Blu-ray ix-nay?

Blu-ray ix-nay?

Summary: Nielsen's VideoScan service found Blu-ray's video disk market share dropped 13.4% the week of September 14.

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

Nielsen's VideoScan service found Blu-ray's video disk market share dropped 13.4% the week of September 14. Is this the beginning of the end for Blu-ray?

No, the Blu-ray problem is fixable. The question is, will Sony have the guts to do what it must? Sadly, that seems unlikely.

Market share bingo Nielsen's VideoScan service gives weekly numbers that bounce around. A 13.4% weekly decline is noise. The long-term trend is the number to watch.

Annual market share growth Blu-ray will sell over 12 million disks so far in 2008, compared to 5.6 million all last year - over 100% growth. Sounds good except Blu-ray is still below 5% of all video disk sales.

What is clear is that Blu-ray has come nowhere near earlier predictions of a 50% market share in 2008. That's the trend that should worry the industry.

The consumer conundrum A good up converting player makes a DVD look a bit softer than a Blu-ray disc on a 40 inch high def display - nothing like the difference between a DVD and an old VHS tape.

I watched a DVD of Saving Private Ryan last night on a 10 foot screen with an HD projector and 5.1 sound - and it looked fabulous. So why would I lay out $25 to upgrade SPR to Blu-ray?

The Storage Bits take Blu-ray vendors need to understand that Blu-ray's advantage over DVD isn't as great as they thought it would be 5 years ago. DVDs were supposed to look terrible on HDTV - but thanks to good, cheap upconverting DVD players they look good.

I've bought some of my favorite movies in Blu-ray, like The Fifith Element and Hellboy - hey, there's Milla Jovovich's nipple! - and I can see the difference Blu-ray makes. The difference is modest, even on a 10 foot screen.

Blu-ray won the battle against HD DVD, but they look to be losing the war for the consumer. Current pricing is unrealistic. Blu-ray players need to break $100 instead of $300 with disk street prices below $20.

Blu-ray's modest quality advantage won't overcome the convenience of electronic delivery. If Hollywood wants to be selling DVDs in 5 years, they need to make Blu-ray an affordable standard.

Comments welcome, of course.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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  • $ony screwed us again

    $ony killed HDDVD that was cheaper at the same performance, and they keep trying to peddle their ultra expensive Blue ray crapware on us.
    The plain, old DVD looks better every day.
    Linux Geek
    • Uhh... HD DVD was just a MS prank on Sony. nt

  • RE: Blu-ray ix-nay?

    It's unfortunate that Blu-ray won the format war, because it is too far of a leap. It is much higher a jump than should have been. See it only makes sense to move up an incriment, but Bluray is about 2 leaps forward, in quality, and price too! So it makes sense that things wouldn't work out too well for Blu-ray, and that the shift be slow going. If there were more movies on Blu-ray and fewer on DVD, then the shift might speed up. But what company would take such a risk as to stop betting on the winning horse (dvd)?
    • Very true

      [i]But what company would take such a risk as to stop betting on the winning horse (dvd)[/i]

      The first company that does loses bussiness if its competitors do not do the same.

      Plus the market for the players is not there yet simply becuase I would imagine that the majority of people watching DVD's are doing so on screens that average 27 to 32 inch size.

      I doubt I would see much, if any, difference between DVD and Blu-Ray on those screens, so whay bother with purchasing a Blu-Ray player?
  • BetaMax Redux

    Reminds me of BetaMax. DVD's on 70in and less screens
    look great. In fact, when I convert my DVD to AppleTV, it's
    resolution is actually reduced a bit, but it STILL looks great
    on my Plasma.

    Blu-Ray should have just been included in every "DVD" player
    (I know, they are different technologies, but the average
    people don't give two cents about names, technologies. As
    long as it looks good, it will prevail. Remember VHS????
    • DVD 720 X 480 Vs. 1080p 1920 X 1080

      There is a huge difference in resolution. Upconverting may mask some of it, but if the detail isn't there, it isn't there. The difference between Beta and VHS was almost non-existent compared to this difference. I can easily see the difference in detail between watching say a sporting event in HD vs. watching an upconverted DVD.
      • nobody cares

        the truth is with the exception of a few videophiles nobody really cares about the "better" picture they just want to watch movies cheaply and Sony will never let you do anything without ripping you off,so DVD it is and Blu-Ray will be a bust.
  • price, price, price

    are you listening, sony? i bought a blu-ray player last christmas, but i haven't bought many disks yet. as soon as prices drop to $20 or less, i will be buying.

    the thing that pisses me off is that when i bought the thing, there were PLENTY of blu-ray movies available at that price point, but when they killed off HD DVD all the prices went back up. What the hell, sony!
  • RE: Blu-ray ix-nay?

    Very Simply, Blu-ray is too expensive. Drop the price to compete with DVD and they'll sell more.

    I've purchased 1 Blu-ray disk since my son and I bought a PS3, all the others were free promotional Blu-ray movies as part of the PS3 purchase.

    The picture looks great, but not great enough to justify a $25+ price per movie. I might pay up to $25 for a Blu-ray disk with a digital copy of the movie that can be copied to iTunes and then to AppleTV. Check out WALL-E, for example, being released the end of November.

    Seriously, if they dropped the price to $20 per Blu-ray movie, people would buy. One other thing to keep in mind is that there have been a lot of re-release films on Blu-ray.... why would I pay another $25+ for an old movie I already have on DVD? For that matter, why would I pay $9.99 for an old movie I already own on DVD from iTunes Store?

