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Archive for the ‘New Technology’ Category

The 3 threads to 3D

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Adding realism to the viewing experience is good. Football is the best example.

Adding realism to the viewing experience is good. Football is the best example.

3D, a new feature of Blu Ray format will certainly be a revolution in home entertainment. It has already revolutionised the movie industry. Avatar proved it is no longer a gadget, but an integral part of story–telling and the movie texture. It gave a real boost to 3D. It is estimated that by 2015 almost 40% of TV sets will be 3D. 70% of Europeans are interested in having 3D at home. Similarly, as it was the case with the movie industry, the  3D impact will be holistic and will transform all forms and channels of content delivery – 3D cinema, home 3D, PC-based 3D gaming and 3D mobile phones. More exciting opportunities to exercise your right to entertainment!

However, there are some threads which may limit the scope of 3D and keep it still as something designed ‘for an occasion’. The first is that there might not be expected content to draw people’s attention. Consumers most frequently view wildlife footage and sport events in 3D, but are strongly attached to 2D when it comes to their favorite TV shows. So will it be mainly for hardcore game enthusiasts?

With growing consumer awareness, more information and education provided by retailers is needed. Especially concerning the necessary equipment and background in 3D experience, its impact on the keen young gamers’ eyesight etc. The 3D format is safe for children over 4 years of age, according to doctors, and it’s definitely better for human eye accommodation than traditional 2D.

Last but not least, there is the question of time-consuming conversion from 2D to 3D done by skilled engineers.  This issue needs to be balanced as now many new TVs and BD players have built in circuitry that permits an auto- conversion by simply one press of a button.  It’s also estimated that 55% of the population is unable to see 3D properly, so is there a point in dedicating time and effort for raising already sophisticated standards of good conversion if more than a half of all viewers are not able to spot the difference?

Why do consumers, especially gamers, love physical media?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Will physical media be soon supplanted by digital?

Although digital delivery has been gaining more and more recognition and is estimated to generate nearly £6.5  billion  of new revenue by 2013, it is still complementing, not displacing, physical media. And at least for the nearest decade media companies are to expect a period of synergy between physical and digital rather than ‘cannibalisation’. Why? Because basically people like to have what they own and be independent from the way publishers are ruling a game.

According to survey conducted by NPD, 75 % of game buyers prefer to have a boxed, retail copy of their game. Is it for collector’s sake? Out of nostalgia? Well, not only. 65% declare they would download the game if the title was 10% cheaper to download than buy at retail. There is also a ‘novelty factor’ which digital media seem to be taking for granted. While the price of a physical copy is more likely to drop down, the drive disc version may stay at the same price indefinitely, especially when there is no storage problem.

Another explanation for a preference to physical media is its independence from the publisher and licensing restrictions. Digital games do not belong fully to the user, they  are only under license to use, so the publisher has complete control.  There is also a trivial aspect, basically physical media are less harder to lose. There are no concerns about the servers going down or possible free or reduced price re-download. Many have pointed out that the  trade off digital media should be of much lower  price than the price of physical media, until that happens streaming and such is not all that viable.

Not only consumers share this view. Many retailers also perceive digital media as ‘ high investment low return business model’, as there are many problems in stock:  mobile internet access and reliance on the speed of downloading, supply chain customization, lack of standards in the whole sector. Searching for  effective content protection policies is one of the biggest challenge as pirated websites are more and more sophisticated. Ironically, in many regions of Europe and Asia it is still easier to find pirated movies than the legal DVDs.

In the era of cloud computing digital distribution is a natural part of the process and cannot be avoided. It is only the question of adopting infrastructure in order to provide a simplified and coherent method of data distribution.

The History of the War Between Blu-ray and HD DVD

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The battle between the HD DVD and Blu-ray discs was hard-fought

As new technology is constantly brought onto the market, it stands to reason that sometimes you will get products which clash.  Sometimes, these two variants on the same product can co-exist quite happily, but other times a vicious battle of merchandise ensues and one product will knock the other off the market!

This was the case with the fight between Blu-Ray and HD DVD, and the war goes back further than you’d think:  All the way back to the year 2000!  During this time, new blue lasers were being experimented with in optical disc systems.  Companies found that by using these blue lasers, rather than the previous red ones, more information could be stored on a disc in less space.  This is because the wavelength of a blue laser is smaller than a red one, therefore less space is needed to store the same piece of information.

