Bluray. (Blu-Ray).
Forget CD, DVD, DVD-RAM, this disc holds 27GB!

Introducing the Successor to DVD: Blu-Ray.

February 2002

New optical disc format Blu-ray opens up interesting possibilities for offline virtual reality. (c) N. C 2002

Recently, the consortium of companies that hammered out the DVD format, announced its successor. Named Blu-ray, this optical disc will be able to store around 27GB of data. Spewing it out again fast enough for HDTV playback. But is there an upper limit to the amount of data that the human brain can take in a given amount of time?

Technological progress moves at such a rate that today's shiny new thing is tomorrow's car boot sale relic. When Edison recorded his dulcet tones to wax cylinder way back when, he couldn't have imagined what a full 5.1 surround system with earth-shattering sub actually feels like...

...this article is in the process of being written...these are my notes...

This announcement got me thinking, have we reached the point where every individual on the planet can have a continuous 5 sense recording of their whole life?

Is it feasible?
Affordable?
Practical?
If not, when?
And how?

Issues: Bandwidth, Storage, Latency, Real-time Playback, Cost, Practicality, Feasibility.

DVD covers Audio/Video.
That leaves Touch/Smell/Taste.

Nici says the last two are distinct - but I say not! Surely they are so close that Smell can be encoded as a sub-channel of Taste, like Dolby 5.1, where the .1 is the sub data?

So this would give us a generous upper bandwidth limit of double whatever DVD is. Does this sound right? I don't care about waste for now - I just want to make sure that we have no data dropout at peak rates.

CD (and VCD) is about 1.2, 1.5 MBps.
And DVD-VIDEO runs at about 6 times that, making about 7-9MBps.
This gives a total sense bandwidth (TSB) upper limit of around 16MBps.
This figures need to be checked, but I know the order of magnitude is right.

This is perhaps a little too generous - surely we don't need that much bandwidth for tactile and olfactory information?

Of course in real life I suspect that this bandwidth is very flexible - hence we can frazzle our minds during times of stress or through drugs  because we voluntarily "up" this rate, to feel and think at a quicker rate. The chemical switches are used more frequently and need to be set quicker - they are put under a greater strain. The metabolic rate needs to increase to provide the energy in the form of sugars and oxygen, and also to remove toxins and deoxygenated blood.

I would guess that this "burst sense mode" does not more than double the TSB for any length of time. So with buffering we can set a theoretical TSB upper limit of 2xTSB=32MBps.

So basically we can look at all of the issues above and apply them to DVD recording for bandwidth purposes. What kind of a system would be needed to safely double this, and perhaps quadruple for short periods of time?

Blu-Ray, as the new optical storage standard is named uses a blue laser, having a higher frequency than red or green light - more data can be packed into a smaller space on a disc. This results in a new storage capability of 27GB for a 5 inch optical disc...

This medium, will be able to playback HDTV (2xTV@100hz). When a home-recordable version is available and included in the primary home entertainment device, every family will have the capability of full TSB recording. It will take a further level of integration for this technology to become small, cheap and ubiquitous to the point of individual, portable devices becoming feasible.

But high-end digital camcorders record to digital tape at a rate good enough to be output to DVD. A RAID with 4xSCSI drives could do the trick too, but would need to use the hard disk as a buffer whilst writing to tape or burning to DVD-RAM simultaneously.

...this article is in the process of being written...please visit later for an update...