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Blu-ray Capacity Increase Via Firmware

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the best-stuff-happens-in-software dept.

Data Storage 232

LordofEntropy writes "Blu-ray.com reports that Sony and Panasonic have announced a new optical disc evaluation technology that increases capacity from 25GB to 33.4GB. The tech uses existing Blu-ray diodes and is accomplished via firmware upgrade. The article says it is not known if and when the upgrade will be adopted into the Blu-ray spec. However, given that Sony and Panasonic are behind it, 'it will likely happen later this year.'"

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232 comments

The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta go! (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674884)

There's a little more than just a firmware upgrade involved here. This is a computationally-intensive process, which means the PS3 might be able to handle this, but the $100 player you got at Wal-Mart most certainly won't. Moore's Law means that this will become practical in the future, but this tech is definitely ahead of it's time.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675038)

Glad I purchased a PS3 then and not a cheap Wal-Mart garbage player!

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675082)

There's some logic to over-buying sometimes. PS3 has been compatible with every change to Blu-Ray such as BD Live. Some same-age players got left in the dust with that one.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675146)

There's some logic to over-buying sometimes.

Equally, before Christmas Walmart in some states were selling a blu-ray player for $55. You could buy a new player annually for five years and spend less than a PS3.

Of course the PS3 offers a lot more, but if you just want to watch Blu-Rays on your HDTV, over-buying is an expensive way to go about it.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (2, Insightful)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675430)

First blu-ray players didn't start at $50, there was a time when they cost as much or more then a ps3,

Second, and more importantly, Can your $50 Walfart special transfer movies to your psp so you can watch it on the plane, Or do you have to take the disk with you and risk scratching it?

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0, Troll)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675578)

Which would be great it electronic devices weren't banned in planes.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675700)

Thankfully that banning isn't world wide last I checked.

- A Non American

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676206)

Except they aren't. Unless you're referring to a jurisdiction other than the US. They tell you to turn them off during landing and takeoff, but they're not banned.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676478)

troll.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675762)

Second, and more importantly, Can your $50 Walfart special transfer movies to your psp so you can watch it on the plane, Or do you have to take the disk with you and risk scratching it?

Can my computer put the movie I downloaded of the internet for free put that movie onto my psp with cracked firmware? YES! Did I every have to deal with any blue-ray screw-the-customer-and-their-fair-use BS? NO!

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676212)

You said it. The reliable way to get content from your physical media
to your computer and then your portable player is a PC drive and the
necessary software to liberate the content.

Empty promises from the film industry don't change this.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676290)

Question. What device do you use to watch on your tv the movies you download off the internet? what device do you watch netflix MoD?

Personally I use my PS3.

The cheapest blu-ray player I've seen that can do DLNA is $200, You can get a PS3 for $250.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676398)

You could build a capable HTPC for much less than the cost of a PS3. In fact, you can get TVs that do it all over the network these days, so it doesn't really matter, the argument is still the same.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

RazzleDazzle (442937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676010)

I would guess not but since I dont have a PSP nor any interest in playing PS3 games I guess I am fine with not getting a PS3. Regular DVD quality video is fine enough for me if I am going to be watching it on a tiny portable player. I dont mind ripping blu ray to my laptop and watching it there or yes, just bring the disk, I have heard of and even seen these things you can place disks into so they dont get damaged and scratched. I think they are called "cases" but if they are unknown to you maybe they are not available where you live.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675472)

...buy a new player annually for five years

The consumer electronics industry lurvs Albanach.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (3, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675266)

This is why I got a quad core for my last upgrade. When I did I heard a lot of "yeah but you'll never use all those cores anyway." And now even browsers are being optimized for n-cores. :)

Of course being a programmer helps in judging some aspects of where software might be heading...

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675338)

And now even browsers are being optimized for n-cores. :)

For all the talk around this... I seldom see my browser consuming much CPU for any significant stretch of time. The exceptions are badly written javascript and Flash. The changes being made to browsers (re: multi core) are not so much focused on speed as stability.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675470)

For all the talk around this... I seldom see my browser consuming much CPU for any significant stretch of time. The exceptions are badly written javascript and Flash. The changes being made to browsers (re: multi core) are not so much focused on speed as stability.

