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Taiwanese Company to Mass Produce Rewritable HD Discs 120

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the places-to-put-your-stuff dept.
Lucas123 writes "Ritek Corp. plans to start mass producing BD-RE and HD DVD-RE next quarter. 'Initially, however, BD-RE and HD DVD-RE discs will be pricey. The average cost per disc will remain around $10 in retail outlets, despite production costs of around $5 per disc, said Eric Ai, a Ritek representative. Prices won't likely come down until other mass disc producers in Taiwan win accreditation to make the discs, and ramp up volumes.'"
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Taiwanese Company to Mass Produce Rewritable HD Discs

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  • Despite? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by raehl (609729) <raehl311@y a h oo.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @01:48PM (#19241151) Homepage
    $10 retail on something that costs $5 to produce is pretty standard.
    • Exactly. Prices won't come down due to competition...they'll come down when manufacturing costs go down, and when there's competition. Even if there were 5 players producing these discs, you'd be lucky to see them at retail for less than $9.
    • Re:Despite? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @02:16PM (#19241767) Journal
      Yeah, exactly. Imagine for a minute all the highly mechanized third-world sweatshops that pay pennies per hour. It can't cost more than a dollar to make a shirt, and what does it retail in America for? $35.

      100% markup doesn't seem bad by comparison.
  • by Golgafrinchan (777313) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @01:50PM (#19241215)
    Ritek is a Taiwanese company.

    The headline implies that Ritek is located in Thailand.

    Way to go, American geography experts!

    • by L. VeGas (580015) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @01:57PM (#19241341) Homepage Journal

      Way to go, American geography experts!
      How do you know they live in North America? They could be from Canada, you know.
      • by DrSkwid (118965)
        er..
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Because Lucas123 previously submitted http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/ 10/002230 [slashdot.org] when the link for his usernamed pointed to lucas_mearian@computerworld.com . That at least identifies who he is. Furthermore, note that both of the articles Lucas123 submitted both point to computerworld.com articles. (And that's fine; he's not hiding his relationship with the site for the articles he's submitting.) To the point: Whois for Computerworld.com says the administrative, technical and registr
      • Which country is more geographically ignorant? I'd say it's a thai.
        • by dr.g (158917)
          Can we get a Ba-dum! *CHING!* on up in heah?

          That said, I think the Mexicans pretty much forget all their SOUTH American compatriots on May...uhhh...7th, or whenever Mayonaise Day is...
      • by dubbreak (623656)
        It's funny, Canadians will always point that error out (that Canada is part of North America), however the same Canadian will forget that Mexico is Part of NA too.

        Americans forget the Canadians, Canadians forget the Mexicans, who is left for the Mexicans to forget?
    • by atrizzah (532135)
      Why is it necessary to throw "American" in there? You know, you don't have to turn everything into an opportunity to bash America
    • by kirun (658684)
      Aww, they changed it. And I was about to do a joke about the submitter getting it all ting tong.
  • Are these even available yet? I see the BluRay ones on NewEgg, but never any HD-DVD burners.
  • Initially, however, BD-RE and HD DVD-RE discs will be pricey. The average cost per disc will remain around $10 in retail outlets...


    $10 for the ability to read/write 20GB+ of stuff at a time looks pretty cheap when compared to a thumb drive that could do the same thing.
    • by Eccles (932) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @01:56PM (#19241335) Journal
      It's especially cheap compared to the value of that time. I've been trying to back up photos on DVDs, but with the amount of pics and movies I can take with a 2 GB card, it's a pretty time-consuming process. On the other hand, with 500 GB external drives for ~$140, that's less than $6 for 20 GB, so that's still a cheaper option at the moment.
      • Lets not forget your not even counting the cost of the burner / player that is built into an external HD. Speed is also an issue I can write out a 500gb drive in about 2-3 hours I doubt I can burn 25 of these in the same time frame. Tape is the same or better than HD speeds for writing.
      • by dangitman (862676)

        but with the amount of pics and movies I can take with a 2 GB card,

        Yeah, you can take a whole 2GB worth of pics and movies.