But why were they experimenting with this new technology?  What was wrong with the good old DVD?  Well, as is often the case, advances in other areas were forcing disc technology forwards:  High definition televisions and television services had come onto the market and the disc industry did not want to be left behind.  They, too, wanted to provide high-definition products but found that there was simply not enough room on an ordinary DVD.  Thus, new technology had to be found to cater for the changes in the market.

But here’s the catch:  More than one company was making the same discoveries at the same time!  The result:  Two competing products were brought onto the market and began a battle that would last for almost a decade.

Sony and Pioneer seem to have been the main instigators of research, unveiling the DVR Blue at Japan’s Ceatec show on October 5th 2000.  It was this disc which would form the basis for Blu-ray, which was proposed some two years later, on February 19th 2002.  The plans for the disc were put forward by nine very successful electronics companies, headed by Sony.  However, only a few months later, NEC and Toshiba put forward plans for a competing product, the high-definition disc which was to become HD DVD.

That year, at the 2002 Ceatec show in Japan, both discs were unveiled.  The Blu-ray was shown by Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, JVC and Pioneer whilst the HD DVD, at this time called the Advanced Optical Disc (AOD), was shown by Toshiba.  I can almost imagines the competitors scowling at each other across the room:  This meant merchandise war!

At first, things were slow.  New technology is very expensive and the licensing for Blu-ray was extortionate (and necessarily so considering all the money that had been sunk into the disc’s invention!)  Perhaps due to this, or perhaps simply in a clever marketing move, Sony created a disc which would allow data storage, not only in terms of film, but in terms of business: Companies could now store documents, presentations – whatever they wanted – on these discs, like memory-massive versions of the CD.

The technology to be able to write information on discs at home and in the workplace was then used to create the first home BD recorder.  It was based upon the BD-RE disc and cost almost $4000!  It was a mistake, however, as the machine did not support pre-recorded films and simply served as an extra expense for the companies involved.  Despite this mistake, the BD was obviously making headway, however, as Mitsubishi joined the group in May of that year.

But what of the HD DVD during this time?  Well, truth be told very little happened with the HD DVD of note until early 2004, when Toshiba unveiled the first prototype HD DVD player.  The player was well though out as it was backwards compatible with DVD, a customer pleasing feature which brought it attention.  However the success was not to last, as only five days later, on january 12th, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, major electronics companies, made public their decision to back the Blu-ray disc.

Then, on September 21st, Sony announced that their PlayStation 3 would support Blu-ray discs.  This was a canny business move on Sony’s part, as they knew that many of the people who play PlayStation games are also a major section of the film-buying market.  Therefore, by cornering the gamers into watching Blu-rays simply because they already had the player, they sectured an enormous amount of business in one fell swoop.

But in late November, several world-famous film studios came together to give their support for the HD DVD.  This was a massive boon for the HD DVD; getting the backing of Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, HBO, Universal Pictures AND Paramount Pictures secured for them a massive portion of the film-making industry.  However, they had missed off one of the most influential giants of movie-making:  Disney.  And ten days later, this titan of business gave its support, not to the HD DVD, but to Blu-ray.

In mid-2005, Sony’s president made a show of wishing to compromise or integrate with HD DVD, knowing as he did that consumers were becoming tired of having choose between the two rival formats.  But still the war dragged on, though talks were indulged in for several months between Toshiba and Sony.  Companies kept siding with one of the other format until, late in 2005, Paramount Home Entertainment decided to offer their films on both HD DVD and Blu-ray.  Some other companies followed suit but there was still an air of stagnation and irritation on the market.

So we come to March 2006, when Toshiba put their new HD DVD player on the market.  It had been in development for some moths by LG Electronics, no doubt also backed in part by Microsoft, who had decided to rival the PLayStation 3 and provide an HD DVD drive add-on for their Xbox 360.  The disc player was much more of a success than the initial Blu-ray model, as it was cheaper (by about $2000!) and also played all pre-recorded data.

