Two new Blu-ray disc formats have been announced in an attempt to bring greater flexibility to the high-capacity optical disc.
The first of the formats, BDXL, announced by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) late last week, will offer a 128GB capacity on write-once discs and a 100GB capacity on rewritable discs.
Designed primarily for professional archiving use, the BDXL disc will consist of three-to-four recordable layers and therefore won't be compatible with existing Blu-ray players/recorders. Although movies are unlikely to be offered via the new format anytime soon, the BDA has confirmed that "a consumer version of BDXL is also expected".
The second format, Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc (IH-BD) is designed to provide consumers with greater flexibility. The disc will incorporate both a single BD-ROM layer and a BD-RE layer, creating a disc with 25GB of permanent content and a further 25GB of capacity available for writing data.
As with BDXL, the IH-BD format will require "newly-designed hardware" for playback, but the BDA adds that players designed for the BDXL or IH-BD formats will be backward compatible with the existing Blu-ray Disc standard.