Now that the format war between Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD appears to be over with Blu-ray emerging as the winner, Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS) USA, a Optical Drive Disc (ODD) manufacturer, have positioned themselves, they claim, to become the industry leading manufacturer of Blu-Ray writers and readers (BD-ROM). In 2006, the company wisely positioned itself to compete in both formats by first signing an agreement with Toshiba to license its use of HD-DVD patents. Later that year Lite-On IT assumed ownership of a joint venture between BenQ and Royal Philips Electronics and renamed the company Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions. Since Philips is a charter member of the BD Association, the new partnership gave Lite-On access and ownership to numerous patents which allowed the company to begin R&D and ultimately production of its current line of BD products.
Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions explain that they have a strong and long-term commitment to the Blu-ray format. PLDS is one of the few companies that have access to an extensive Blu-ray patent portfolio and a large Optical Disc Drive production facility. “Combining these two aspects makes PLDS a leading company in the Blu-ray Optical Disc Drive marketplace. Other traditional ODD manufacturers will need to pay Blu-ray royalties to the original patent holders or outsource their production of BD drives to other manufacturers. The combination of owning BD patents and being a true manufacturer of these drives, PLDS has the strength to launch new Blu-ray Disc products with the highest quality standards at a reduced cost,” PLDS said in a released statement.
“Combining our manufacturing abilities with Blu-ray patent ownership means we can produce high quality BD products for less which means less cost to the consumer,” explained Christine Hsing, Marketing Manager at Philips & Lite-On Solutions. “Certainly our reputation in the computer industry provides additional leverage for us in the marketplace but in the end our goal remains the same, to provide the highest quality product at a fair price for our customers. We are very excited about the opportunities this presents to us as a manufacturer and to our customers,” added Hsing. Lite-On IT also manufactures digital frames and a variety of DVD recorder/player drives.