Your opinion on Blu-Ray?

Started Feb 6, 2014 | Polls thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Laser Discs on Voyager 1...

Jim Cockfield wrote:

The Longevity is appealing.

But, with the huge number of standards and disc types, I'd be worried about players able to read that content years down the road (not only the hardware needed to read them, but drivers for the newer Operating Systems).

IOW, I'm sure NASA meant well when they included Gold Plated Laser Discs on the first Voyager space missions to try and make sure any other life those spacecraft might come in contact with would be able to learn more about Earth.

Do you have a Laser Disc Player?  I don't.

So, if I can't access the data on one, I'm not so sure how we'd expect other species to read or understand them either.

There have been so many different formats for media over the years, it's crazy.   I've got older hard drive types, a *lot* of older floppy discs types, tapes using various formats requiring specific tape readers and drivers, etc.

But, the hard drives I have seem to be the most reliable format that may be readable for a much longer period of time, using nothing more than a simple USB adapter to see them from most any Operating System, with no special drivers needed.

There are some exceptions (for example, some of the older MFM drive types I still have from decades ago).  But, for the most part, IDE and SATA drives are still readable with no issues or problems trying to find hardware that support them.

I just don't see the same level of compatibility to be the case with Optical Discs like Blu-Ray for that long of a period; even if the Discs themselves are more immune to data degradation; as the standards for them are just changing too rapidly, with more and more disc types as time passes..

So, personally, I'll just stick to hard drives, and move the data to even newer hard drives periodically, as it's a *lot* easier to manage one 2TB hard drive versus 40 Blu-Ray discs to hold the same data.

IOW, I'm seeing formats related to BD9, BD5, BDXL, IH-BD and more; and now we've got other formats entering into the equation, too.

Hard drives are bad enough, even though there have not been that many changes in them over the years. The biggest issue right now as far as my storage is concerned, is having a way to read the very old MFM type drives (as used by most of the first "IBM Compatible" computers decades ago, which required custom ROMs on WD compatible controller cards to access) using newer computers.

But, most newer hard drive types (IDE and SATA) can be easily accessed by virtually any Operating System via a simple USB adapter; with no special drivers needed.

I'm not sure Blu-Ray discs are going to enjoy the same compatibility for decades to come.

So, even though the better life expectancy (from a disc degradation perspective) looks attractive; the standards associated with Optical Media are changing so rapidly that I'd be concerned about having a system capable of reading those discs years down the road, even if they are still OK from a data degradation perspective.

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