Sony Corporation (‘Sony’) and Panasonic Corporation (‘Panasonic’) today announced that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage. Both companies aim to improve their development efficiency based on the technologies held by each respective company, and will target the development of an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015. Going forward, Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard.

Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content. Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray™ format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement.

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Pioneer Japan sent out a press today, announcing its new portable, slot-loading Blu-ray Disc writer, the BDR-XS05J. This USB 3.0 equipped drive is capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x. The BDR-XS05J also writes to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 4x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x.

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Along with a customizable, transparent panel, the BDR-XS05J includes features like Pioneer's PureRead2+ technology and noise reducing firmware. It also ships with a software bundle from CyberLink that supports BDXL recording as well as Blu-ray 3D playback. The BDR-XS05J is scheduled to ship in late June and is expected to retail for about 15,000 Yen ($266US).

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millenniata logo.pngU.S.-based Millenniata today announced the results of its longevity test program based on the internationally-recognized ISO/IEC 10995 Standard, verifying Millenniata’s claim that the M-DISC DVD lasts in excess of 1,000 years.

The Standard, which specifies how to determine the mean expected life of optical media, by subjecting DVDs to high temperature and humidity for extended periods of time, was applied to the M-DISC and other leading archival DVDs.

Specifically, results demonstrated that the median expected life of the M-DISC DVD was 1,332 years. Other DVDs which claim to have an expected life of 30 to 100 years lasted for only a small fraction of that time. The tests indicated that the other leading archival DVDs have an expected life of only 2.7 to 3.0 years.

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millenniata logo.pngU.S.-based Millenniata today announced the completion of its new 25GB M-DISC Blu-ray, with mass production to begin in early August 2013.

RITEK Corporation, the leading manufacturer of optical storage media in the world, will begin production of the new M-DISC Blu-ray as part of its manufacturing agreement with Millenniata. Imation and RITEK will distribute and market the M-DISC Blu-ray through their established distribution and reseller channels. Imation will distribute under the TDK, Memorex and Imation brands, and RITEK will distribute under the RITEK, Ridata and Traxdata brands.

With the addition of the new 25GB M-DISC Blu-ray to its products, Millenniata has significantly expanded the breadth of the market addressed by its permanent data storage solution, greatly increasing the storage capacity, ease-of-access and usability of the M-DISC. The M-DISC Blu-ray offers five times the storage capacity of the standard 4.7GB M-DISC DVD, and is writable and readable on any Blu-ray drive – an enormous step for Millenniata and the convenience of this permanent storage technology.

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blu-ray logo.pngOne-Blue, LLC, the one-stop shop for patent licenses from the leading providers of Blu-ray Disc technology, today announced that One-Blue and certain One-Blue patent owners have filed suit against Imation Corp. for infringing patents essential to manufacture Blu-ray Disc products.

The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, asserts that Imation Corp., a seller of Blu-ray Disc products under the Imation, TDK and Memorex brands, has infringed six (6) U.S. patents: 7,290,272; 7,389,520; 7,292,509; 7,123,567; 7,349,309; and 7,158,472. These patents are included in the portfolio offered for license by the One-Blue licensing program.

“The One-Blue patent pool provides companies with a fair and cost effective mechanism for obtaining Blu-ray Disc product licenses,” said Mr. William J. Lenihan , Director IP Licensing, One-Blue. “We filed this patent infringement suit in order to maintain a level playing field for the members of the One-Blue patent pool—licensors and licensees alike who manufacture and sell Blu-ray Disc products.  We have a duty to ensure that all companies selling Blu-ray Disc products honor the essential patents in the One-Blue pool.”

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RITEK recently launched RITEK M-DISC DVD, increasing the lifetime of discs up to 1,000 years. M-DISC was researched and developed by Millenniata, Inc. in U.S.A. M-DISC can preserve and protect your information by laser etching data into a rock-like material that is not available in any other recordable media. Because information is etched into a rock-like material it is resistant to the deteriorating effects of light, temperature, humidity and time. M-DISC's ability to survive extreme conditions has been tested and proven by the U.S. Department of Defense.

