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Three HD Layers Today, Ten Layers Tomorrow

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the screw-everything-we're-going-eleven-layers dept.

Data Storage 117

Marcus Yam writes "While Toshiba has publicly announced its achievement of developing a triple-layer HD DVD-ROM (read only) disc with a capacity of 51 gigabytes, Ritek is disclosing behind closed doors at CES its own achievements in multi-layer HD optical media. Ritek claims to not only have been able to produce a three-layer and four-layer HD optical discs, but to have successfully designed HD media with a full 10 layers. The company says that its multi-layer process can be applied to both HD DVD and Blu-ray formats."

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ah ha (0)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567102)

Ritek is disclosing behind closed doors at CES its own achievements in multi-layer HD optical media.

not any more!

Re:ah ha (2, Funny)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567326)

Luckily, there are windows in those doors.

So... (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567110)

170 gigs per disk? Make it writeable/cheap and I'm on that train/boat/whatever.

Re:So... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567268)

Me too. But DVD-Rs were also supposed to be multi-layer and yet the only ones available are the single layer, so why will the HD-DVD market be different in that only commercial presses will be the only ones to make use of multiple layers for more storage?

Indeed, my at home archival solution of 4.3 GB DVD-Rs is becoming painful just for my data. If I figure $25 dollars for a case of 50 DVD-Rs, I can archive about (4.3*200) 860GB for $100 which isn't including time spent burning and the hassle labeling/bringing individual DVDs back into the tray. Since Pricewatch has 500GB harddrives listed at around $150 and external firewire for a little more than that - it's obvious harddrives will soon overtake regular DVDs for the economically minded and already have for the ones who prize convenience.

I hope a better, cheaper solution will come along.

Re:So... (2)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567404)

What rock have you been hiding under? I have a dual layer dvd+/-r burner in my powermac. It came equipped with this drive well over a year ago when I bought it. And Apple was late to the game with dual layer burners. Dual layer media is still a bit expensive for my taste, so I usually use single layer discs - but it's certainly EASILY available. Go to any staples or best buy and you'll see tons of these things.

Re:So... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567642)

I have a dual layer dvd+/-r burner in my powermac. It came equipped with this drive well over a year ago when I bought it.

You might want to double-check that drive of yours - chances are it only supports dual-layer DVD+R, not DVD-R like the OP was talking about. Dual-layer DVD-R discs are a much newer spec than DL DVD+R.

Re:So... (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567714)

Dual layer dvd-r was introduced in 2005. It's not all that recent. That said, I can't check my powermac at the moment because I'm 800 miles away, and I don't recall the exact model of drive that shipped with the machine.

Re:So... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568182)

That and the main problem is that you can buy dual layer disks, +/-/whatever, who cares, but they are 5 times the price of a single layer disc, so it's not that economical. It's a little more convenient, but most of the time 4.7 GB is enough space for your data.

how much space for storage is enough? (2, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568730)

It's a little more convenient, but most of the time 4.7 GB is enough space for your data.

I have more than 160GB on my hdds. If I go through all of my files and delete those I think I may not need anymore I may be able to reduce my backup needs to 100GB, so I'd still need 20 single layer dvds to backup everything. And when I finally get a dslr camera my storage needs will be a lot higher. Now I realize not many people have these storage requirements, but there are some who do.

Falcon

Re:how much space for storage is enough? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571202)

But for those storage needs a DL DVD isn't enough either, you need a lot of them either way. And given that the price per gigabyte is more than twice for DL DVD, it's an easy decision.

BTW, I guess many of those files will not change any more, so if you archive them once (or maybe twice, to be sure), you can skip them in future backups (except if your media fails - with two backups, you then can just make a fresh copy of the non-failed media).

Re:how much space for storage is enough? (1)

shabble (90296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571644)

It's a little more convenient, but most of the time 4.7 GB is enough space for your data.
I have more than 160GB on my hdds. If I go through all of my files and delete those I think I may not need anymore I may be able to reduce my backup needs to 100GB, so I'd still need 20 single layer dvds to backup everything. And when I finally get a dslr camera my storage needs will be a lot higher. Now I realize not many people have these storage requirements, but there are some who do.
Slightly related to this: How the terabyte drive could end the DVD wars [guardian.co.uk]

Let joy be unconfined! Hitachi has announced that it will introduce, in the next three months, a one-terabyte drive for desktop computers. Just to expand, that's one thousand gigabytes of storage, which you'll be able to buy for about $400 in the US (and, if experience is any guide, £400 in the UK), or about 40c/GB. Seagate plans a similar 1TB delight by the summer.
...