    -Just my opinion.
  • Releases are also the problem

    One of the sites I watch always has a weekly release list of Blu-Ray and DVD. The DVD list is always several times larger.
  • Mmmm ... Milla ...

    Need I say more?

  • I wonder how many people have good enough vision to see the difference. nt

    • Really?

      If you adjusted your computer monitor between 720 X 480 and 1920 X 1080 you can't tell the difference? The first resolution is DVD the second is the highest HDTV (1080p).
      Have you never seen HDTV?
      • I can't usually tell . . .

        In fact, one of the things I tell people who come to me for advice on what TV to purchase is to go to the store and look at a 720p vs. a 1080p system. If they can't see any difference, go for the cheaper unit.

        There's a lot of people who don't have your apparent Eagle Eyes, bub. Not everyone has 20/20 vision . . .

        What I tell people to pay more attention to is color saturation, hue, and just exactly how real it looks. I've seen HDTV's in stores that looked worse than my old 19 inch in the bedroom, just because they didn't have the color set right. . .
  • RE: Blu-ray ix-nay?

    The key statement you made was "Blu-ray???s modest quality advantage won???t overcome the convenience of electronic delivery."

    Thats where I'm coming from too.
  • Have Blu-ray, Still buying DVD instead

    Although I have a Blu-ray player and HD TV, I find myself still buying DVDs and rarely considering the Blu-ray version. And here's five (5) reasons why...

    1st and most notably - I'm not paying more to see the same movie despite the difference in resolution. A DVD is still good quality.

    2nd - I have DVD drives in all my computers, including my laptop and I can bring a DVD anywhere (including my mother's) to watch it with one else in my family has blu-ray.

    3rd - Blu-ray takes forever to load compared to a DVD...that factor alone drives me crazy everytime I want to watch one.

    4th - I now backup all DVD's I buy, by ripping an ISO image and storing the physical DVD in a box in the closet for backup mostly and I often watch the DVDs from the ISO image.

    5th - my projector doesn't have HDMI inputs so I only watch my blu-ray on my 42" HDTV whereas I can watch my DVD's on my projector in my basement with a 12'x7' screen. Resolution can't compete with a HUGE screen.
  • Blu-Ray is clearly a superior media

    The difference in Blu-Ray and regular DVD is incredible, if you are using a 1080p tv set and your tv is calibrated correctly. Heck there's a fairly large difference if you're using a 720p. It also depends on the movie you're watching. Many of the movies from the 80's and 90's were recorded to video instead of using 35 millimeter film. IF that is is the case they won't look any better than upconverted dvd because the source is too poor. However if you convert either a very old movie or a new movie to blu-ray they look phenominal.

    My guess is those who say you can't tell a difference have either watched a blu-ray converted from one of the poorer source videos from the 80's or 90's or saw them on a poorly calibrated tv set.

    That said, the main reason nobody is buying is because while the difference is quite staggering, its not worth the huge difference in price between dvd and blu-ray. The jump, while big, is nowhere near as big as the jump in quality from vhs to dvd. If Sony wants blu-ray to succeed they're just going to have to price it to succeed. If they can get players out there for around 120 dollars and disks out for 20 dollars or less people will buy. If not, it's going to die plain and simple.
  • RE: Blu-ray ix-nay?

    I have not bought blu-ray yet, but I am planning on doing so very soon, as I just got a 1080p 47" TV.

    However, I don't see myself paying $30 and up for a blu-ray movie, when the same DVD movie is $5-15. I will simply rent my blu-ray movies from Netf*ix.

    The commentors are right, people don't wanna pay 2 to 10 times the price for a movie, ESPECIALLY if they already own it on DVD. I recently bought the DVD of Terminator 2 Special Edition on 2 discs from Target for $4.99. How much would that be on Blu-ray?

    The pricing of the discs is just pure and simple greed. It costs about 10 cents to stamp a DVD, CD, or a Blu-ray movie. Remember when a CD cost about $15 in a store, 15 yrs ago? Ridiculous.

    Blu-ray won't get much penetration, until the players are $99 or less, and the discs are $15-20 or less.
  • Sony just doesn't get it.

    Sony built a good media, but patterned after the HD-
    DVD format, which was perfectly good enough. Then
    they spent a TON of money selling it to studios and
    hardware makers. But, they forgot 2 major things.
    First, selling it to the users. Second, it couldn't
    be sold to users because it was over-built for the

    Blu-Ray's biggest problem is that it is just too much.
    Too much space, too much techy crap, too much cost.
    80% of consumers could care less about all the high
    end video/techy b.s. that has been the argument for
    ages behind the Blu-Ray push. They just don't care.
    It doesn't matter how good it is (or is not...) if
    it's too expensive and really not that noticably
    better then why spend the extra money? They don't.

    HD DVD should have been the winner here. It was much
    more simple, easier and much cheaper. If the studios
    had woke up and noticed this major difference line,
    and that the consumers didn't want or need an "uber
    media" then HD DVD would have had legs to survive and
    provide the next generation media that we would all
    have liked.

    Too bad hind sight doesn't do us much good here.
  • Uncompressed sound of a BR.

    I can tell the difference. I have a 42" 1080p plasma and when watching a Blu Ray versus the same movie on DVD, the detail, the crispness and the sound are all much greater. Upconverting a regular DVD on my BR player does help the picture, but it still doesn't get to be as good an experience as a BR. The uncompressed sound on a BR is more than enough reason to go for it. Your home theater really comes alive.

    Best Buy frequently has sales of BR movies. It isn't uncommon to find movies for $14.99. I believe with time the prices of a BR player will come down.