MFDigital CD DVD Information Library
Monday, July 19, 2010
Blu-ray player shipments to top 62 million in 2011
A new ABI Research forecast predicts a strong rise in standalone Blu-ray player shipments, with the figure expected to top 62.5 million in 2011.
ABI Research believes Blu-ray shipments will double from the start of 2009 to the end of 2010, and shipments will only increase further in 2011. By the end of 2009, Blu-ray players were in just 7 percent of households – but will be in almost one-in-five houses, predicted at 18 percent, before 2012.
Blu-ray shipments are now increasing due to price declines for Blu-ray movies and players — along with larger, flatter high-definition TVs that include Web connections, 3D, and other custom features. “The solid growth in Blu-ray player shipments highlights a trend within the wider consumer electronics market,” said Mike Inouye, industry analyst. “Larger, fixed-location devices such as Blu-ray players and flat panel TVs are enjoying rapid adoption relative to many classes of small, portable devices.”
Both Microsoft and Apple are avoiding Blu-ray in favor of focusing on streaming services, but Blu-ray is expected to have market control for the next two-to-three years at the least. Sony has embraced Blu-ray with the PlayStation 3, but also includes streaming services. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Blockbuster, and other brick and mortar stores have increased Blu-ray marketing to include HDTVs playing Blu-ray movies in-store.
Customers previously said they were waiting for prices to decline – but some analysts remained hesitant whether or not Blu-ray would be adopted. Expect manufacturers to continue promoting the benefits of Blu-ray, with ma continued sales increase through late 2012.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
New Standards for Estimation of Archival Lifetime of Optical Media
The 99th General Assembly of ECMA has approved an updated version of the ECMA-379 standard for the estimation of the lifetetime of optical media as well as the ECMA-382 2nd edition standard for DVD-R for DL discs.The latest ECMA-379 3rd Edition includes all essential testing guidelines for the estimation of the archival lifetetime of optical media.
The project represented by the standard document provides a methodology that includes the testing of DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, +R/+RW optical discs. The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) initiated work on this subject and developed the initial drafts. Following that development, the project was moved to Ecma International TC31 for further development and finalization.
The latest ECMA-379 3rd Edition includes essential information about the test's stress conditions, ambient conditions, controlled storage condition, e.g. 25 °C and 50 % RH, using the Eyring model, uncontrolled storage condition, e.g. 30 °C and 80 % RH, using the Arrhenius model, evaluation system description, specimen preparation, data acquisition procedure and data interpretation.The methodology includes only the effects of temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH). It does not attempt to model degradation due to complex failure mechanism kinetics, nor does it test for exposure to light, corrosive gases, contaminants, handling, and variations in playback subsystems.
The ECMA-379 3rd edition standard follows the ECMA-379 1st Edition, which was approved as an ISO/IEC IS 10995 Standard and published in April 2008. ECMA-379 2nd Edition was technically identical with the published ISO/IEC Standard IS 10995 1st Edition. ECMA-379 3rd Edition is editorial amendment including corrections of some calculations, and Bootstrap method was deleted. Although Bootstrap method has no problem in itself, however, miscalculation might be caused depending on the data set conditions, ECMA said.
ECMA also released the second version of the ECMA-382 2nd edition "120 mm (8,54 Gbytes per side) and 80 mm (2,66 Gbytes per side) DVD Recordable Disk for Dual Layer (DVD-R for DL)." This second version of the standard specifies two Types of dual layer Recordable optical discs, one (Type 1S) making use of recording on only a single side of the disc and yielding a nominal capacity of 8,54 Gbytes for a 120 mm disc and 2,66 Gbytes for an 80 mm disc, the other (Type 2S) making use of recording on both sides of the disc and yielding a nominal capacity of 17,08 Gbytes for a 120 mm disc and 5,32 Gbytes for an 80 mm disc. Compared to the first version, it has for editorial corrections and clarifications.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Warner Bros. Expands DVD to Blu-ray Upgrade Program
Warner Bros. has tweaked its incentive program for Blu-ray owners, encouraging them to trade up their existing library of DVDs.
The “DVD2Blu” program lets people mail in their DVD movies, plus a fee, in exchange for a boxed copy of the same film on Blu-ray disc. When DVD2Blu debuted last November, there were a mere 55 films available. The catalog now includes 91 films. The price of trading in has also dropped since November. Upgrades now cost either $5 or $7, down $2 from before.. There’s still a $5 shipping charge on all orders, but you can get free shipping on orders of $35 or more, compared to a $25 minimum when the program debuted.
