Blu-ray selling poorly despite HD DVD’s demise

With HD DVD out of the picture since Toshiba’s capitulation in mid-February, you’d think Blu-ray sales would have taken off. And yet, the New York Times’ Bits blog says sales are in fact so low that NPD is withholding exact numbers for fear of identifying retailers.

NPD did make some figures public, but as the NYT points out, they’re not pretty: sales of Blu-ray players apparently plummeted a staggering 40% from January to February, and they only went back up 2% in March. Meanwhile, sales of DVD players that can scale standard-definition video to HD resolutions grew 5% year-over-year last quarter, and sales of non-upscaling DVD players dropped 39%.

Those numbers aren’t hard to understand. The NYT quotes a different report, from ABI Research, which concludes that "many consumers may not see the picture quality difference between Blu-ray and standard DVDs." Up-scaling DVD players only cost $70 on average, too, while Blu-ray players are still priced upward of $300—and not all of them have the Internet connectivity required for some Blu-ray extras. NPD believes Blu-ray’s future "won’t be clear" until the next holiday season, when players should dip to the neighborhood of $200.

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    • PeterD
    • 12 years ago

    There’s an economic depression at the moment, remember?

    • green
    • 12 years ago

    i would say another thing to consider would be the writer’s strike
    the writers strikes started on November 15th 2007 if wikipedia is correct

    November/December holiday sales were likely enough to stave off any generalized downturn in high-def sales as people were buying such items as gifts to give to others (hence the term ‘seasonal factors’)

    the writer’s strike ended 12th February
    march saw an increase of 2%

    so why bother mentioning this?
    well while the writers strike was on, any number of tv series (making up the bulk of new content) that were to be released on dvd as set’s, or in 2/3ep discs, were effectively put on hold
    this included things like extra content on discs such as documentaries (though commentaries wouldn’t have been affected) and little extras specially made for the physical media release

    having said that this speculation (and it clearly should be seen as speculation) would easily be put to rest if they we had comparative dvd sales during the same period to see if there was some form of sales ‘dip’ outside of seasonal factors

      • clone
      • 12 years ago

      the writers strike had nothing to do with slumping Blu-ray sales……

      to even consider it…… at worst the effect could be limited to TV box set sales and while they are worth mention that effect won’t be noticed for another 6 months when previous seasons are released…….. in reality they aren’t worth mention in regards to an industry wide reflection that Blu ray is still entirely irrelavent.

      the discs are overpriced right along with the players…… with DVD upscaling the difference is so minor the price penalty simply isn’t justified.

    • pepar
    • 12 years ago

    The Panny BD30, a $500 list unit, was selling for the sub-$400 range around Christmas and before HD-DVD threw in the towel. Now some people are paying OVER list price. That is just gouging on the part of retailers enabled, I’d bet, by not enough supply. If I had not bought in the X-mas season, they could shove their players now at those prices.

    • Tommyxx516
    • 12 years ago

    Unless the movie was made within the last 5 years and has alot of great special effects (Transformer for instance) will look great in HD, but over 90% of the movies out there are old and outdated. Putting them in Blu-Ray will not make the outdated material look any better than they would on DVD.

      • cynan
      • 12 years ago

      You have a point, but you have to go back further than 5 years. The matrix, and the first LOTR movies for example are 10 years old already and they look better in HD

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      That’s completely untrue. Film has more resolution than even 1080p video can show. Provided that the film elements are in good shape, older movies can look great in HD. 2001, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Casablanca, Adventures of Robin Hood, etc…are all 20-70 years old and they look superb.

    • Justice
    • 12 years ago

    Wonder if the sudden price hike in player and movies once HD-DVD was declared dead has anything to do with it?

    Interesting thing I saw at amazon:

    Appleseed: Ex Machina

    BRD = $22.95

    SD = $19.99

    HDDVD+SD Combo = $16.49

    • WaltC
    • 12 years ago

    I think the basic problem for Blu-Ray adoption is the same one that plagued HD-DVD, and the problem is threefold:

    1) People are still in the process of buying and converting to progressive-scan televisions. I don’t see this process as being “complete” for several more years. People are simply waiting for the progressive-scan set of their choice to fall within the price-range they consider palatable.

    2) The prices of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies are still too high when compared with the prices for DVD.

    3) The commercial availability of both HD DVD and Blu-Ray titles is still in its infancy when compared with the ubiquity of DVD title availability.

