Authoring Blu-Ray Discs

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the September, 2008, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Blu-ray Discs

Mike Henry, from Atlanta, writes:

As I am sure you hear daily, I love reading your newsletters. Thank you for spending the time on them and for sharing your experience.

I have what I am guessing is a pretty common question lately. I was curious with your experience with Apple if you have heard any updates on the availability of Blu-ray support for DVD SP4 or an upgrade to DVD SP? If not, do you have any other suggestions for authoring Blu-ray discs aside from purchasing the full Adobe suite to use Encore? I am very excited to start shipping Blu-ray discs to clients and I am open to any ideas that you or others may be using currently.

Larry replies: Mike, the number one rule at Apple is NEVER discuss unannounced products. So, therefore, I don’t know what Apple is planning for the future. I have every expectation that they are monitoring the Blu-ray situation and will announce something at some point.

In the meantime, however, you can author Blu-ray discs on the Mac using two different software: Adobe Encore or Roxio Toast. However, to take full advantage of the Blu-ray interface, you’ll need to step-up to something like Sonic’s Scenarist, or Sony’s Blu-print — both of which are upwards of $20,000 to license and require a significant amount of programming skills.

But I have a more fundamental question for you: who’s going to watch your Blu-ray Discs? Be careful here. The total market penetration for Blu-ray is still vanishingly small — less than 5% of the SD set-top DVD marketplace.

For the immediate future, spend time seeing just how many customers you have that can play a Blu-ray. Also, it currently appears that while people are buying HD televisions, they are not buying DVD set-top boxes to go with them. At this point, unless you can afford to experiment, Blu-ray is not a area where the small producer is going to make money.


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