Print 18 comment(s) - last by ultimatebob.. on Feb 26 at 3:40 PM

Go ahead and indulge your taste for high-def video -- but not right now.
We all want a Blu-ray Disc player and a PlayStation 3, but they cost too much -- and it's all your fault

Please don't buy a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player. It's not because they aren't great products that offer spectacular visual quality. For the most part, they are and they do. No, the reason for my request is simple and completely self-serving: I want one, and I want to pay less for it.

The problem is that the components -- specifically the blue laser diodes needed to read the discs -- are in short supply. This makes finished products that contain blue lasers expensive and hard to get. It's basic supply and demand: If everybody else just stops buying the high-def players, the price will drop and supply will increase, all of which is good for me.

I suppose I should be more public-spirited about the thing. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Since I want to buy one and satisfy my itch for HD quality, I should expect you to feel the same way. But if we all keep squabbling over them, the only people who end up with the devices are those with higher disposable incomes than mine. This is what I have a problem with.

Take the Sony PlayStation 3. The shortage of blue lasers led to a shortage of the Blu-ray-equipped video game machines, ultimately resulting in the fact that I still don't have one. The high cost of these high-performance laser devices is also largely to blame for the sky-high introductory costs of PS3s and Blu-ray players. Industry sources estimate that the tiny lasers cost manufacturers about $100 each. When you start out with a single component that's worth a C-note, the bill of materials gets hefty in a hurry. In fact, the final sales price of the blue laser-based devices may not be that much higher the actual manufacturing cost. The important thing for us all to remember in this is that it's potentially bad for me.

So what's up with these little blue lasers, and why are they so expensive? It turns out they are darned hard to make, which is why they cost roughly ten times more than the common red lasers that are used in conventional DVD players and related consumer devices. Experts in the field attribute the high production costs to die size limitations in the gallium nitride (GAN) wafers that are required to make the blue lasers. Until they can turn out bigger GAN wafers, and subsequently produce blue lasers in sufficient quantities to make the resulting CE devices cheap and plentiful, I'll just have to ask you all to back off. As soon as prices come down to a level I can afford, I'll stock up on Blu-ray and HD-DVD players, along with a PS3 or two. Then I'll pass the word that it's okay for everyone else to get back in the market and run prices up as high as they like.

Thanks again for your considerate cooperation.

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By hellokeith on 2/23/2007 6:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Blu-ray DVD player"

should be Blu-ray Disc player

RE: correction
By Tyler 86 on 2/23/2007 10:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Dispite the trademarked DVD IP, DVD does stand for 'digital video disc', which is what Blu-ray discs are, Blu-ray digital video disc...

Go watch a Blu-ray DVD.

RE: correction
By soydios on 2/23/2007 10:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
DVD was originally "Digital Video Disc" but is now instead called "Digital Versatile Disc". I just call it DVD.

RE: correction
By Tyler 86 on 2/23/2007 10:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
It still works, Blue-ray Digital Versatile Disc... It'll hold anything, for example PS3 games.

RE: correction
By hellokeith on 2/24/2007 2:52:26 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, you couldn't be more wrong. DVD and Blu-ray Disc are both trademarked by completely different organizations and are vastly different technologies.
Hrmm, that's funny, right there the Blu-ray Disc association posts all the official difference between DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

DVD = DVD Forum = red laser technology, CSS & Macrovision
BD = Blu-ray Disc Association = blue laser technology, AACS (& BD+ in the future perhaps)

Guess you best do your homework before posting uneducated responses.

RE: correction
By Tyler 86 on 2/24/2007 4:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that's a lot of evidence for no reason.
You have issues, pal. Don't flame-bait like that.
There's nothing to be won there.

I was going by literal acronym definitions.
Atleast one other noted that, with the correction that DVD stands for 'Digital Versatile Disk'.

Have a nice reply.

RE: correction
By Ringold on 2/23/2007 11:42:12 PM , Rating: 1
I'd also throw in that in the short run supply wouldn't increase, it'd stay the same, and also throw in that lowering prices or artificially under-reporting demand now would be a huge disincentive to develop the tech and get lower prices in the future, but the whole article is in fun, so I'll let it go. ;)

RE: correction
By AzureKevin on 2/24/2007 5:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
Quite the critical one, aren't you?

I am with you Dude
By indianpunk on 2/24/2007 1:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
I am with you Dude

Well i am in college nor do i have the money and nor do i like this blu ray and hd dvd thing i am a pc guy so all my money goes into new processors new graphic cards and all new ram and after some time a new hd enabled lcd etc etc so my advice to you all


RE: I am with you Dude
By Future145 on 2/26/2007 6:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
Do you know why its dying?
Its because not everyone wants to spend $500 every two years on a new processor or video card to play the newest PC game.

Don't worry about me!
By Le Québécois on 2/24/2007 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
With my $400 DVD player (I bought it a long time ago) I'm not ready yet to pay over that price for a player (HD-DVD or Blu-ray) that unlike my DVD one back then is far from being a winner depending on the outcome of the "format" war. That and the fact that my satellite provider is enough for my HD movies need right now.

I'll even help you and spread "your words" around me. How about that?

RE: Don't worry about me!
By masher2 on 2/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Don't worry about me!
By Le Québécois on 2/25/2007 3:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as one format wins, there won't be a reason to block multi-format players any longer, so I'll be able to play the discs I buy now forever.

You're probably right about this but I don't make a lot of money so until I see a player below that 400$ mark I won't make the plunge. Not just that but I used to buy quite a lot a DVD and I would need both players to be able to really buy what I want :(. So for me either one format win or a real hybrid Blu-ray/HD-DVD player come out and cost $400 or less.

By Sharky974 on 2/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: Uhh
By Le Québécois on 2/24/2007 10:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
Man, you need to relax a little...

...or you won't be able to see the difference between an actual news article and a blog.

Looking at your previous posted comments you almost seem like the "michal1980" of dailytech but defending the X360 (while honnestly I don't think it needs any "defense" on this site) insted of the PS3.

The only thing Dailytech needs now is an "official" Nintendo fanboy and its fanboys collection will be complete.

RE: Uhh
By Tyler 86 on 2/25/2007 4:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
.. but everyone's a Nintendo fanboy. O_o

By sxr7171 on 2/25/2007 12:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Stupid, they need early adopters paying high prices to recover development costs so that they can use that money to invest in lower cost production techniques.

I'm confused again...
By ultimatebob on 2/26/2007 3:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't we want MORE people to buy Blu-Ray players instead of less? It's mass production, economies of scale, and competition that lower prices on new technology products.

As long as Blu-Ray is selling less than 100,000 players a month, it will always be a $500+ High-End niche product. The only exception to that would be if the format failed, which I guess is still a possibility at this point.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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