2007 saw the HD DVD take over the market, stealing support from companies who had previously backed Blu-ray as their HD DVD-player sales rocketed to 100,000 in north America alone.  This was despite the fact that LG had put together a dual-format player and Warner Bros. had developed a disc which had two layers:  One HD DVD and the other Blu-ray, so that it was compatible with all players.  HD DVD player prices dropped dramatically and Sony were forced to follow suit, reducing the price of the PlayStation 3 in early November – just in time for Christmas!

So, things were looking up for HD DVD, but Warner Bros. had a bombshell to drop in the new year.  On January 4th 2008, the dropped their support of HD DVD and went over to Blu-ray.  “All of us at Sony are feeling Blu today!”  Said Sony CEO Howard Stringer later that week, smiling broadly.  It was a major blow to HD DVD’s confidence and success.  Though they cut the prices of HD DVD players, the market was simply not interested anymore and consumers began to side more and more with Blu-ray.

Companies NetFlix and BestBuy had said they would phase out HD DVD by June only a month after Warner Bros. announcement and five days later, Toshiba halted the production of their HD DVD players.  Blu-ray had won the war, and just when it looked as if they were about to lose!

How are BD-ROMs manufactured?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Brand new BD technology means a brand new disc manufacturing techniques

From a consumer’s point of view, it can often appear that products simply appear on the shelves in our shops.  But the reality is that everything that we buy is made somewhere in a more or less complicated process.  For Blu-ray disc manufacturing, this process is long and tricky and must be done by state of the art machines.  On the surface the BD factory is mystery – so let’s satisfy our curiosity and take an in depth look at how these discs are made.

All BDs start life as a collection of tiny, clear granules of the plastic polycarbonate.  These granules arrive at the factory in trucks and are stored in silos, waiting for the process of Blu-ray disc manufacturing to begin.  They are then siphoned into pipes, which take them through the factory to ‘hopper’s which measure out a certain number of granules and melt them down, sending them to the moulding machine.

The moulding machine then compresses the liquified polycarbonate into a disc.  The mould for the machine is created from a glass master copy of the first layer of data data to be stored on the BD so not only does this machine create the basic shape of the disc, but it also punches the first layer of data into it.  The data takes the form of ‘bumps’ or positive and negative indentations on the surface of the disc, which will later be covered for protection, and then read by the ‘blue’ BD laser.

Moved by a robotic arm, the disc is now ready for the next stage in Blu-ray manufacturing.  The disc is then coated in a layer of silver.  This layer is miniscule – only 90 angstroms thick (and an angstrom is only 100 millionths of a centimetre!)  The layer is created by a process called sputtering.  In this case, ‘sputtering’ involves hundreds of thousands of atoms of silver being bombarded.  The particles of metal are ‘energised’ or made magnetic so that they will stick to the surface they are applied to.  In Sony Blue-ray disc manufacturing plant, their sputtering machine has a magnetic field so strong that it affects pacemakers that are brought nearby!

The disc is then coated in a layer of special UV resin, which is hardened by being exposed to a special kind of light.  Then, a second layer of data is added if needed and the disc is given another UV resin coating and a final protective layer.

But this is not then end of the Blu-ray disc manufacturing process:  Half the energy goes into making sure the product is reliable.  The discs are machine-checked for any sign of scratching or bubbling between the layers before being scanned and checked for playback integrity.
And what would a disc be without its artwork?  The discs then have to be loaded onto spools to go to the printing machines, which vary in technique according to the factory.  Finally, the BDs find their way to the assembly line where they are clothed in their cases, with any inserts and covers the designer has chosen.

So that is how Blu-ray discs are manufactured!  They don’t just magically appear, but are sent through a complex and highly scientific process before arriving on the shelves or our stores!

BD Live – Alive or Dead?

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

BD Live - how alive is it?

The world of technology is constantly attempting to develop, and the world of disc manufacturing is no different.  After the war between the HD formats (a battle decidedly won by Blu-Ray discs over HD DVD), manufacturers began to press the concept of BD-Live.

But what is BD-Live?  Well, despite its new buzzword status, it is actually quite difficult to pin any industry officials down on what in fact ‘BD-Live’ entails.  The best summing up can be that it is Blu-Ray discs connected to the internet for extra features.  It requires back-end technologies which allow the disc to access high quality content from the internet.  This content was originally intended to be apps such as being able to chat to friends during a film, being able to access websites of products featured in a film and to even buy those products on the spot, from the comfort of your own couch.

