iTunes and Blu-ray DVD Duplication and the BD-ROM

by Antony

Today, Apple announced via a press release that new movie releases from major film studios and premier independent studios will now be available to purchase on the iTunes® Store on the same day as their DVD release. iTunes movies can be viewed on an iPod with video, iPhone, Mac, or PC or widescreens with Apple TV. New releases are priced at $14.99, and catalog titles at $9.99.

Apple lists that catalog titles will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios.

This week films that are in the iTunes Store this week concurrent with DVD releases include "American Gangster" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

Blu-ray.com is a website that talks about everything related to Blu-ray Disc (BD). The technology uses a blue-violet laser to read and write data, ergo the name, which is a combination of "Blue" (blue-violet laser) and "Ray" (optical ray).

On a separate note, the Blu-ray Disc Association says that the spelling - or mispelling depending on how you look at it - of "Blu-ray" isn't a mistake. In order to register the name as a trademark they left the "e" out on purpose.

More an more people are getting used to using Blu-ray because one single-layer disc can hold 25GB of data, or around nine hours, while a dual-layer disc holds 50GB, or apx. 23 hours of standard-definition (SD)video. In order to make sure that the Blu-ray disc format is easily extendable the technology includes support for multi-layer discs, which should allow the storage capacity to be increased to 100GB-200GB, which is 25GB per layer, in the future by adding layers to the discs.

How fast can you read or write data on a Blu-ray disc? According to the Blu-ray Disc specification, 1x speed is defined as 36Mbps. However, as BD-ROM movies will require a 54Mbps data transfer rate the minimum speed we're expecting to see is 2x (72Mbps). As for the future, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) already has plans to raise the speed to 8x (288Mbps) or more in the future.

Asheesh Barman has done a podcast on the topic -- How will Blue-ray impact Acutrack, independent filmmakers and our customers? Asheesh Barham has even done a podcast on this topic. Ever since Warner Brothers decided to support Blu-rey, there's been alot of confusion about the topic The difference is it the format of disc that delivers content to the user? Both are high definition discs, we do not need both formats, so now it looks like Blu-ray may win out. In the short term it is too expensive for most of our customers, who are independant film makers, documentarians, and folks who make training films none of which are shooting in HD yet. The authoring is more complex. The programmers need to know JAVA.

We always recommend that our customers focus on content and production, and marketing it. You can maximize your return by using our DVD Manufacturing On Demand, which is a DVD duplication service. It is a system that allows our customers to manufacture CDs or DVDs on an as needed basis, which eliminates the up-front costs typically associated with CD and DVD production. It is perfect if you are selling download-able content, don't know how many units to produce, and do not want to mess with inventory, packaging and fulfillment.

On Demand also allows for custom branding on each DVD disc with unique content or artwork.  It is the best way to automate order processing too, and reduce inventory build-up.