Well my own views on this are;
The cost of the DVD/CD recording functionality is insignificant compared to the cost of the rest of the unit & probably wouldnt bring down the price or not by enough to make it worth while.
System builders (Dell, HP, local outfit etc.) like having just one drive that will support the major formats, means less hassle for them.
The average consumer is more likely to go for a Blu-ray drive that support CD/DVD than one without and you leave a potential gap to which other competitors can use whether there the same format Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
Here is a quote from a post taken from another forum I dont know where this original post came from as the author didnt link to it but it is from someone invloved in the Blu-ray camp allegedly so take a look at point 3.
quote: Blu-ray details
If you don't mind, I would like to clarify some information about the Blu-ray disc technology, and possibly dispel some myths:
Regarding capacity: Blu-ray disc clearly provides more storage than HD-DVD. I think this is well known, but I'd like to be sure the data is clear. HD-DVD in ROM form provides 15GB for single layer, 30GB for dual layer. Blu-ray disc provides 25GB for single layer, 50GB for dual layer.
Regarding video codecs: Blu-ray WILL include at least one advanced video codec beyond MPEG-2. Current candidates include MPEG-4 AVC High profile and VC-9. Rest assured that Blu-ray will simply be able to hold more HD video than any other optical disc format.
Keep in mind, all video codecs introduce artifacts to the picture, and those artifacts typically increase as the bit-rate decreases. With Blu-ray's superior capacity, a content provider has the ability to increase video bitrate to assure whatever quality level they desire, all the way up to the format maximum of 36Mb/s. We do quite a bit of codec evaluation at our lab. We do blind subjective codec testing. I can't tell you all that we learned, but I can tell you that 8Mb/s looks pretty good, and that there are measurable, subjective improvements by moving to 12Mb/s and 15Mb/s for certain advanced codecs.
- Regarding player cost: Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray require a 405nm blue laser to play back and record on the new media. This, of course, is the expensive bit. The rest of the play back head is insignificant in the cost: several manufacturers (at least 4) have demonstrated triple-heads that playback and record Blu-ray, DVD, and CD. Knowing what I know about Blu-ray, I cannot see how there will be any significant differences in manufacturing cost between a HD-DVD and a Blu-ray player.
However, please do consider that Blu-ray recorders have been on the market for almost a year in Japan, and have already begun their march down the typical price point curve.
- Backward compatibility: All existing Blu-ray recorders play back DVDs. BTW, the Panasonic recorder also records to DVD-RAM and DVD-R. The idea that any Blu-ray device would not playback DVDs would be product suicide. The concept that there is some technical detail that makes it difficult or more expensive for Blu-ray recorders to play back DVDs is nonsense.
Also, in response to some discussions about capacity, the are R&D labs that have demonstrated 4-layer Blu-ray discs. This is not currently part of the format specification, but can give a suggestion that Blu-ray has a lot of room for growth even beyond the existing large capacity.
I hope this didn't come off sounding like a product sales pitch or anything, but I wanted to clear up some misconceptions that come up frequently in this and other forums.
Richard E. Doherty
Managing Director for Blu-ray at the Panasonic Hollywood Labs