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Blue laser products ready for retail
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Date: 04-26-04
Author: Ravdeep Hora
Category: Storage
Manufacturer: Various
Blue laser technology is currently the hottest topic in the stroage area. Sony and other companies are working towards making the blue laser technology a reality by producing affordable media and drives that will open many storage options to the normal consumer.

Sony expects to announce its blue laser DVD rewritable drives this June in the United States. Sony showcased its DVD drives at the National Association of Broadcasteres convention, which was recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other manufacturers including Pioneer, TDK, and Maxell also displayed their prototypes of the DVD rewritable drives. The blue laser media was also displayed by various companies at the convention.

The current prices seem to fall around $2500.00 to $3000.00 for these drives, which will burn discs with 23GB of data. There will be both internal and external versions for the new standard drives. The internal burners will cost around $2500.00 while the external ones will run around $3000.00. The internal version will use SCSI-3 interface and the external drives will properly utilize USB 2.0 and SCSI. The media for these drives will cost around $45.00 according to Robert De Moulin, Marketing Manager, Sony Optical Storage Group.

These new drives were available in Japan last year.

The above stated drives will be mainly targeted towards professionals rather than mainstream consumers. Due to the popularity of the red laser media and drives and the cost effectiveness of the red laser products, analysts believe the blue laser drives and media to enter the mainstream market sometime in late 2006 or even 2007.

According to various reports, Sony's dual-layered drives and media will also debut in June of this year. The Sony DRU-700A drive, based on dual-layered technology, will be priced around $230.00. The external counterpart of the DRU-700A drive will be priced at $330.00. The model of the external drive is 700UL.

The new drives will support DVD+R format and will be compatible with many consumer level players and drives.

According to Moulin, the drives will write the media at 2.4x speeds, which should take around 45 minutes to burn a full dual-layered disc.

Sony will face some competiton from Philips as the company is planning to release its drive around the same time as Sony.

Verbatim, one of the leaders in the media, expects to release the dual-layered media around the same time. Verbatim will be the first company to launch these dual-layered discs. Verbatim confirms, the media will be priced around $10.00 and will also be in short supply around the end of this year.

The DVD optical storage options are really starting to expand and it will interesting to see how the market evolves when the new standards show up on the retail shelves.


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