CD/DVD cheapness

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
July 23rd, 2005 • 11:41 am

I must say that I find this quite astounding.

Yesterday I was at Costco and they had an offer that I couldn’t resist: buy one spindle of 50 TDK DVD-R recordable discs, and get one free. And the price of one was… $27 + tax. That’s Canadian dollars. In other words, I ended up buying 100 DVD-R discs for less than 30 cents Canadian a piece.

Then I saw these prices in my weekly e-mail from Other World Computing:

Apple CDRW+DVD-Rom Burners from $27.95, 4X DVD-R SuperDrives from $45
Burn CDs and read CDs/DVDs Fast:
Genuine Apple 16x10x40 CDRW + 12X DVD-ROM Combo $27.95
Genuine Apple 32x10x40 CDRW + 12X DVD-Rom Combo $34.95
Genuine Apple 48x24x48 CDRW + 12X DVD-Rom Combo $45.99

Get started burning DVDs with a Geniune Apple SuperDrive:
Apple 4X DVD-R, 2X DVD=R/W + up to 24X CD-R/RW – $45.00

Or Burn Faster with the latest Pioneer 16X DVD-R/RW + DL Burner
$67.99 for the bare drive, or from $76.99 with Software & Media Bundle

Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drives for $27.95US? SuperDrives for $45US? Amazing.

You know, even when VCRs were at the peak of their popularity, the best deals for quality blank VHS tapes were still well above $1 a piece. And here we are getting blank DVD-Rs for $0.30… And stand-alone DVD recorders aren’t even that popular yet!

And when you think of the difference in quality between an analog cable program recorded on VHS less than 10 years ago and a digital program recorded on a PVR and then transferred on a DVD-R today… It really does put things in perspective!

Granted, DVD-R discs are not rewritable like VHS tapes were. But let’s face it: with recordable media at 30 cents a piece, it’s hardly worth even considering rewritable media. For “disposable” programming that you’ll only watch once, the hard drive in the PVR does the trick. No need for rewritable media here — the hard drive itself is the rewritable medium. DVD-R discs can be used mostly for archiving and, in that department, their price is hard to beat!

(Of course, the question of how long these “archives” will actually last remains open. But I remember doom-and-gloom specialists in the early 1980s predicting that our prerecorded audio CDs would not last 10 days before their coating would start falling apart, etc. Well, my own CD collection contains a fair number of audio CDs bought in the mid-80s, and they are still working fine…)

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