Philips unveiled its new all-in-one PC writer, the OPU81, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month. The triple laser optical pick-up unit (OPU) can read and write CD-R/-RW, DVD+R(DL)/+RW and the next generation in optical storage: Blu-ray Disc (BD). The unit is scheduled to be introduced in the second half of 2005.
BD is the only optical storage standard capable of storing up to 25 Gigabytes on a single layer disc and 50 Gigabytes on a dual layer disc. Such capacity is becoming increasingly desirable as consumers worldwide gain access to high definition television (HDTV) and BD will enable them to record full length feature films using high-definition MPEG2 encoding. BD will also significantly increase the archiving capacity for PC users who want to archive photographs, video and other data on their hard disks.
"The rise of digital TV," says Cor Saris, CEO of Philips Optical Storage, "means that consumers will want to record their high-definition content onto a high capacity 25/50 GB BD disc, but still want to record their standard definition content on a DVD+R or DVD+RW disc."
"The annual market for DVD recordable media is projected to reach 5.1 billion discs by 2007, " Saris continues. "By combining the success of CD and DVD recording with Blu-ray in a single all-in-one writer, we will definitely accelerate the acceptance of this new format in the PC and consumer markets."
BD integrates infrared, red and blue wavelength lasers with a single detector. By managing this technical feat, Philips has succeeded in developing a flexible, and compact, triple-writer OPU. The OPU81 is designed for mass production and will meet mass consumer price levels. It is also a clear indication of Philips' commitment to introducing new technologies in mass volume applications.
Philips is a leading member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group of over 90 companies dedicated to encouraging the development and acceptance of the BD format. The group includes virtually all major consumer electronics companies as well as the world's leading PC and blank media manufacturers. Among its members are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TD, Thomson and Twentieth Century Fox.
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