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Sony names head of Blu-ray group

Sony of America named Mike Fidler senior vice president and head of its Blu-ray Disc Group. Fidler will be responsible for promoting Blu-ray, a blue-laser video recording format, to motion picture studios, music labels, consumer-electronics manufacturers, optical replication and post-production houses. Sony Corp., the Japanese parent of Sony Electronics, plans to release a Blu-ray Disc Recorder in Japan on April 10, priced at around $3,800. The company would not comment on U.S. availability.

Blu-ray disc technology allows for 27GB storage capacities on a single-sided 12cm disc. DVDs hold 4.7GB of data. Blu-ray technology uses a short-wavelength blue-violet laser instead of the red lasers in current optical drives to read data off discs. The higher-capacity Blu-ray discs will enable the recording of high-definition broadcasts, which offer better picture quality than the more broadly available TV broadcasts.