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New high capacity Blu-ray Discs will be incompatible with existing players


April 7, 2010

Existing Blu-ray discs will play in BDXL and IH-BD hardware, but BDXL and IH-BD discs will be incompatible with existing hardware (Image: smemon87 via Flickr)

Existing Blu-ray discs will play in BDXL and IH-BD hardware, but BDXL and IH-BD discs will be incompatible with existing hardware (Image: smemon87 via Flickr)

The dust has barely settled on the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (in which Blu-ray took the honors), but now the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced two new media specs. The final specifications for BDXL (High Capacity Recordable and Rewritable discs) and IH-BD (Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray discs) are expected in the next couple of months and neither will be compatible with existing Blu-ray players – not even with a firmware update.

The new BDXL discs will incorporate three to four recordable layers to provide storage capacity of up to 128GB on write-once recordable discs and up to 100GB on rewritable discs. But anyone who has already shelled out for a Blu-ray player and is worried about incompatibility with new release Blu-ray movies at their local video store can breathe easy. The BDXL specification is targeted at commercial segments such as broadcasting, medical and document imaging companies with significant archiving needs.

Meanwhile, the IH-BD discs will be aimed at users looking to combine read-only data with rewritable data on a single disc, such as combining published content with related modifiable user data. It will incorporate a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer to enable users to view, but not overwrite, critical data while providing the flexibility to include relevant related data that can be updated on the same physical disc.

Because both BDXL and IH-BD formats are extensions of current Blu-ray Disc technology future BDXL and IH-BD devices can be designed to support existing 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray Discs. But the BDA says that, because both are specially designed formats with specific market segments in mind, newly-designed hardware is required to play back or record to BDXL and IH-BD media.

The BDA is expected to announce the final BDXL and IH-BD specifications in the next couple of months, but there’s no word yet on when compatible hardware or media will hit the shelves.

Via Information Week.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

This latest format will probably be the last one designed to store movies anyway. Solid-state and cloud computing ftw!


I am doing a report on Blu-ray and this article was welcome as a last-minute update, but it\'s sensationalized, unless that was your intent? People freak on incompatibility issues and consumers might think they should wait on a Blu-ray upgrade...

Facebook User

Yet another Sony technology that will fail!


Not for movies... so no worries.

The next format for movies will be solid-state memory cards with encryption and copy-protection. Blu-Ray movies on a 25GB chip for $40, with prices to drop as they always do with memory...

No laser or \"format\" required... just the software and/or hardware to decode it. This way you can play a movie on your mobile, DVD-less netbook without a high-speed internet connection.


DVD-less netbook? ouch those netbooks can\'t even play youtube without skipping frames. Let\'s wait for the market to catch up, the hardware isn\'t yet in the netbook to play those stuff.

Aaron Lecciones
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