        • by Eccles (932)
          Te point is that with hi-res cameras I can fill up 2 GB in a weekend, meaning that my photo/movie library grows by that amount on a pretty regular basis. Thus DVDs tend not to be enough.
          • by Wolfrider (856)
            --You might want to "trim the fat" a bit; convert pics to a standard resolution + less colors, and only keep the _absolute best_ pics out of the lot.
          • by dangitman (862676)
            But what difference does it make if it's pictures? 2GB is 2GB, regardless of the source.
            • by Eccles (932)
              But what difference does it make if it's pictures? 2GB is 2GB, regardless of the source.

              The reason I originally brought it up is that back when I bought my DVD writer (early 2003), my camera had a 256 MB card. It took quite a bit longer to fill a DVD with that, and thus backing up to DVD wasn't so painful. I don't have any other sources of data that generate gigabytes and require backup; video torrents may be that size, but you have a handy backup at piratebay...
              • by dangitman (862676)

                The reason I originally brought it up is that back when I bought my DVD writer (early 2003), my camera had a 256 MB card. It took quite a bit longer to fill a DVD with that,

                Still doesn't make any sense. You take more pictures merely because of the size of the media? Shouldn't you be taking the amount of pictures you want to take, regardless of media? This implies that you are either taking too many photos now, or you weren't taking enough photos back then.

                • by Eccles (932)
                  This implies that you are either taking too many photos now, or you weren't taking enough photos back then.

                  Actually, it's mainly longer mini-movies. And yes, back then I could only take 10 second ones with the camera I had, so I wasn't taking "enough" back then. The current camera allows me to take movies as much as the card will hold.

                  Also, the pics are somewhat higher resolution, and thus larger, with my more recent camera.
    • It looks pretty bad when you can get 500 GB hard disks for less than $150. 25 times the storage for 15 times the price isn't bad. Also, I've never seen rewritable media that comes anywhere close to the reliability of a hard drive.
    • They can be used to pre-stage a DVD you are going to burn a few times, but they are not really useable as generic rewritable storage devices for a long time.
      • Hold on there, cowboy. You're going to tell me that on a disc with a 90 minute write time (write+verify at 2X speed), you expect to hit the endurance limit on this media on a regular basis?

        Let's just take a random guess that this has 1000 w/e cycles. If you re-wrote to this disc every business day of the year, it would take 4 years to hit its limit. I appreciate your handleing care and frugality in trying to keep something around for that long in daily use, but I'm just not so sure it's a real issue for pr
    • by arivanov (12034)
      While you are correct, there are a number of rather annoying limitations.

      IIRC BlueRay and HD-DVD still use UDF which has a filesize limit of 1G. While some OS-es (pre-2.6.9 linux is an example) wrote 1G files to them that was in violation of the standard and these are not guaranteed to be interoperable and readable in the future. This is an extremely annoying limitation as far as any use for backup or "my own data" is concerned.

      Compared to that a thumb drive or a USB hard drive can be formatted with a files
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        It's just a block device, IE it's a big string of data...
        What's to stop you putting another filesystem on it?
        UDF may be the most common filesystem, but any unix OS will quite happily read a DVD which contains it's normal format (ufs, ext2 etc)..
        It's only windows that has ridiculous restrictions on which of the supported filesystems can be used on which of the supported media types.
        • by Wolfrider (856)
          + Mod parent up

          --Yes, this is a somewhat little-known feature of *nix OS. You pretty much set up a loopback filesystem (ext2, since 4-8GB DVD-size filesystem fsck is negligible, and you don't need Journaling on something that's going on read-only media) -- copy your files onto it, dismount the loopback, and burn it like an .iso image to DVD. Use RW discs at first to make sure you get it right, and verify the disc can be mounted and read properly.

          --If you need to migrate the disc data to Windoze, you can u
          • by arivanov (12034)
            You are both totally wrong.

