Sony and Panasonic have released a statement outlining plans by both companies to jointly release a new optical disc format that will be able to hold 300GB of data.
The new format, to be available in 2015, would hold six times as much data as current Blu-ray discs, and nearly 38 dual layer DVDs.
However, the companies say the new format will not be aimed at the consumer market, but rather, it is intended for businesses that require "long-term digital data storage".
"Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content. Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray Disk™ format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement," the statement read.
While the home movie market isn't being targeted by this yet unnamed format, with Hollywood's sights firmly set on 4K content, the new disc format could still play a role in the lucrative home entertainment market.
Current 4K delivery plans center on using the Internet to distribute content, including Sony's own 4K delivery platform. However, the required bandwidth of 4K content, even with more advanced compression techniques compared to the current technologies used in Blu-rays, could be a significant barrier to 4K adoption.
A new disc format that carries 300GB data, more than enough for a high quality 4K movie, could then become a necessity in 4K achieving mainstream penetration.