The way to increase demands for next generation optical discs

March 12, 2009 · Filed Under Editor's Corner 

Like any other products in our digital age in order to insure their market acceptability and increase their consumer demands their price tags must be lowered as one of the major attributes. Next generation optical discs like Blu-ray are no exception in this assumption. Demand for Blu-ray and other next generation optical discs started to grow since 2007 in reaching 20 million units in sale by 2008. The growth will exceed 60 million units in 2009 and an estimated 250 million by 2011 according to research report by Panasonic. As of 2008 Japan accounted for 80% of global sale for next generation optical discs such as Blu-ray with overseas demand is expected to reach about the same level sometimes by 2011 according to the same research studies. The success in increasing demand in next generation optical discs was due to the lowering prices where the prices of a for example 25 Gbyte next generation optical disc was reduced to about one third. It is general view that a recording medium such as Blu-ray does not diffuse before its pricing declines to one hundredth of its hardware price where we can see that the next generation optical discs have reached this price level in 2008 in Japan. From the technical and business perspectives optical discs emit less CO2 and require less TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) than other media during their lifecycle opening yet another avenue for next generation optical discs to increase their market penetration though their use as a long term storage media for fixed data not only from the performance and cost but the from environmental view. For archival purposes optical discs are inferior to other media in terms of access speed and cost per bit, however most of the data that are currently being stored in archives are unstructured and 80% of such unstructured data are fixed data which are not frequently retrieved making optical discs a well suited media for the long-term storage of fixed data. The optical discs which began rapidly to replace magnetic media in 2000 have the largest portion of the global demand for recording media. In 2008 global demands for CD-R and recordable DVD media were at seven billion and six billion units respectively. Demand for optical discs has grown so strong partly due to the fact that they can be used for a wider range of applications compared with magnetic media accompanied with reduced in pricing of hardware and recording media. Therefore in order for Blu-ray and other next generation optical disc to enjoy this level of market expansion it is necessary for emergence of other type of applications where next generation optical disc can be used beside their current use of recording HDTV programs.

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