I wish Blu-ray discs were cheaper!

I wish Blu-ray discs were cheaper!

Summary: Blu-ray burners at $1,000 each isn't as bad as playing $1/1GB for media.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Data Management
6

Having a backup gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and there's no better backup in my mind than one where I burn my data onto a disc, and verify that the new disc I've created is readable before popping it into the safety of the fire safe.  This is what I like about DVD.  Yes, the storage capacity isn't much given the volume of data that I have, but I can get all my important stuff onto the disc and then lock it away safe.

Given that I have a lot of data to back up, I think that I'm slowly getting to the point where I'd be Blu-ray media currently retails at about $1 per GB, and the difference in price between write-once and re-recordable isn't that greathappy to pay close to $1,000 for a Blu-ray burner.  OK, I wouldn't feel too good about spending that kind of money, but at least I could put it down as money well spent.

Problem is, while I'm mostly sold on the idea of a Blu-ray burner (I'd still try not to look at the price too much and probably close my eyes when I clicked the "buy" button), no matter how hard I try to convince myself I just can't seem to accept the price of the media.  Blu-ray media currently retails at about $1 per GB, and the difference in price between write-once and re-recordable isn't that great.  $1 a GB is a high price to pay for storage, and it's cheaper to simply buy hard drives and a removable bay or an external enclosures and use these.  Blu-ray discs media might have a low error-rate and might be good for thousands of rewrites, but at those prices, I think I'd prefer to trust a hard drive.  Hard drives take up more space than a disc (although not all that much if you store discs in a jewel case) but while the media prices are so high, that wipes out any potential benefits that Blu-ray offers me.

Primera Bravo XR-BluThere's no doubt that Blu-ray is taking off and that manufacturers are positioning themselves to take advantage of it - take a look at the Bravo XR-Blu from Primera - this is a $5,000 system that allows automated backups to be made using Blu-ray media, just load in 50 blank discs and (that's over $1200 worth of 25GB Blu-ray discs!) and it does the rest.  For companies with a lot of money to spend on a backup solution, then there are going to be some good solutions that come out, but I think that that little guy is going to have to wait a while.  However, that said , if I were willing to spend the money necessary to go down the Blu-ray road, I'd want to do a lot of testing to see just how reliable the media currently is, and how broad the compatible the burned media is with other drives on the market - no point spending money on a fancy, unproven, backup scheme only to find it's unreliable.

I think that the "little guys" (me included) are going to have to wait a year or two before Blu-ray becomes a viable solution for home/SOHO backups.  I think that we're going to need to see drive prices fall to sub-$200 and media that costs around $1 for 2-3GB before it gains any serious traction over recordable DVD (it will be really nice when 200GB Blu-ray media ends up costing around $20).  By which time the drive write speeds will have increased and hopefully any reliability issues will also have been cleared up.

Anyone out there outside of a large company considering making the jump to Blu-ray yet?  If so, what factors influence your decisions?  What features make the technology worth the cost for you?

Topic: Data Management

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Blue Ray is taking off?

    Um, ok. If you say so :)
    BitTwiddler
    • Well, yeah.

      Sure it's taking off. After all, it just launched. Hasn't cleared the pad yet, but hey. Time will tell if it has enough thrust behind it to reach escape velocity.
      dragontiger
  • 25 GBs????

    What happened to that [i]theoretical[/i] 200GBs that were supposed to be possible with a single disc? Only using one layer (as opposed to the eight that are supposedly available)? Higher-cap BluRay discs still TBD? Or is Sony's consortium of BR devotees merely finalizing the details?

    So what happens if early adopter equipment and later, higher-cap media [i]aren't[/i] compatible, as some have rumored? SOL?
    flatliner
    • That's a real worry ...

      ... promised compatibility now doesn't mean a thing. They could easily pull the rug from under early adopters later on by going back on the promise of 200GB support. It's another aspect of Blu-ray that makes me wary.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Don't worry, Blu-rays will become cheaper.

    They'll catch on and the blu-rays will be made in volume, lowering the price like it did for writable CD/DVDs; Or HD-DVD will make them into another Betamax, leaving the technology for swap meets and flea markets.

    Either way, the pirce will come down.
    Mr. Roboto
  • Brand new 120Gb hard drive for 40 bucks

    vs. $125 for 5 25Gb blu-ray disks.
    Roger Ramjet