HDTV Holy Grail: 100GB on a Single Disc?

Digital cinema has begun to pick up speed in movie houses (see previous story), but finding ways to deliver the huge datafiles needed to present theater-grade imaging has remained an obstacle. Hoping to provide a solution to the problem of digitally storing high-resolution feature-length films, Constellation 3D announced last week the impending demonstration of its Fluorescent Multilayer Disc (FMD) videodisc technology at a satellite-delivered digital cinema film premiere of the film Bounce, to be hosted by Miramax Films.

Miramax says that the high-profile premiere of a movie in the new digital cinema format confirms the company's commitment to this emerging phase of cinema technology, in which video and audio information is stored not on 35mm celluloid reels but on digital media such as C-3D's "ultra-high-capacity" FMD videodisc.

Miramax expects that the event, to be held in New York in November at a date and location to be announced, will be covered by global media and press organizations, including the major TV and news networks and entertainment-based programming. Miramax says that the premiere will also be attended by companies providing key infrastructure for the distribution and display of digital cinema content, such as Boeing, Texas Instruments, AMC Theaters, and QuVIS.

C-3D says that the first generation of this FMD media, with capacities of up to 100GB, will offer higher resolution, higher bit rates, and greater realism than current consumer video formats such as DVD. The company also says that FMD playback systems for digital cinema, HDTV, and a personal video recorder are currently under development with industry partners.

C-3D claims that the new FMD-based systems, due for commercial release next year, are based on inexpensive red-laser technology and therefore are capable of playing current CD and DVD content. C-3D says it is also developing a portable playback system that will use C-3D's 5GB, credit-card–sized Fluorescent Multilayer ClearCard.