With the start of 2011, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the events of the past year in the disc duplication / replication world. 2010 was a year of ups and downs, and the CD / DVD duplication industry was no exception.
The troubled economy took its toll on the duplication industry with equipment manufacturer Verity Systems and packaging giant NexPak both going out of business. To be honest there needed to be some consolidation on the equipment manufacturing side and we expect weaker manufacturers to fall by the wayside in 2011.
On the media side, Taiyo Yuden cut back its production of CD-R, DVD±R and BD-R media from a current level of 110 million units/month to 65 million units/month. They also decreased inventory by roughly 40% and cut their staff nearly in half. Additionally, Taiyo Yuden also officially became JVC Advanced Media here in the United States. This move was made so TY could leverage the stronger JVC brand name in their marketing efforts here in the states. The only changes were in the box design and part numbers, the superior quality of the discs remains unchanged.
This year saw some major changes from Primera, who retired their famous Bravo II disc publisher in favor of the new Bravo Pro Xi and Xi2 line of automated disc publishers and printers. The new automated duplicators feature a larger capacity and faster robotics for better all around performance. The Bravo Pro Xi can also be outfitted with a Blu-ray disc burner, which was not available in the Bravo II duplicator.
The world’s premier disc publishing equipment manufacturer Rimage was very busy this past year! They launched their new professional line of disc duplicators and printers, the 5400n and 3400 disc publishers. These new systems are based around the new Everest 400 thermal disc printer that is embedded with the robotics for an all-in-one system. Each of these machines boasts a huge 100-disc capacity and is available with your choice of CD / DVD burners and /or optional Blu-ray burners. The Rimage 5300n and 5100n disc publishers were quietly replaced by these two new units this past summer. As a side note, Techware has very attractive purchase and rental deals on a demo Rimage 5300n, 5100n and the latest 5400n unit.
On the supplies side, Rimage stopped selling the 1000-print transfer ribbons in 2010 for the Everest 600 (part# 2000491), Everest III and II (part# 203384-001) printers. These were both replaced by 500-print count ribbons. part number 2001469 for the Everest 400/600 printers and part number 203474-001 for the Everest III/II/I printers.
After such a tumultuous year, you might be wondering what the future holds for the optical disc industry. Our guess is that the need for Blu-ray duplication will grow in 2011. The CD and DVD industries have hit maturity, but the market for high-definition content is still on the rise. New technologies such as Blu-ray 3D and BD-XL will drive growth and sales in the duplication and data storage niches this year.
With prices on Blu-ray media and equipment rapidly decreasing, there will be an increasing number of people will be making the switch to Blu-ray this year. We will also see some exciting new products from Primera Technology (the 4100 series of Bravo duplicators/printers) as well as from the other top manufacturers Microboards and Rimage in 2011.
That is all for now. Please check back often as the DVD / CD / Blu-ray duplicator experts here at Techware will be regularly blogging about disc printing, duplication, replication, new equipment, supplies, repair, cost saving operating tips and more in 2011.