Matsushita Reduces Production Costs of Blue Ray Discs

Blu-ray-disk

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd (owners of the Panasonic brand) have established a new technology which will lower the production costs of next generation Blu-Ray discs (BD) to almost the same level as current DVD production costs.

The new technique improves the use of resin which is applied to form a protective coating on the disc surface, a step in the manufacturing process responsible for Blu-Ray discs’ high production costs. Matsushita will use trial manufacturing lines in their American labs to accumulate manufacturing knowledge, with the prospect that in only one year from now, Blu-Ray disk mass production will be possible at almost the same costs as current DVD mass production.
blu ray disk

The Blu-Ray format is being supported by Sony who plan to ship their next-generation Playstation 3 console with a Blu-Ray disc drive. Image © impress.co.jp

Matsushita and Sony’s efforts with Blu-Ray are in direct competition with the HD-DVD format backed by the Toshiba camp. In comparison with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, Blu-Ray production cost was considered higher, but with Matsushita’s new technology this cost difference may have been eliminated. The competing camps have not yet reached an agreement that could solve the impending multiformat war, but even if both standards coexist in the future, Matsushita believes the Blu-Ray disc may be ahead of the competition.

For optical discs like Blu-Ray, applying the transparent protective coating uniformly on the data layer is the most important aspect of the manufacturing process. When the liquid resin is applied, centrifugal forces cause the layer to become thicker on the outside and thinner on the inside. In the case of Blu-Ray discs, which have a thinner coating than other optical discs, the information could not be read accurately if this method were used. For this reason, until recently, a pre-manufactured resin sheet had to be mounted onto the Blu-Ray disc, resulting in production costs 2 to 3 times higher than those of regular DVDs.

Blu-ray-disk

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd (owners of the Panasonic brand) have established a new technology which will lower the production costs of next generation Blu-Ray discs (BD) to almost the same level as current DVD production costs.

The new technique improves the use of resin which is applied to form a protective coating on the disc surface, a step in the manufacturing process responsible for Blu-Ray discs’ high production costs. Matsushita will use trial manufacturing lines in their American labs to accumulate manufacturing knowledge, with the prospect that in only one year from now, Blu-Ray disk mass production will be possible at almost the same costs as current DVD mass production.
blu ray disk

The Blu-Ray format is being supported by Sony who plan to ship their next-generation Playstation 3 console with a Blu-Ray disc drive. Image © impress.co.jp

Matsushita and Sony’s efforts with Blu-Ray are in direct competition with the HD-DVD format backed by the Toshiba camp. In comparison with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, Blu-Ray production cost was considered higher, but with Matsushita’s new technology this cost difference may have been eliminated. The competing camps have not yet reached an agreement that could solve the impending multiformat war, but even if both standards coexist in the future, Matsushita believes the Blu-Ray disc may be ahead of the competition.

For optical discs like Blu-Ray, applying the transparent protective coating uniformly on the data layer is the most important aspect of the manufacturing process. When the liquid resin is applied, centrifugal forces cause the layer to become thicker on the outside and thinner on the inside. In the case of Blu-Ray discs, which have a thinner coating than other optical discs, the information could not be read accurately if this method were used. For this reason, until recently, a pre-manufactured resin sheet had to be mounted onto the Blu-Ray disc, resulting in production costs 2 to 3 times higher than those of regular DVDs.