HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Media Disk War Heats Up

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-08-21

HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Media Disk War Heats Up

The long, hot summer may be winding down, but the HD-DVD-versus-Blu-Ray optical media marketing wars are just starting to heat up.

Five days after Sony announced it has started shipping 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc recordable (write-once) media disks, Imation countered Aug. 21 by announcing the availability of its own recordable HD-DVD media platters.

Memorex, a subsidiary brand of Oakdale, Minn.-based Imation, in an announcement Aug. 18, said it is shipping its own 15GB HD-DVD recordable media. Both Memorex and Imation brands retail for $19.99 apiece, but they wont be competing for attention on the same retail shelves.

"The difference [between the two brands] is that Memorexs HD DVD is primarily for consumers and available at retail, whereas Imations HD DVD is more geared toward business professionals and prosumers and is available primarily through commercial channels," Imation spokeswoman Nancy Bjorson told eWEEK.

Imation and Memorex HD-DVDs can store up to 15GB of digital files--three times the capacity of standard DVDs--and can be used for any kind of graphics storage: including specialized medical and government imaging, photography, videography, as well as high definition video recording.

Imations corresponding Blu-ray recordable (write-once) media, announced July 13, can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disk at a retail price of $19.99 but can only be used on a Blu-ray machine.

Click here to read more about Imations Blu-ray recordable media.

The rewritable single-layer (25GB) Blu-ray version retails for $29.99, the spokesperson said.

Sonys 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc recordable disks with AccuCORE technology retail for $48.

AccuCORE, a proprietary technology owned by Park Ridge, N.J.-based Sony, utilizes a new recording dye for both the DVD-R and DVD+R formats so as to deliver better performance in writing and playback across a wide variety of drives and recorders, a Sony spokesperson said.

Improved writing stability and faster addressing is achieved through a new stamper design, new molding and new bonding technologies, the spokesperson said.

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"Id say were in the early adopter phase of the HDD/Blue-Ray DVD market," Charles King of Pund-IT in Hayward, Calif., told eWEEK.

"The players and recorders arent common, but theyre becoming increasingly available. For businesses that use optical storage for back-up and compliance purposes, they qualify as a next-gen solution; faster and more capacious that previous technologies so valuable for companies that are feeling squeezed by the headroom of existing DVD disks."

The popularity of optical storage has dwindled over time, but its price and performance are still compelling for some small to midsize businesses and organizations with a history of investment in optical-storage processes, King said.

"I also expect to see HDD and Blu-Ray drives in many of the upcoming PC desktop and laptop models that will it the stores in time for the holidays," King said. "Overall, Id say that its smart for Imation to get these products into the stores ASAP."

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