By James Wells

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has locally released 50GB Blu-ray Disc media which holds more than 10 times the capacity of a DVD and will be marketed to consumers looking to record high definition video.

The write-once 50GB disc is priced extremely high at $83.95 and will be complemented by a re-writeable product nest month priced at $104.95. The Sony disc contains just 25 per cent of the capacity which TDK boasts from its 200GB prototype unveiled at the world’s largest consumer electronics show – IFA held in Berlin in early September.

Sony, who released Blu-ray players in its Vaio laptops earlier this year, is yet to release a standalone Blu-ray Disc player or recorder in Australia. Industry analysts expect the company will wait until after the release of the next generation video gaming console – PlayStation3 in March as it has a built-in Blu-ray player.

The first Blu-ray Disc players were released into the Australian market by both Panasonic and Samsung in October. Samsung has announced it will launch a Blu-ray Disc into the Australian market in late 2007.

According to a statement from Sony Australia, the 50GB Blu-ray Discs provide up to 10 hours of high definition recording and when used in conjunction with a Blu-ray player or recorder, the media allows consumers to appreciate the advantages of the next stage of optical storage and home entertainment.

According to Sony Australia marketing manager – recording media and energy, Steven Ng, Blu-ray Disc media provides vastly increased storage capacity on one of the most powerful, durable and reliable formats.

Ng believes the 50GB BD media enables businesses to reliably back-up essential files, while
professional videographers and filmmakers can easily store and experience the highest capacity of
high definition video available.

“Blu-ray is the future of storage and high definition entertainment, and the 50GB BD media is key to enjoying that future,” he said.

“Sony is looking to lead the HD revolution in Australia and introducing this increased capacity media means greater options for our consumers. With so much capacity now available, Blu-ray is the perfect data storage solution for businesses and consumers.”

The new BNR50A recordable and BNE50A rewritable dual-layer discs are 1-2x speed compatible at 72 Mbps and use advanced Sony AccuCORE Technology to accurately store data and ensure compatibility with other drives and players.