I seldom see my browser consume more than 10% of the CPU, but damned if that thing isn't almost always the leader in Memory usage.

I'm sure it is so large due to caching, but I'm always urged to check what processes are running to make sure I have access to all that precious memory. Sure it isn't so precious now...Maybe it is a habit left over from the days from when you would tweak your autoexec.bat and config.sys files so that you could play a certain game.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675606)

Have you tried jsnes, the NES emulator written using nothing but Javascript and Canvas? Even on a 2GHz Athlon, it runs at 40fps in Chromium but only 2fps in Opera 10.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675312)

Now if they can just fix the PS3's godawful remote control (which you're stuck with since almost no universal remote supports bluetooth).

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676028)

Who says it has to be bluetooth? I'm sure someone could create a USB IR receiver that acts as a standard HID, so would work on the PS3 just like a controller. Besides, what's wrong with the PS3 BD remote? I happen to like it, and it's nice to not have to point it at the console.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (2, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675800)

There's some logic to under-buying too. My DVD player still plays every DVD that I've tried :)

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676076)

In all fairness, how many upgrades has the DVD-Video spec had? There have been some encryption upgrades, but AFAIK that's it. Blu-Ray has had far more upgrades.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676150)

There's also some logic to waiting until a standard actually finalizes before buying into it.

It seems like that BluRay is in a perpetual state of flux and that you would have to be a chump
to buy a player because either it will need an immediate firmware fix or some change will come
along to the spec to make your player unusable.

A cheap doorstop is better than an expensive one.

Nevermind the $100 players. What about the older more expensive ones. At least the cheap new
players might benefit from technological progress, Moore's law and cheaper components.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676218)

No, early versions of the PS3 can't handle the highest of the uber mega high end audio formats.

The HDMI port is physically too old to pump out teh 7.1 TRUE HD LOSSLESS MASTER bullshit.

Dunno if the Slim has been updated to HDMI 1.3 a(/b?) or 1.4. The original PS3 sits at HDMI 1.3 plain and only grabs the core stream for some of the audio formats and transcodes to 5.1 DTS. You can also do bitstream / linear PCM output, but only for 5.1 (not 7.1).

The PS3 also doesn't support some of the fancier color profiles (that no one will ever use) or increased color depth (that no one will ever use).

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676248)

or you can get a PC, which has been able to decode blu ray without even having a blu ray player.

So maybe you don't want to overbuy.

Again as usual, it's still easier to download than buy legit.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675116)

There's a little more than just a firmware upgrade involved here. This is a computationally-intensive process, which means the PS3 might be able to handle this, but the $100 player you got at Wal-Mart most certainly won't. Moore's Law means that this will become practical in the future, but this tech is definitely ahead of it's time.

Maybe even the PS3 can't handle it. After all, most of heavy work in decoding the data is not done on the PS3's copious CPU, but on the drive's dinky little processor.

Now, most drives have updatable firmware, so maybe that processor is powerful enough. The next issue becomes who's going to want to support the old obsolete products? That $99 Wal-mart player has maybe a year of firmware updates before it's obsolete and no updates will be released for it ever, even bug fixes.

That's why I recommend the PS3 as a blu-ray player, because it's going to be supported for a long time and receive bug fixes. Early DVD players often had trouble playing DVDs that were to spec, but using fancy DVD features that weren't well tested. There are probably many blu-ray features that aren't well tested either. A supported player with firmware updates will get fixes to support discs that use those features, but obsolete players... won't.

And there are a number of players already effectively obsolete (e.g., the very first blu-ray players with profile 1.0). So now if this spec is approved, will we be left with a bunch of players unable to use the new discs, forcing everyone into another hardware upgrade? Blu-ray is doing OK on its own, but forcing everyone with players to buy new ones seems like a non-starter...