    I think that HD DVD simply threw in the towel far too early, if you can’t tell, because progressive-scan technology of all descriptions is still relatively early in the adoption phase and is a long way from maturity. Toshiba inexplicably ran out of patience, imo. I would have thought the company would have recognized the importance of patience before ever getting into the HD DVD market.

    I just bought my own 1080P TV along with a Sony Blu-Ray BDP-S300 Blu-Ray player, and we are loving it inside the WaltC household…;) Prior to picking up the S300 I had been using a Phillips DVDR 3505 upscaling DVD player–which cost me about half of what the S300 cost me. Unreservedly, I can say that the S300’s price premium is worth every penny–and frankly, that sort of surprised me. The S300 upscales my DVD titles to 1080p whereas the 3505 was only capable of upscaling them to 1080i. What surprised me was the difference in both the image and audio output quality between the two: I find the S300 much better and noticeably so. And of course, Blu-Ray titles are much better still. I’m very happy.

    But still, everywhere I look in retail locally, DVD titles outnumber Blu-Ray titles by a wide margin, and the prices for the Blu-Ray titles are nowhere near as compelling.

      • Taddeusz
      • 12 years ago

      HD-DVD threw in the towel because the companies producing content on the format were defecting to Blu-ray. If there’s nobody producing content for HD-DVD then there’s no reason to continue to support it. That’s simple economics.

        • WaltC
        • 12 years ago

        I think there’s a lot more to the story than some companies simply “flipping a coin” and abandoning HD DVD for Blu-Ray. Toshiba’s the only company that actually knows the particulars and they haven’t said very much–at least that I’ve read.

        What concerns me is the decision of certain studios to dump one emerging format in favor of the other emerging format at a time when both formats combined are still very new and struggling against the entrenched leader–DVD. But, otoh, since the fact is that both HD formats were compatible with DVD and both upscale DVD I’m not even sure that characterizing this market as some kind of direct competition with DVD is entirely accurate, because neither the presence of HD players in the marketplace nor the presence of HD titles on store shelves dictates to any studio anywhere that it must choose between DVD and HD title output. This causes me to surmise that studios made these choices for reasons that have yet to be fully revealed. I’m thinking that Sony sweetened the pot for these studios somehow in ways that have yet to be revealed, and in ways that Toshiba was obviously unwilling to emulate.

        Personally, I would have preferred that HD DVD would have survived for at least a couple more years so as to see the fruits that competition would have brought to the HD player market in general. But such was not the case.

      • PeterD
      • 12 years ago

      WaltC said: “I think that HD DVD simply threw in the towel far too early, if you can’t tell, because progressive-scan technology of all descriptions is still relatively early in the adoption phase and is a long way from maturity. Toshiba inexplicably ran out of patience, imo. I would have thought the company would have recognized the importance of patience before ever getting into the HD DVD market.”

      Or… they threw in the towel too late…
      You shouldn’t underestimate the effect of the long wait, which made the people getting used to postponing their reaction to the urge forged by the publicity campaigns.
      Because, all in all, ,nobody really needs HD. It’s not a NECESSITY. It’s only a fad.
      Once they get used to not having the fad, it might be very difficult to finally make them buy it.
      And, again, there’s still that recession going on.

    • eloj
    • 12 years ago

    What, they’re _not_ blaming high-sea piracy?!

      • PeterD
      • 12 years ago

      Damn, they forgot! 🙂

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    selling poorly? wait until the burners hit mainstream. its selling poorly cus it needs more companies in the game. secondly, how many people do you think can afford one in a recession?

      • DrDillyBar
      • 12 years ago

      Burners. That’s what I’m waiting for.

    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    Why do people care so much about BluRay or HD-DVD? Is your life so pathetic your fanbois of an optical disk format?

    IT’S JUST A MOVIE !

      • Skyline57GTR
      • 12 years ago

      Exactly, I’m agreed with ya.

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      QFMT

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 12 years ago

    I agree with Vrock on his points.

    What’s with all the trolling anyways? Sour grapes because HD-DVD died? People on the internet have gone insane over hidef optical formats – as if their life depended on it. Chill guys, chill! You guys forget about how DVD did in the early years already?

    Blu-ray so far is following the general trend DVD took – I don’t see anything wrong with that – so far it is smooth sailing. This is good news for movie and A/V enthusiasts.

