Blu-ray's Blo-tards bite back

Blu-ray's Blo-tards bite back

Summary: Someone hired the PR/lobbying firm Corporate Advocates to bite back at Storage Bits. Their message: the Harris Poll on Blu-ray was wrong about the number of homes with Blu-ray players.

TOPICS: Storage

Someone hired the PR/lobbying firm Corporate Advocates to bite back at Storage Bits. Their message: the Harris Poll on Blu-ray was wrong about the number of homes with Blu-ray players.

A fact, it so happens, I never mentioned. But blow enough Blu-smoke and people will forget what they see with their own eyes?

I don't think so.

Free speech isn't free Good thing our corporate overlords can afford the drivel that CorpAds is shoveling:

. . . the dramatic increase in Blu-ray Disc hardware and software sales clearly indicate that the format has in fact reached critical mass (surpassing even DVD penetration at the same point in DVD's lifespan). . . .

[emphasis mine]

If today's Blu-ray is what "critical mass" looks like, please don't show me failure. That would be too scary.

The CorpAds point is that the Harris Poll numbers don't square with manufacturer numbers. But Storage Bits never mentioned those numbers because they aren't important.

Update: I've published the full text of the CorpAds email so you can read it for yourself. End update.

Update 2: The "evidence" that Blu-ray adoption beats DVD is based on the combined sales of BD players and PS3 consoles. Really, how many people buy PS3's to play BD disks? Even if it is 20% - a high number - that puts Blu-ray well behind DVD. And ignores the fact that follow-ons usually do better: TV over radio; DVD over VHS; Google over Yahoo etc. End update 2.

So what is important? Intentions. Harris asked people what they intended to do - and by a wide margin, people don't much care about Blu-ray: player buying intentions are down; disk buying is lukewarm.

How could that be?

Because you don't need Blu-ray to get high-def content. HD channels on cable; HD downloads from Netflix, Apple and others; and really good upscaling from Oppo Digital are all good substitutes for Blu-ray.

Price is the issue All things being equal, consumers would rather have Blu-ray's slightly better picture. But not if they have to pay a big premium for it.

People will shell out an extra $50 for Blu-ray capability. But Hollywood's money is in the disks.

In the Harris poll, fully 68% of Blu-ray player or PS3 owners disagreed with the statement "I purchase movies on Blu-ray format regardless of price." 68%!!!

These are the folks - like me - who own a Blu-ray player and some disks.

If the early adopters aren't sold why will John Q. Public jump on this? He won't. Like me he'll get a few BD disks, think they look nice, and then go back to DVDs.

The Storage Bits take Most new media fail. Historically, less than ¼ of new media achieve broad acceptance.

Blu-ray can still succeed with consumers, but vendors need to reduce prices. Of course, then Blu-ray may not be an economic success for vendors.

Oh well. Welcome to the free market. Say hi to your friends on Wall Street.

Update 3: I want to see Blu-ray succeed, mostly because I want to see a convenient 50 GB removable disk succeed. I'm not anti-Blu-ray, I'm anti-dumb. End update 3.

Comments welcome, of course. For historical perspective on new media, the curious might enjoy my wonkish review of an MIT Press book New Media, 1740-1915.

Topic: Storage

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • How to make Blu-ray a success

    1. Get the price of players under $200.
    2. Lower the price of discs to 50 cents less than the equivalent DVD.
    3. Stop producing DVDs.
    • Make that $99 for a player and $20 for a *new* movie...

      • Two years ago..

        It was the prices are way to high and the HD DUD boys would say when prices hit $200 and now that mark is being approached now it is $100. Funny those former red-ants keep moving the goalposts.

        Funny the download business is not lighting the world afire either. At least with BD you don't have to have a HSI connection to enjoy it.
    • Not just the player and Content but the TV and Sound too

      That won't work either.

