Blu-ray Discs expand to 128GB under new BDXL spec

This probably isn't a response to the 3D onslaught or even "superbit" releases like the upcoming Avatar 2D disc, but just in case the standard 50GB Blu-ray discs were beginning to feel a bit -- how do you say... cramped? -- the Blu-ray Disc Association's rolling out a new BDXL format capable of holding up to 128GB (write-once) or 100GB (rewriteable). Before you get too excited, you should know that you'll need a new player to access these -- even a firmware update won't save the PS3 this time -- since they go up to three or four layers deep and will likely need a more powerful laser. While our home movies can be compressed just fine, corporations currently still using other mediums for archiving might appreciate the extra space, as well as the new IH-BD discs, designed with one 25GB read-only layer, and one 25GB rewritable layer on the same platter. If you're looking for a place to permanently back up that super high-res "amateur photography," take heart -- a consumer version is in the works, though it will first be aimed at markets where Blu-ray Disc recorders are popular, or available at all (read: maybe Japan, definitely not the US). No word when the new hardware will actually hit the market, but final specs are due "in the next few months." In the meantime, check out the full details after the break.


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