From the console to the data centre: What can you buy?

We've learned that only one vendor plans a Blu-Ray jukebox. But if you simply MUST have some Blu-Ray kit, what's out there?

Yesterday: The next-generation disk hardware shortage.

So what is on sale for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD?

If Blu-Ray and HD-DVD appeal for their speed and capacity, but the absence of enterprise-class jukeboxes or other archival devices does not deter you, what can you buy to put the formats to work?

TDK is one vendor offering blank media today. The company's write once disc - BD-R - sell for $34.apiece while the rewritable BD-RE disc will sit on retailers' shelves with a sticker marked $42.95. Dual layer Blu-Ray disks with 50GB of storage cost $60 apiece, with the re-writable version at $80.00.

Sony's prices for similar disks are a few dollars higher, with the recommended retail for its 50gb BD-RE cracking the $100 mark.

Burners are also reaching the market.

LG's delightfully named GBW-H10N can burn BD-R disks at 4x speeds and BD-RE at 2x, all for $1199. The 5.25 inch machine is designed to slot right into a PC or server.

Sony's Sony BWU100A drive costs $1,399 and boasts similar specifications to LG's effort. Pioneer's BDR-202 Writer is another machine with more or less the same specifications.

All these arguments, however, may be moot as several manufacturers are considering devices that can play both storage standards. Hybrid burners probably won't be far behind.

But that's all in the future.

Today, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are formats with potential, not applications. There seems little reason to imagine they will revive WORM storage any time soon.

Spiders, however, are a different matter: if anyone wants to lend us a Blu-Ray version of HD-DVD and a player, we'll be more than happy to give them a try.

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