Salvation lies in the next-generation DVD formats. Not, however, in the way that the electronics makers want to tout to us. They'd like us to buy read-only high-definition discs that can store between 15GB and 50GB, and cost around $1/GB. Sorry, but that's useless to me. I want writable ones - for making backups. It's nice of Hitachi and Seagate to tempt us with so much space to fill. But we need sturdy egg boxes to put all our high-tech, personal eggs. If you want to know who'll win the high-def DVD war, it's the one which offers a writable version first. Geeks will leap on it for their hefty backups. It'll sell. And the market will take over. Meanwhile, I'll start saving up for that terabyte drive.

DVD-Rs hold a bit more than 4.3 GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17568108)

A DVD-R can hold 4.37 GiB which turns out to be about 4.7 GB. Also have you considered DVD+R DL ?

Re:So... (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568644)

Me too. But DVD-Rs were also supposed to be multi-layer and yet the only ones available are the single layer, so why will the HD-DVD market be different in that only commercial presses will be the only ones to make use of multiple layers for more storage?

You can get double or dual layer dvd drives now. Unfortunately I've only been able to find any for Windows and Macs but none for Linux, which I have been looking for.

Indeed, my at home archival solution of 4.3 GB DVD-Rs is becoming painful just for my data.

That's why I've been looking for one, for backup and archiving purposes. I have two hdds in the PC I'm using now, one 40GB and the other 120GB for a total of 160GB. Both of these were full when I started transferring my file to a new PC. My new Linux box has two hdds also, one 40GB and the other 750GB. It would take up more than 15 disks to backp the whole 750 GB drive using single layer disks.

Since Pricewatch has 500GB harddrives listed at around $150 and external firewire for a little more than that - it's obvious harddrives will soon overtake regular DVDs for the economically minded and already have for the ones who prize convenience.

I've thought about external hdds, usb2 or firewire, for backup but I'm wondering how long they'll last for. Also if you have a comprehensive backup plan, you'll need one hdd or set of disks on site and a second one stored offsite.

Falcon

Re:So... (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571962)

Also if you have a comprehensive backup plan [...]

But for home users, anything that resembles a backup at all is typically a vast improvement over the nothing that tends to be done. Cloning your PC to a large external drive once a month and storing it in a fireproof lockbox is plenty secure enough for Joe Average.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567468)

I'm not. They can't even make single-layer DVD-Rs that can be written reliably with all drives. I wouldn't put anything of value on a multi-layer HD-DVD. Besides, even at 170 per disc, it would still take three media to backup one harddisk. Call me when they have a reliable WORM medium for less than $10 with at least the capacity of a <$100 harddisk.

multilayer hd dvd (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568520)

170 gigs per disk? Make it writeable/cheap and I'm on that train/boat/whatever.

Make them rewritable and cost not much more than wr disks are now and I'll board. Ooh and have a driver for Linux.

Falcon

Re:multilayer hd dvd (1)

Skidge (316075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569416)

Ooh, and if the can fold my clothes, then I'm on board.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17571934)

Perhaps this is a stupid comment but... how will 10 layers even fit in a (HD) DVD player?!

Ritek? (2, Insightful)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567116)

10 layer DVDs from Ritek?

When I've seen lists of various qualities of CDs, Ritek was usually near the bottom.

I wonder how they rank on DVDs. I've used Ritek DVD+RW and never had more problems with them than other DVD+RW media.

Re:Ritek? (4, Informative)

excelblue (739986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568170)

Many of the lists are just quite picky. If you take a look, most of the good ones are extremely hard to obtain. Of all the ones you could easily find, Ritek is probably one of the best of them (with the exception of Taiyo Yuden).

Their CDs come in about the quality of their DVD+RW's - that is, although they're not made to the quality of the best CDs, they rarely fail. Out of a spindle of 100 Ritek's, I get an average of about 2-3 coasters. Compare that with the average of 10-20 coasters per 100 of CMC's, or even more with the Moser Baer ones.

So, they're not that bad of a company. When comparing media that you could generally find anywhere, they're quite close to the top.

Re:Ritek? (3, Informative)

greylion3 (555507) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569412)

When choosing which media to buy, you have to take your DVD-burner into account.
I did that, and ended up buying Memorex 8x DVD-R with mediacode CMC MAG AE1, for my Hivision DRW3S121 (which is really a LiteOn 1213S with a slightly different firmware).

I bought 200 of them, I have burned 110 or so by now, and I've had ZERO coasters. Of course, they were all burned with dvd+rw-tools in Linux(Debian), which might be why I have such good "mileage" with DVD-burning.

This website; http://www.videohelp.com/dvdmedia [videohelp.com] was a great help for determining which ones to buy.

PS: I remember Ritek as total crap from when I bought CD-R discs, so I avoid them like the plague. Ritek had their chance, and they blew it. Completely. Never again.

Re:Ritek? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568698)

They must be write-only disks

screams of bullshit (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567152)

another tech company crying to investment. take careful notice of the wording "designed" meaning they haven't made one yet.

