A Building Rises

While digging through old files we found some pictures of the early stages of construction for our building in Alhambra, California, USA. The office and warehouse we occupy was built from the ground up specifically for our growing needs beginning in the summer of 2003 until we took occupancy in the spring of 2004.

The images below show the empty lot as construction started with a recent picture of our completed building as it stands today. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello!

Vinpower Construction site 1

Partial view of the lot prior to construction

Vinpower Construction site 3

Partial view of the outline for our warehouse

Vinpower Construction site 2

Partial View of the start of construction

Vinpower building

Front view of the Vinpower Digital building today

The HD-DVD format has their market too

In an effort to be fair and show impartiality in the battle between HD-DVD and Blu-ray, this article shows how HD-DVD is excelling in the corporate market. Recently, most of my postings have skewed toward how the consumer market is leaning toward the Blu-ray format, but HD-DVD has been establishing their presence in the corporate and enterprise market.

The corporate market, (such as the banking/financial, medical, fortune 500, etc.), need better ways of archiving data then standard DVD can provide. Even though the Blu-ray format holds more data, (25GB vs. 15GB for single layer or 50GB vs. 30GB for double layer), HD-DVD holds an advantage in that its components and discs are cheaper. In a time when the bottom line is everything, the enterprise market can be quite price sensitive, but in the end, performance means everything. So we’ll see how this all pans out.

Blockbuster deals a blow to the HD-DVD format

Blockbuster, a major retailer of movies for rent and/or sale, has announced that they will no longer carry the HD-DVD format. Opting instead to only offer the Blu-ray format for High-Definition movies in their stores (approx. 250 stores across North America currently offer both formats). The decision was based on claims that 70% of customers have chosen the Blu-ray format over the HD-DVD format. Seeing the disparity in volume between the two formats and the finite space to stock movie titles, Blockbuster chose to discontinue future availability of the HD-DVD format.

“The consumers are sending us a message. I can’t ignore what I’m seeing,” Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told the AP. This is a significant blow to the HD-DVD format and a not so subtle nod for the Blu-ray format. Given their size and influence on the market, consumers who regularly frequent Blockbuster to rent or purchase movies and looking to purchase a hi-def player will be motivated to choose a Blu-ray player due to the overwhelming choices of Blu-ray product to rent in comparison to the HD-DVD format.

Obviously the consortium behind the HD-DVD format is not happy and sees Blockbusters choice as shortsighted and premature. “I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying,” said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the North American HD DVD Promotional group.

Even though it’s still early in the format war, HD-DVD has just suffered a major set back similar to what marked the demise of the BETA format in magnetic video tape during the 80’s. Is this the beginning of the end for HD-DVD or just the beginning of another installment in the battle for market supremacy? The competition has been great for lowering prices, but eventually one of the formats will have to bow out or combine forces if they hope to survive, but will it be too late by then?

Computex Trade Show: Where the World Comes for Electronics

As more and more items are being manufactured in Asia, trade shows in those regions are becoming more popular with Western Buyers. The Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan is one of the largest of the Asian trade shows focusing on the electronics industry. Spread across 4 large multi-level halls, the Computex trade show is impressive.

This is just our third year exhibiting at Computex and we’ve seen growth in foreign attendance from all over the world. It’s the perfect location to develop business relationships with potential customers located in America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, and other Asian nations.

Even though it rained “cats & dogs” throughout the show this year, it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits and the show floor was packed. In 2008, they are adding another hall, so it will have an even larger turnout.

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The above images are:

1. Birds eye view of the convention floor in hall.
2. Another birds eye view of the convention floor in hall.
3. Members of the Vinpower Digital staff with a European customer.
4. Random visitors looking at our booth.
5. Vinpower Employee Tom refueling for a long day working at Computex!

Universal holding true to HD DVD

In 2005, Toshiba secured exclusive backing for their HD-DVD hi-def video format from such prominent film studios as New Line Cinema, Paramount, Time Warner, Universal Studios, and Viacom.  Today, Universal stands alone as the sole exclusive supporter for the HD-DVD format.  The other major studios who originally backed HD-DVD, will continue to release home video content on the HD-DVD format, but have also adopted the Blu-ray format to hedge their bets.

To clarify Universals position, Ken Graffeo, executive VP, marketing at Universal Studios Home Entertainment, declared in a published interview,

“…every HD DVD player made has to have an Ethernet port for online connectivity. And every player had software to support unique, interactive viewing experiences either programmed onto a disc or available online.”

“In Blu-ray, the interactive specs are still just an option. …A lot of their players can’t even support the interactive BD-Java software.”

However on the Blu-ray front, not only did they pick up major support through the adoption of their format by previously HD DVD only studios, but they still have the exclusive backing of studios such as Sony (Sony is a key developer of the Blu-ray format and a major content provider), Disney, MGM, and others.  It begs the question as to whether Disney and MGM will follow the likes of Paramount and Time Warner to support both formats or will the consortium of support for Blu-ray push Universal to also adopt a two format stance.

The war of formats continues with no end in sight, but the question must also be raised, will it be the studios that will decide the format winner since they provide the content, or will the consumer make the decision based on hardware prices.  Currently HD DVD holds the advantage in player pricing at $299 compared to Blu-ray’s recent $499 bow for players.  Only time will tell, but it’s too close to call at the moment.

Vinpower Digital’s family is growing

With Vinpower Digital’s success in the duplication field, the company has needed to hire more employees to maintain our work flow. To us, we see every Vinpower employee as an extended member of our family. Recently a member of the Vinpower family had a new addition to her own Family. Our lovely Brenda had a beautiful healthy baby boy in April and graced us with a surprise visit during her maternity leave. Below is a photo of Calvin, Brenda, Baby Omar, & Ryan.