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A leading manufacturer of storage media, RITEK is the only strategic partner of Millenniata in Taiwan. For storage media that demand high technology and quality to manufacture, only RITEK, a leading storage media manufacturer in the world, has the professional capability to pull that off. RITEK will also produce the new M-DISC BD as the only partner cooperating with Millenniata. M-DISC BD will be on the market soon.

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Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office has sued an optical disc drive (ODD) maker over price-fixing allegations. The complaint alleges that Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. and its subsidiary, Hitachi-LG Data Storage Korea, Inc., participated in meetings, discussions, and communications to share competitively sensitive information, such as prices, sales, production, and bidding information in order to rig bids for ODDs sold to Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, and Microsoft Corporation. ODDs are used to read and record data on optical disks, such as CDs and DVDs. ODDs are commonly found in computers and video game consoles. Additionally, some ODDs are designed to be attached externally to devices, such as computers.

“Price-fixing hurts healthy business competition and costs Florida’s businesses, consumers, and governmental agencies by requiring them to pay higher prices for products,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “My office is committed to protecting Floridians, and we will work to obtain relief for those affected by this alleged price-fixing scheme.”

Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. was charged with a 15-count felony charge by the United States Department of Justice in the United States District Court in San Francisco in September 2011. Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. subsequently paid a $21.1 million criminal fine and pleaded guilty to bid-rigging and price-fixing of ODDs.

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Today, Sony announces its strategic partnership with Dalet Digital Media Systems (based in France) as part of the ongoing mission to develop extensible high-capacity archiving solutions, named Optical Disc Archive for the video and broadcasting industries. Optical Disc Archive offers file-based solutions by storing data in a compact cartridge with 12 optical discs. Dalet is a highly respected developer and supplier of media asset management (MAM) applications, with a strong customer base in video production and the broadcasting markets worldwide.

Sony is working towards solutions that integrate the Dalet Media Life MAM software with the Optical Disc Archive product line. Moving forward, Sony and Dalet will jointly propose archiving solutions for a wide range of areas, including News and Sports production, Media Digitization, and Disaster Recovery. The two companies will also collaborate in Solution Selling, System Integration/Delivery and Contract Services in order to provide customers with total efficiency, benefitting from both application system to service & support.

"Sony continues to be a leading manufacturer of products that have contributed greatly to the broadcast industry," said Stephane Schlayen, COO, Dalet. "We are very pleased to provide the Dalet MAM platform as an integral part of Sony's advanced archive system. MAM plays a critical role in managing media and metadata. Our combined best-of-breed technologies bring a versatile and sophisticated solution to the market."

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ASUS today announced the SDRW-08U5S-U external DVD writer, a highly portable optical drive with the thinnest form factor in its class at just 13mm. Its design includes a built-in hidden stand that saves space and reduces clutter while enabling dual-stance horizontal and vertical placement. For data protection, ASUS integrates multiple security measures, with password controls and encryption alongside encoded file name functionality. The SDRW-08U5S-U ships in Mellow Metallic, Dusty Rose, and Bright Berry color options.

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The SDRW-08U5S-U employs intricate engineering to achieve a very slender 13mm side profile. In addition to making it highly attractive, the form factor contributes to easy mobility and greater usability as the SDRW-08U5S-U can be effortlessly transported and placed, making it a perfect companion for Ultrabooks and other mobile devices.

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Pioneer Japan sent out a press today, announcing a Mac version of its latest slot-loading Blu-ray Disc writer. Thanks to a magnesium alloy case, the BDR-XU02JM weighs in at a mere 245g and measures only 133 × 133 × 12 mm. This stylish, USB powered drive is capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x. The BDR-XU02J also writes to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 6x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x.

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The BDR-XU02JM does not ship with any software. However, it includes support for Pioneer's PureRead2+ technology as well as a new feature called RealTime PureRead which reduces the occurrence of interpolation data during playback of audio CDs. The BDR-XU02JM is scheduled to ship in late March and is expected to retail for about 20,000 Yen ($208US).

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