    • hubick
    • 12 years ago

    That’s because there are no movies I want on Blu-Ray!

    I bought a nice new HDTV and a blu-ray player and only 3 movies, mostly just so I would have something at all to play on the thing! Can I purchase *any* of my favorite movies from the back catalog yet? No! Fight Club, The Matrix, Contact, Thin Red Line, The Abyss, Platoon? No!

    If they are that desperate, get the studios to release more freakin movies already! Gah.

    • Skyline57GTR
    • 12 years ago

    HD-DVD/BD both are useless. I still happy with DVD format. It dont bother me at all and who care about movie with high-definition?

      • PRIME1
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah 13″ B&W TVs are awesome. Gives every movie that classic feel.

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    Blu-ray movie sales have gone up 351%
    §[<http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/home_entertainment/video/e3i91323da4b3be14d2f74080ce44d7b5c4<]§ NPD is counting players but not the PS3 for which sales have gone up by a significant amount since last year. So this is poorly researched news at best.

      • Thresher
      • 12 years ago

      I call BS. The important part isn’t the number of devices sold, it’s the number of disks sold (the attachment rate). The attachment rate for stand alone Blu-Ray players is dismal. Add in the PS3 and those numbers get even worse.

      People buy the PS3 primarily to game, not to watch movies. The kid that just shelled out $400 is probably not going to have the cash for a TV that can benefit from a PS3. The guy who just bought a $500 stand alone Blu-Ray player isn’t as cost conscious.

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        What are you calling BS on? The sales figures? Any reason other than because they don’t jive with your views on the worth of HD optical disc?

          • Thresher
          • 12 years ago

          To be honest, I don’t think physical media is the way forward, I believe it will be digital download.

          However, the BS remark was regarding the sales numbers. The market for Blu-Ray is still very, very small compared to the overall market for DVDs (less than 1%), so all they need is one or two big movies to have an oversized impact on net sales.

            • PRIME1
            • 12 years ago

            Digital downloads are nothing more that a replacement for Blockbuster or Netflix. And even then they are doing poorly.

            Blu-ray movie sales are up and are scaling well with HDTV ownership.

            As for calling the sales numbers “BS” it sounds like you have a personal issue with them not a logical one.

            • Thresher
            • 12 years ago

            No personal issue at all. It’s just that with numbers so low, 351% could be the result of one or two hit movies.

            As for digital delivery, time will tell, but I don’t think that BluRay will own the market at any point. It will be DVD and digital delivery.

            • PRIME1
            • 12 years ago

            Numbers so low? Movie sales for Blu-ray are now in the millions.

            If you are comparing it to DVD then digital downloads are pretty much insignificant. Especially since they pretty much only let you rent not own.

            DVD did not sell 100 million in it’s second year and it had a broader market.

            Blu-ray is meant for the HDTV market and it’s “attachment rate” is far better than SDTV/DVD ownership in the first 2 years.

            It’s like comparing the sales of “Crysis” which is only meant for high end computers and just came out to the sales of playing cards over the last 10 years.

            • Thresher
            • 12 years ago

            iTunes Movie store allows purchases. Amazon has digital purchases. The industry is creating a digital deliver/download system that will cut out the hardware vendors. From a content provider perspective, this is a good thing.

            Blu Ray sales are around 1% of the entire disk market.

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            “Movie sales for Blu-ray are now in the millions.”

            Compared to DVD, where a single movie can match that. So yes, relative to an analogous and competing product, Blu-ray sales are ridiculously low.

            • Saber Cherry
            • 12 years ago

            “Compared to DVD, where a single movie can match that. So yes, relative to an l[

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            Again, you point that out as if it’s 1) a revelation, and 2) important. It’s neither.

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            I point it out as if it’s a fact. You act as if it’s some sort of lie spread by Nazi commie alien liberal baby rapists.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            Oh come on. I readily recognize that it’s a fact, I just think it’s an irrelevant one. You and others like you seem to think it’s some sort of indication that Blu-ray is a doomed format that’s not “selling well”. As others have said, compared to DVD’s first couple years on the market, Blu-ray is doing swell, and need I mention again how Blu-ray player market penetration now is greater than that of LD during it’s heyday?

            • ish718
            • 12 years ago

            I don’t think bluray is doomed at all, I like the idea of high capacity and hi def but the prices are too high atm…

            • pluscard
            • 12 years ago

            It appears they went from 1/2% to 2%, and with dvd’s declining 1% they ended up a net 1%.

