Sharp adds to blue-laser diode production – Blu-ray and HD DVD prices to fall?

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Both Blu-ray and HD DVD devices are available in the UK, but at a cost. Yesterday, we featured Toshiba’s HD-E1 HD DVD player (pictured), which will retail for around £649 from January, while Samsung’s BDP100 Blu-ray player is available for around £900. High prices are down to a shortage of components – that could change with the news that Sharp has begun mass-producing blue-laser diodes.

The blue-laser diodes are a critical component for both types of hardware. The current big producers are Sony and Nichia. Most of Sony’s production is being used for its PlayStation 3 console, with Nichia catering for the rest of the market. That’s led to shortages and shipping dates for many machines and drives slipping.

Sharp started production in volume last month, shipping 150,000 diodes. This will have increased to 500,000 units in a year’s time. More production should mean more product on the shelves – and competition that should mean falling prices. So if you’re still undecided about buying one of the next-generation formats, it be worth waiting a while.

Sharp website

Via The Register

Dave Walker