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675356)

Are you perhaps a Sony stockholder? If so, you must disclose that fact. // Just be remindin...

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675580)

Ironically, people who bought PS2s to use them as DVD players back in the day were burned when it turned out the PS2 was a pretty marginal DVD player. Overlay (subtitle) support in particular was iffy on a lot of disks (flickering, improper fill, etc...).

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (4, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675702)

It varies. I bought a bargain-basement DVD that my regular DVD player(advent) wouldn't play right, but the PS2 with the same disc played it without a problem.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676250)

Alternately, I have two 150+ super-awesome-featured DVD players that won't play some DVDs that my $27.99 walmart special will... as a matter of fact, I have yet to come across a disc that it won't play. Every other player I've owned/own, they had problem with at least one disc.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675322)

astral here [astral-here.ucoz.ru]
but infact my friend buys PS3 in Ukraine about 50$ xD

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675744)

There's a little more than just a firmware upgrade involved here. This is a computationally-intensive process, which means the PS3 might be able to handle this, but the $100 player you got at Wal-Mart most certainly won't.

Moore's Law means that this will become practical in the future, but this tech is definitely ahead of it's time.

Sorry, ahead of it's time?

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675860)

Any data storage standard is a compromise between reliability and capacity. Sure, you can increase the capacity using existing hardware, but that makes it just that more unlikely that the disk will read back without errors on a different player. I already have a problem with DVDs written by a computer tracking on my DVD player, this would only make it worse. The increase in capacity ain't worth the decrease in reliability.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676310)

Any data storage standard is a compromise between reliability and capacity.

Not really.
Seems to me I can store a LOT of data on paper.
AND it works when the power's out, work in higher temperatures, is foldable, doesn't get eaten by magnets, is easily expandable, etc.

Any data storage standard is a compromise between reliability, speed, costs, and capacity.
Costs include the price of the storage, the readers/writers, the physical storage for the device (how big it is), operating costs (power, environmental restrictions etc.), waste, etc. etc.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676532)

Even with paper, readback suffers when you space the data too close together. You are correct though, the inverse relationship between higher speed and lower cost is also a factor when evaluating data storage, and for some applications a pen a paper are the optimal solution.

Re:The diodes can stay, but the processor's gotta (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676134)

You don’t make any sense. The capacity of the disk is not related to the bandwidth.
Think of fitting longer movies in there that are of the same quality that the shorter movies are: The top quality that is standardized as being playable by any standards-conforming player.
Or adding more languages, saving on production costs. Or adding other bonus material. Maybe a PS3 game demo. Maybe something else.

Per layer (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674892)

It should be noted that this is an increase of 25GB to 33.4GB per layer. Double layer blu-rays are already capable of storing 50 GB.

Re:Per layer (1)

ferrocene (203243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675490)

Indeed. It should be noted that Metal Gear Solid 4 uses every bit of the 50GB dual layer BD. It's a pretty massive game; they would benefit from this increase.

Re:Per layer (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675602)

So MGS4 was 429496729600 bits in size then?

Re:Per layer (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676376)

Yes. Yes it was.

(No, no it wasn't. And no, a BD-50 doesn't hold 50 GB of data, much like a DVD-18, DVD-10, DVD-9, and DVD-5 don't hold 18, 10, 9, and 5 GB of data respectively. That shit's based on the physical structure of the disc + a hokum delta + the 1024/1000 lie. It's not based on the the actual user-writable area.)

I just wanted to say yes to you because you used the proper calculation for GB. Your low UID brings a smile to my face. I won't have to repeat the same arguments over and over again to the same retards this time - I'll just point to good ol' 317.

Beyond that - MGS4 was terrrrrrrrrible.
How convoluted do you have to make the fucking story? How boring can you make the gameplay? It was technically proficient, sure. I don't even care that is has to install FOUR SEPARATE times. But fuuuuuuuuuck. The only MGS games that count are MGS and MGS 3. Maybe MGS5 will bring some sanity back to the story and improve the gameplay.

