Is It Time To Upgrade Your Optical Media To Blu-Ray?
Companies that currently use DVD may be unsure whether to stick with that technology or move to Blu-Ray. They are understandably reluctant to change without knowing what the future will bring, but the technology is firmly established and will soon dominate the optical media market.
Advantages of Blu-Ray Over DVD
The most often touted advantage of Blu-Ray is its greater resolution and support of HDTV movies. While most organizations aren't producing Hollywood blockbusters, the ability to record sharper video is important in some industries. However resolution isn't actually the issue.
DVDs record HDTV quality video as well, just not much of it. A DVD holds about 30 minutes of HDTV video which isn't useful for theatrical movies, but might serve other video applications that use shorter clips.
Since most organizations use optical media to store data rather than video, they have been put off by the emphasis on video quality. The real advantage is that Blu-Ray disks hold approximately five times the amount of information as DVDs which in turn hold about five times the information of CDs. Data can be stored on fewer disks and that means easier portability and storage.
As happened with optical media in the past, early Blu-Ray was read only. Blu-Ray burners existed but were extremely expensive and out of reach of most companies.
Today's Blu-Ray burners have fallen drastically in price and are now within the range affordable to businesses and consumers. They are reasonable options for data and video storage, packing far more information on one disk than DVD can. Blu-Ray burners are backward compatible and can still write and read DVDs and CDs so there is no danger of having obsolete media.
Blu-Ray media is cheaper than it used to be and the price should drop precipitously over the next couple of years. While still more expensive than blank DVDs, the increased storage capacity makes gives Blu-Ray media significant value.
High Capacity Blu-Ray Printers
Organizations with large duplication needs are looking at the new generation of Blu-Ray burners. Older burners that produce one disk at a time are fine for distributing copies of little Bobby's birthday to your friends, but not useful for high production environments. Newer burners offer automated production, allowing dozens or hundreds of disks to be produced with little human intervention.
Most high capacity burners offer built in print capabilities, eliminating the need for a separate unit to print on the disk. The large capacity burners combine Blu-Ray duplication with inkjet or thermal printers. With the press of a button, new disks are burned and labeled and come out ready to put in a case for shipping.
This technology is here to stay and prices have dropped enough that Blu-Ray burners are viable options for nearly any business with significant video or data needs.