First US indie Blu-ray plant opens

First US indie Blu-ray plant opens
BlueRay Technolgies (BRT), based out of Valencia, California, started last year to provide “next generation DVD/CD replication.” Today they announced their first plant is online. The $12 million plant is located in downtown Spokane, Washington, and BRT is proud to say they’ve already completed their first run of Blu-ray Discs for the independent market.

The facility was a joint venture between BlueRay Technologies and Film and Music Entertainment, an indie film production/distribution company, owned by producer John Daly (The Terminator, Platoon), as a channel for independent filmmakers to distribute their work on the new Blu-ray format. They say this is important because the majority of Blu-ray replicators are controlled by the major studios, and they’re located in Asia. This US based plant will prevent the smaller studios and TV producers from having to wait in the back of the queue.

BlueRay Technologies logoNeilson says 70% of US homes will have HDTVs by the year 2010. BRT chairman Erik Hansen said, “Driven by the HDTV boom in US households, a growing number of consumers will steadily replace their DVDs with high-definition discs.” Citing the slowing DVD sales, Hansen believes the indie market will have to join with the major studios in adopting high-def formats, saying that high-def will “provide the next boon to film companies large and small as it did when VHS and later, DVDs came to market and created new revenue streams.”

The Spokane plant uses the latest replication technologies and eco-friendly materials supplied by GE Plastics to produce over 100,000 discs per day. Hansen is so confident in high-def content that he plans on buying catalogs and new releases to distribute.

While BlueRay Technologies displays the Blu-ray Disc logo on their page, and says that, “the competition is over – Blu-ray won,” they will be buying HD DVD, though they were very unspecific on what that means.

As an avid indie film fan, this is great news if the studios do take advantage of this. Indie studios will also have the ability to distribute their high-def work through Edge of Light Media. It would be something if BRT became the Criterion Collection of high-def.

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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2 Comments on “First US indie Blu-ray plant opens”

  1. BRT seems to be contradicting themselves by saying “the competition is over – Blu-ray won”. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have any need to buy into HD DVD, but they are indeed buying into HD DVD.

    I also didn’t see any mention of BD-50 (dual layer) replication capability. Hopefully they will be able to manufacture the higher capacity discs as well…

  2. They didn’t mention 50GB discs, and this is notable because there are very few 50GB replicators in the world, and most of them are owned by Sony.

    Their press release is somewhat confusing. I’m not sure how “Blu-ray” could be a “generic name.”

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