Blu-ray drives due next month

Taiwanese firm AOpen has plans to introduce its first line of internal and external PC-based Blu-ray optical drives to the Middle East by the end of November.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  October 6, 2005

Taiwanese firm AOpen has plans to introduce its first line of internal and external PC-based Blu-ray optical drives to the Middle East by the end of November. Compared to present dual-layer DVD writers, which can write up to 8.4GB of data to compatible media, Blu-ray drives should be able to write up to 50GB of data. However, like all things new in the world of PCs, the prices of such drives are expected to be high when the models are first introduced onto the market. “When they are first launched, Blu-ray drives will be sold at a premium,” confirmed Mike Chiang, senior director, AOpen. “This is no different from when dual-layer DVD writers and DVD/CD-RW combo drives first made their way on to the market. Those drives too were sold at premiums when they were first launched. Now however, we sell more dual-layer DVD writers than standard combo drives, which was our previous big seller.” Besides the price premium of the actual drives, Chiang says media will put an even bigger damper on things. “This is simply because Blu-ray media may take time to actually materialize on markets and even when they do, pricing per unit will be quite high,” explains Chiang. That said, Chiang also told ITP.net that once both drives and media start shipping in reasonably quantities, pricing will fall to make way for the next big thing. Blu-ray is the name of the next generation of optical disc media developed by 15 world-renowned companies. The new standard was developed to accommodate large amounts of data such as high-definition video. A blue-violet laser is responsible for reading and writing data (hence the name) and, like present DVD media, discs can be either single-layer or dual-layer.

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