Sony Corp, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and Sharp Corp plan to develop smaller, 8cm discs for recording. These devices are 4cms smaller than current Blue-ray discs. The firms will then each introduce camcorders that use these smaller discs, which will have a capacity of about 15GB, 40% less than standard Blue-ray discs.
The companies aim to achieve recording times similar to conventional tapes. For example, a Sony camcorder can continuously record 80 minutes to two hours of high-definition video on a single tape.
Consumers will be able to easily record high-quality video outdoors and enjoy the convenience of viewing camcorder recordings as is on home Blu-ray Disc players and computers.
Sony and Victor Co of Japan, known as JVC, currently sell tape-format, high-definition camcorders for about 400,000 yen, almost triple the price of normal camcorders. Camcorders that use the new Blu-ray discs will likely carry similar price tags.
Firms backing the Blu-ray format have been competing with the other next-generation DVD format, HD-DVD, which is supported by such companies as NEC Corp and Toshiba Corp.