Let’s pass over what this means for the ensuing increased laziness of mankind and focus instead on what the technology has so far been used for.  Mainly, it is used as a promotional tool for the studios behind the film, giving links to the studio’s website through the Blu-Ray disc.  However, usually these websites do not allow any further access to the internet, keeping the user in that companies ‘playground’.  Many of these websites lack original, entertaining data and do not keep the user enthralled.  Aside from access to these sites, BD-Live has also so far been used for material such as one gets as extra features on DVD.

And yet the potential for BD-Live is so much greater than this:  It could, in the long run, grant full web access, allow HD downloadable videos, have killer apps and constantly updated new information about the film.  It has even been suggested that, for instance, if you were to buy a disc about a band, you could insert the disc and see some of their gigs live on the nights that they played.  The sheer amount of work and resources that would have to go into an app like this aside, it would be a great capability to have on a Blu-ray disc.  Add to this the potential BD-Live has for communication – internet chat, text messaging and phone calls – and you have yourself an amazing application.

So why have the industry been so slow to start fulfilling this potential?  Firstly, there are several unanswered questions about how exactly BD-Live will work cross-continent:  How exactly will people be able to communicate around the world with the regional coding Blu-ray discs have been programmed with?  And, with different BD-Live (that is basically internet-capable) players having different programming and capacities, there is no guarantee that all consumers will be able to access the same amount of data.  Currently, the difference in downloading time can vary from one player downloading one set of data in ten seconds, to another downloading the same set in ten minutes!  Creating programs that only a small percent of the market will be able to use does not seem to provide enough impetus to develop the technology further.

From a film-makers point of view, as industry’s Van Ling pointed out, having someone be encouraged to talk through a film that you have made is, frankly, insulting, so the communication side of BD-Live is being stunted from the film-maker’s quarter.

To add to all these problems, many consumers are baffled as to why they need BD-Live when their computers and mobile-phones can serve the same purposes with less fuss and cost.  BD-Live needs to develop something new and different which cannot be found simply on the web or through your phone or computer, only on a Blu-ray disc.

What it is important to remember, however, is that these are all simply teething problems:  BD-Live is new and no new technology arrives on the market problem-free.  All this technology needs is consumer support and eventually the programming will improve.  Let’s face it, if it eventually fulfills its potential, it will be worth supporting!

Blu-Ray Discs – The Basics!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

BDs - the basics!

So the Blu-Ray disc is here and it seems, with growing sales, that it could well be here to stay! But what are the basics facts you need to know about this disc to stop confusion and to make sure you’re not getting ripped off?
To start with, a basic outline of the disc itself: It’s a disc designed to hold high definition media in particular, best displayed on HDTV screens, but it can also be used for storing computer data. Having been in the works since 2002, the average Blu-Ray disc, or BD, can hold 25GB of information – more than enough for a feature length film! There are also dual layer discs on the market which can hold 50GB but they are rarer and much more expensive. The Blu-Ray disc is called this because, unlike a DVD or a CD, the laser beam which reads the disc is blue-violet and not infrared.
The same as with DVDs, there are different formats of BD for different uses the user may require. Bear in mind that all these formats can be made in either the 25 or 50GB sizes.

BD-ROM: This is the average Blu-Ray that you buy with a film on it. It’s not re-recordable and needs to be manufactured by a professional company.

BD-R: This is a one-time recordable disc which can hold all sorts of different data. You can also burn video onto this at home or professionally.

BD-RE: The same as a BD-R, only this one can be re-recorded onto many times.

BDAV: This is read-only format, the Blu-Ray equivalent of the DVD-Video format. Ot allows for enormous (in fact unnecessarily large) pixel formats: Either 1920×1080 or 1280×720 and uses a progressive scan functioning at 50 or 60 Hz rather than DVD-Video’s 25 or 30Hz. What do all these numbers mean? Basically, it has a killer image – so good that for most households with average sized TVs, it’s quality overkill. Still, it’s worth it for the occasions where massive screens are around and the video just looks perfect!

