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Sony Unveils Second Generation Optical Disc Archive System

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Sony is unveiling the second generation of its Optical Disc Archive System, which adopts a new, high-capacity optical media developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic.  This newest media, rated with a 100-year shelf life, doubles the capacity of a single cartridge to 3.3 TB. Generation 2 of Optical Disc Archive System also introduces an 8-channel optical drive unit, doubling read/write speeds over the previous generation, accommodating 4K video in real time and meeting the users’ increasing data storage needs.

sony ods-d280u optical disc archive

Optical Disc Archive, launched in 2013, is widely used by broadcasters, sports organizations, corporations, schools and production companies. It delivers reliable long-term storage and provides stable operations with efficient power consumption.   Continuing its open platform approach for wider compatibility, Sony is providing technologies and support to encourage other manufacturers to develop supporting products for Optical Disc Archive.  Currently, 42 companies have announced their support and have created interfaces for Optical Disc Archive.

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Panasonic Unveils Enhanced "freeze-ray" Series Data Archiver System

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Panasonic Corporation today unveiled its enhanced "freeze-ray" series Data Archiver, using 300GB Optical Discs (scheduled for release in the 2nd half of 2016) at the OCP U.S. Summit 2016 being held March 9-10, 2016, in San Jose, California. Panasonic is proposing a data archiving system based on large-capacity optical discs to complement conventional recording media, such as HDDs and magnetic tape, for use in high-efficiency, next- generation data centers.

Panasonic's Optical Disc-Based Data Archive System has already been adopted in corporations and public institutions that require long-term data storage. "freeze-ray," which was developed through extensive validation and testing to be deployed in the data centers of a large-scale Cloud Service Provider in the US, was announced in January at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, as an Optical Disc-Based Data Archive System based on 100GB Blu-ray Disc. (See the Development Background of the freeze-ray Series below.)

In order to provide at-scale data storage, the enhanced freeze-ray system adopts Archival Disc with a recording capacity of 300GB per disc. Use of the 300GB Archival Disc will enable a maximum of 1.9 petabytes (1 petabyte = 1,000 terabytes) of data to be stored in a standard 19-inch data center rack.

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Sony Optical Archive Inc. Announces Everspan Library System

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Sony Optical Archive Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, today unveiled the Everspan Library System (Everspan), a scalable optical library system solution that delivers archiving capabilities far exceeding the capacity of what is available in the marketplace today, at a fraction of the cost.

Everspan utilizes Sony's 300 GB Archival Disc to store data.  Unlike tape or hard disk drives which need to be refreshed/replaced every 5-7 years, the Archival Disc can support data storage for over 100 years in data center environments. Because of the durability of optical discs, unlike other storage media, users are expected to never need to migrate data and Sony is offering 100 year warranty for optical media.  Everspan also provides speed and efficiency with a vastly reduced environmental impact.

"We believe that Everspan addresses a large and rapidly growing need in the storage marketplace," said Frank Frankovsky, CEO of Sony Optical Archive Inc. "In a world where customers have been frequently forced into deciding which data to retain based on the ongoing cost of archiving, Everspan provides a welcome and affordable solution.  It is our goal to make it possible for customers to store everything for as long as they wish in a low-touch, low-cost optical library.

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OWC Announces High-Performance Mercury Pro Desktop Optical Drive

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Other World Computing announced today the availability of the new OWC Mercury Pro, a sleek aluminum-housed USB 3.1 Gen 1 optical drive for plug and play support of CD, DVD, M-DISC and/or Blu-ray disc reading and writing with Macs and PCs.

owc mercury pro optical drive

The new OWC Mercury Pro conveniently brings optical media back to your workflow with high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity for playback of optical media, data transfer and archiving with bandwidth to spare. With a sleek, durable aluminum chassis, the Mercury Pro delivers looks to match its performance while running cooler, quieter and better than ever.

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ASUS Announces DRW-24D5MT Power-Saving 24x DVD Writer

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ASUS Japan sent out a press release earlier today, announcing its new 24x DVD writer, the DRW-24D5MT. Along with support for Millenniata's M-DISC format, the drive is capable of 24x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R DL, 5x DVD-RAM, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. The DRW-24D5MT also feature's ASUS's E-Green technology, which puts the drive into an energy-saving mode when it is not in use. According to the company, this reduces power consumption by more than 50%.

asus drw-24d5mt

The DRW-24D5MT ships with burning and backup software from CyberLink and Nero and is expected to cost about 2,500 Yen ($20US) when it hits stores later this month.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Unveils First 4K Ultra HD Discs

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sony 4k ultrahd hancockSony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced the studio's first releases in the next-generation 4K Ultra HD™ Disc format, which will arrive in early 2016.

