deleted or overwritten.

          Ideally, those backups should be on some kind of WORM media (so I don't accidentally erase something while I'm restoring) that's cheap, reliable, and lightweight. Even for my personal stuff, I can burn a bunch of DVDs and mail them to someone. Since they're light and small, shipping won't be expensive. Since there are no moving parts, I don't have to worry very much about them breaking in transit, but since they're cheap it's not a big problem even if they do break.

    • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:22PM (#25274335) Homepage

      Audio data doesn't necessarily mean MP3s. Storing your audio in a lossless format like FLAC means about 50% compression, so we're looking at ~250MB/album - 400 albums isn't especially unreasonable.

      But who says the data has to be written all at once? I assume BD-R supports multi-session writing like other optical media do - ie. you can incrementally add sets of archive data to the disc so long as you don't "close" it.

    • Yeah, archiving audio/video... with digital distribution becoming common, that's definitely a good use. Also if you have a PC hooked up to the TV as an audio/video jukebox, you could archive all your rips, which are time consuming to create. If you download a lot of podcasts or if you've got Steam, if you take a lot of pictures on your digital camera, you've got a lot of data you need to archive, especially with ISPs insisting on bandwidth caps.
    • by sukotto ( 122876 )

      * High def videos of their kid's birthday parties?
      * Installing Windows $Name Ultimate Extreme we_promise_this_is_really_the_best_version 2010?
      * porn?
      * Lots of extra "can't skip past it" advertising at the start of movies?
      * Extra space for all that next generation DRM?
      * Half Life 4?

    • archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

      I have 70GB of MP3s (over 11,000 songs), all legally ripped from CDs I own. Currently I use a USB hard drive for backup. Would this disk be more or less reliable than a hard drive? I've had problems in the past with DVDs written on one computer being readable on another computer, or even playing correctly in a Sony DVD player.

      • I have 70GB of MP3s (over 11,000 songs), all legally ripped from CDs I own.

        I'd almost say that MOST of the collections that reach that high or higher or probably, at least largely, legally ripped. When ripping your own CD's that you don't plan on sharing, there's often a trend to use really high bitrates or lossless compression formats. Afterall drive space is cheap and if you're not planning on transferring over a wire, then why bother with the low rate? Online most of the pirated (and even most of the purchased) songs are sitting around 128Kbps.

        A 25GB 128Kbps collection becomes

    • by Fzz ( 153115 )
      I'd just be happy with 20 duplicate copies of a standard definition DVD movie on there. Then there's some chance it will last more than 15 minutes once my 2-year old son gets hold of it.
    • The current crop of SD-card based AVCHD camcorders fills up a 16GB card in about 2 hours. As an added bonus, those files do not require any conversion to be viewed on a BluRay player.

    • and on a *much* more serious note, stop waxing lyrical about the storage capacity and start talking about the durability, its life span, its resistance to UV, its archival qualities. I would be much more interested in a 4GB disk that actually had a change of lasting >10 years in a normal environment (for me..? room temp, light sealed bag).

      People keep complaining about the durability of optical media, yet in the 15 years or so I've been using CDs I've had maybe one or two that became unusable due to excessive scratches or other issues - at least for pressed CDs. Some early CD-Rs failed, but in every case it happened within a couple of months of the initial writing. Every CD-R I've written over the past 10-12 years that survived the first couple of months still works fine now, and that is with no special care - stored in jewel cases, or CD wal

  • If someone wants to do back ups, why not simply buy a 1.5 TB hard drive for ~200 dollars?

    I don't see why we need cds anymore...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 )

      Distribution :)

      I'm not going to send my mother a hard drive if I want to send her pictures or video. Right now I use DVDs.

    • If someone wants to do back ups, why not simply buy a 1.5 TB hard drive for ~200 dollars?

      if it is a stable read-only media that will cost a buck-fifty in bulk and can be slipped into a media-rated fire safe or safety deposit vault, I want it.

      if you are serious about back-ups, a single HDD won't be enough. you'll want at least two or three drives for redundant storage- and a UPS to keep them up and running.

      it gets expensive.

      and still leaves your data exposed to damage from fire and flood.

      • You don't really need to have the UPS, just backup nightly, and have the array online during that period. If you're using something sensible like ZFS you're not going to have to worry about disk corruption from the writes.

