Imation Joins Growing Crowd of Blu-ray Disc Media Makers

The company, the 14th media maker to begin producing the high-definition disks, will begin distributing dual-layer disks in the fall.

Imation announced on July 13 that it is making its new Blu-ray media disks available to major IT and data storage channel partners. The announcement came at Imations "Blue Technology" conference at its headquarters in Oakdale, Minn.

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.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read an eWEEK Labs review of the Samsung BD-P1000 DVD player.

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.

/zimages/7/28571.gifSun and Imation plan to jointly develop a tape drive platform. Read more here.

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.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...