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Friday, March 17, 2006
CeBIT 2006


Sony's Revelations on Blu-ray

The major announcement made by Sony's European division at CeBIT, in Hannover this year is indubitably the launch of its Blu-ray discs in Europe this March.

In a private meeting with some of the major Sony Europe executives at CeBIT, CDRinfo questioned them on the eventuality of a combo drive through Sony's agreements with companies supporting HD DVD such as NEC. Product manager Mathew Swinney, responded that no commitments had been made and that eventually the market will decide the future of the leading next-generation format and of the direction Sony will choose to follow.

Sony does not consider the launch of combo drives viable yet, although it might be developed eventually if the production and retail prices are reasonable, says Masahiro Toyama, Senior Marketing Manager.

CDRinfo then made an inquiry on the AACS copy protection to which Mr Clemens Schuette, Sony Europe's Communications Manager, answered that this issue will take time to solve as it is a major concern for Sony. He added that most of Sony's high-definition line of products has already been produced and should be usable for the upcoming years, even though the copy protection scheme has not been finalized.

Sony Europe's Recording Media & Energy (RME) division also announced that its BD media will ship in Europe in March 2006. Single-layer BD rewritable media will be available in stores in mid March and single layer BD recordable media will be shipping in April. Sony also revealed that it is ready to release dual layer discs later this year.

Blu-ray recordable media (BD-R) will be available in Europe next month and should sell for under €25 while rewritable discs (BD-RE) will be available by May and should sell for under €30, according to Mr. Schuette. The exact prices were not revealed, but he claimed that Sony would be competitive.




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