      It's that HD TV that is the stumbling block. It's not just that you need an HD TV, you need a big on at that. I've seen Blu-Ray content on a 22" HDTV. It's not impressive and it's hardly noticable. The sound was great though. But then that is another expense. You need that 7.1 surround sound system to get that great sound. But back to the visual. Upconverted DVD on smaller screens is pretty much as good as Blu-Ray as the smaller screen just doesn't show off the impressive Blu-Ray quality that you really see on the 42" or larger screens. Even that is minor, noticable but minor.

      So Blu-Ray means for most people buying a new larger TV, new sounds system, a blu-ray player and more expensive content. That adds up to a big price tag.

      Early adopters, they have the TV, the sound system already. So it's just player and the content. Not a big deal if they price comes down but most people aren't there yet. All those old TV that sold at bargain prices are in main stream homes and makes Blu-Ray a moot point.
      • Not Necessarily

        Blu-ray is, effectively, just an optical disk, one that has more storage capability than DVD disks. As such, movies and television shows can be encoded in DVD resolution, which means you could store say five DVD quality movies on a single disk. Or maybe an entire season of your favorite television show in TV resolution. In those cases a high definition television wouldn't be needed at all and you would still get benefits out of buying media in the blu-ray format.
        • Not really

          The problem with this statement is that you fail to point out a significant
          advantage of having the content on a single disk, vs, say, five DVDs.
          Seeing as the cost of the physical fabrication of a DVD is trivial, on the
          order of a dime in volume, and the MSRP of Blu-Ray disks is still
          exorbitant, those five DVDs can STILL be cheaper than the Blu-Ray disk.
          As such, and considering that each DVD probably plays longer than most
          people are going to sit and watch in a single session, there is really no
          inherent advantage for most people that justifies a Blu-Ray purchase.
          I seriously doubt people are going to be willing to pay a significant
          premium for 1 extra inch of shelf space.
          • Are You An Idiot?

            "you fail to point out a significant advantage of having the content on a single disk, vs, say, five DVDs."

            ...y-you ~seriously~ need the advantage of *THAT* to be pointed out to you?



            The f*ck man, maybe you oughta log off for a while, get some fresh air, blow the stink off yerself.

            PS - the prices would be effectively the same, look it up on Amazon.
          • ad hominem

            Do you talk to people like that in person, or are you just a stupid ass
            when you are anonymous?

            And yes, I need that pointed out. Something you still haven't done.
            And while you are pointing it out to ME, you may want to point it out
            to the vast majority of consumers, who are as a group SOUNDLY
            rejecting any HD optical media. Clearly the MARKET doesn't see any
            significant advantage. But of course you know far better than vast
            majority of consumers.

            As for the pricing on amazon being the same, that has nothing to do
            with what I said. The price has two factors, manufacturing costs, and
            market forces. Trying to claim that the price on amazon can give you
            any insight into manufacturing costs is idiotic. Besides, I know exactly
            how much it costs to mass produce disks. The cost of pressing DVDs
            is less than 1% of the final cost of a disk.
          • LOL

            This child thinks I'm posting anonymous, how cute! ^__^

            The way he fumbles around for a counter argument is also rather amusing. I'm afraid he still hasn't any clue as to what he's even babbling on about. At least this post of his is semi-readable. He must be typing up his dribble in some third party app and then copying and pasting it into the web browser, which would explain all the weird line breaks he's got all over the place.
        • Not main stream though

          Sure that is a valid but it's not a main stream use unless they start actually putting out content like that. Still does the ability to have one season on TV shows on one disc make it viable? The price would be much higher for that box set for starters. To me one disc has an appeal but I'm not going to pay 30% more for that.
          • I Would

            But then there are a *LOT* of shows I like. Once you get a good collection going of say...oh just start off with every Star Trek series, maybe throw in the entire Buffy series, including Angel, how bout some Stargate SG-1?

