Blu-ray is an interesting format. It holds a lot more data than a traditional CD or DVD, and it allows for high definition viewing experiences. As it turns out however, the average consumer probably does not care that much about that level of high definition. Sure, some segments of the market, like the film industry, movie buffs and gamers, have latched on quickly, but it seems for the average consumer the Blu-ray disc drives just are not worth the extra costs that they add onto the machines, which may explain why they have yet to become standard on most machines. That has not stopped manufacturers from taking bets that eventually Blu-ray will be the future of the disk-based data storage world.
Panasonic is making one of its bets on Blu-ray in the re-writeable end of the market. They have announced the release of re-writable Blu-ray discs, which will allow consumers to put data on the disk multiple times, much like with the more common CD- or DVD-RW. The disks, which have been dubbed the LM-BE100J BDXL, are a special series. These single-sided triple-layer disks, which have a scratch resistant coating on them to help keep them from being destroyed by daily wear and tear, will be able to hold up to 100GB of data at a time.
Before you get excited, you will need to make sure that you burner is compatible with the Blu-ray-RW's, since not all burners are ready to use these disks. We do know that the newest burners made by both Pioneer and Buffalo are compatible with these disks. If you think you can skip the check, and just shove it in the drawer if it doesn't work, you are making a serious gamble. Each of these disks will set you back about $120.
The disks are expected to be on sale, in Japan, on April 15th.
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More information: In Japanese: panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn110404-1/jn110404-1.html