            That would be a 400% increase, which sounds wonderful, except that it’s still about 2% of dvd sales.

    • Ashbringer
    • 12 years ago

    Thought I had said this back when HD-DVD’s had failed? Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray would fail because nobody cares enough for them. All Blu-Ray won was the ability to be the last loser.

    #1 If it costs more then DVD’s then nobody is interested. I’m of course talking about the Blu-Ray disks and their players.

    #2 Do enough people own HDTV’s?

    #3 Is Blu-Ray convenient? This is what truly makes a product sell. People moved to DVD’s mostly because they didn’t need to rewind them like VHS. Plus they could easily fast forward videos instantly, unlike VHS.

    #4 Is Piracy still better? You can easily hook up nearly any computer to a HDTV. If people have junk computers, then they can easily use them as pseudo HD players. Any twit with half a brain can find a torrent in 720p video quality, nearly all of them are in H.264, so the file size is literally unchanged compared to Divx.

    #5 It’s the economy stupid? With gas prices where they’re at, people are just not interested in spending money. Especially at luxury items like videos.

    #6 Movies today suck ass. Why spend money to see crap in higher quality?

      • swaaye
      • 12 years ago

      Well, I don’t think I or anyone I know moved to DVD because it didn’t need to be rewinded or the fast-forward issue. It was picture quality and once it became nearly as cheap as VHS.

      I think that BlueRay/HDDVD appeals mostly to movie buffs. I’m not a movie buff and most of those I know aren’t really either. I do know a few movie buffs and they don’t have Blue Ray yet either, and although they talk about it occasionally, they haven’t gone after it yet because of how much it costs.

      For me, the movies and hardware will have to come down to DVD cheapness levels before I’ll jump. Though honestly I’m not really much into movies these days so I’ll probably wait until I’m just embarrassingly outmoded . 🙂

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      q[

    • Thresher
    • 12 years ago

    This issue is really what the industry calls “attachment rate”. This is the number of disks sold per Blu-Ray player in use. The attachment rate is very low for Blu-Ray. What’s more, the moment that you add in PS3s (which are not counted in the NPD numbers), the attachment rate gets even worse, since PS3s are the majority of Blu-Ray devices in the market.

    My personal opinion is that the majority of the market is happy with DVD and sees no reason to expend money for a better picture. Considering that many people are now watching content on non-standard devices, like laptops, the back seat of a car, etc, this doesn’t surprise me in the least. The difference between VHS and DVD was revolutionary. Better picture, better sound, was more space efficient, and it didn’t wear out. The change from DVD to Blu-Ray is incremental and people just don’t seem to be willing to pay extra for that small measure of improvement.

      • PRIME1
      • 12 years ago

      Your theory is empty. The only thing that matters is movie sales (which are up 351%) The movie industry could give a flying fluck about attachment rates or whether it’s just one guy buying 40 million copies. As long as the movie sale roll in the new movies will roll out.

      Attachment rate is impossible to judge because no one knows how many PS3s were bought for playing movies.

      However movie sales are easy to measure and the numbers are impressive.

        • Thresher
        • 12 years ago

        As I mentioned earlier, it only takes one or two big hit movies to throwthe sales of Blu-Ray disks off the charts. Additionally, if you add in the number of PS3s sold, it actually DECREASES the number of disks sold per unit.

        Sony and the rest of the consortium make their money off the licensing. The volume comes from Blu-Ray disk sales, with the remainder coming off the hardware. Which generates more income, DVD player sales or DVD disk sales?

        (hint: DVD Disk sales are MUCH more profitable).

          • PRIME1
          • 12 years ago

          So then by your logic a sales increase for the disks of 351% is a bad thing? You must have been an accountant at Enron or something

            • Thresher
            • 12 years ago

            No, I’m sure it’s a good thing for them. But when sales of HiDef disks count for less than 1% of video sales, it’s nothing to be all that excited about. Especially when it’s not even clear that the majority of the devices capable of playing them are used for that purpose.

            I suspect that BR will eventually start getting a larger percentage of overall sales, but I suspect that digital delivery will not only be bigger, but will be the eventual victor.