How many good investments don't start out that way (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567422)

This sounds like a classic good way to secure investment:

a) show actual proof of product concept (well, let's hope it is actual)
b) get investment
c) ??? oh wait, ??? is now solved... investments lead to factory production!
d) profit!!!

Re:How many good investments don't start out that (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567790)

no, they make it seem like they have already developed one.

Re:screams of bullshit (2, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568456)

Oh my god, you are right! I've successfully designed a flying car that can fly out of my ass.

-1 Redundant (5, Funny)

kjots (64798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567170)

While Toshiba has publicly announced its achievement of developing a triple-layer HD DVD-ROM (read only) disc...

Wow, a read-only ROM. Who'da thunk it?

</deadpan-mode>

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567818)

Well, it is better than a WOM...

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

Manchot (847225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568728)

Yes, it seems to be another instance of RAS syndrome [wikipedia.org] .

Wow! (0, Offtopic)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567230)

That's a lot of monkey spanking porn to put on ten layers. Is there enough? :P

a little misleading (5, Insightful)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567232)

FTA
"Ritek claims to not only have been able to produce a three-layer and four-layer HD optical discs, but to have successfully designed HD media with a full 10 layers."

"While those numbers do sound impressive, Ritek officials point out that the real barrier to this advancement is the lack of reader and writer laser diode technology to support the additional eight layers above the current standard."

I feel that the phrase I've highlighted kind of diminish their announcement. The summary implied to me that they were already able to prototype these new discs

Re:a little misleading (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568544)

Bah, it's easy to make a ten layer optical disk if you don't have to worry about the reader. Why all you need is ten regular disks, a ten ton press, some heat, and a can of soda (for refreshment purposes while you wait).

e;p!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567242)

Mark your calendars (4, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567280)

Combined with this story [slashdot.org] , I declare today, Thursday, January 11th 2007 to be the greatest news day in /. history.

Going a bit too far here? (4, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567288)

What on earth happened to thinking like "640k ought to be enough for anybody"? Sometimes I think that rapid advances like this hurt programmers. If we have 100 GB discs, what encouragement do we have to make movies in 2160p that fit in 15 GB?

Making the box bigger makes it harder to think outside the box. Being unable to think outside the box kills creativity.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567334)

If the box keeps getting bigger, eventually the walls don't matter.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (2, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567496)

Excuse me, did you just complain about movie bloat?

If this is some sort of troll, you need to make it less plausible. This is Slashdot.

If this is serious, you need to be slapped around a bit.

Either way, I got a belly laugh out of it, so thanks.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567612)

Movie bloat isn't as stupid as you think. As I'm sure many HDTV pirates are aware, it's quite possible to fit a 720p movie onto a DVD by using decent compression. So why do we need these new, highly inconvenient disc formats? Is going from 720 to 1080 really worth going from $50 players to $500?

Re:Going a bit too far here? (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567674)

Movie bloat isn't as stupid as you think. As I'm sure many HDTV pirates are aware, it's quite possible to fit a 720p movie onto a DVD by using decent compression. So why do we need these new, highly inconvenient disc formats? Is going from 720 to 1080 really worth going from $50 players to $500?
Fine, I'll spell out why movie "bloat" is a stupid thing to worry about. Well, actually, since I don't want to type it I'll give it to you in algorithm form:

1. Think of a reason program bloat is bad.
2. Realize it doesn't apply to movies.
3. Repeat until you run out of reasons.
Pirates are in for a shock if they think the next generation of movies are going to compress that much better; one of the reasons for the new formats is that they are going to start out by using the same codecs the pirates have been using. No more shrinking a movie by 75% with minimal quality loss (although I can still tell the difference); you're going to have to make harder choices about quality vs. resolution. (Actually, I expect the pirates who are distributing the movies already realize this; I hope they're steeling themselves for the bitching to come when the next generation doesn't work that way...)

Oh, and finally, there's a world of difference between "squeezing" a high-def movie onto a DVD, with visible quality degradation, and fitting one onto one of the new high-capacity disks, which at a decent quality still doesn't leave much room left over on the disk. Squeezing a DVD onto a CD is a cute parlor trick, and certainly works far, far better than it has any right to, but if you can't see the quality degradation you either lack the equipment or lack the discrimination. (I don't consider the latter to be a problem; in fact I tend to encourage people not to try to attain that sort of discrimination since it pretty much only leads to pain. Nevertheless, the differences are there.) And like I said, it's not going to be as big a win this time around; nothing will stop you from trying to squeeze a full HD moving onto a DVD5 or DVD9, because the codecs will pretty much let you use any bitrate you want, but it's not going to be without cost this time, and I expect most such movies will end up with their resolutions cut down in practice.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568064)

Going from 1920x1080 to 1280x720 itself is a HUGE jump. You're talking about 2.25 more times data in a 1080p stream than a 720p one. Sure, no one's expecting NO quality loss when going from a 30GB HD-DVD disc to a 8.4GB DVD, but with some reasonable quality loss, it sure is better than paying $500 for a new player!