There's a likelyhood I'm about to post this. (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30674930)

They're calling this tech "Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation" because they couldn't get the trademark on "We'll go with our best guess what comes next."

Re:There's a likelyhood I'm about to post this. (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675008)

That's the best you could come up with in 3 minutes?

Re:There's a likelyhood I'm about to post this. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675052)

Nah, that's why I posted the other one first. And I actually had 15 minutes to prepare both.

When is 56K coming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675032)

No thanks. I'll wait for the 56K version. Oops! I mean the 56Gig version. Perhaps after formating
it might be a nice even 50Gig!

Also announced new encryption that needs it (4, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675078)

new optical disc evaluation technology that increases capacity from 25GB to 33.4GB

Unfortunately, they also announced that this 33% space increase will be used by their new DECE encryption [slashdot.org], "delivering greater flexibility, value, and security to consumers, without any extra cost, just a free firmware upgrade".

Re:Also announced new encryption that needs it (3, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675110)

I'm all for them upgrading their encryption rather than have them crying to courts that solving their encryption puzzle is illegal.

The next development... (4, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675128)

Microsoft also wants to participate in Blu-ray development- I heard the next release will be capable of 2 GB.

Re:The next development... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675816)

Microsoft also wants to participate in Blu-ray development- I heard the next release will be capable of 2 GB.

But the SVG rendering will be awesome!

Ps3 is the only reasonable player out (1)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675180)

So ps3 is still the best blue-ray player, the only one that will handle any kind of specification upgrade. (till they decide diodes should be purple or so)

Re:Ps3 is the only reasonable player out (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675230)

The diode is purple.
Next step would be UV...

But it draws more power. (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675404)

One downside to the PS3 as a blu-ray player is that it draws far more power than a standalone player. According to cnet, the PS3 draws 170W, while the BD-P1400 only uses 25W.

At that rate, the player would be drawing more power than my display.

Of course, unless you watch a lot of movies the difference is probably moot,

Re:But it draws more power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676540)

And CNET talk out their ass.

The latest PS3 Slim draws 75-80w. A mere 3x the power of a standalone...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10318727-1.html?tag=mncol;txt

Re:Ps3 is the only reasonable player out (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675680)

Not really... it's more like "Specification can be improved and changed as long as our blu-ray drives keep working." Same thing happened with the MVC specification (for 3D blu rays). It was approved only after Sony verified everything would work with the PS3.

Makes you wonder (4, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675242)

What else can be upgraded in capacity with a simple firmware upgrade

I have always been suspicious of some of those Seagate hard-drives, particularly the 1" CompactFlash style ones they used to make.

What other storage medium has been crippled for the convenience of being able to sell *exactly* the same chip/disk at different capacities with very different prices?

Re:Makes you wonder (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676226)

You’re making a bold statement by suggesting that it was intentionally crippled.

Why? Because technology never ever improves with time? Because CDs weren’s 640 MB at first, and my last drive could burn those 890 MB ones?

How about they just found a better encoding scheme? Or noticed that they can leave out some error correction without harming the reliability?

Or how about *gasp* you actually finding out what the improvement is, before making stupid assumptions?

Re:Makes you wonder (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676456)

What other storage medium has been crippled for the convenience of being able to sell *exactly* the same chip/disk at different capacities with very different prices?

Single-sided floppy disks.
Not that it helps you much today...

Pushing the spec... (2, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675264)

How far could the spec be pushed using a decent CD-ROM laser. Could you squeeze 1GB out of a CD drive that was specked to 700MB before?

How about a DVD drive, could you make a 5.5GB single layer DVD disc?

I am curious to know...

Re:Pushing the spec... (0, Offtopic)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675352)

I can already put a Gig on a CD, It's called winzip.

Re:Pushing the spec... (2, Insightful)

lhbtubajon (469284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675482)

Awesome! I have a one GB mp4 that I'd like your help getting onto a CD-ROM...

Also, a GB of JPEGs and a GB of FLACs.

Thanks so much.

