What a cool idea!

While speaking with a customer on the tech support line today, he described a really cool use for the Vinpower Digital Slim Micro HDD to 5 Duplicator. He was going to take it on a 10 day cruise with him. What a neat idea!

Slim Micro

Of course traveling by cruise ship, unlike airplane travel, does not come with weight penalties. Bringing along this little 12 lb wonder is almost a no brainer! Folks now have hi-def video cameras, soon to have 3D capabilities, and 12+ mega pixel cameras, storage is beginning to be a problem. By bringing along this 5 Target Blu-ray burner, this customer has the ability to instantly have multiple copies of his precious memories backed up and ready to share with new friends.

I hope our customer thoroughly enjoys his cruise. Bon Voyage!

More Evidence of Blu-ray Making a Larger Impact on the Market

I have been touting Blu-ray and the replacement for DVD in the video world for a while and although there’s still a ways to go, it looks like that premonition is quickly turning more into a reality. Based on a recent article from CDRinfo (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=28635), studies show that even with increases in the digital distribution of video content, Blu-ray integration continues to make significant headway in the market. In the US alone the sales of Blu-ray content is up 80% and Blu-ray players increased more than 100% compared to sales from the previous year.

The economic crisis which began in 2008, most likely played a big factor in slowing the conversion from DVD to Blu-ray, but recent data seems to point to Blu-ray rising this year with continued substantial growth still to come.


Blu-ray Player Sales on the Rise

Recently I read an article online from CDR Info (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=28551) which discussed the growth in Blu-ray players (excluding PS3 gaming consoles). This article specifically covered the 3 largest growth markets including the USA, Europe, & Japan which combined look to account for 24 million units sold in 2010.

These are impressive numbers, but in reality it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Blu-ray is undoubtedly the format of the future when it comes to video content. However, going back to the early days of the video tape, this is the first format that required a specific TV format (HDTV) in order to enjoy the picture quality and enhancements that Blu-ray offers. So the transition has not been as smooth or as quick as DVD from VHS, but it is rapidly taking affect.

So when someone is contemplating whether they should produce their video project in HD and begin offering a Blu-ray version, they should really think about whether they want to be stuck in the past or be a part of the future. There is a difference and the consumers are recognizing this and making that change to Hi-Def, and they will demand that their content also be in HD.

Debunking the Myth of the Native SATA Superiority!


Recently there has been some documentation related to the design method of SATA standalone duplication controllers which touts one method as being better than another. It’s important that the truth be told and I want to set the record straight so that the consumer can review the facts and decide for themselves.

The dispute centers around the method in which current SATA controllers are designed and built. One party claims to be the sole provider of the “Native SATA” (NS) chipset which they claim is faster and more reliable. The alternative application is the Individual Channel SATA (ICS) configuration.

In order to make the comparison in a more understandable concept for the masses, including myself, I will break down the differences between the two by using an analogy that is closely related and something most people can relate to, internet access.

Picture the NS concept as being akin to cable while ICS would be ADSL. In both cases, they will allow the user to access the internet, they’re both potentially really fast, both offer connections for virtually any computer, and if they exist in a territory are relatively easy to receive.

The cable access does have an advantage in that it can carry greater bandwidth and may be faster than ADSL. According to published websites ranking the downloading speed between Cable and ADSL, they’ve listed the following speeds:

Cable fluctuated between 15Mbps ~ 25Mbps of download speed depending on the carrier.

ADSL was rated as having 6Mbps download speed.

The problem comes into play when multiple locations (households) all need to access the single cable line at the same time. Even though cable can handle a higher bandwidth, it’s limited in the number of households that can access the internet at the same time. The reason being is that they are all using the same access point which will bog down the system and cause the speed to drop significantly, especially if they are viewing/transferring large files. Think about it in terms of a sandwich, if you have the option of eating an entire 12” sandwich which you have to share with 2 others or you can each a 6” sandwich that you do not have to share. The 12” seems longer until everyone else starts taking their share, which more often than not, one household inevitably will take more than their fare share. Yet, even if it were eaten equally amongst all 3 households, they will each end up with a smaller amount of the sandwich (4” each) than they would have had if they opted for the 6” they didn’t need to share.

ADSL may have limitations in the total bandwidth/speed available, but what is available is typically more than adequate for the tasks at hand for reliable fast internet access. The difference and the benefit comes into play when you understand that ADSL provides each household with their own direct access point to the internet hub which they do not have to share. It then becomes that ADSL is faster because they are not burdened or slowed down by the actions of other households who access the internet at the same time.

This holds true for NS and ICS controllers as well. The NS controller may hold an advantage in bandwidth, but the fact that all ports/connections are tied to a single bus, means that bandwidth gets diminished when each connection is utilized, especially for larger capacity formats like Blu-ray. Take for example; a 1 to 7 NS controller. If only 3 of the 7 ports are being utilized, it may be able to successfully copy a full Blu-ray master at 12x speed. However, if you utilized all 7 ports at the same time, then the added capacity and division of bandwidth will now limit the speed to 6x. Since all ports are tied to a single bus, all drives will be tied together which means any errors affecting 1 drive will ultimately create a drag on the total bandwidth and affect all the drives. So using the NS method and the more ports that are utilized the more the speed will decrease and thus so will the reliability.

For the ICS controller, since each port is connected to its own dedicated bus, the speed and drive reliability is not affected by utilizing more ports because they are all independent of each other. So if a 1 to 7 ICS controller can copy Blu-ray at 12x using only 3 ports, utilizing more ports on that same controller will not have any affect on the duplication speed or reliability. The ICS controller is more effective because all ports are connected to individual dedicated bus points that produce consistent and stable transmissions without relying on a single bus with shared bandwidth.

