Despite of extremely tough situation of the global economy, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Tuesday opened up the first Blu-ray disc (BD) movie replication factory. The manufacturing facility will allow the company to sell Blu-ray content made in China inside the country, reducing manufacturing and fare costs and improving its own profitability.
The factory, which will be run in partnership with Shanghai Media Group, is a 130 thousand square foot facility located in the Shanghai area that will employ 200 workers and will be able to produce up to 500 thousand Blu-ray discs per month, reports The Hollywood Reporter web-site.
Currently Sony Pictures Home Entertainment offers 32 Blu-ray titles on the Chinese market and will expand that number to 100 by the end of the year, which will help Sony to push its high-definition video format onto the market flooded with pirated DVDs and Internet downloads.
It is noteworthy that Sony begins to produce Blu-ray movies in China ahead of the launch of competing CBHD high-definition media formats that is substantially based on Toshiba’s HD DVD technology.
The Shanghai facility is Sony's fourth Blu-ray production line in the world. The others are in Terre Haute, Indiana; Shizuoka, Japan and Salzburg, Austria. A fifth BD line is due to be added to the company's Pitman, New Jersey, facility by mid-2009, according to THR.