21 BD patents claim royalty charges, a hold back to blu-ray disc productions


CMC Magnetics will not start commercial production of blank Blu-ray Disc (BD) discs until the global BD market emerges to some extent, and will instead invest in BD R&D to cultivate its technological capabilities in the interim, according to company chairman, Robert Wong.

Since as many as 21 owners of BD patents plan to claim royalty charges, there are many problems that need to be solved while charge rates are expected to be high, Wong pointed out. In addition, production equipment for BD discs is currently very expensive. The cost of equipment and royalties, together with the small demand render BD investment unfeasible at the moment, which is why CMC will not to step into production of BD-R (recordable, write once) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs for the time being, Wong explained.

Partly because of problems concerning BD royalties, the global BD market will take two to three years more to take off, Wong predicted. In contrast, the global demand for pre-recorded BD discs, mostly movie discs, will emerge earlier due to the boost from leading movie studios in Hollywood, Wong noted.

In the past, makers of optical discs in China and India negotiated CD and DVD royalty rates through their government and professional associations respectively, but Taiwan-based makers negotiated individually, Wong pointed out. Thus, Taiwan makers may not have enough bargaining power in future BD royalty negotiations, Wong said.

Now I wonder if this will keep the price of BD media from dropping any if at all…

Well Mitsubishi/Verbatim announced to outsource BD-R production to other manufacturers. Maxell is also outsourcing their production and are shutting down their own factories in JP. Also with LTH being introduced right now the production cost should drop because these discs can be made by just modifying current DVD equipment.

Price from dropping? Since they won, price have gone higher. Just look at sony spider man trilogy, it raised 25$ 2 days after bd won. All movie have raised from 5$ to 30$…

With these patents, I doubt price will drop down like you say, specially that many maker stop production, which lower supplies.

I would not be surprised to see other manufacturers drop out before too long if there isn’t some movement in the market. Samsung, Panasonic, Pioneer and Sharp certainly aren’t making any noticeable gains off of Blu-Ray.