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569006)

Well, personally, I'm pretty happy with straight DVDs upsampled to 1650x1050 (my laptop screen), so I don't really disagree. But there definitely is a quality difference; the one HD video I've ever watched (not "HD-DVD" per se, just a high-resolution video file) was definitely an improvement over up-sampled DVDs. It's just... I don't really care that much.

(The interlacing is annoying, especially in cartoons like Futurama. Going to "p" from "i" would be enough to make me happy.)

Re:Going a bit too far here? (4, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568366)

No more shrinking a movie by 75% with minimal quality loss (although I can still tell the difference); you're going to have to make harder choices about quality vs. resolution.

Unresampled HD movies are already all over the Usenet, at ~12GB each, which is about 7-8 hours of downloading on a 5Mbit connection. As connection speeds rapidly increase, this will become more of a non-issue.

At any rate, your observation is a bit off. Say we compress a 16x16 (256 pixel) image to an 8x8 (16 pixel) image, that's 1/4 the size. If you are satisfied with that 8x8 image, then there's no reason you can't compress a 128x128 image down to 8x8 as well, and in fact, it will look better because there was more information there to start with, which makes the interpolation more accurate. It's the quality of the source material which determines the quality of the result. The higher the quality you start with the better any compressed material will look.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568580)

At any rate, your observation is a bit off. Say we compress a 16x16 (256 pixel) image to an 8x8 (16 pixel) image, that's 1/4 the size. If you are satisfied with that 8x8 image, then there's no reason you can't compress a 128x128 image down to 8x8 as well, and in fact, it will look better because there was more information there to start with, which makes the interpolation more accurate. It's the quality of the source material which determines the quality of the result. The higher the quality you start with the better any compressed material will look.

Ok, a couple of things. First of all, it's quantization, not interpolation. Second of all, it depends on the original signal. If the signal has low entropy, it might not matter how many bits you sample it with. It's not a simple function of the better your input, the better your output. The grandparent's point about not shrinking by 75% refers to the fact that while you can fit a feature length movie on a CD with an MPEG-4 encoder such as XViD, that's not as easy with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray because both already use MPEG-4, so the gains won't be as dramatic.

As an aside, MPEG-4 is pretty remarkable in and of itself... and its nice to see that innovation in video compression has advanced, even though we've basically hit the limit with audio compression.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571524)

A good mpeg2 HD movie is about 16-20GB off Usenet. You have to cut that by half to put it on a DVD... which isn't that hard really. Go to mpeg4, increase the compression until it fits.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569124)

As connection speeds rapidly increase, this will become more of a non-issue.
I agree, except with the word "rapidly". Having made the jump to "megabit", I haven't noticed my connection speed going up a heck of a lot since then; certainly nothing like my MIPs jumps.

If you are satisfied with that 8x8 image, then there's no reason you can't compress a 128x128 image down to 8x8 as well, and in fact, it will look better because there was more information there to start with, which makes the interpolation more accurate.
If you boil your claim down, you're basically claiming that we can reduce the resolution without throwing out information, which is, along with being "not true", also nonsense.

Determining the exact cutoff would depend on your definitions of various terms, but certainly, shrinking a 128x128 original to 8x8 vs. shrinking a 64x64 original to 8x8 will have no effective difference; depending on your algorithm it may actually come out exactly the same. It is true you need "good pixels", and DVDs upsample so well because they have "good pixels" (vs. the pirated, shrunken MPEG4 movies that have just barely-good-enough pixels at their native resolutions and suck horribly when upsampled), but both an HD-DVD movie shrunk to postage-stamp video and a DVD movie shrunk to postage-stamp video are going to look the same: postage stamp video.

Downsampling == losing information; in fact, that's basically the definition of downsampling if you're careful enough with your terminology. It doesn't matter if you're shrinking a 25GB source to 600MB or a 5GB source to 600MB; you can still only "squeeze" 600MB of information into that 600MB. You gotta pay the piper.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572720)

The higher the quality you start with the better any compressed material will look.

True, but not accurate. If I am rounding to the third decimal, I get the same answer whether my source is 45.952456687321, or 45.95245668732156654687651684357. Granted, video compression is more complicated than that, but for what you are suggesting, it's comparable. That being said, you are entirely correct: if you are happy with a low end format now, you will be happy with it tomorrow.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568374)

... but if you can't see the quality degradation you either lack the equipment or lack the discrimination. (I don't consider the latter to be a problem; in fact I tend to encourage people not to try to attain that sort of discrimination since it pretty much only leads to pain.