    • DaveJB
    • 12 years ago

    Sony seem to think they have a cash cow on their hands, and are trying to milk it for all its worth. Unfortunately for them, it’s not a cash cow at all – it’s a niche product, and will remain so unless they bite the bullet and drop the prices of their players to the point where they don’t cost much more than a good upscaling one. Only then will it seriously be able to start taking customers away from DVD.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      Not sure what you’re on about. Sony doesn’t dictate the prices of discs (except for SPHE discs, which are very reasonably priced), nor do they dictate the prices of players. You seem to think that Sony is Blu-ray; that’s not the case.

        • Thresher
        • 12 years ago

        Huh? It’s a Sony technology that they license. Every Blu-Ray player has a license fee on it. Every Blu-Ray disk has a license fee included.

        Sony is the only one that truly benefits every time one of the disk or the players gets sold. This was different than the CD and DVD when both were co-created with Philips and the licensing rates were nominal. This is a very different situation.

          • PRIME1
          • 12 years ago

          Actually no the license is controlled by the BDA a consortium of around 16 companies. Sony has a stake but is not in control at all.

          Try wiki before posting.

          §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc_Association<]§

            • Thresher
            • 12 years ago

            No issue with that, but Sony is the largest player and is the chief proselytizer.

          • Vrock
          • 12 years ago

          None of what you just said refutes anything I posted. The BDA is much bigger than just Sony, and studios and CEMs determine the prices for their products, regardless of any royalities collected by BDA members.

            • Thresher
            • 12 years ago

            To say Sony isn’t the major player, and therefore major winner in this is to say that US is just another member of NATO.

            Without Sony, this standard would never have come about and they have the most to gain by its adoption.

            • Saber Cherry
            • 12 years ago

            Vrock, you’re so insightful and well-informed. Before I read that, I thought that if Sony’s Blue-Ray consortium charges a $50 licensing fee per player, maybe Blue-Ray players would have to cost a lot more than $50. But thanks to your revelation that regardless of licensing fees, studios and manufacturers can charge whatever they want, I now realize that really it is everyone EXCEPT Sony gouging people! OF COURSE they could price players at $40, design, manufacture, ship, market, and support them for (-$10) and still make a profit. In fact – they should!

            Now please, Vrock, tell us about how the price of oil has no effect on the price of gasoline – because even though logic and reality say otherwise, /[

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            I see. So the reason that good Blu-ray players cost $400-500 is because of a $50 licensing fee. Come on. That’s like saying the price of gas is too high because of the federal government’s 18.4 cent per gallon tax!

            Perhaps you’re not aware how much DVD players cost two years after that format had launched? Keep in mind that was 9 years ago? Here’s one for $525. §[<http://www.soundstage.com/video/revequip/weaver01.htm<]§ Here's some others §[<http://www.starlaser.com/hardware.htm<]§ Ask Toshiba how well selling their HD-DVD players at a huge loss worked for them. Go troll somewhere else.

            • Saber Cherry
            • 12 years ago

            Your mind must be an interesting place, but not one I’d care to visit. And for the record, yes – Blue-Ray will never fall to a price point at which mass adoption becomes a possibility with the current fees. And furthermore, just so you know (although your anti-logic white cells – let’s call them “7-cells”, as 7 is a 180-degree rotated “L”, will cancel this out before it even exits your optic nerves) a “subsidy” or “selling at a loss” – those are not the same thing as reducing an exorbitant licensing fee that is higher than the retail price of competing products. Did you know that? See if you can find out the difference between “subsidy” and “licensing fee”. I’ll even hook you up with a starting link: §[<http://www.m-w.com<]§ Look up "mark-up" while you're there. Oh, and while you're at it, study the difference between flexible demand (that for luxuries like Blue-Ray, which have myriad alternatives, and nobody needs) and inflexible demand (for, say, gasoline). Maybe you can combine the two and figure out why your analogy does not work. Hint - you won't find the answer in your "Blue-Ray Zealot's Guide To Economics" from which you seem to draw everything you know.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            The fact that you merely responded with insults and totally failed to address *any* of my points shows how weak your position is.

            What you fail to see is that Blu-ray doesn’t need to reach “mass market” adoption or prices to be successful (though probable it will, given time). It doesn’t have to match the prices of its “competition” because it’s /[http://www.thinkgleek.com<]§

            • Saber Cherry
            • 12 years ago

            No, it shows that insulting you is more fun that arguing with you.
            Edit: Dummy.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            It shows that you’re a troll. Thanks for playing. Buh-bye.

