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.