A depressing insight. True for most anything in life, I'm afraid.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570152)

The long and short of it, what you're discussing is the finer points of the extreme high-end. Do you know what a native 1080p24 MPEG2 TS / H.264, 720p reencode, HR (540p) reencode have in common? They all eat DVDs for breakfast quality-wise. A HDTV movie (1920x1080) is about 6x the pixels of a DVD (720x480). A DVD-rip of a HDTV movie is about 6x larger than a CD (4.3GB vs 700MB). That too "works far, far better than it has any right to". Yes, you'll see some degradation compared to the original, but the DVD-rip is so incredibly far ahead of the DVD, which is the standard 96% of the people will compare themselves to. And if you're desperate you can always get the full HDTV movie, just like you today can get the full DVD (that is, if AACS is circumvented, though there's also high def broadcasts). If anything the point is much weaker because I do see the difference between a DVD and CD-rip. HDTV and DVD-rip? Well, maybe on a 1080p display doing a side-by-side comparison, but it's nowhere near as noticable.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570838)

Being big is no defence against piracy, and working less and less all the time.

Once upon a time, the industry thougth nooone would pirate CDs because they're 700 freaking MBs HUGE.

Fast-forward a few years, and people use mp3 to compress them to like 60MB, which degrades quality, but people don't care. A 128kbps mp3 is "good enough" for most consumers, despite being markedly worse than the original.

Fast-forward a few more years, and downloading 700MB is trivial, so people start sharing full, uncompressed (or FLAC-compressed) cds in full quality. At the same time they also start sharing movies in compressed quality since those are similarily large.

Already, there is a lot of DVD-quality (4-10GB) movie-sharing going on, despite them not being all that much better than a well-compressed 1GB version of the same films.

If future movies are 100GB/movie, people will either compress them until they're small enough to be reasonably shared, a 10GB version of a 100GB movie is going to be "good enough" for most people even if it ain't like the original. Or, a few years later, they trivially share the 100GB.

Bandwith and storage goes up more than movie-storage-requirements do. When DVDs where introduced, around 1995 most people hadn't ever tried the internet. 5 years after the introduction many had modem-dialups to the internet. Capable of 20MB/hour or 250 hours for a single-layer DVD. Obviously impractical.

Now, 10 years later (give or take) Blue-Ray and HD-DVD are being introduced with around 10 times the capacity. The typical bandwith of a home-user is in the range of 3-20Mb/s, which means a 50GB blueray disc is downloadable in 5-30 hours.

So, basic line: *TODAY* at the *START* of the HD-DVD and blueray introduction, downloading them is already more practical than it was to download a DVD-movie 5 years *after* the DVD-introduction. I predict in 5 years 100Mb/s will be common at home, so by that time you'll be able to download a 50GB blueray-disc in original quality in an hour, or alternatively, stream it live. (and a 10GB compressed version of a 50GB original in 10 minutes, which'll be good enough for most people)

Ok, so maybe it'll take somewhat longer in the USA. I understand you guys still live in the stone-age when home-networking is concerned. Where I live we just decided to install fiber-to-the-home in the entire neighbourhood (converted to GB ethernet in the basement of each house), and this is an old neighbourhood with lots of old people, not a young hip and trendy one. The *slowest* speed available today is 6Mb/s (symetrical), the fastest 100Mb, but the latter is limited basically only by demand. (i.e. noone is interested in paying for more than 100Mb to the home presently)

Anyone who thinks 50-100GB size will deter piracy is in for the shock of their lives.

For music it's even more obvious.

  • People have stopped downloading songs. Too much hassle.
  • Some people have stopped downloading albums. Too much hassle.
  • More popular are stuff like: "Rolling Stones - complete discography.flac.zip"
  • I'm even starting to see this in movies (porn first offcourse!) people are sharing stuff like: "Devon - complete filmography" rather than individual films.

In a few years, you're gonna get Star_wars_complete.blueray.zip (1.5TB) and noone will even flinch.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572418)

The *slowest* speed available today is 6Mb/s (symetrical)
This is bullshit and you know that as well. :P Maybe in your apartment block it is, or in certain (maybe rather big, but still probably quite limited) parts of Oslo, but not for the majority.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17573142)

I didn't mean to claim 6MB is in *general* the slowest speed available in Norway today. It certianly ain't. The slowest, if we ignore dialup-modems is 256kbps adsl, but there's few adsl-subscribers with less than 756kbps.

6Mbps is however the lowest speed offered by Lyse, which is the current provider for my neighbourhood (not in Oslo by the way), they offer 6, 20 and 50 Mbps over fiber to neighbourhoods, and over adsl2 to individual households. Those with fiber get symetric capacity, those with adsl2 get asymetric capacity and an order of magnitude less upload than download.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567684)

If we have 100 GB discs, what encouragement do we have to make movies in 2160p that fit in 15 GB? Making the box bigger makes it harder to think outside the box. Being unable to think outside the box kills creativity

Don't underestimate the "bandwidth" of FedEx. Cheaper delivery to the home than fiber.