Manufacturers of BD-ROMs, BD-Rs and BD-REs claim that the discs have a 10-15 year life span and have the strongest content protection which includes strict licensing procedures. (Unfortunately these licensing procedures can seem quite complicated at first – so complex, in fact, that they merit an article all of their own which will be coming shortly!) BDs also ensure the highest HD quality and memory capacity of any disc available. They also use a tough coating which makes the disc slightly resilient against scratches and fingerprints.
So that’s a basic guide to Blu-Ray discs – enjoy watching you’re BDs with their excellent quality and great interactive features!

Blu-Rays and Regional Settings

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Regional settings for BDs can look very complicated - so here's a simple break-down!

The world of technology is constantly moving forwards and the latest addition to the world of discs is the Blu-Ray discs. However there have been some problems and confusion over Blu-Ray regional settings: Not only are they different from DVD regions, they are also not very well labelled!
So, to save the confusion, here is a list of the DVD regions:

1 – US and Canada
2 – Europe, Japan and the Middle East
3 – Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong
4 – South America, Australia and New Zealand
5 – Russia, Eastern Europe, India, most of Africa and North Korea
6 – China

And here is a list of the Blu-Ray regions, which use the ‘ABC region code scheme’:

A – North America, South America, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong
B – Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Autsralia and New Zealand
C – India, China and Russia

While it is worth bearing in mind that only about one third of Blu-Rays have regional settings, for those that do, it is very often marked on the packaging very poorly or not at all! Mass Blu-Ray duplication companies have been asked by the BD license to mark on the packaging somewhere what region the disc is, however very often the writing is miniscule and only says ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ which is meaningless to most people anyway! Some companies have also been guilty of leaving off the region setting altogether and have not been questioned on this: Therefore no marking could mean no regional code but it could also mean it’s simply missing or that you haven’t found the tiny writing it’s in yet!
Not only this, but some companies have started renaming the coding systems: Amazon has turned ‘A, B, C’ into ‘1, 2, 3’ but does host a page explaining this in its FAQ section to counterbalance confusion. The BDA (Blu-Ray Disc Association) has been made aware of this situation.
But many of you may well remember that when DVDs first started out they were avidly restricted to region settings and it was not until ‘hacked’ DVD players with no coding came out that the DVD market really took off, mainly because there were more DVDs in some regions then in others, thus when the regions were taken out of the equation, consumers were given much more choice as to what they could buy. Perhaps mass Blu-Ray duplication companies are hoping for the same thing because recently a ‘hacked’ Blu-Ray player, which is BD-Live enabled, has become available and, as yet, has also not been made illegal even though it breaks the coding laws!
Whilst I obviously cannot condone a ‘hacked’ machine, it does seem to be the underground answer to the confusing labeling of Blu-Ray discs. The other option is from the BDA to finally call the mass Bly-Ray duplications companies to task and force them to properly label discs, not just send them the document which states that’s what they should be doing!

Green half-thickness DVDs – as good as they say?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Green half-thickness DVDs - do they really work?

With society’s growing occupation with ‘going green’, people are starting to ask what the bulk DVD duplication industry can do to help the cause. Thus the half-thickness ‘green’ DVD, or ‘EcoDisc’, was invented.
Just like a normal disc, this DVD can store audio, visual and text information on it, yet unlike the standard disc it comes at only half the thickness (0.6mm instead of 1.2mm), using less resources in its creation and saving on plastic, emissions and thus allowing the bulk DVD duplication industry to help the environment. This effect is created because a normal disc is two separate halves glued together, while the EcoDisc has only one half, no glue and special clamps and rings to assist the disc player in clamping it properly. The absence of the adhesive used in normal discs is another environmental plus, as the glue gives off toxic fumes.
But do these EcoDiscs actually work?
So far, the bulk DVD duplication centers manufacturing these discs have been keeping quiet about which discs exactly are EcoDiscs so it is quite hard to tell, but several magazines have given away EcoDiscs as free gifts and some consumers had issues getting them to work in ordinary disc players. The half-thickness can seriously compromise the disc player and a disc can become stuck in a player which does not have an ejecting disc-drawer (like the ones you normally find in cars or in mac computers).
Aside from this, the much of the bulk DVD duplication industry is up in arms: They claim these discs are a serious compromise of DVD standards and licensees have been notified that manufacturing sub-standard discs will cause them to have their licenses taken away.
So while the verdict is still out on half-thickness DVDs, the evidence is not looking promising for them! While I agree that going green is all for the good, we need to make sure that the products created in this cause should be fully tested and work very well in all circumstances before they are put out onto the market!