            ...yeah...suddenly you've got an entire *WALL* devoted to just a few series. And if you're like me you like to do marathon runs...and nothing is more of a pain in the ass than having to get up every three episodes to swap out disks. All that disk swapping also wears down the player as well as makes damage to the disks more likely since they're being handled much more often.
          • If..

            you are damaging discs that easily what are you doing? Using them as frisbees. I have not damaged one disc out of my hundreds of DVDs and BDs handling them.

            You act like HDD stored media can never fail. Show me a HDD maker that claims their drives never fail. No one will make that claim.
    • good luck with that

      when i can rent a DVD movie from a $1.00 automatic rental machine, or download for a few bucks, it makes no sense to pay $20+ a movie.
      And if you have will you can even download it for free using some bittorent, making it a deal that can't be beat!
      Linux Geek
      • It does make sense...

        "When i can rent a DVD movie from a $1.00 automatic rental machine, or download for a few bucks, it makes no sense to pay $20+ a movie."

        Yes, it does, if you're a serious movie watcher and want the best-possible picture in sound. (My price limit is $15.)
      • Keep Dreaming..

        You try downloadinh an 8 Gb film over bit torrent. It aint worth the wait, and can take a week. That's not free; that's a whole lotta juice. That might be 100 kilowatt and ?10. You could use binsearch and newsgroups... much faster but still takes a night plus a monthly subscription. Having the benefits (as I do) to do either; I would rather pay a lower price for the Blu-Ray disc.

        And have a look at the groups; There are tons of DVD & Blu-Ray stuff crammed into an AVI etc. I've no idea why, and the quality is appalling at times. I'd rather pay more for some quality than download junk. Having said that the downloaders are probably our only hope of the prices being reduced.
        • A Better Option

          Rent from Netflix, and then copy it over to your HD.

          It's sorta funny when you think about it, snail mail is still and probably always will be, the fastest form of data transfer available. ^__^
    • Almost perfect....

      The player really should come down in price, and down closer to $100 would be good, but it seems more realistic given the actual costs that they could get it down to $129 or $139. At least then, it'd be a far more reasonable premium on the player. As far as disk price goes, $30+ a pop is guaranteed to keep sales sluggish, and $29.95 isn't going to cut it either. I'd suggest getting the movies down to $19.99, and together with the player coming down in price - perhaps even as a loss leader to get the disk sales up - that might well finally spell the death of regular DVD. What the manufactures are failing to pay attention to is the recession, and they're still thinking they'll survive solely on the basis of the customers that don't blink an eyelash over Blu-Ray's costs. Yes, those folks will likely still buy, but even they won't be in quite as much of a hurry to acquire the disks as they used to be. As a Blu-Ray owner, I'm hoping that the manufacturers and Hollywood wake up to reality before the opportunity is lost.

    • You certainly kill a lot business with #3

      I do not have a hi-def TV or Blu-Ray player and if they stopped producing DVDs, I would stop renting movies, I do not want there AACS DRM crap.
      • There Will Always Be Someone

        Keep in mind that it's not ~technically~ the studios themselves that release DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. Rather, third party companies obtain the DVD and Blu-Ray distribution rights from the studios and then *THEY* make the releases. And the studios aren't just going to stop selling their DVD distribution rights as long as someone is looking to buy them, because that's effectively free money.

        I mean if someone comes to your studio and says, "Hey, I'd like to buy the laser disk distribution rights to some of your films." you aren't simply going to turn them away. You don't give a rats ass if their potential customer base is only 58 people or not, so long as they're forking money on over to ya for every sale.

        So no, sorry, but those thinking that DVDs are suddenly gonna go bye bye...yeah, not gonna happen. The customer base is too large to quit on now and it'll likely be another TEN YEARS before it dwindles down far enough for it to no longer be a viable market. Although even then you'll still be able to buy them online via specialized vendors.
  • making the Blu version downloadable

    I have a blu ray in my pc and then I convert the move to a video server that way I want watch it anywhere I have a tv or pc.

    this way no handling the disc over and over.

    If they want blu ray to work. then let me legally covert them to hard drive with out losing qualitiy and no more than 10% high than DVD