The audience doesn't go shopping for the programmer's bleeding-edge tech. The audience goes shopping for a movie.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567690)

Making the box bigger doesn't make it harder to think outside the box, it allows you to store in HD a full season of a show on one shiny disc instead of just one movie.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567992)

Aren't the rapid advances made by thinking outside the box? Or you just want them to think slower so you can catch up....

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569764)

> what encouragement do we have to make movies in 2160p that fit in 15 GB?

The maximum amount of data we can transfer per second from those units.
I've read everywhere that current HD DVD drives are slower than DVDs, and you're
limited by USB/Firewire speeds anyway for some upcoming computer-connectable players.

Re:Going a bit too far here? (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572954)

Making the box bigger makes it harder to think outside the box. Being unable to think outside the box kills creativity.

[vox Yoda]Lack of creativity leads to prophecies of doom, and such prophecies are tools of the Dark Side.[/vox]

Come off it, you're seriously suggesting that better tools stifle creativity? Increases in storage space are a Good Thing. The ideal (as anybody who works regularly with digital photos or video will tell you) is uncompressed. No loss, no artifacts, much easier to work with... the only drawback is large files. Huge files. MASSIVE files. Compression doesn't exist because it is a good idea for its own sake, compression exists because current storage options aren't realistic for delivery of uncompressed files.

And this says nothing of the creativity that goes into making a 5" shiny disc hold 100GB in the first place. No, I do believe I'll hold off on the "immanent death predicted" sandwich board.

The Cowboy's Comment (1)

hoovs (44014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567306)

I think Cowboy Neal was paying homage to my favorite Onion article [theonion.com] ever, with the dept title "screw-everything-we're-going-eleven-layers dept". Read it, the article is great.

10 Layers? (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567316)

And all I want are two... One blu-ray, one HD-DVD, both on the same disk. Then this whole stupid war can finish already.

Re:10 Layers? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567462)

They can dump both HD-DVD *and* Blu-Ray, for all I care, and movies in general. Just give me a reliable, high-capacity, cheap removable storage for my own data. Coupling the storage media with the content just turns it into a food fight between huge companies, and makes it ten times harder to move from one format to a superior one.

Re:10 Layers? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568598)

Coupling the storage media with the content just turns it into a food fight between huge companies, and makes it ten times harder to move from one format to a superior one.

Catch-22. If the content is not tied to a media (or is it the other way around), then that media will not likely be popular enough to become affordable. There are lots of optical formats that simply flopped, the only ones that have become affordable are CD and DVD.

Re:10 Layers? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569496)

Catch-22. If the content is not tied to a media (or is it the other way around), then that media will not likely be popular enough to become affordable.
Hard drives seem to do just fine.

Re:10 Layers? (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568288)

Ah yes, that's what I want. I want the freedom to pay two different sets of patent royalties every time I buy a movie. That'll show those greedy corporations...

Ritek Quality (5, Informative)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567330)

Someone asked about Ritek's media quality. There is a huge variance in quality of recordable media. Usually you don't find out until you lose an archive :-o. Ritek aren't the worst, but they're not the best either. Check this link:

http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm [digitalfaq.com]

51 Gbs is better, but still far short of my 320Gb HDDs for backup (and I've got 1Tb of disks). A losing battle. Maybe Blockbuster will just give up and fill the ailes with Seagates to rent by the evening?

Station Wagon Full of Backup Tapes (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567536)

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway." -- Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1996). Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 83. ISBN 0-13-349945-6.

Damn, I just did the calculation today, and I can fit 124.55 TB of DVDs in the back of my Jeep without removing the seat. The 750GB and 1TB 3.5" hard drives make that number go up. Now I have to re-do the calculation using 4-layer and 10-layer HD DVD media? When will this madness end?

Unfortunately, hard drives in a RAID configuration are [for me] more desirable than the big pile o' polycarbonate discs if you actually intend to use the backup data. Sifting through piles of 100-disc spindles is no fun. And now that 1TB hard drives are a commodity item, 125TB doesn't seem all that large.

Re:Ritek Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567958)

http://bisnotb.com/ [bisnotb.com]

It's more about Video Space (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568662)

I think HDD's will be best for you for some time to come.

However, if someone can put an entire season of 24 onto one hi-def disc someday, I'll be most impressed.

Re:It's more about Video Space (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569592)

Could be fun to watch how Anime distributors in the US respond (Hi, A.D.)

They string out a 13 or 26 part series into as many DVDs as possible. The first DVD in the series fits 5 x 30 min episodes. But towards the end they can only fit 2 x 30 minute episodes. Ripoff is the only word I can use. I stopped my Neon Genesis Platinum set halfway through. I was going to pay $180 for the thing anyway. When they stretched it out to over $200, well, enough is enough.

