I read an article today, “Blu-ray Replication Shortfall in Q4?”, by Chris Tribbey, which discussed the potential shortfall in the availability of replicated Blu-ray discs during the business shopping quarter of the year, Q4. In the article, Jim Bottoms, director and co-founder of Futuresource Consulting, was paraphrased as stating that within 2011, the North American Blu-ray Disc replication infrastructure likely will hit capacity. Bottoms said, â€œThere were major capacity shortages in Q4 of 2010,â€ he said, pointing to data showing a 60% year-over-year increase in Blu-ray production in 2010. â€œPeople are talking about new investment, but nothing has been approved yet. It needs to happen soon for it to help Q4.â€
Even the major replication studios echo the notion that the Blu-ray replication needs will continue to increase as stated by Cinram CEO Steve Brown, â€œConsumer adoption of Blu-ray has been fabulous domestically and internationally,â€ he said. â€œIn 2010 Cinram had a substantial increase in capacity â€” a 25% jump from the previous year. Weâ€™re fully committed to the format and increasing our capacity in 2011.â€
What this says to me is that the adoption of the Blu-ray format is increasing rapidly and the infrastructure to meet the demand may not be able to keep pace. Even though the major studios are always going to find a replication source to produce their products, smaller operations will most likely have to find an alternative Blu-ray disc production method. Most likely minimum quantities are going to increase making it impossible for the common company/person to utilize replication for their Blu-ray titles. Fortunately, Blu-ray duplication is just as reliable and accepted by Blu-ray players as replication, so there is an alternative. Those people who need reproduction of their Blu-ray content but do not have the volume or the funds to utilize replication, can easily adopt duplication as a reliable and actually more convenient alternative.