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Blu-ray and HD DVD prices set to fall

Blu-ray and HD DVD are the two competing next generation optical media formats. The world ain't big enough for the both of them...

Blu-ray players look like they are about to come down in price over the next few months. Sony has begun selling its blue laser diodes to third party manufacturers. This means more players can be built, and more players means cheaper prices.

Blue lasers are more tightly focused than the red ones used in current CD and DVD players. This enables the 'pits' containing the data on an optical disc to be both smaller and packed much closer together. This in turn enables a lot more pits to be contained on the disc, so heralding a massive increase in storage capacity.

Sony has not sold its diodes to third parties until now because it was too focussed on making enough of them to put into its PlayStation 3 console. But now that it has ramped up production, it has enough to pass around.

Other Blu-ray supporters, Sharp and Nichia, are also increasing production of the parts. This means that by the year's end Blu-ray players across the board will most likely be significantly cheaper than they are now.

HD DVD players share the same blue laser technology as Blu-ray. Increased production of the diodes will probably also herald a drop in price for those players too.

James Rivington


James has been working with TechRadar for over 12 years and is now the Global Editor-in-Chief of eCommerce at TR and its sister sites including PC Gamer and T3.com. That means he looks after buying guides and deals pages as well as all of the nifty price comparison tools we use to help readers find the best deals on the coolest products.