"By some estimates, consumers will own over 100 million Ultra HD television sets by 2019. Sony Pictures' 4K Ultra HD Discs will deliver consumers the ultimate home theater experience, with stunning picture and sound quality," said SPHE president, Man Jit Singh.

Singh continued, "Ten years ago this month, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment authored the world's first feature film on Blu-ray Disc™, and we continue to bring consumers the most innovative, immersive home entertainment experiences available."

SPHE's first 4K Ultra HD releases will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2, followed by a growing roster of titles including new release film and television content.

SPHE's 4K Ultra HD Discs feature four times the resolution of HD and include high dynamic range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays. Many titles will also support next-generation immersive audio formats.

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CyberLink Joins Ultra HD Blu-ray Development Group

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CyberLink Corp., today announced that they have joined a global focus group consisting of professional authoring facilities, technology companies and service providers working on the development of the Ultra HD Blu-ray (UHD-BD) format.

The UHDG focus group, established by professional Blu-ray Disc authoring system developer Scenarist, seeks to ensure the successful launch of UHD-BD through a collaboration that allows members to gain expertise in the new format, create test titles and provide feedback during the development phase.

CyberLink is providing UHDG members with PC-based player software for testing 4K H.265 and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video titles as well as digital bridge production export functionality. The collaboration will help ensure the compatibility of Ultra HD Blu-ray titles across CE and PC-based playback environments.

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Blu-ray Disc Association to Commence Licensing Of Ultra HD Blu-ray

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The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will commence licensing the Ultra HD Blu-ray format starting August 24, 2015. The format represents the work of global leaders from the consumer electronics, IT and content creation industries and will enable consistent and reliable delivery of Ultra HD content to the rapidly growing number of Ultra HD households, expected to grow from 11.7 million Ultra HD TVs in 2014 to 95.6 million in 2019.

blu-ray ultra hd logo

Ultra HD Blu-ray is a critical component of the expanding Ultra HD ecosystem that redefines in-home entertainment through advances in resolution, contrast, color and audio, providing a sensory experience that replicates the richness of life’s sight and sounds and more accurately reflects the content creator’s intent.

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Sony to Acquire Optical Archive Inc.

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sony logoSony Corporation of America (SCA) today announced that it has acquired Optical Archive Inc. (OAI), a company that specializes in optical storage systems for the data center market.  The acquisition is made by SCA on behalf of Sony Corporation.

With Sony, OAI will leverage its experience and capabilities in data center hardware design, supply chain operations and systems integration with Sony's expertise in optical disc and manufacturing technology to develop new optical disc library systems that will meet the technological demands from the growing cold archive market.

The term "cold archive" refers to a class of data that must be retained over a long period of time but isn't accessed frequently, such as cloud-based photo storage and data retained for legal or regulatory reasons. Cold archive is the largest and fastest growing portion of the data center storage market.

"This acquisition marks the beginning of our commitment to this growing market," said Terushi Shimizu, Senior Vice President and Deputy President, Device Solutions Business Group, Sony Corporation.  "Optical disc libraries will provide many advantages to customers who are currently using tape or hard drive technology to store cold data, such as lower costs, extremely durable media life, and higher data throughput rates. We plan to leverage and expand our existing optical disc production lines in order to accommodate the growing demand for this media."

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Blu-ray Disc Association Completes Ultra HD Blu-ray Specification

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The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced completion of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification and released the new logo that will delineate Ultra HD Blu-ray products. The Ultra HD Blu-ray specification, which represents the work of global leaders from the consumer electronics, IT and content creation industries, will enable delivery of Ultra HD content via Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc to the rapidly growing number of UHD TV households.

blu-ray ultra hd logo

“For years, Blu-ray Disc has set the standard for high definition picture and audio quality in the home. Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment," said Victor Matsuda, chair, BDA Promotions Committee. “The technical capabilities of Blu-ray Disc, in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience."

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