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Pioneer, Mitsubishi work on cheaper BD recordables

Though Blu-ray discs boost highest storage capacity for consumer optical media, this comes at a relatively high cost and so much less accessible than DVD-R.

Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical Media are hoping to change that with the development of a lower-cost variation of recordable Blu-ray Disc. The two companies announced that by using an organic dye recording layer, disc manufacturing costs would be significantly reduced.

The technology used in the lower-cost version is called LTH for "Low to High" recording, which is included in the Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format 1.2 specifications.

The true savings of this new recordable Blu-ray Disc come from the manufacturing process, which does not require large-scale changes in production equipment. The LTH BD-R discs can be made using modified, but existing CD-R and DVD-R machinery.

Despite the cost benefits, one hurdle that the new recordable Blu-ray Disc must face is compatibility. Current Blu-ray Disc drives and standalone players are unable to read the LTH media, though it may be possible to change that through a firmware updated. Pioneer may also release new hardware that will ship with LTH BD-R compatibility.

Pioneer and Mitsubishi demonstrated a 25GB single-layer disc that can be burned at up to 2x speed. LTH BD-R drives and media could appear as early as spring 2008.

Story filed 23.09.07

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