        The bigger issue is getting and keeping the disks offsite. In the long run it's going to make no difference whatsoever between harddisks and discs if you're just going to keep them right next to the computer anyways.

        Ultimately a pair of 1 TB drives are likely to be a far better solution th

    • by Gates82 ( 706573 )
      Diversifying my archives has helped me in the past. I run two servers, one with a RAID0 and another with a RAID6 array. The RAID0 is used for access and runs backups to the RAID6. While this is a fast, and reliable system I still go through drives regularly.

      Once my projects (video, photo, documents, etc) are finalized they get archived to DVD's. Now DVD's are not overly reliable so I RAR the entire project into 4 gig chucks with a full archive of parity for every 36 gigs (min 1). Then each of those 4

    • You mean the portable solution that costs about a dime and you can give them away like candy and not care? If I were only worried about my own data I would agree but if I'm giving data to others? CDs are the safe bet and they're more durable in shipping than a drive is.
  • 450mw beam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lobiusmoop ( 305328 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:59AM (#25274037) Homepage

    Isn't that getting into dangerous territory (popping balloons, instant blindness etc)? Recently, high-power laser pointer sales have been banned on eBay and Amazon [bbc.co.uk] here in the UK, I'm wondering if similar restrictions might appear for drives like this.

    • Isn't that getting into dangerous territory

      Yup! Don't remove it. DVD burners already contain dangerous lasers, and those are in the 200mW range IIRC.

    • Re:450mw beam (Score:5, Informative)

      by Maddog Batty ( 112434 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:07PM (#25274135) Homepage

      When encapsulated within a system so that it is not possible for the beam to escape under normal usage then the whole system can be given a class 1 rating and a class 1 label. The laser itself is a class 3B and would have to have this rating if removed from the player. Current Blu-ray recorders are 250mW but are considered safe as they are encapsulated.

    • Ouch! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerdposeur ( 910128 )

      Yep. And in other news, those metal things inside toasters get dangerously hot.

      Personally, I've given up on using half-disassembled devices.

      • Your nerd credentials are hereby revoked. Slashdot bylaws section 12, paragraph 23: to post here you must have at least one half disassembled and operable PC within 100ft of you at all times.

        Instant +1 karma if run the system without any mechanical structure at all, beyond FR4 and off the shelf PSUs/HDs.

        • Ha! As you can see by my handle, I was never a true nerd in the first place.

          Although my PC's case has not been closed in about a year.

          Aw, who am I kidding? C'mon guys, let me back in the club! :)

    • Re:450mw beam (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Somegeek ( 624100 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:09PM (#25274155)

      They are not retailing a bare laser, they are (well, someday) selling a drive. How is that any different than selling a microwave? Do you know what parts they use in those?

      arrrg, should have been a car analogy. -slaps head-

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        Fuel explodes !
        A car analogy would have been better : you could have made a link with terrorism !
      • The fuel for cars is highly flammable and contains dangerous quantities of benzene a toxic carcinogen, as well.

        Further, ethanol-based fuel contains a controlled substance in concentrations that are banned in most counties, and in quantities sure to alarm anyone concerned with keeping neurologically sedative drugs off the streets.

        When are these death machines going to be banned?

    • I wouldn't have thought so. The laser in an optical drive is enclosed and often disabled when the drive is ejected.

      The laser pointers which fall into class IIIb (5-500mw) are all exposed and can be viewed directly.
    • by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:15PM (#25274241)
      A class 3b laser, I think (less than 500mW).

      It's a big risk if if you're putting your head into the player and resting your eyeball directly over the laser diode. For people who do that, all we can hope for is more powerful lasers, or perhaps blu-ray players with sharks inside to which the laser is attached.
  • Kids with your fancy optical media and lasers and whatnot. I'll stick with my betamax thanks.
    • Betamax? I have to read my tapes with a very small compass and a bit of graph paper then imagine what the bits would be like read out thankyouverymuch!
  • They didn't really "invent" this, did they? They just kinda built it from pre-existing ideas-- but bluer.

    And to answer what it'll be used for: Releasing a new generation of Blu-Ray players that aren't backwards compatible, forcing everyone who has bought a Blu-Ray to rebuy all their Sony-branded movies. Obviously.