Re:Pushing the spec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675664)

no problem, just lemme transcode in something more suitable for you like xvid and mp3 and lower the res on jpg.

or are you above rest and only deserve 'perfect quality'? in that case better forget computers for a while at least.

Re:Pushing the spec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675834)

Ok forget mp3, I have 1 GB of PDF files. Can you help with it?

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676414)

Ok forget mp3, I have 1 GB of PDF files. Can you help with it?

The only way to solve your PDF problem is to commit suicide. I do this as a weekly cleanse, as I have to use PDF files at work.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675970)

You know, you could have just said "how about without file compression?" instead of being a dick about it.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676476)

You know, you could have just said "how about without file compression?" instead of being a dick about it.

But, as quite a few women will tell you if you ask the right way, dicks can be a lot of fun.

Re:Pushing the spec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30675414)

you could always overburn. And there was plextor's gigarec though it gives piss poor results

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675484)

You can get 99 minute (880 MB) CD-R.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676424)

You can get 99 minute (880 MB) CD-R.

I'd like to see you find them (you are welcome to time travel to back when they were available) and get them to WORK.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676504)

You can get 99 minute (880 MB) CD-R.

True, but compatibility is very flakey [stason.org]. AFAIK, the spirals on 99 minute CDs are very tightly packed, way beyond the CD spec, and some players won't read them because they're beyond the spec's absolute upper limit of 80 minutes.

IIRC 99 minute ones are worse than 90 minutes; probably not worth the hassle in either case.

I've also heard of proprietary methods that are able to squeeze more pits onto a standard CD, which are totally incompatible with ordinary CD players, and came out around the time DVDs were getting popular, so did nothing anyway. Interesting idea, though.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675496)

I think you could probably put a GB of stuff on a CD if I remember correctly. There is extra room on a CD for error correcting and compensating for scratching of the disks. I imagine you'll end up with a lot more coasters if you wanted it that way.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675706)

Sure, just burn a 90 minute CD in Mode-2 and you'll get around 950MB worth of data on it. You'll also probably have a disc that almost nobody can read, and will be very prone to data loss due to physical damage.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675566)

How far could the spec be pushed using a decent CD-ROM laser. Could you squeeze 1GB out of a CD drive that was specked to 700MB before?

How about a DVD drive, could you make a 5.5GB single layer DVD disc?

I am curious to know...

I have bought a handful of 900MB CDRs

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675654)

There are already writable CD's that can hold 870 MB by default, but they're not compatible with all CD drives: http://www.oystertechnologies.com/products.html#cdr870 [oystertechnologies.com] . 700 MB discs are common and compatible.

Additionally, you can choose to lose the error correction information in favor of more disc space. For each 2048 bytes, there are actually 2352 bytes used on the disc. if you burn a disc in Video CD format, instead of storing error information in those 350 bytes, data is saved - this makes it possible to write about 800 MB on a 700 MB CD (maybe more, i'm not sure) but if you scratch it, the drive will not be able to recover data under that scratch.

Based on this reasoning, I don't see why a 870 MB disc couldn't use the error recovery bytes to store up to around 1 GB of actual data.

So yes, you can but why bother when a recordable CD or DVD is very cheap?

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675662)

AFAIK DVD and CD-ROM use similar red lasers. But the filesystem is often different (ISO 9660 vs UDF) and other things like that. There were proposals at the time Bluray was launched to have higher-density DVD using red lasers. Even the Chinese made some specs [peopledaily.com.cn] like this. But it lost out because the improved storage was not large enough to justify buying a new drive. Not to mention getting content in the format. Sony jump started Bluray adoption by adding it to every PS3 sold.

Re:Pushing the spec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676326)

FYI: CD ROM uses IR laser while DVD uses a RED laser. Red is not "similar" to Infra Red/

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675708)

Well, CDs use 14 physical bits for each 8 bits of data - the extra data being error correcting information. If you're willing to sacrifice some of that then you could store more data that way with a firmware upgrade. Not the same technique of course.

The same basic hardware can be used to read more data. Sega's GDROM drive in the Dreamcast used CD-ROM parts so I suspect that you probably could store more data just by adjusting some timing.

