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.

TOPICS: Data Management

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

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  • Blue Ray is taking off?

    Um, ok. If you say so :)
    • 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.
  • 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?
    • 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