            • henfactor
            • 12 years ago

            Well that was pretty intense. If I had to pick a winner, I’d say for strait facts the prize goes to Vrock but the prize for most amusing goes to Saber Cherry. I know I don’t really have a place to keep score but still…

            Thanks for the entertainment!

            • ludi
            • 12 years ago

            Nice post if the goal was to channel a Dennis Leary versus George Carlin cage match, but fifty one-line sneers do not a coherent argument make. Vrock has got a good point here: Blu-Ray is roughly at the same lifecycle point as DVD in its infancy.

            When the hardware has sufficiently matured that $50/unit or whatever fee is a large portion of a player’s price, then we can discuss whether or not excessive royalty fees are preventing continuing adoption. But right now, the prices of manufacturing the hardware and producing the media for a limited market of early adopters are, at face value, the clearly dominant factors.

            • Saber Cherry
            • 12 years ago

            The problem is that Blue-Ray has a shrinking window, which Sony does not see. Little progress will be made toward cheap players as long as the licensing fee is $50 because they cannot be sold. In the meantime, digital downloads are growing rapidly. If Blue-Ray does not expand faster than it has been, it could wind up just like HD-DVD because manufacturers and studios don’t profit enough to continue supporting it.

            Many of Vrock’s arguments are “Who cares about the masses, Blue-Ray is more like a Ferrari or Laserdisc, and it would be better if it always stays like that.” The rest are questionable statistics from the Blue-Ray consortium, attacks, logical fallacies and deliberate twisting of people’s words into straw-men. I thought these were obvious to everyone else, but I guess they aren’t. I mean, take Vrock’s statement:

            “Blu-ray disc sales are up 351% over last year while DVD sales saw a decline.”

            But actually, it turns out to be false, and Blue-Ray player sales are up… then you read the actual article, and see:

            “Blu-ray had its second-best week ever in the seven days ending March 23, and we anticipate Blu-ray sales of $800 million to $1billion-plus for all of 2008, up dramatically from approximately $300 million last year.”

            In other words, someone whose career is linked to Blue-Ray’s success projects that, at the most optimistic peak of his optimistic forecast, there will be a 351% increase in 2008, a year for which there is currently very little data, over 2007. And for all I know, most of that $300 million could be Playstation 3 consoles that may never see a Blue-Ray movie.

            What are these facts of Vrock’s that people talk about? He’s just a walking ad for Blue-Ray, talking about how superior he is because it’s like a Ferrari, and he has it, and anyone who complains about any aspect of it must be made to see the light.

            As for the “infancy” of BR versus DVD – DVD was pretty cutting edge at the time. It was the first optical digital video disk, had heavy video and audio compression, and it could not even be played on top-end computers by the time DVD-ROMs came out without an additional (expensive) decoder card. BR and HD-DVD were both very moderate evolutionary steps from DVD compared to the leap of VHS to DVD, and that’s not just true in terms of the infrastructure and manufacturing technologies (the thing is practically identical to a DVD except for the laser diode color and more minor changes, and it uses a different but fundamentally very similar codecs, which I already have been playing for a year on my 6-year-old desktop CPU), but also the impression of most people in the world who fill out surveys. Of course DVD took a long time to catch on – it had high prices due to technological limitations! With Blue-Ray, it’s more artificial.

            • ludi
            • 12 years ago

            Vrock is a bit…/[

            • green
            • 12 years ago

            l[

            • green
            • 12 years ago

            the other thing i forgot to address was the licensing fee (as i didn’t really find a need/want to reply to the other things you had written)

            it would be quite extraordinary if the licensing fees did not decrease as the years rolled on
            it would also be quite extraordinary if the cost of the physical media didn’t come time with time
            sony, as chief investor, in the tech does need to recover it’s r&d costs
            it’s essentially what early adopters are there for, and they’re generally happy to pay the premium for the benefit
            dvd faced the same issue in it’s first few years of release as toshiba needed to get it’s money back

            but you’re right in the sense that we’re in a faster moving age and that the BDA should be taking steps to reduce the licensing fees
            not in the sense of the “i want cheap stuff now!” type attitude that’s becoming more prevalent these days
            but more in the sense that it can’t afford to move slow like in the older days
            if the BDA aren’t careful their format could well be replaced by some other type of media/delivery system
            such as holographics discs (though unlikely), usb-key’s, or downloadable content

        • DaveJB
        • 12 years ago

        I should perhaps have said “Sony and the other Blu Ray player manufacturers;” my point still stands though.

