DiskBank offers a range of digital media services such as CD, DVD and BD duplication, replication and printing, branded promotional USB drives as well as film and video transfers across Australia. This article discusses issues concerning Blu-Ray duplication and replication.
It was a relief when the format war between HD and Blu-Ray was finally settled in early 2008, but where does one stand almost two years down the track?
In many ways, the growth in Blu-Ray sales has been frustrating for all. It’s inevitable that the financial outlay to purchase expensive hardware (at least in the early days) to cater for the latest format will struggle to turn enough sales to be justified.
As duplication professionals, the company relies on maintaining sales volumes at a sufficient level to cover overheads and to finance development of future mediums.
Much like DVD in its infancy, the price was high, volumes were low and the future felt unknown. Blu-Ray presents similar challenges and will no doubt take some time to cement its viability.
Having said that, recent research has shown that Blu-Ray technology is being embraced much faster than anybody has predicted.
Currently more than 1 in 10 households in Australia has a Blu-Ray player with 2009 showing a 400% increase in player sales against 2008.
It's exciting to note that when compared to the same point in the DVD's lifecycle, Blu-Ray has seen a much faster rate of growth.
It seems the dramatic benefits that Blu-Ray offers (full High Definition picture, advanced navigation systems and significantly better sound quality) are starting to catch on.
So where does this leave the user when deciding what format to use?
The first question to ask is whether their target audience has the technology available to them.
If one is releasing an independent film, it may be necessary initially to offer both DVD and Blu-Ray versions (or risk alienating up to 90% of the audience).
The downside of this is that Blu-Ray while still relatively expensive drops significantly for quantities only above 1,000 (beyond the reach of most film makers).
On the flipside, if one is looking to transfer home movies, the additional cost to move to hi-definition transfer to Blu-Ray is minimal and the bang for the buck definitely justifies the additional cost.
These two examples illustrate the second deciding point, quantity. If one is looking at very small volumes (10 or less) or more than 1,000 units, Blu-Ray is an attractive option.
The third deciding factor to consider is compatibility. Just like DVD in its first few years, there was a range of issues associated with burnt or duplicated discs.
If the requirement for Blu-Ray is less than 1,000, most likely one will be looking at burning the discs from blank BD media, rather than using the manufacture option, which is available for larger volumes (1000+).
The issue may not prove to be chronic; however the lesson from DVD was that it took several generations of DVD players and advancements in blank disc manufacturing processes before a high level of reliability was achieved.
It will be interesting to see if Blu-Ray presents the same challenges.