            1. UDF compared to ISO9660 is designed as a read-write system. It is one of it major advantages (and the reason why it is worth using it on RW CDROMs instead of ISO9660). You can actually write straight to the disks instead of having to maintain multi-gigabyte buffer space. By the way, your loopback approach does nothing at all regarding the 1G limit. Your ext3fs will be limited to 1G in size because the max file you can write to the disk is 1G. In addition to that as UDF supports
  • Taiwanese /= Thai (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm. editors, please?
    • by Lucas123 (935744)
      My mistake. I apologize. In trying to quickly shorten the headline, I screwed up.
  • Yay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @01:56PM (#19241315) Homepage
    This was the same story for CDR, DVDR, etc. Eventually, a spindle will be available for 12 bucks at Fry's. I am hoping it's not a long wait, this kind of storage will be great for those of us who make frequent backups of our home directories.
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      Nope. The prices will be kept artificially high to deter copying movies.
    • Thought so too, but the cost per gig on media vs hd is different now. I use to love being able to burn a CD-R wth 650meg for $2 when 1gig Hd's where expensive. But now adays you can get a 500gig external HD for $139.

      External HD == ($139 / 500gig = $0.27gig)

      BluRay == ($10 / 25gig = $0.40gig)

      Plus if you have any large datasets (HQ video renderings, databases, chess egtb's, etc) burning a optical disc after optical disc to backup 100gigs takes a while.

      So I guess it depends on how much data you

    • by Gryffin (86893)

      his was the same story for CDR, DVDR, etc. Eventually, a spindle will be available for 12 bucks at Fry's.

      Right, just like dual-layer DVD-R's are available for $12 a spindle... oh, except they aren't.

      Bet the licensing fees are kept high to ensure that burning a copy of a 8.4GB movie DVD costs almost as much as just buying the DVD from MalWart.

      • by flosofl (626809)

        ...burning a copy of a 8.4GB movie DVD costs almost as much as just buying the DVD from MalWart.
        I don't know where you shop. I can get 10 DL DVD+R [newegg.com] for the price of a movie on DVD.

        • by dangitman (862676)

          Are you even reading along with the rest of us?

          The original post said "12 bucks for a spindle." Now, you link to someone selling 10 discs for $15.99, and think it's a good price? It's not. It's a rip-off. Note that when people say "spindle," they usually mean 50 or 100 discs, not 10. And even with your 10-disc "spindle" you still aren't getting it for $12.

  • by delt0r (999393)
    But which format should I get? Ray or HD?
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by DustyDervish (1043314)
      Also, what's up with RE instead of RW? Is there some conspiracy to just confuse the crap out of people?
    • Look to see what burners you can actually buy and the answer is pretty clear (Blu-Ray).

      If you think about it, the volume of Blu-Ray drives and media being produced means costs should come down for that format much faster than with HD-DVD.
    • Chinese multi format HDDVD-RW/BD-RW/DVD+-RW[DL]/CD-RW burners are bound to appear in the very near future and render the whole "format war" moot.

      Until then, if you're in hurry, buy whatever format for which you can find the cheapest burner.
  • This is straight from the corporate website. Confusing Taiwanese with Thai can get you shot in certain parts of the world :) Corporate Name RITEK Corporation Establish Date December 29, 1988 Date of IPO April 23, 1996 Headquarter No. 42, Kuan-Fu N. Road, Hsin-Chu Industrial Park, 30316, Taiwan Employees 3723(Q4, 2005) Capital 698 million USD (Q4, 2005)
  • by Malc (1751)

    "'Initially, however, BD-RE and HD DVD-RE discs will be pricey. The average cost per disc will remain around $10 in retail outlets"


    That's not pricey compared with what it is now.
  • This just in... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot editors cant distinguish between Thailand and Taiwan.

    I dont have an account, didnt feel like creating one just to point out American idiocy.
  • by MonGuSE (798397) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @02:06PM (#19241543)
    You can buy a 500gb HD for $100. That equates out to .20 cents a gig for a rewritable device capable of sustained 60-80mb/sec. Factor in that and the cost of the HD and Blueray writeable drives is above $1k and you have a long way to go before these discs are cost effective to use as a storage or backup solution. Right now the sweet spot is eSATA backup solutions. If they were to jump right to 40 and 50gb discs then it would be another story but I expect those to be a pipe dream as far as consumer media goes just like DL-DVD's never really have panned out.
    • Hard drives cannot sustain the abuse that a disk (for example a CD or DVD) can. If you drop a hard disk from one meter it will probably not work (and it's going to cost you to take the data back). If you drop a disk from one meter, it might get a sratch. Not a problem.
  • I have a couple systems capable of writing dual layer DVDs, which would be a pretty nice data backup option at ~ 8.5GB per disk.