          • Vrock
          • 12 years ago

          So you expect them to do what exactly? Sell at a loss? Yeah, that worked great for Toshiba! You do realize that corporations are in business to make money, right? You do realize that DVD players two years into the format cost about the same as Blu-ray players do two years into the Blu-ray format, right? Right?

    • rechicero
    • 12 years ago

    The truth is, when you’re watching a movie, a good DVD is good enough. You can tell the difference in backgrounds, water scenes and… and if I don’t have, side by side, a DVD set with a Bluray set to compare, I wouldn’t be sure if the upscaled DVD is HD or not. And I’ve tried that.
    There is some difference, yes, but not a huge difference. And that doesn’t mean HD is crap, it’s great. But as mp3 are good enough for most people and most people couln’t tell the difference with HDAudio or CD without a direct comparison, DVD is good enough to watch on TV.

    It’s not worth $300 (or more) plus buying again every movie you like.

    Edit: Typo

    • ThelvynD
    • 12 years ago

    I think the problem lies in the fact that the Blu-Ray players are expensive compared to the days when HD-DVD started to slash prices. Now that Blu-Ray is the only game in town why cut prices and lose out on the profit?

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    When a Blu-Ray movie is 50% more than a DVD, it’s really hard to be motivated to buy it.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      50% more? Maybe for a few titles here and there, but overall methinks you’re shopping in the wrong places.

        • BKA
        • 12 years ago

        I must be shopping in the wrong place too. Because when I compare two identical movies, its close to double the price from DVD to Blu-ray. This is including new releases and older movies.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 12 years ago

        At Best Buy
        AVP:Requiem
        DVD = $20
        Blu-Ray = $35

        Juno
        DVD = $16
        BRD = $35

          • Taddeusz
          • 12 years ago

          You’re shopping at the wrong place:

          At Amazon:

          I Am Legend:
          DVD $15.99
          BD $18.99

          Juno:
          Single DVD $15.99
          Double DVD $22.99
          BD $25.99

          Methinks you’re comparing the non-special edition DVD to the “special edition” BD. It’s the same story with AVP: Requiem

          • Vrock
          • 12 years ago

          Best Buy is a rip off for all things disc-based. Use Amazon or Deep Discount for online, Wal-Mart and Target for B&M.

          Fox is also a problem because the MSRP for their Blu-rays is higher than everyone else’s. Fox prices all their MSRPs $5-$10 than other studios, whether it’s a new release or catalog title.

          And AvP: Requiem isn’t worth $5, let alone $35. 😉

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 12 years ago

            I’m allowed to enjoy the movies that I like, aren’t I?
            My wife went and saw it on our honeymoon. I’d love to buy it in HD.

            From Amazon: AVP:R DVD’s:
            Regular = $17
            Unrated = $17
            2-disk with digital copy = $23

            BRD = Unrated = $26

            AVP – Alien vs. Predator / Alien vs. Predator – Requiem (Unrated Two-Pack)
            DVD = $23
            BRD = $46

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            By all means, if you want to watch garbage, that’s your affair.

            Yes, we’ve beaten this horse to death: Blu-ray is more expensive than DVD. I’ve told you why with regard to Fox discs, and I’ve provided info on where to get Blu-ray cheaper than the 50% markup you quoted. And you come back with “ZOMG, it’s more expensive!”

            If you think Blu-ray is bad, consider this:in the laserdisc days, discs were $50-75 a pop.

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 12 years ago

            I replied with prices from Amazon, actually.

      • kmansj
      • 12 years ago

      Dude, get Netflix. They have everything on BD and don’t charge a premium for it.

        • Cuhulin
        • 12 years ago

        Netflix has announced plans to charge a premium for Blu-Ray.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 12 years ago

        That is a very good point. Thanks.

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    When you have an upconverting DVD player, the difference isn’t worth $300.

    Blu-Ray is a product in search of a consumer market.

      • ish718
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah, its bad enough people have to break the bank to get a decent HDTV and then have to buy a $400 device to watch movies.
      Sure this isn’t a problem to people that have lots of cash, but I’m speaking for the majority.

        • PeterD
        • 12 years ago

        Quite right

    • ish718
    • 12 years ago

    Hmm, I wonder if the price of a bluray player($350-$999) has anything to do with it.

    • End User
    • 12 years ago

    Lower the cost of the player and the media. Until then I can find alternative 720p content.

