XDCAM Compared to Blu-ray, DVD FAQ

Is the XDCAM system's Professional Disc media the same as the consumer Blu-ray Disc™ media?

No. While there are some similarities, the Professional Disc media uses a unique phase-change recording material to support higher read/write speeds. In addition, the Professional Disc cartridge shutter supports access by two simultaneous pickups, while the earliest Japan-market Blu-ray Disc media had a shutter that accommodated only one pickup. Current Blu-ray Disc media uses a bare disc without cartridge. There is no cross-compatibility between XDCAM products and Blu-ray Disc products.

What is the difference between the recording material used for consumer Blu-ray Disc media and that used for the XDCAM system's Professional Disc media?

The higher transfer rates of the XDCAM system require a more sensitive phase-change recording layer. The Professional Disc recording layer must change from crystalline (high reflectivity) phase to amorphous (low reflectivity) phase fast enough to enable transfer speeds of up to 72 Mbps. In comparison, the writing speed of consumer media is 36 Mbps. Aside from the different phase-change material, the track pitch, recording density and production processes are the same.

How does the read/write/erase life cycle of the XDCAM system's Professional Disc media compare to the Blu-ray Disc media?

They're identical in the minimum spec. Both are rated at a minimum of 1,000 read/write/erase cycles under normal operating conditions. The Professional Disc media has a maximum read/write/erase life cycle of 10,000 under ideal operating conditions (73 degrees F, 50% RH). All of this information is based on Sony's own testing.

How does the XDCAM system's Professional Disc media differ from DVD?

Profoundly. Although both are 12 cm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, Professional Disc media has five times the capacity, 13 times the transfer rate, a shorter laser wavelength and a protective cartridge for the media. Professional Disc media capacity is 23.3 GB, compared to 4.7 GB for DVD. The XDCAM HD decks and camcorders have a transfer rate of 72 Mbps, compared to 11 Mbps for DVD. The XDCAM system uses a blue-violet laser as opposed to the red laser used for DVD.

Is the XDCAM system's Professional Disc media playback or record compatible with DVD drives?

No. They have different file formatting, track pitch and pickup specifications, in addition to different mechanical requirements.