Although research into optical data storage has been ongoing for many decades, the first popular system was the Compact Disc, introduced in 1982, adapted from audio (CD-DA) to data storage (the CD-ROM format) with the 1985 Yellow Book, and re-adapted as the first mass market optical storage medium with CD-R and CD-RW in 1988. Compact Disc is still the de facto standard for audio recordings, although its place for other multimedia recordings and optical data storage has largely been superseded by DVD.
DVD (initially an initialism abbreviation of "Digital Video Disc," then modified to "Digital Versatile Disc," then officially just "DVD") was the mass-market successor to CD. DVD was rolled out in 1996, again initially for video and audio. DVD recordable formats developed some time later: DVD-R in late 1997 and DVD+R in 2002. Although DVD was initially intended to prevent a format war in fact one did arise between these two formats. It was resolved with both surviving however: DVD-R predominating for stand-alone DVD recorders and players, and (for computers) most DVD devices being engineered as dual format, to be compatible with both. As of 2012, Blu-ray Disc is the de facto standard for pre-recorded movies, and popular storage of data beyond the capacity of CD.
With the development of high-definition television, and the popularization of broadband and digital storage of movies, a further format development took place, again giving rise to two camps: HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, based upon a switch from red to blue-violet laser and tighter engineering tolerances. After suffering a number of significant losses to Blu-ray, Toshiba announced their withdrawal from HD DVD on February 19, 2008.
As of 2007, future development beyond Blu-ray Disc appear to be based upon one or more of the following technologies, all in varying stages of development:
- Holographic data storage.
- 3D optical data storage.
- Nearfield optics.
- Solid immersion optics (allowing an extremely high numerical aperture).
- Discs utilizing very short wavelengths such as UV or X-rays.
- Layer selection discs (LS-R).
- Multi-level technology.
- Complex pit shapes allowing multiple channels to be stored on one track.
- Wavelength multiplexing techniques.
Famous quotes containing the words media, storage, optical and/or history:
“Today the discredit of words is very great. Most of the time the media transmit lies. In the face of an intolerable world, words appear to change very little. State power has become congenitally deaf, which is whybut the editorialists forget itterrorists are reduced to bombs and hijacking.”
—John Berger (b. 1926)
“Many of our houses, both public and private, with their almost innumerable apartments, their huge halls and their cellars for the storage of wines and other munitions of peace, appear to me extravagantly large for their inhabitants. They are so vast and magnificent that the latter seem to be only vermin which infest them.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“It is said that a carpenter building a summer hotel here ... declared that one very clear day he picked out a ship coming into Portland Harbor and could distinctly see that its cargo was West Indian rum. A county historian avers that it was probably an optical delusion, the result of looking so often through a glass in common use in those days.”
—For the State of New Hampshire, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“What is most interesting and valuable in it, however, is not the materials for the history of Pontiac, or Braddock, or the Northwest, which it furnishes; not the annals of the country, but the natural facts, or perennials, which are ever without date. When out of history the truth shall be extracted, it will have shed its dates like withered leaves.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)