    But, you almost never see dual layer disks available for purchase. The few times I have seen them, they were ridiculously expensive. I heard that this was because of the patent holder limiting production or charging too high licensing. But, I don't know if that's true.

    Are Dual Layer DVDs an option? Will they be coming down in price, or will we be skipping right to BR/HD-DVD w
    • They're a little over $1 each here [meritline.com], though I wouldn't necessarily trust critical backups to this brand. Good ones are half again as much. Far less, per GB, than these HD discs at the moment. They area about 3x the cost of the single layer media, or (roughly) a 50-60% premium for the denser storage.
  • RE why not RW? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jeffy210 (214759) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @02:16PM (#19241781)
    RE? Short for REwritable? Why in the world can't they just keep things uniform and stick with the RW designation. Does it really need a new acronym? What is the major different that would warrant that.
  • by uradu (10768) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @02:17PM (#19241797)
    Until regular old read-only drives become cheap and plentiful--nay, let's just even say available for now--my enthusiasm is somewhat dampened.
  • Just had to change the back up solution for the company I work for from full backups to tape to incremental backups to tape with monthly fulls done to DVD, and writing 40 Gigs of data to DVD every month is a bit of a pain. Oh well, least I'm not salaried :). But with how expensive tape's gotten ($1000 bucks for a 90/gig drive? ouch), I can't wait for HDDVD or Blu-ray to get cheap. The whole server on two disks, 1/4 of which I can make parity files, would ROCK.
  • Price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @02:19PM (#19241829) Homepage Journal
    "The average cost per disc will remain around $10 in retail outlets, despite production costs of around $5 per disc"

    Of course, the higher the price of media, the less likely people will make backups of their HD movies. At $10 a crack, it's not too much more to buy another copy of the movie. I'm sure that benefit to copyright holders is factored into the cost of the media to some degree. The story makes mention of an accreditation process, which the studios undoubtedly have influence over (they had a say in developing the standard itself). Thus if the media isn't sold at the price the industry wants, the manufacturer could suddenly have problems maintaining their accreditation.

    Dan East
    • One could say that... but then again, one could've said the same thing about dual-layer DVDs when they became writeable. They were $10/disc back then too (took me 7 coasters to figure out my Optorite drive was faulty... ouch). The cost has come down, and now they're reasonable, it just takes time.
  • by Petersko (564140) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @03:53PM (#19243431)
    There are lots of perfectly decent providers of blank CD's.

    Anybody who writes DVD's already knows that there are only a couple of reliable brands of blanks, Like Taiyo Yuden.

    If you want to write dual layer DVD's, and expect them to read right on home DVD players, the only brand you can trust is Verbatim.

    Now we're talking about HD discs, single and dual layer? There'll be one okay provider, and every third blank is gonna fail.
    • by jonnythan (79727)
      Are you just making this stuff up?

      I've burned hundreds of dual-layer DVDs from various generic brands and *every single one* of them has worked perfectly fine in my home DVD player.
      • by Petersko (564140)
        Are you just making this stuff up? I've burned hundreds of dual-layer DVDs from various generic brands and *every single one* of them has worked perfectly fine in my home DVD player.

        Then congratulations - you have the world's most forgiving DVD player. I've tried eight different brands, and four different DVD players, and they all choke on the layer break, except for Verbatim DL's.

        A quick search of forums like CD Freaks will confirm that Verbatim is far and away the preferred brand for dual layer DVD
        • by blackicye (760472)
          I've been using 16x Printable Ritek DVD+R DLs, I've burned almost 100 pieces and have only failed once so far at writing the leadout.
          no layer break failures yet. Though I am only burning at 2.4x

          This is on 3 different burners.
          BenQ DW1640 (Plextor OEM)
          LG H-12N
          Pioneer DVR-111D
      • Now take one of those DVDs and run Nero's CD-DVD Speed [cdspeed2000.com] on it.

