Cost of storage vs DVD: BD=16x, CD=6½x, HD & DVD-DL=5x

Just a quick followup note from a thread I did on Twitter yesterday on the prices of a Gigabyte of storage on various media.

DVD’s are still the king at just over 3¢ per gig:

Kind ¢/Gig xDVD
Blu-ray DL 25.0¢ 7.8x
CD 20.5¢ 6½x
DVD DL 11.0¢ 3½x
Blu-ray 10.4¢ 3¼x
Hard disk 8.9¢ 2.8x
DVD±R 3.2¢ 1x

I find the dual-layer DVD vs hard drive equivalence fascinating, especially after talking with Iain yesterday about
the eSATA ports on my Mac Pro’s motherboard.

Sources for prices are Canada Computers
and Fortune Computers.

Update: per my comment below, DVD-DL updated from 17¢/GB (5x) to 11¢/GB (3½x).

Update: per another comment, Blu-ray updated from 51¢/GB (16x) to 20¢/GB (6½x).

Update: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 20¢/GB (16x) to 12¢/GB (3¾x).

Update 2009-09-09: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 12¢/GB (16x) to 10.¢/GB (3¼x), added Blu-ray DL. Also updated hard disk from 17¢/GB to 8.9¢/GB as per current prices of 1.5 TB drives.

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Mac developer

10 thoughts on “Cost of storage vs DVD: BD=16x, CD=6½x, HD & DVD-DL=5x”

  1. HD is the best. DVD is too small and time consuming for HD video files. Trying to manage 212 DVDs when one can use one $180 1TB drive does not compare. I never burn DVDs now. Just another tech on the ash-heap of history in my place. I only use the “DVD-ROM” mode to do installations, and then mostly because of marketing. Recently I've tended to buy online and download instantly.

  2. (Note: “HD” here means hard drive, not high definition!)

    My problem with HD-only is disk corruption. Unless you basically do RAID-1 or just manually have two copies of everything, you can lose a ton of stuff with one failure. HD is already at 5x the cost of DVD for one copy, and 10x for mirrored copies. That's pretty prohibitive, especially when you start throwing in storage solutions like a Drobo.

    I may change my mind about this after ZFS becomes prevalent, as it has a lot more protection against that kind of failure (and built-in optional levels of redundancy).

  3. Another Blu-Ray update:… has a 25-pk BD-R spindle for $82.25 US. Now since the $US and $CDN are divergent again, that's.. $103.68 Canadian, giving a per-disc cost of $4.15, which gives per-GB cost of 16.6¢.

    Actually, it's been almost a year, which is long enough that I should do another one of these with up-to-date figures all around..

  4. My last 1.5TB hard drive cost 12 cents/gigabyte, if you're actually counting. I put every digital video I had on the thing and it's still got more than 1TB free. This means that I now have space to capture and transcode some of my analog video. Cyberlink's video editor can use the GPU to transcode, so it should be fast. I need to buy a copy to try it out, though. I have some 27MB/s NTSC DV I should transcode to 6MB/s AVCHD and store on the drive.

    I'm not entirely sure I notice the cost of media in this particular part of the budget. The cost of the hard-drive is simply part of an broader lifestyle budget concerning an interest in HD-video, trans-coding and the technology concerned with reducing the time-impact of them. Next up, a new graphics card with 800 cores like the ATI 4850 so that the transcoder can blaze through my DV videos. Also, I need to transcode some .MOV (Quicktime) and .AVI files because my HD Media PC from Western Digital doesn't like MJPEG or Quicktime too much. So the $270 expense of yet another graphics card is not to “save money”, but rather to “save time”.

  5. As for backups of my videos, the ultimate is the source material, and I have in the past transcoded DV to MPEG2 on DVDs, so those can serve as last-resort backups too, the only problem is they're not alphabetical or time-searchable, but the hard-drive is. I think anything I transcoded to MPEG-4 I will unceremoniously either delete or crush. What a lousy format that was. Only DV, HDV, MPEG-2 and AVCHD have really shown any quality and stood the test of time. Pirates like Divx, but its pretty lousy for a serious hobbiest like myself. Half the people who crate video compression methods must be legally blind.

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