Mitsubishi Kagaku Media will also release its first LTH BD-Rs at the same time frame, while Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. will start offering its LTH products in the beginning of March. Prices in Japan are expected to range from 4,000 ~ 4,800 Yen ($37 ~ $44), in packages that include 5 discs.
The LTH write-once BD-R media feature an organic dye recording layer, making them different that the currently available BD-R discs that use inorganic materials. The "Low to High" technology (LTH, in groove recording) was included in the "Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format Ver.1.2" specifications.
Current Blu-Ray drives and recorders cannot read the LTH BD-R discs. That because the reproduced signal while reading the discs has a LTH (Low to High) polarity. However, new hardware as well as firmware upgrades to existing players/recorders could add support for LTH recording. Panasonic has already released such a firmware update last November for its for its DMR-BW200, DMR-BR100 and the MR-BW900/BW800/BW700 models. Pioneer is also expected to ship the first LTH BD drives in Spring of 2008.
The advantages of the LTH manufacturing technology is that it can be applied without requiring large-scale manufacturing plant investments, allowing for using modified CD-R and DVD-R manufacturing equipment.
Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical Media fist announced the development of the first LTH discs last September. Fuji Photo Film is also expected to release LTH BD-R discs this year.