by December 1, 2011 0 comments

Optical discs have graduated from CD/ DVDs to the newer, spacier Blu Rays. But their usage has decreased in some sectors. Here are the three predictions that will most likely shape up optical media in the coming year.

Blu Ray for HD Movie Distribution

The consumer has graduated from SD to HD and so has the media of distribution. Today’s consumer wants better quality content to be delivered to him. But this quality content in the form of HD movies is much bigger in space requirement. Blu Ray discs with the capacity to hold 25 GB of content are apt for distributing such big movies. More and more movies are now being distributed in the HD form. Vendors like Sony, Philips, Samsung, etc have started including Blu Ray players in the comprehensive home theater systems, sales of which have picked up. Standalone Blu Ray players are also being preferred to the DVD players for playing multimedia content in homes. Hence, Blu Ray is bound to be the optical media of choice for the years ahead and the adoption levels are sure to hit a positive note starting 2012.

People Go Online for Software

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Software distribution as an industry has in itself taken a major hit because of the increasing penetration and increase in speeds of the broadband Internet. Most software these days is downloaded from the Internet and this trend is sure to eat away the little market share which the optical media industry had in the last dwindling years. Computing devices have majorly gone mobile and this has also led to many Internet based applications coming to the fore rather than platform residing software. Netbooks, tablets, etc have probed how computing devices can operate without support for optical media. This has also led to a decrease in software distribution. App stores for almost all platforms have been a huge hit with the masses. Apple has been amongst the first OEMs to ship Macbook Air without an optical drive and putting all usable and relevant content for OS recovery, etc on a USB stick.

Car Audio to be Driven by USB Sticks

For most of the time, cassette players in cars were the source of audio inputs. That trend migrated to audio discs or even to CD changers. Most audio/ MP3 players in cars have started shipping with USB input ports. People tend to often change their choice of audio in their car while traveling for long distances. This is possible by the use of USB pen drives. Audio discs need to be stacked in the car which adds to the clutter and also, they are not multi-write capable. A user can easily store more than 1000 songs on a basic 1GB pen drive and use it for a long time to come. Music downloaded from the Internet and copied to USB discs is the way ahead in Car MP3 players or even in gymnasiums, for that matter. The cost benefit analysis for optical media vs pen drives goes in favor of USB because of the simple reason that they can be re-used (re-written) umpteen times whereas optical media (barring re-writable discs which are expensive) is largely one time write. USB Pen drives are sleek, easy to carry and are largely supported by most devices. Pen drives promote re-usability and hence less wastage, clutter. PC, laptop and even TVs and car MP3 players these days have USB ports and USB drives are available in large sizes and small form factors.

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