Singing the Blue-Laser Blues?
HDTV-savvy storage products are entering the pipeline, notes Storage Supersite Editor David Morgenstern. But what do consumers really want: capacity or performanceand at what price? Readers chime in with their views.
Should storage vendors expect lines of consumers waving bucks in the air for forthcoming next-generation DVD recorders based on blue laser technology? Or will customers sit on their wallets, given the current tough economic climate and concerns over standards. From the response from readers, the consumer market may be experiencing future shock, or maybe just old-fashioned sticker shock, when sizing up the technologys prospects.
Readers responded to last weeks look-see at the nascent blue-laser market, especially to the introduction of a consumer-market recorder in Japan.
"So-called consumers are not going to shell out nearly $4,000 for a burner that wont be around in eight months," advised Steve Blandford, CTO at i2corp.com. "Perhaps the new marketing segment youre looking for should be tagged as Prosumer. I cant take credit for this moniker, since Ive seen it used in relation to bleeding-edge technology in the digital video area. But it seems a better fit than consumer. I cant wait till the new standards shake out and the rest of us real consumers can take the plunge."
- Video editing? Sure the new blue-laser recorders are fast and can hold a lot of datafor an optical disc. When compared with current DVDs (and CD formats) the blue media is fantastic. However, that luster pales when stacked up against even a single 200GB FireWire hard disk, which holds 10 times more files, has faster throughput and costs about $500. Discs are for long-term storage and distribution.
- Movie distribution? The blue-laser media will hold a stack of current movies or a long high-definition title; however, the idea of distribution denotes multiple devices. At least two drives would be needed to make this workeven more of an investment. Current DVD recorders work great and are compatible with the increasing installed base of consumer players.
- Archival storage? The obvious choice, yet its a new technology with strong competition from high-capacity tape formats. And few prosumers have optical libraries to upgrade.