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The Blu-ray Disc Founders have approved version 1.0 of the BD-ROM physical-format specification and made it available to disc manufacturers and other interested parties.

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by thirteen leading consumer electronics and PC companies, such as Dell, Hitachi, HP, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition television (HDTV). Blu-ray makes it possible to record over 2 hours of HDTV, or more than 13 hours of SDTV on a 27GB disc. There are also plans for higher capacity discs that are expected to hold up to 54GB of data, according to Blu-Ray.com web-site.

The Blu-ray Disc Founders approved the BD-ROM physical specification within the general timeframe originally outlined in the BD-ROM development roadmap. The completion of the physical specification is an important step because it provides disc manufacturers with the information they need to prepare their BD-ROM (Blu-Ray Discs Read Only Memory) disc production lines.

“Blu-ray Disc (BD) is on schedule for companies to introduce BD-ROM players, drives and prerecorded software to consumers beginning in late 2005,” said Maureen Weber, general manager of HP's Optical Storage Solutions Business.

Interested parties can obtain the format specification by contacting the Blu-ray Disc License Agent and executing the required license agreement. Companies interested in developing, manufacturing and selling BD-ROM products must sign a license agreement to comply with the format specifications.

“Given the strong support from consumer electronics, PC and media manufacturers for BD, a wide variety of products is expected to eventually be available in every segment of the market,” Mr. Weber added.

Sony Entertainment recently said it would use BD-ROM in its next-generation Sony PlayStation 3 console, which may popularize Blu-Ray discs and rapidly drive them into mainstream market.

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