I really like to back up data to optical media, and as the volume of data I back up continues to increase, I would love to back up to 25gb Blu-ray discs rather than 4.2gb DVD discs. But Blu-ray media is still far more expensive than DVD media and the obvious question is “why?”
The Blu-ray Dimensions blog offers an answer which is basically — relax, DVD writable media was even more expensive at a similar point in its history.
The technology uses a different type of laser (that’s how optical discs are read). With all that it does not compare to when a DVD recorder drive was $13,000. Yes those days (years) really did exist. This is not where we break out into a story about walking to school in bare feet in the snow but it really is a matter of perspective. Recordable Blu-ray is not as inexpensive as recordable DVD because DVD is a mature market. Demand has leveled off and despite the crazy forecasts from some manufacturing sectors, the same ones who dump product on the market because they are always wrong, prices have drifted down.
One problem with this analysis, however, is that Blu-ray does not seem to be approaching anywhere near the adoption cycle that DVD experienced. Sales of Blu-ray software and hardware have significantly trailed sales of DVD movies at similar points in the respective technologies’ histories. According to Wikipedia,
According to Adams Media Research, high-definition software sales were slower in the first two years than DVD software sales. 16.3 million DVD software units were sold in the first two years (1997-1998) compared to 8.3 million high-definition software units (2006-2007). One reason given for this difference was the smaller marketplace (26.5 million HDTVs in 2007 compared to 100 million SDTVs in 1998).
That slow adoption could make it much tougher for Blu-ray writable media prices to come down to DVD levels on a per-gigabyte basis.