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Picking the right optical format

01 Nov 06

* Verbatim
While the major CE vendors wage war over which next generation DVD format is best – HD DVD versus Blu-ray - Verbatim has released a range of media to cover both bases.
Regardless of which format a customer chooses to buy Deborah Hamilton, Verbatim country manager, says resellers and retailers should be informed on both.
“As more vendors bring new blu-ray drives to the market we expect to see demand build through Christmas and into the first two quarters of 2007,” she says.
Although HD DVD is still some way off Hamilton expects momentum to build through 2007 and encourages resellers to have new media on hand.
Hamilton says that with the expected growth of HDTV the ability to record HD programming from television is quickly rising.
“Today recording two hours of standard definition in high quality requires a full 4.7GB DVD disc yet high definition content – with its increased resolution and digital sound tracks – requires an even greater amount of storage capacity,” she says.
She admits that with the availability and new multi-format drives, media has moved rapidly into the commodity market.
“End user education is now all about shelf positioning and packaging. However the channel still needs to understand that despite its low cost, CD and DVD media is a complex product to produce and considerable variances remain in the quality between first and second tier vendors.”
Total control of the media production process – including quality of dyes, plastics, protective coatings, reflective layers and write strategies – is a highly technical process requiring a high level of expertise and infrastructure to get right.

Blu-ray explained
Verbatim’s parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media, has been at the forefront of the development of Blu-ray format and as a result has access to the latest technology.
Blu-ray discs have higher storage capacities  enabled by a blue laser with a shorter wavelength than the standard red laser used in CD and DVD technology. This means it’s possible to write smaller data pits which vastly increases the amount of data on the disc.
Hamilton says Verbatim technology makes it possible for reliable multiple layers on one disc. Each of the recording layers consists of two layers; a recording layer and non-conducting layer. Between these is a spacer layer which allows both layers to be read and written separately.
In order to protect the cartridge-free BD media from scratches, fingerprints and dust particles Verbatim discs have a cover layer and a proprietary hard-coat finish. This protects the recording layer without warping the disc.

Who supports Blu-ray?
Sony, Dell, HP, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, TDK and Thomson Multimedia.

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