        I used to use Fujifilm all the time, because they used Taiyo-Yuden. Then they switched to Ritek, and I unknowingly bought a spindle. The first clue that something was wrong was that things played and copied from the DVD at inconsistent speeds. And then a couple were completely faulty and cut out 100's of MBs of data, randomly. So I ran CD-DVD Speed's Disc Quality on it and got spikes of errors everywhere, and the maximum read spead varied from 2x
      • by ishobo (160209)
        It is well known that Ritek is junk. They make different quality media, second and third class. They have even produced fakes, media with another company's media ID. Let us go back to 2003, when Pioneer got out of the blank media business. Pioneer was one of the top tier producers and Ritek decided to step in and produce disks that were Pioneer branded. They have also faked their own media, producing third tier media labelled with their second tier media ID.

        The manufacturers with at least 95% reliability ar
    • by Physician (861339)
      Raise you're hand if you've ever heard of "Taiyo Yuden".
      • by dangitman (862676)

        Raise you're hand if you've ever heard of "Taiyo Yuden".

        *raises hand*

        I'm not sure how anyone serious about burning discs can not have heard of Taiyo Yuden. Or were you just being sarcastic?

        By the way, it's "your hand." Writing "you're" is a contraction for "you are," while "your" is the posessive.

  • RW? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah AT Gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @04:24PM (#19243957)
    Does anyone actually use RW media?
    I only occasionally see it in stores and have never seen actual discs used in the wild.
    • by koreth (409849) *
      I do -- I listen to podcasts in my car, and since my car CD player will read MP3 files I just stick the latest podcast on the same CD-RW each day and I'm good to go. A single CD-RW lasts me a long time; much better than burning a fresh CD-R each day and throwing it away when I'm done.
    • by jma05 (897351)
      I do. They are especially great with packet writing. A DVD-RW is a cheap replacement for a thumb drive when you happen to have DVD writers at both ends. I basically use UDF CDRWs as modern floppy disks to move moderately large files between home and work. Not as fast as using a hard drive but faster than a network transfer. I once bought a 100 for $10 or something like that. They have and will last me for a long time.
    • by Iskender (1040286)
      RW is great for photographers. If one doesn't back up every time one downloads from the camera, a harddrive crash will inevitably kill some photos. Since it often makes sense to download significantly smaller amounts than 4.3 gigs, RW is to be preferred (I always use it). When the RW is full, one of course backups it to a single-write disc, in addition to keeping it all on the harddrive.

      The ultimate here is of course DVD-RAM, but I haven't got the single disc I have to work under Ubuntu. That format is real
    • by AncientPC (951874)
      I have spindles of CD-RW and DVD-RW thinking I would use them for backup or other purposes.

      Honestly though, with hard drives as cheap as it is it's cheaper to just write a script / set up a cron job to backup over the network (within a home environment).

      I use some CD-RW's for compatible CD-MP3 players, and occasionally DVD-RW for temporary file storage or transfers bigger than my 1GB USB drive.
  • by phorm (591458) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:07PM (#19245409) Journal
    A few months ago, I wanted to buy lightscribe discs and they were still around $25 for a 10-pack, so about $2.50 per disc

    Dual-layer discs were running about the same, sometimes more. So that would be about 4.3Gb or 8.6Gb'ish...
    $1.72/GB for a lightscribe, or $3.44/GB on the dual-layer

    Now compare that to single-layer HD-DVD discs with 25GB, that's about $2.50/disc again.

    Not too bad, all things considered (and now the dual-layer or lightscribe stuff has gone down too).

    I wonder how much a dual-layer HD-DVD or LightScribe HD-DVD disc will run? My personal hope is that the newer format discs push the price of existing DVD's (especially dual-layer or scribeable ones) down, since I'm sticking with standard DVD-players at the moment.
    • by dangitman (862676)
      Why would you use Lightscribe? The results look crap, and it is sloooooow to burn the labels. Why not just get inkjet printable discs, and print better looking labels in a fraction of the time?
      • by phorm (591458)
        Because I don't have an injket that can actually print on discs, but my last DVD-burner happened to come with lightscribe functionality?
  • Slightly offtopic, but did anyone notice one of the other articles beneath this one? It appears that Sony has cut out the adult film industry from putting titles on Blu Ray.
    Here [computerworld.com]is it.
  • I'm still waiting for cheap DVD +- DL to arrive by the spindle...
    Will DL ever take off? Or will HD be mainstream by the time it arrives?

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