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Thursday, March 18, 2004
CeBIT 2004 Exhibition

4. TDK


While TDK is not a drive manufacturer, they are one of the best known and respected manufacturers of storage media. We visited TDK, who while present at the CeBIT exhibition do not have a stand as such, preferring instead to use a suite at a nearby luxury hotel for any presentations, which are arranged by appointment.

At the hotel suite, we were given quite an extensive presentation by TDK?s European Senior Marketing Manager, Jean Paul Eekhout, who outlined his plans for TDK?s European market. Amongst them is a new facelift for the packaging of TDK CD and DVD media. The driving force behind such a move is an attempt to provide a more consistent look while at the same time making it simpler for consumers to more easily identify a product from amongst the wide variety of media formats available on the market.

As the photo above shows, the media format is clearly discernible, as are the capacity and speed markings. The layout itself will be consistent across all CD and DVD media, and will also use colour to help create product identities. The design is very clean and is a marked change from the overly cluttered packaging we have become used to on virtually all manufacturers media packaging.

Apart from the more common formats, including support for both DVD+R and DVD-R media, TDK will also support DVD-RAM and BLU-RAY. BLU-RAY is seen as being an investment in the technology of the future, while DVD-RAM, according to Mr Eekhout, accounts for only 3% of TDK?s European sales, a figure that is not as high as had been expected for this type of media considering the success it has had in the Asian market. Despite this, TDK seems committed to supporting DVD-RAM.

TDK has no plans to bring out DVD dual layer media at this early stage of this format?s life cycle. So currently the position is one of wait and see.

An interesting innovation from TDK is a ScratchProof coating which gives added protection to disc media?s surface and UV Proof which protects against ultra violet rays. The ScratchProof demonstration was quite impressive, when steel wool was rubbed on the disc?s surface and no noticeable scratches could be seen. We have taken a sample with us, which we will be putting to the test as soon as we return to our labs, to see how it performs.

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