If they could fit an entire series on a single disk (and assuming everyone else does), this little ploy would be less effective. TV shows are sold an entire season at a time: Box sets. Anime distributors are the only ones thay break it up.

Re:It's more about Video Space (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571558)

The original star trek: the next generation series was 2 episodes per DVD - OTOH that was the early days of DVD production.

The Simpsons originally did the same (3 episodes per DVD).

You can guarantee that the TV companies will continue this tradition with HD.

This is only the beginning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567426)

This is only the beginning. Imagine, if you will, beowulf layers of hi-def porn...

And yet.... (1)

TB (7206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567430)

What they forget to mention is this tech cant be used in standard HDDVD players and that BluRay already has tech for 200gig disks working. None of these layer boosts will matter for many years yet and not till writable disks are on the market cheap.

In a related story... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567474)

Nigel Tuffnel today announced that all his HD DVD ROMS go to 11.

Might be a bit slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567598)

Imagine trying to copy stuff from that disc onto a hard disk...that's going to take forever. I mean...I fully appreciate the fact that storage capacities are increasing, but hard drives (or whatever that may come to replace them) need to run a little bit faster. My computer takes about 3-5 minutes to copy a DVD's contents to a HDD. This means that to copy a triple-layered HD-DVD I might take around 20 minutes.

fir57 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567678)

WASTE OF BITS AND antibacterial soap. ppor dead last here, please do

Read that as 3 Layers Today, Ten LAWYERS Tomorrow (4, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567702)

Which, considering the current state of U.S. patent law, might be every bit as accurate...

Ten layers?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567718)

Suddenly my shaver seems so inadequate...

OSI-DVD (1)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567732)

Who will be the first to implement a DVD with enough layers to implement the OSI network model?

The spec can't be changed now (3, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567820)

The HD-DVD spec was finalized a while ago. HD-DVD players can only read two layers, therefore no movie can ever have more than two layers. All this talk about more layers is just PR wanking.

Re:The spec can't be changed now (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17573224)

HD-DVD players can only read two layers, therefore no movie can ever have more than two layers.

No movie disc conforming to the HD-DVD spec can have required data on more than two layers. But there's always the possibility that the HD-DVD spec could be abandoned altogether for a newer specification that allows an arbitrary number of layers per disc.

There could even be "HD-DVD Plus" discs that have HD-DVD standard content on layers 0 and 1, and then premium content on layers 2 and up that can only be accessed if you have a special HD-DVD+ player. It's not too far off in concept from how videocassette players were able to introduce features like enhanced picture quality, longer play modes, stereo sound, etc. a decade after the product first came to market -- without sacrificing any compatibility with the original standards.

What's the point? (1)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567852)

These companies are just trying to show off to one another. They don't have the capacity to mass-produce them, I bet, either. Once available, due to the fact that light just doesn't get so small so easily, they will probably cost a few thousand dollars per disk. Readers are another story. Nobody needs them, they're completely implausible, so I just say: SHUT THE HELL UP, WE DON'T CARE WHAT A FEW WACKO SCIENTISTS AT YOUR COMPANIES CAN SAY! If they foucused on quality, rather than bragging, far more realistic improvements could be made in the consumer world.

Just what I need.... (2, Funny)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17567874)

A machine that makes $25.00 coasters, instead of $0.25.

Title is a little misleading... (3, Insightful)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17568066)

There really is no three layer HD-DVD media. It's not part of the standard. They don't expect it to be a part of the standard until the end of 2008 at the earliest. Even still, Toshiba would likely need to decide between making current players obsolete, or reserving three layer HD-DVD for 'desktop' purposes, like backup and data storage.

This technology isn't likely going to ship with any Hollywood movies on it anytime soon.

Re:Title is a little misleading... (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571134)

The tech isn't going to ship with any Hollywood movies on it anytime soon because the amount of space used by the main movie on a dual-layer HD-DVD is currently going down (due to improvements in the encoder) faster than its going up due to decisions to tackle longer movies. We've already passed the point where The Return Of The King: Extended Edition leaves enough space for a fair smattering of extras; what more do you want?

More space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17569042)

I just wish someone soon gets out a cheap whatever-R/RW disc that can hold at least 50G of data. The normal DVD capacity just isn't enough anymore. Actually, it never was.

Ignore this (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569310)

It's one thing to have a prototype 10 layer disk, another to be able to read it, and another to write to it, another to be able to mass produce it and another *actually* mass produce it, and the required readers/writers.

We had 10 layer DVD-s too years ago, but not surprisingly, non of them made it out "in the wild".

Pricing model (5, Funny)

professorfalcon (713985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569678)

Maybe they should go with the pizza pricing model: a base price for one layer, and $1.99 for each additional layer. Discount if you get a salad with it.