So even though both methods have their merits, in the end the ICS method is the most credible solution as well as the most widely used tactic for the duplication market. The general requirement of a duplicator customer is to be able to produce numerous copies quickly and the ICS method is the only way to ensure that the customer’s needs are met. So when you’re looking for what type of controller you want in your duplicator, keep in mind that just because a company touts that their Native SATA version is faster or superior, they may not discuss the true capabilities of their product when used at or near stated capacity. Don’t take our word for it – run the tests yourself and we’re certain you’ll come to the same conclusion, a shared bus connection model like the Native SATA controller will more likely create significant speed and throughput issues even for the simplest of duplication jobs.

3D TV IS HERE!!!!!

IT’S HERE!!! The launch of the 3D TV has happen! Vinpower Digital’s CEO Calvin Chang experienced the 3D TV at an electronics shop during his business trip in Japan. 3D TV’s are currently available in Japan and soon to hit the American market. Although you may be able to connect your DVD player to this TV, would you want to experience your new 3D TV with new Blu-ray technology or old DVD media? Blu-ray right! With the demand for the visual quality increasing so will the demand for the storage of that content. The introduction to Blu-ray media has only been preparing you for this moment. The demand for Bly-ray media is progressing with more and more technological advancements don’t be left behind.

Vinpower Digital’s CEO Calvin Chang captured this image of customers viewing 3D TV’s at an electronics shop during a business trip to Japan.

3-D Blu-ray – The future of Blu-ray Technology

Below are photos from staff members at the CES 2010 convention which showcase just how much all the major manufacturers are pushing for the 3-D experience to be available in the home.

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Game Night

As a surprise early birthday celebration, my wife took me to the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trailblazers basketball game last night. As a basketball fan, it’s exciting to see any professional teams play in person. But these tickets were exceptionally good and it made the night even more exciting as you can see from these photos taken during the game:

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One thing that I realized is that HD broadcasts are so clear, it’s almost like being at the game. In fact, even though I was in the front row, the clarity of the HD picture gives you clarity you couldn’t get anywhere else, even at the game. So there’s no question that everything will be in HD and anyone who wishes to produce video content will have to do it in HD. In order to produce HD content, you have to use the much higher capacity of Blu-ray discs, so it’s only a matter of time before all videographers switch over to Blu-ray to shoot their videos. Just an observation.

Blu-ray for DVD Exchange Underway

Apparently the success of a recent push by Warner Home Video whereby they agreed to exchange previous HD DVD titles for the same title(s) on Blu-ray at a much reduced price was so successful, they decided to extend the offer to standard DVD titles as well.

This is another example of the push toward Blu-ray as the preferred video viewing format. That is why we believe that the increase in Blu-ray duplication will also jump dramatically in 2010. To accommodate this transition, Vinpower Digital is ensuring that our line of Blu-ray duplicators offers the fastest Blu-ray duplication speeds, greatest level of playback compatibility with the widest acceptance of recordable Blu-ray media. We want to make sure when our customers are ready to make that switch from DVD to Blu-ray, it’s as seamless and convenient as possible.

The PC and Blu-ray Market Expected to Explode in 2010

According to a recent article in Business Weekly entitled PC is coming back! in the October 12, 2009 issue, it states that with the rapid decrease in price and emergence of newer technology devoted to individual ownership of PC products, that the PC market as well as the Blu-ray market will grow significantly by the end of 2010.

In terms of the PC market, most households tend to have a single computer for the family, whereas with the introduction of the low cost Netbooks with their simplified feature sets and easy wi-fi connections will lead to the true definition of personal computers. This way each family member can have their own computer and everyone can independently connect to the web wirelessly. This increase in PC’s lends credence to the thought that content will increasingly be kept on some form of digital format such as optical disc (CD, DVD, or Blu-ray) or flash memory (USB pen drive, SD or Compact Flash card).

In addition the reduced price of PC’s the price of Blu-ray drives and media will continue to decline and is expected to be under $100 in 2010 which looks to be the magical price point whereby the drive can make significant inroads into the market share of DVD drives. With prices of Blu-ray media and players also continuing to decline, this format is positioned for a massive explosion in terms of adoption and increased market share.

The transference from tangible to digital “paperwork” will continue to pick up steam and it’s only a matter of time before paper becomes as obsolete as vinyl records and cassette tapes.

Blu-ray Drive Speeds Following the DVD Roadmap

When I first started in this business, Half Height DVD burner write speeds were at 4x (I know I’m late as many of you can recall how exciting it was for the CD burner to reach 4x speeds). Then quickly everyone jumped to 8x speed while Plextor unleashed the 12x speed burner. The rest of the story follows where all other companies bypassed 12x for 16x speed and then 20x, and now settled at 24x.

The H/H Blu-ray drive models have followed suit for the most part. First starting with 2x speed, then jumping to 4x followed by 8x and now Pioneer announcing their 12x BDR-205 burner. It’s only a matter of time before a company looking to boost their credibility offers the 16x burner and then by extension the bar will be raised and leaped multiple times.

Just as there were constant comparisons and arguments as to the merits of DVD over CD (which by all accounts should have been extinct years ago) the DVD suffers the slings and arrows of Blu-ray enthusiast constantly writing its obituary for another format that refuses to go away. So even though the writing speed will continue to improve, Blu-ray one day will inevitably meet another format that becomes the natural successor with greater capacity and capabilities and we will simply recycle this article and change the names to the new format of the day. At least I’m confident there will be a physical medium by which people store data and need to copy it, so I feel confident this industry will continue on like the resilient CD and DVD who learned their lessons from the still not totally gone floppy disk and VHS.