Blu-Ray Disc Media Larger than 50GB Incompatible with Existing Players – BDA

50GB Should Be Enough for Movies, Claims Blu-Ray Disc Association

by Anton Shilov
10/08/2009 | 04:11 PM

Even though Blu-ray disc technology allows creating multi-layer high-capacity media that can store hundreds of gigabytes of data, the Blu-ray disc Association (BDA) claims officially that existing Blu-ray disc players will not be compatible with 100GB or 200GB BD media. Nevertheless, BDA claims that 50GB will be enough for movies for many years to come.


“I think there will be applications for larger capacity recordable discs, but it would be difficult for [discs larger than 50GB] to achieve compatibility with the installed base of players. This is because player manufacturers design players to meet published specifications that define maximum media capacity, which in the case of Blu-ray Disc, is 50GB on two-layer media,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of corporate communications and new product planning for Pioneer and the chairman BDA’s promotion committee in the U.S., in an interview with Home Media Magazine.

Many media producers, such as Sharp or TDK, have been quite vocal about ultra high-capacity Blu-ray disc media. 100GB and 200GB BDs were shown back in 2006 and 2007, but have never made it to the market due to rather simple reasons: there are no cost-effective blue lasers that can read or record multi-layer Blu-ray discs.

In fact, incompatibilities between various high-capacity cassettes or discs with appropriate players are nothing new to the market. For example, some DVD players do not support DVD±R DL media, whereas some VHS players did not support long-play 240 minutes video cassettes. As a result, content makers had to stick to default standards that were supported by all installed players.

“But interestingly, virtually all published content in VHS was released in two-hour SP mode, since it was the lowest common denominator among the installed base of tape decks. Pretty much any VHS deck could play pre-recorded movies regardless of their age. This is synonymous with my argument for the longevity of 25/50GB Blu-ray Disc media for publishing,” said Mr. Parsons.