In other news... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569688)

I'm reminded of the 1975 Saturday Night Live parody commercial about a three-bladed razor, "The Remco triple-track. Because You'll Believe Anything!".

Mine's bigger than yours! (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572914)

I'm reminded of the 1975 Saturday Night Live parody commercial about a three-bladed razor

Tech advances always give marketing a chance to get into these sort of competitions. The fact that at least three razor manufacturers not market triple blade razors for real makes it even funnier to watch this parody today.

Interestingly enough a four blade and then a FIVE blade razor came out in 2005, so SNL decided to pay homage to the old parody 30 years later with a commercial about an EIGHT blade razor...it would "strip you to the bone in one pass"!

Given that there has been talk and research about multi-layer optical media for many years now, and regular consumers have only ever been able to get no more than dual-layer, it makes me wonder if this hype is more marketing-driven penis-envy than actual reality. By the time the technology to add more layers is reliable for mass production it seems that technology to make each layer more dense beats it to market (we were supposed to have many more layers on DVD but then HD-DVD and blu-ray came out). Besides this multi-layer tech there is also ongoing parallel development of holographic optical storage media with far greater densities. By the time triple or quad layer HD-DVD or Blu-Ray media is out and players are out there to support it we could see compact-flash-sized holographic cards with 50 GB capacity, or even DVD sized discs with half-a-terabyte. Furthermore, the transfer rate potential of the card format would be faster and the readers and writers simpler to manufacture because they have less mechanical parts.

One other thing to make not of: I think optical media (any physical media actually) as a distribution method for movies, music, etc. is on the wane and that HD-DVD and BD may be the last common physical media formats we will see for this use. The industry seems bent on its own destruction actually--everything from this stupid format war to DRM/"content protection"/bending-over-for-Hollywood is turning off consumers and slowing the uptake of these new formats, and at the same time online distribution (legitimate and otherwise) is reaching that "elbow" in the exponential growth curve. Because of this, I think that new physical storage technology will shift from being driven by entertainment distribution to general digital storage (backup/archival purposes and other computer uses). Therefore I think that a) the market will be smaller and b) that the first new format standards that reliably allow WRITE capability will be the most successful.

Re:Mine's bigger than yours! (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17573448)

Interestingly enough a four blade and then a FIVE blade razor came out in 2005, so SNL decided to pay homage to the old parody 30 years later with a commercial about an EIGHT blade razor...it would "strip you to the bone in one pass"!

Bah, only 8? [google.com]

cool (1)

lateid (1044716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569690)

i have a ffeling this could be used to render hologram-like stuff :D

What happens when you scratch it? (1)

liftphreaker (972707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570096)

You want to store 200 gigs on a single, open-to-the-elements, unprotected piece of plastic? What happens when it's scratched, I wonder...

At the prices they're selling at today, I'd rather use a portable HDD. They had better come up with some nuclear blast resistant protection for these discs.

Re:What happens when you scratch it? (1)

Palal (836081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17570488)

I agree. It's bad with hard drives now, but if we also have it with discs, I just don't see how we could reliably store data without having to have it in multiple places. I guess it also depends on the importance of whatever piece of data we're talking about, but still the average user will not make x copies of data just to store it and in the end s/he will be faced with a data recovery problem at some point. If they're making discs that are that big, can they at least make data recovery easier? One simple solution would be to go back to caddies, but still, it's somewhat expensive.

Re:What happens when you scratch it? (3, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571226)

>What happens when it's scratched, I wonder
You lose 8 movies, 3200 MP3s and 6800 photos. On the plus side, you still have another 314 movies, 789,543 MP3s and 142,323 photos.

Been done before (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571180)

This was planned for release at the end of 2000 by a company by the name of C-3d. It was called 'FMD':

"The first generation of disc productions from Constellation 3D will be a family of 120 mm multi-layer FM-discs with capacity up to 140 GBytes and with read speed up to 1 GBytes/s."
http://www.digit-life.com/articles/3ddisk/ [digit-life.com]

As I said only days ago,.. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17571410)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=215866&cid=175 31984 [slashdot.org]

What the fuck are they doing?!
The drives are OUT, the discs are OUT - they are in the hands of the public.

STOP dicking around with the spec gentlemen, it's over! - put the new features in "Super HD - DVD" and "Super Blu Ray" in 10 years time, don't piss around with already released "standards" - or should we simply not take your "standards" seriously?

HD-DVD and BluRay - looks to be pretty much a beta product to me.....

Sigh.

I for one welcome .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17571452)

I for one welcome our 10-layer condom producing Ritex(tm) overlords.

Nobody cares because you are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572134)

and your face is ugliy

Does this thread remind anyone else of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572186)

this this bit?

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930 [theonion.com]

FUCK IT, WE'RE DOING TEN LAYERS!!

Only 10? (1)

Raqem (964006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572634)

Pfft. They're only up to 10?

Tell me when they take it to 11.

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