Re:Pushing the spec... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676332)

I have burned my share of 890MB CD-Rs. WITH error correction that is! (Not that Mode 2 trick. That would have given me even more!)

Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30675874)

The Blu Ray spec is cast in stone - 25Gb single layer or 50Gb dual layer. There is not a chance in hell that video disks are going to appear supporting some other scheme unless it was backwards compatible. Even if every player was firmware upgradeable (unlikely), not every manufacturer would issue patches and only a small % of users would bother even if they did. There is no chance this would fly.

The only place where the tech seems viable is for PS3s and games. Sony control the firmware so they can make PS3s read any format they like. The biggest issue is not every PS3 owner is internet connected to receive updates so if they just push new disks out some PS3s won't read them. Ordinarily, they'd put a mandatory firmware update on the disk, but the disk is unreadable without the firmware... So Sony probably have to ensure that firmware is pushed out beforehand or pack DVDs in with the game with the necessary firmware.

Re:Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676070)

The spec already changed. It's called 3D Blu Ray and it's coming out later this year.

I can imagine they will almost certainly require the extra space now that each movie will be pressed at double the data rate it was before.

Re:Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676198)

Well honestly, I would question how much bluray video disks would benefit from this anyway. I guess it would mean that you could squeeze more episodes per disc for TV shows, but that doesn't seem like a huge deal. The real benefit would most likely be to people who are using bluray as a data storage medium. I assume that there are some people out there doing this, using bluray as an archival format?

Re:Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (2, Interesting)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676230)

How about those fancy audio CDs that have multiple partitions on them? Play them on an old CD player and they play fine, put them in your Apple and two nice icons pop-up.

New technology doesn't necessarily mean backwards incompatible. It just means new ways to think of something.

Encryption updates? (0, Troll)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676242)

Any chance this firmware update is first in an ongoing ploy to keep the encryption methods overhauled?
Promising to increase size and compatibility, even when the majority of people won't benefit from it, is a pretty big carrot to get Joe Consumer to flash an entertainment device. These days even my grandparents understand that having a higher version number means something good.

Waiting for the "oh sorry, your player is not compatible with this update, here's a $50 coupon towards a new one (.*.that won't read burned discs.*.)" message.

Re:Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (2, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676470)

It's possible they could release a dual-mode disc, where a small part of it is encoded in the old format, including firmware to upgrade to the new PS3 firmware, and then the rest is encoded in the new format. Put disc in, "please update", finish updating, bam, game is playable. The user would probably never even realize that the disc was encoded in a different format (mandatory firmware updates are pretty much the norm on modern game consoles.)

Re:Only PS3 games are likely to benefit (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676548)

Even if every player was firmware upgradeable (unlikely), not every manufacturer would issue patches and only a small % of users would bother even if they did. There is no chance this would fly.

I believe being firmware upgradable is a requirement.
I believe players are supposed to accept firmware upgrades on the discs themselves as well.

So when you buy a new disc pressed after your Daewoo BluRay player got hacked and had the decryption keys extracted, the disc won't refuse to play, it'll force an update. The update will scan your player, find out what it is, and issue new keys. Or some such.

They actually did put revocation of keys into the spec. And it actually is in use - WinDVD or PowerDVD or whatever it is went through like 5 million required updates back when BluRay ripping was getting off the ground because hackers would just hook into the memory and pull the keys out. The update would move / hide / obfuscate the keys, and the hackers would do it again.

If the current players can't read any section of the new discs, then yeah, they'll need to include an update disc with every disc for a while and work their asses off getting retailers and consumers up to speed.

But I agree - I don't think there's anyway in hell they're going to black list a big swath of standalone players, nor will they release a new wave of incompatible discs (be it because of revoked keys or because of a new encryption scheme).

There was a SHITSTORM when Titanic came out on DVD because it was the first major dual layer release and tons of players couldn't deal with it.

Surely they've learned from this.

In other news.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676180)

people apparently still care about optical media. Who knew?

Can we please let it die now? Please?

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