When Warner started DVD2Blu, many of the selections were old or classic films. I have no way of comparing the current library to what was there before — my memory isn’t that good — but I see some newer films in the catalog, such as The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth and Gran Torino. Warner also offers a trade-in program for HD-DVD movies, dubbed “Red2Blu,” and the selection is even larger, with 125 available movies, most of which cost $5 each. That program has been available since April 2009.
According to Home Media Magazine, Warner expanded the DVD2Blu program in response to increased Blu-ray ownership. The Digital Entertainment Group reports that Blu-ray penetration is up 125 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Bluray Consumer Video Spending on the Increase
Despite a promising March, in which sell through spending was up 4% and overall consumer spending on home entertainment rose 2%, the lingering effects of the recession continued to make consumers more watchful of their expenditures in the first quarter of this year.
Total consumer spending on Blu-ray Disc and DVD purchases and rentals, as well as digital delivery, is estimated at $4.8 billion, down 8% from the first quarter of 2009, according to numbers released April 15 from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Conspicuously absent from the latest DEG report is transaction data. Last year, consumer spending was down 5%, but transactions were up 2.8%.
The bright spot for home entertainment in the first quarter of 2010: a sharp rise in consumer spending on Blu-ray Disc, with sellthrough up 74% and rental up 36%, according to the DEG, which compiles its numbers each quarter with input from all the major studios. The software gains were accompanied by a 125% growth in Blu-ray Disc hardware sales in the quarter, the DEG said. Digital delivery, too, rose 27% in the first quarter of 2010 from the year-ago quarter, growing to $617 million.
“We are still facing a challenging environment but are very pleased to see positive indicators of stabilization in our overall business,” said Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders, also president of the DEG. “We are encouraged to see consumers continue to realize the tremendous value of Blu-ray and growing more comfortable with digital delivery.”
The rental business, which last year remained surprisingly stable, took a significant hit in the first quarter of this year, largely because of the rash of store closures from troubled brick-and-mortar chains Blockbuster and Movie Gallery. Citing the Rentrak Corp.’s Home Video Essentials, the DEG said rental spending fell 14% in the three months ending March 31 from the first quarter of 2009.
Overall sellthrough spending fell 11% in the quarter. The DEG didn’t break out DVD sellthrough, but according to Home Media Magazine market research, consumer spending on DVD purchases was down 16% in January and February from the same months last year, due largely to the boost in DVD sales that occurred in early 2009 because of the Circuit City liquidation, which flooded the market with cheap discs. March was rebound month, with gains in both sellthrough and overall consumer spending, a remarkable 124% rise in Blu-ray Disc sales and a 35% uptick in digital delivery transactions. Credit, at least in part, goes to the Easter holiday.
Recent moves by three of the six major studios to impose a month-long window on new releases coming to the rental market are expected to boost DVD sales, with a minimal impact on the rental business. Indeed, some observers believe the rental window, which applies only to Netflix and Redbox, will grow the business. Consumers who want new releases as soon as they come out will have to shell out more money to buy them, while fans of renting movies will simply rent something else instead of foregoing the experience altogether.
The health of the Blu-ray Disc market is underscored by the fact that during the quarter, more than 34 million discs were shipped to retail, 72% more than during the first quarter of 2009, according to figures compiled by Swicker & Associates on behalf of the DEG. More than 18 million U.S. homes now have some sort of Blu-ray Disc playback device, either a set-top machine or a PlayStation 3 console. Meanwhile, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) data shows that consumers bought 4.7 million HDTVs in the quarter, bringing the total number of sets sold to consumers to 75 million. About 50 million U.S. households have at least one set, and 34% of all HDTV owners have two or more sets.
Source: Home Media Magazine
Monday, March 15, 2010
Computer Storage Market Returns to Growth in 2010
After suffering a decline 2009, global revenue from shipments of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Optical Disk Drives (ODDs) used in computers is expected to grow in 2010 as PC shipments rise on the strength of the economic recovery, according to iSuppli Corp.
Worldwide revenue from shipments of HDDs used in computer applications is expected to amount to $27.7 billion in 2010, up 18.4 percent from $23.4 billion in 2009.Computer-oriented ODD revenue will increase to $14.8 billion in 2010, up 7.6 percent from $13.7 billion in 2009. In comparison, computer-oriented HDD revenue declined by 11.7 percent in 2009, while that of ODD decreased by 6.3 percent.
