A group of consumer electronics producers have approved a new format of dics that can store five time more data of DVDs at the same cost. The group said that is has approved version 1.0 of the BD-ROM format, and made it available to disc manufacturers.
This standard is named Blu-ray, because it uses a blue laser instead of a red one, which is at the moment used for DVD reading and recording. Blu-ray is designed to store 25GB on a single-layered dics.
It is aimed at recording and storing high-definition video which studios, video renters and retailers see as a major growth opportunity for the home video market in coming years.
The founders' group has 13 members comprising the leading names in consumer electronics and computing, among them Sony Corp., Philips, Thomson, Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.
The Blu-ray format those companies are backing is expected to compete with another blue-laser standard, HD DVD, backed by NEC Corp. and Toshiba Corp.
Players, computer drives and software compatible with the Blu-ray format are expected by the end of 2005. Microsoft stated last month that their next-gen Windows OS, Longhorn, would be compatible with HD DVD. But they didn't say whether it would support Blu-ray or not.