  • by Somegeek ( 624100 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:06PM (#25274115)

    Story states that the drives are 1 to 2 years away. Translation, they have no idea when drives might be on sale, or when 4-layer discs might be available.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      And don't forget the cost - double the laser intensity usually means far more than double the price. The biggest question is what the market would be. Most home users don't produce that amount of data, and enterprises have other storage options. The big driver for the Blu-Ray market is movies and PS3 games. Is 100GB something they need/want? Sure if it came for free, but seriously if you looked at HDDVD30 vs BD50 you'd have a hard time telling them apart. Many of the BD titles carry some absurdly large 8-ch

  • Worthless. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jesdynf ( 42915 )

    No matter what the technical achivements, in the end you're still hooking it up to one of Sony's defective players. Pass.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sanosuke001 ( 640243 )
      How is this insightful? He said nothing. Sony's players are defective how? I have a PS3 and it plays BD movies. Doesn't seem defective to me. Also, you won't be hooking this up to a Sony player as it's a Sanyo product. Sanyo != Sony even though a lot of the letters are the same.

      You were an HD-DVD fanboy weren't you? Bitter that your format ate dirt? I can understand the viewpoint of HD vs. SD, cost vs. utility increase but the Sony bashers are just useless to any conversation. Yes, you don't like Sony. Y
      • by jesdynf ( 42915 )

        I couldn't care less about HD-DVD, so way to knock that straw man down. The part where perhaps I miss the difference betwen Sanyo and Sony? Rhetoric gold.

        The point is that Blu-Ray is defective by design, and it useful to remember it. Impeding the widespread adoption of Blu-Ray and the DRM-infected data formats that lay atop it is a worthwhile thing to do.

  • External hard drive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:19PM (#25274295)

    WD My Book Essential Edition External 1TB Hard Drive - $166.99 (link [pricegrabber.com]), enough to store 80 hours of High-Definition video (Lord of the Rings "extended edition" should fit in one).

    That's $16.70 each 100 GB - I bet that both: the player is more expensive that this external HD and each disk is more expensive that $16.70.

    The only reason one cannot easily use an external HDs to store and play video content is because the mainstream Movie Industry won't sell their movies in a non-DRM-encumbered format (say, XVid in an AVI wrapper) - after all, how would they force people to buy the same movies again and again with each new format if they went with an open data format ...

    That said, get a "Digital Media Player" with XVid/DivX support and HD capability and attach one of these external HDs. Then Rip and re-encode your movies (or don't re-encode - there's enough space for high-bitrate files in there) or get the HD version of the movie/tv-series from the Internet in a non-DRM-encumbered format (funny how the pirates provide a better product) and voila - days worth of movies and TV series at the touch of a button (with no pay-per-view charges).

    PS: Yes, I am sour that the dream of having your personal movie library accessible from you remote without moving anything but a finger is being hindered by the big studios ...

    • Unfortunately, the Big Studios' profits are hindered by your convenience. Yes, you bought Harry Potter: Double-Secret Book of ... Secrets, but if you don't pay for each and every viewing, how is the blue-collar stage hand or audio technician going to get paid?
    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      You'll keep buying them as data and pixel densities increase and SNR improves (yes, "digital" does not equal "perfect" and the algorithms can always be made better).

      Otherwise we'd all have Kinescope players at home and wonder why anyone would make a Blu-Ray drive...

      DRM isn't there to make you buy new stuff every few years. You'll do that anyway. It's there so you will buy the stuff from them instead of from the pirates.

  • Relevance (Score:2, Interesting)

    by anubis7733 ( 1377725 )
    I think that even though the actual drives born of this technology are still a couple of years away, it is a big step. You may argue that the drives will be crippled by being tied to Sony, or that nobody will be using optical media that large, but I say with the current trend these discs will be very welcome. Everything will shift to HD and now you can easily fit multiple HD movies on a single disc. This also allows for the easy and even redundant back-up of a hard drive. If it will only take 10 mins t
  • Sure.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by soulsteal ( 104635 ) <soulsteal.3l337@org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:22PM (#25274345) Homepage

    It can move a lot of data but is it shark-mountable?

  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @01:18PM (#25274989)

    Ok, this is great, but how fast can you spin them before they explode?

  • Surely reading a disk can be done by multiple lasers, each offset a little radially.

    I know it's not quite as good as having a laser-toting shark in your living room, but I would have thought that the lower power lasers might be cheaper.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev