Blu-ray Wes Novack on 31 May 2007

NHK develops 15,000 rpm Blu-ray Disc system

NHK develops 15,000 rpm Blu-ray Disc system
Japanese company NHK has developed a professional Blu-ray Disc recording system that can reach approximately 7x consumer BD-R speeds. The rotations per minute limitation for current consumer Blu-ray systems is maxed out at approximately 10,000 rpm. NHK exceeded the current limitation with the help of a new type of flexible BD-R Disc that is a mere 0.1 mm thick, which was jointly developed with Ricoh Corporation, a long time innovator in optical disc technology. In order to playback these new flexible discs inside of a reading device, a new stabilizer plate was developed and added to the player hardware in order to hold the discs steady. Here is some more information from the PC World article.

“Engineers at the Science and Technical Research Laboratories (STRL) of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai), are working on an optical disc recording system based on consumer Blu-ray Disc technology that can spin as fast as 15,000 rpm without these problems and demonstrated it last week.

It’s needed because broadcast quality HDTV signals of the type NHK records stream at 250M bps (bits per second) making a fast-spinning optical disc a necessity. A 1X Blu-ray Disc records at 36M bps so the new system is equivalent to 7X speed.”


While this sounds like an interesting development, I have to wonder why they couldn’t use a standard Blu-ray system if they are only going up to 7x? We have already heard about 8x BD-R media by Moser Baer and consumer Blu-ray burners are expected to reach 12x / 10,000 rpms at some point. With this in mind, the NHK system doesn’t sound so great afterall (unless the consumer 8x BD-R is Z-CLV and the NHK Blu-ray system is CLV). On the other hand, perhaps NHK will be able to refine their system with time and exceed the speeds of consumer Blu-ray systems, possibly hitting faster write speeds than 12x? Even if this new system was able to achieve greater speeds, its’ “purpose” is to record broadcast HD signals and a speed of 7x BD-R is sufficient enough for that. Looking at all of this, I am not very impressed with this new NHK system.

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