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Blu-ray Group OKs High Capacity BDXL

The Blu-ray Disc Association has released the final specs for BDXL — a multi-layered recordable Blu-ray disc format that holds up to approximately 128GB of capacity. For the most part, BDXL is designed to be used primarily as a long-term storage and archival entity with mainly commercial applications, notably broadcasters.

The huge storage capabilities afforded by BDXL would permit the archiving of huge amounts of HD content, among other media. The BDA said manufacturers can now obtain specific licensing information and the appropriate applications necessary to begin production of the high capacity format, at the group's Web site.

As with other recordable discs (Blu-ray and DVD), the new high-capacity BDXL storage units can be manufactured in both Write-Once and Rewriteable configurations (with the latter option typically being a bit more costly).

Targeted primarily to broadcasters, other major video content providers, educational institutions, hospitals, and document-imaging businesses with major archival needs, BDXL boasts a triple-layer 100 GB (Rewritable) disc, or a quadruple-layer 128 GB (write-once) disc.

The BDA said by using existing Blu-ray technologies, "We have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images." The group said it expects future BDXL Blu-ray players to be backwards-compatible in order to playback today's current 50 GB and 25 GB Blu-ray discs.

Whether upcoming BDXL players also would be able to playback standard DVDs (as today's Blu-ray players can) was not addressed in the BDA statement.