Capacity costs

Coffee, Peter
July 2004
eWeek;7/12/2004, Vol. 21 Issue 28, p67
Recordable DVDs are about to double their capacity, with a further sixfold increase around the corner. It is a good as well as bad news. The good news is that current DVD technology is under-exploited by first-generation recorders, which use only one of the two recording layers that current DVDs provide. Internal dual-layer burners, already priced below $300 and falling quickly, store 8.5GB at a media cost that's heading down toward $10 per disk. Most discussion of recordable DVDs revolves around HDTV-quality movies. No one in the television business wants to admit this, but tests show that people find conventional television pictures, when fed with equal signal quality, subjectively sharper than HDTV pictures on any screen smaller than 24 inches. The bad news is that when finally tens or hundreds of gigabytes is stored on low-cost removable media, this will merely put the equation of data availability out of balance in a different and more difficult direction than it is today. The indexing problem that first comes to mind is images.


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