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Thursday, May 12, 2005
Sony Blu-Ray player out next year

Sony will be selling a combination CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disk player by the first quarter of 2006.

The drives will be equipped with a red laser reader for traditional formats and a blue laser for Blu-Ray disks. No pricing information has been released as yet.

Matthew Swinney, product manager at Sony, said: "Blu-Ray is coming. It's a logical step: CDs were created for music, DVDs for video and with high definition video you'll need the capacity Blu-Ray offers."

He explained that current Blu-Ray disks, which can hold about 25GB of data, are only the start. By building two or more layers on a Blu-Ray disk Sony will increase the capacity to 200GB.

Blu-Ray readers can write more information to disks because blue lasers allow data to be written into the media in smaller units than on a standard drive. Data segments on a CD are written at 780 nanometres, DVDs at 650nm and Blu-Ray disks at 400nm.

Other manufacturers are preparing for Blu-ray's launch, but are not ignoring the competing high definition DVD (HD DVD) standard.

Jos Hageman, marketing manager at Samsung's European optical division, said: "Our Blu-ray drives for PCs will be available for testing by manufacturers by the end of year. But we will also be selling HD-DVD drives.

"We have feet in both camps. After all, there are already over 50 films that have been released in the HD-DVD format."

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