"The 2010 economic recovery will bring rising sales of PCs," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at iSuppli. "The notebook sector is expected to be particularly strong, with shipments outgrowing those of desktops. This will drive the robust increase in HDD shipments."
Other factors contributing to the rise in demand in 2010 include new server purchases and the migration to 2.5-inch HDDs in data centers to achieve cost reductions. Furthermore, the adoption of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system by the enterprise business segment is helping to propel PC sales. Shipments also are continuing to rise for external drives used for the storage of gaming, music and movies.
iSuppli expects HDD revenue for computers in the first quarter of 2010 to decrease slightly to $6.6 billion, down from $6.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, reflecting the normal seasonal slowdown. However, HDD revenue is set to recover to the fourth-quarter 2009 level by the second quarter of 2010.
The computer-oriented ODD market, on the other hand, won't recover to its fourth quarter of 2009 revenue level of $4.1 billion during any single quarter of 2010. However, the market will grow on an annual basis in 2010.
Furthermore, beginning in the fourth quarter, ODD revenue will gradually rise as demand increases for gaming, movies and high-quality sound systems.
Friday, January 01, 2010
First Blu-ray/DVD Flipper Disc on the Way
Universal will be the first to try the flipper disc with the “Bourne” trilogy, starring Damon, CNet reports. The films will be released on January 19, but Universal hasn’t said how much these discs will cost in comparison to a regular Blu-ray disc. Because Blu-ray discs won’t run on standard DVD players, the flipper format gives buyers the best of both worlds.
The flipper disc concept originated with HD-DVD, again from Universal. What’s odd is that Universal reportedly cut back on flipper discs in the spring of 2007 according to High Def Digest, reissuing two of its most popular flipper releases as HD-DVD only and reversing course on two other movies that were supposed to come in both formats.
The studio had once pledged to release 90 percent of its HD-DVD movies as combo discs. It’s not clear what caused the change of heart, but it seems that Universal is up for experimenting again. There’s no indication in CNet’s report that other flipper disc releases are planned.
Flippers already have stiff competition from Blu-ray and DVD combo packages, which keep the formats on separate discs. This seems advantageous, because you can bring one disc with you for use in a portable DVD player or laptop, while the Blu-ray copy can stay behind with your home theater. Lionsgate, Fox, Walt Disney Studios and MGM are among the studios supporting the separate disc combo format. Then there’s the trend of including a DVD with only a digital file for use on computers and portable media players. Some releases contain all three.
Friday, November 27, 2009
New DVD Claims to Store Data For Centuries
While recordable DVDs are unreliable and unpredictable, often failing in as few as two years, a new 1,000 year DVD made of high tech, diamond-hard stone promises to preserve irreplaceable digital files for the ages. The Cranberry DiamonDisc was designed by a team of scientists to store digital photos, movies, music, documents, and ledgers for 1,000 years or more.
Unlike conventional recordable DVDs and CDs, the Cranberry DiamonDisc has no adhesive layers, dye layer or reflective layer to deteriorate - thereby avoiding the "data rot" that quickly corrodes all recordable DVDs. A high-intensity laser physically etches the information into the diamond-like surface of our synthetic stone disc. No other layer is needed. The transparent Cranberry DiamonDisc can withstand prolonged temperatures extending up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit as well as UV rays that would destroy conventional DVD disks, Cranberry claims.
Researchers at Millenniata (Cranberry got an exclusive license of the technology for the consumer market) have tested the Cranberry Disc using the ECMA379 temperature and humidity (85°C / 85% RH) testing (effects of temperature and relative humidity ) as a standard to develop the most rigorous testing possible. They have combined temperature and humidity (85°C / 85% RH) tests with exposure to the full spectrum of natural light. The Cranberry Disc is the only survivor after this rigorous testing, the company claims. "Considering the combination of the Cranberry Disc's test results and its rock-like data layer, it is reasonable to conclude that the Cranberry Disc has a greater longevity and durability than other competitors media claim a 300-year shelf life," the company said.
The data format is the same as any other DVD, meaning that the Cranberry DiamonDisc is fully backwards-compatible and can be read by any DVD player in any computer. Both the National Archives and the Library of Congress have alerted consumers that they shouldn't rely on home-burned DVDs to last much beyond two to five years. "Storage media such as compact discs and DVDs that were thought to last don't - they often fail within a few years," cautions the Library of Congress.