ODS-D55U and a carton of 12 Blu-ray for archives
Sony has just introduced a new archiving system intended to replace the tapes, the ODS-D55U. It uses a cartridge containing twelve Blu-ray writable for a capacity ranging from 300 GB (12 x 25 GB) and 1.5TB (12 x 125 GB). The set will be available in spring this year.
The most technologically viable
The system is capable of handling the cluster disk as a single virtual volume. The drive connects via USB 3.0. Major U.S. broadcasters, British and Japanese have announced to join the project. We imagine they will use the solution for the archiving of their content. We do not know the cost of the printer or cartridge, but there is no doubt that they are high, which also suggests that this solution will not be available to the general public. Today, a 1.5 TB hard drive costs less than € 100. It’s cheaper than a BD-XL 128 GB on the consumer market. Even with the support of TDK, which will manufacture the media, it is clear that this solution is expensive.
One can not help thinking that the ODS-D55U is a relatively basic. Only twelve Blu-ray discs into a cartridge. Nevertheless, the fact that the major broadcasters to be rallied behind this product so quickly suggests that there were not many other alternatives. There is talk of holographic storage media for years (see ” Sony boosts the speed of holographic storage “), but it is clear that we did not do better than the Blu-ray.
A niche market
Those who will wonder why broadcasters do not use a simple external hard drive should remember that their needs differ from those of the general public. They need materials that can easily travel in difficult conditions without damaging the data. The cartridge is better protected against shock, and it does not include a removable mechanical parts. It offers a flexible interface, since the reader can change buses without affecting the cartridge and the cartridge takes up less space, which is an important criterion for a broadcaster that will store in the thousands.