Imation becomes the 14th media manufacturer to begin producing disks in the Blu-ray Disc format. The others are Fuji Photo Film, JVC Americas, LG Electronics, Hitachi Maxell, Memorex Products, Optodisc, Panasonic Corp. of North America, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Ricoh, Ritek, Sony Electronics, TDK and Verbatim.
Blu-ray, also known as BD (Blu-ray Disc), is a next-generation optical disk format jointly developed by the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association), a group of consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers that includes Apple, Dell, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic, Pioneer Electronics, Philips, Samsung, Sharp Electronics, Sony, TDK and Thomson.
The format was developed to allow recording, rewriting and playback of HD (high-definition) video, as well as the storing of large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disk and 50GB on a dual-layer disk.
Blu-ray is currently supported by more than 170 of the worlds consumer electronics, personal computer, recording media, video game and music companies, according to the BDA.
The format also has broad support from the major movie studios as a successor to todays DVD format. Seven of the eight major movie studios have already announced titles that will appear in the Blu-ray format, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Fox, Disney, Sony, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lions Gate Entertainment.
BD-R and BD-RE, Imations first high-definition recordable media offerings, provide high-quality, "single-session" optical backup. They are aimed at organizations of all sizes with high-capacity data storage needs, a company spokesperson said. Blu-ray disks also allow for recording of high-definition television and video content.
Imation said it will also manufacture double-layer Blu-ray media later in 2006, delivering 50GB of capacity on a single disk—10 times the capacity of standard DVD disks.
Individually packaged Imation BD-R (Blu-ray recordable) single-layer (25GB) and (BD-RE) rewritable single-layer (25GB) disks will be available in August for $19.99 and $29.99, respectively, the spokesperson said.