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 was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.