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Interview at Verbatim Europe

Blu Ray and HD DVD are considered the next generation format, and so the classic DVD will be replaced soon. We had the possibility to interview an Italian Manager of Verbatim about these thematics, in particular we answer an opinion about the estimated price, protections, availability of players/writers and expected developments of the two formats. Learn more by reading the entire interview!

Legend:
The bold text are questions of the CdCopy.IT staff.
The italic text are answers of Fabrizio Malagò, marketing manager of Verbatim Italy.

How will people accept the newcoming formats Blu-ray and HD DVD? Some of them haven’t alredy “migrated” from CD/VHS to DVD…

You’re right, the flip might be painful, but we’re not expecting large requests until 2006.

Your expectance are good in spite of that a total replace of hardware is necessary. The TVs must be replaced with HD-ready ones, too.

I think that the real HD migration began with the 42” TVs, but some of them aren’t useful as HD because the low resolution. The real problem is that there are only a few films ready for HD, but they run only under Windows Media Center.

The old DVD format will progressively slide out of the way, leaving the room for the two new formats isnt’it? When do you expect a total replace of the DVD format?

Of course yes. But nobody told me about the prices of any writer, I think. Have you heard anything? (nor I know something about the prices of the mediums)

If i’m not wrong I heard something about 1000€ for a Blu-ray writer…

I’m asking myself who will pay 1000€ for nothing but a backup…

I’ll be glad if I could have a look at the prices of the new mediums…

Momentarily I haven’t got any precise information. Of course, if we have a look at what happened to the CDs I wouldn’t be surprised of an initial price of 20€.

Whitch of the newcoming formats do you prefer?

We at Verbatim are developing both. But there’s somebody like TDK who chooses to develop only Blu-ray.

And what about the lasting, the size and the protection systems?

Well, the lasting will be the same as for the CDs and DVDs but we can’t exactly know because it depends on a lot of things: the writer, his firmware, his lens, the software and how the disc is kept.

The protection system will be the one designed for the DVD-RAM, but was not implemented (I think i’t called CPRM )

But if they would have developed a new, education-oriented TV rather than a TV full of commercials and silly shows… I hope that Sky will broadcast some of their stuff in HD…

Yes, I think I heard that before… In Germany all the soccer matches will be in HD.

The RAI said that there will be only some test HD broadcasts of the Winter Olympic Games and only in the Torino zone…

What are the exact sizes of the mediums? I’ve heard of 25G for Blu-Ray single-layer discs and 50G for their double-layered brothers…

Sizes are 25/50G for Blu-Ray and 15/30G for HD DVD.

I heard of 4-layers on a single side… Is it true?

The sizes will be incremented as the time passes by. Yes, we’re talking about 4-layered discs, but also about holographic discs. The size will be approx. 100G.

When passing from simple single-layered discs to 4 layered ones there will be the obvious compatibility problems. How will you manage that?

I think it will be the same as passing from a single-layered DVD to a DL DVD, but I don’t know more. Probably, the first writers won’t support 2 or more layers, so if wou want to write a 4-lyered disc, I’m afraid that you’ll have to buy a new writer…

There’s a thing that you must keep in mind when talking of mediums: what can we expect from the SIAE surtax?

If the SIAE won’t flip again, I imagine that it will keep as said for the DVDs, where the surtax, ops the compensation (!)depends on the recordable time of the medium.

So same as now, the recordable time is still the same…

I think so but, you know… I hope that they will revide the tax so that it’ll be only a percentage of the medium price and not a fixed fee that sometimes exceeds the price of the medium…

As you can see from your linked sites, there’s someone that sells CDs and DVDs at a lower price that the SIAE, but to the tax we must add VAT, the production price and some profit for the seller…

The last thing on Blu-Ray and HD DVD: Can you tell me the reading and writing speed on that mediums?(Mb/s)

Unfortunately, I can’t give you technical info, but if the disc must work on a video recorder I think that it must write 12G in an hour. Then, the speed will surely increase 2x, 4x, etc…

I’m asking myself if you could give me some info about the White Pearl Verbatim discs…

As our production lines were full, Verbatim decided to ask other suppliers to produce a large quantity of discs. This is the reason for the wrong MID on the White Pearl discs.

There’s a strange thing: the DVDs made by CMC are usually very good, but some people has encountered problems using those DVDs with the Verbatim brand name… is that because the Verbatim reputation? Has Verbatim lost its image selling White Pearl discs?

There are a lot of positive comments about the White Pearl on the Internet. I’ve heard of some problems but it was often because of an old writer’s firmware…

Probably the root of the White Pearl problem is the cheap writers… when comparing writers we usually indicate 2-3 brand names, including Verbatim, and so when a customer buys White Pearl discs after using Princo, etc. he’ll consider White Pearl worse because of the Verbatim reputation…

Yes, probably is something like that, but consider that the White Pearl discs are only a secundary line of our products. We advice to use the Crystal or Printable discs. By the way, did you know that we’re launching CDs and DVDs with glossy surface?

No, keep me informed ;-) The last question is about the selling turnover and your position in regard to the other suppliers…

Talking about market share, an american society named Clara Consulting Group gives us leadership with 25% for CDs and 20% for DVDs. TDK follows us with 10% less.









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