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Sony pushes paper Blu-ray disc

The company teams up with Toppan Printing to develop a Blu-ray disc made mostly of paper, which they hope will lower prices and encourage use of the technology.

Sony and Toppan Printing are making a new mark on Blu-ray disc technology.

The two companies have been working for about a year on printing data onto Blu-ray discs made mostly of paper. The companies are aiming to produce lower-cost discs and expand the use of the technology.

Sony and Toppan announced the 25GB discs Thursday and said more details will be revealed at the Optical Data Storage conference this weekend in Monterey, Calif. The discs will be able to store more than two hours of high-definition video. Representatives from both companies were not available to comment on their plans.

The Blu-ray Disc format uses blue laser light and is considered a successor to today's red-laser DVD drives. Blu-ray discs can store more than five times the capacity of current DVDs.

Blu-ray disc drives are just starting to hit the market. Sony introduced a Blu-ray drive in Japan last year.

Toppan said the paper discs add a level of security in some cases. "Since a paper disc can be cut by scissors easily, it is simple to preserve data security when disposing of the disc," Hideaki Kawai, managing director of Toppan, said in a statement.

Sony is part of a group of companies called the Blu-ray Disc Founders that promote the Blu-ray Disc format. Others include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Pioneer, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony and Thomson.

Another group, including Toshiba and NEC, have been working on a competing blue laser disc technology. Their technology is designed to be compatible with current DVD standards.