Lightscribe Technology – is it as good as all the hype is making out?

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Lightscribe technology - the new way to make pretty discs!

Some years ago, Hewlett Packard became increasingly frustrated with its own home-CD-printing software: It was a hassle to print out and stick labels on CDs and it was very easy to get it wrong! So their developers began to come up with a new plan; why not use a laser to etch the CD label onto the disc instead?

The technology to achieve this was developed, dubbed Lightscribe Technology, and software and etching devices were unleashed onto the market. Lightscribe has been a massive success so far, allowing consumers to produce professional-looking CD labels at home by etching labels onto discs rather than printing and sticking.

But how does this new technology work? Allow me to explain; First, there is the Lightscibe drive, a disc-drive which etches your CD label design onto your CD. To use one of these drives, you must have compatible media (Lightscribe-printable CDs are very clearly labelled and available on the internet with a quick search-engine check) and the appropriate software installed to your computer. Hook the Lightscribe drive up to your computer and away you go!

The drive itself works by using the same kind of laser that burns CDs to engrave an etched image of your CD label onto the front of your disc. However, it has a ‘control feature zone’ which not only allows it to take in the full dimensions of your disc, but also means that every time you insert the disc, it begins printing in the same place again. this means you can print multiple times on the same disc, adding a title or extra image if you wish. It is no problem if you forget something: You can always just insert it later on!

While this breakthrough is a marvelous development, it does come with some drawbacks; it takes a very long time to etch a CD label onto even one disc – up to thirty minutes, dependent on how complex your design is! – while printing and sticking usually takes between three and five. Also, while thermal and inkjet printing allow for variants in colour, Lightscribe is simply monotone.

However the quality of the CD label is guaranteed to be superb and the etching effect does look incredibly professional: Much more so than a CD marker pen!

And bear in mind that this is very new technology: Developers have a lot of time to work on improving the current model and fixing the problems that have occurred in it. And, as always, the more we as consumers invest in a product, the further the product will develop over time!n

Water-Resistant Disc Printing

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Disc duplication just got water-proof!

Once you get involved in CD label printing you begin to realise that most users favour the inkjet printed labels for their vibrant colours and the fact that they print directly onto the disc. However it does not take long to discover the frustrations of printing inkjet labels and then smudging them! Be it a sweaty finger picking one up carelessly or a spot of rain as you pull the disc out of your pocket to hand it to a colleague, one of the reasons thermal printing has been so much more popular than inkjet is that it simply does not smudge!

BUT developers have come up with new water-resistant discs which can be printed on, left to dry, and do not smudge under any watery-duress. The technology had been dubbed WaterShield and was created by Taiyo Yuden, the inventor of recordable discs.

The discs work by having a specialised printing surface which makes the ink dry very quickly on CD labels and locks it in place, stopping it from smearing and smudging. There are two kinds of water-resistant disc currently on the market, the aforementioned WaterGuard by Taiyo Yuden and Primera and the AquaGuard brand also sold by Primera. Both Primera brands are sold under the label ‘Tuffcoat’.

But which type works better? And what is the cost effect of buying these specialised discs?

To begin with the pricing; it is possible now to get reasonably good quality discs for inkjet printers at about 30p each without shopping around too much. WaterShield and Aquaguard discs come out at about 5-10p more however they can be used in an ordinary inkjet printer so no extra cost is inflicted there!

To determine which brand works better, each one has its own pros and cons. Both work excellently well at not smudging: A damp thumb does not effect them, nor a running tap on cold or hot. It is not until you boil them that you notice any difference at all (and frankly anyone boiling their CDs is probably not that interested in playing them again!) Once boiled, both discs exhibit some almost irrelevant bleeding. The WaterShield discs, which have a glossy finish to them once printed, begin to turn slightly blue when boiled, but I feel the extreme drawback is made up for by the professional-looking finish of the gloss CD label. The AquaGuard remains matt but also does not turn a hint of blue when boiled.

So, it appears that developers have solved the problem of inkjet CD label printing: No more smudges for a little extra cost!

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