Blu-ray DVD vs HD DVD blank media costs
Today, I decided to take a quick look at the current difference in pricing and costs between blank Blu-ray DVD media (BD-R, BD-RE) and blank HD DVD media (HD DVD-R). The pricing information gathered here should serve as a baseline and help to provide historical comparisons and reference data as these “high definition” optical media costs continue to drop in price as time goes on. As with most products, pricing for Blu-ray and HD DVD recordable media will decline as demand increases, manufacturered quantities increase and competition increases between different brands.
HD DVD-R vs BD-R pricing estimates
Currently, the street price for both formats are pretty similar. Here is an approximate Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) range for the various Verbatim Blu-ray DVD and HD DVD recordable formats.
BD-R DL $35-40
HD DVD-R $20-25
Now let’s look at some actual pricing data from one popular online media retailer. I’ll stick with Verbatim brand media to keep a more accurate comparison of quality optical media products.
BD-R vs HD DVD-R real world costs
Verbatim 1x HD DVD-R (15GB) $14.99
Verbatim 2x BD-R (25GB) $16.99
Verbatim 2x BD-RE (25GB) $19.99
After a couple of quick searches on the web, I couldn’t find any other stores that are stocking both HD DVD-R and BD-R Verbatim media. This is not really a major surprise though because HD DVD burners are not yet available to consumers. With no burners available, not many retailers are stocking the recordable HD DVD blank media. Recordable HD DVD drives are suspiciously absent form the retail market at the current time, but a LiteOn manufactured HD DVD burner is expected sometime mid-year. HD DVD-R media might drop in pricing even more as the burners become available and more recordable media manufacturing plants convert their DVD-R lines to HD DVD-R.
End of year Blu-ray and HD DVD pricing predictions
So what will the Blu-ray DVD and HD DVD blank media costs look like by the end of the year? I am predicting that we will see both both BD-R and HD DVD-R at around $10 per disc near years end, with HD DVD-R at a slightly lower price. The Blu-ray 50GB (BD-R DL) product will probably stick at around $30 per unit as it is tough to manufacture and will continue to remain in limited supplies through mid next year. Either way, Blu-ray has the advantage in the PC and high definition burner market as they already have multiple Blu-ray burners available and their format has the layer advantage. This gives me yet another opportunity to ask, HD DVD burners, where art thou?