    • PerfectCr
    • 12 years ago

    People can’t tell the difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray on a HDTV? Really? Who the hell are they talking to?

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      It probably means HDTVs are not as popular as they think?

        • ludi
        • 12 years ago

        That, or else, how many people actually have HD sets in the 37″ range and larger? I would expect that a lot of people with typical mid-range incomes are replacing their analog tubes with HD sets in the 19-27″ range, most of which are LCDs with poor black levels. Price and performance wise, these match much better to an upconverting DVD player than an HD player.

          • PeterD
          • 12 years ago

          Anyhow: I don’t want a tv screen as wall paper.

      • emorgoch
      • 12 years ago

      Or here’s a thought: When I’m watching a movie, I don’t care about how pretty it looks. I’m paying attention to the story. The only time that I find HD truly defining is when I’m watching a sports game.

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        So the audio/visual presentation of the movie means nothing to you? You must watch all your movies on VHS on a 13″ black and white TV then.

          • flip-mode
          • 12 years ago

          DVD quality on a standard TV looks great to me – I’m pretty sure that’s the level of quality he’s referencing.

          • SPOOFE
          • 12 years ago

          Nice fallacy, specifically of the Excluded Middle. “Nothing” is a ridiculous term to use and only a drama queen would spit that out. When he says he’s paying attention to the story, clearly he means – as any reasonable person would conclude – that a good movie is more important than good presentation.

          But I guess being able to spot every zit, wrinkle, stain from lunch, speck of saliva, clumped mascara, and other flaws on the actors just adds so much to a movie, doesn’t it? Eh? Eh?

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            Of course a good movie is better than a good presentation. I’m a movie enthusiast first and an A/V enthusiast second. I’d much rather watch Casablanca on VHS than Independence Day on Blu-ray. But if I could watch Casablanca on Blu-ray…why the hell wouldn’t I?

        • lex-ington
        • 12 years ago

        I used to think that the movie looked fine until I went from S-Video to Component on my PS2 (main DVD player at the time).

        It was all I knew until I built the HTPC and run it all through HDMI, now things look amazing – and I don’t have a 1080p set. I could imagine just how much better BD would be on a true 1080p set through HDMI.

        Once you start upgrading, you will start noticing the big differences, whether you’re looking for them or not.

          • PeterD
          • 12 years ago

          It’s always the same with that kind of technology.
          Is it better? Probably. Sometimes.
          But after the first years, the first sub-quality products will turn up, because they’re cheaper to produce.
          This happend with audio-cd’s: the first audio-cd’s got lots of quality attention from producers. And than cheap products started to hit the market.
          Moreover: those high quality audio-cd’s only give high quality sound of you have a high quality sound system.
          Do people have that?
          No. Most of the music is listend to via mp3 players.
          People don’t care about quality.
          They care about spending their time.

      • nerdrage
      • 12 years ago

      q[< People can't tell the difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray on a HDTV? Really? Who the hell are they talking to?<]q Probaby the same people that think a 4:3 image stretched into a 16:9 screen looks better because "it's bigger" 🙂

      • nonegatives
      • 12 years ago

      Must be the same people who buy iTV to watch YouTube. It would be interesting to see how Blockbuster’s BD rentals have increased during this time. $300+ player plus buying your video library AGAIN adds up quick.

      • GTVic
      • 12 years ago

      The people who can’t see a difference with Blu-Ray are the same people that voted for GWB. There must be quite a few of them or maybe this “poll” had some hanging chads.

      These market researchers keep talking about the lack of Blu-Ray internet connectivity hurting sales. They sound like HD-DVD fanboys. Honestly, how many people have high-speed internet and are going to wire up their Blu-Ray player? Not a huge percentage I bet. I certainly won’t be going that route just to see some tacked on content probably loaded with advertising.

        • pluscard
        • 12 years ago

        The screen size determines whether the difference is dramatic. A 42″ set with conventional broadcast tv is unwatchable to me. A dvd is workable, and HD is the best of course.

        But scale that back to a 32″ set and while reg tv is a bit fuzzy, it’s hard to see the difference between dvd and HD.

        Our POV’s are likely very different because we have different sized tvs.

    • davidedney123
    • 12 years ago

    You’d need to have shit in your eyes not to see the difference between blu-ray and scaled DVD,even on the cheap nasty 720p sets people have bought. I think basically they’ve run into the same problem with DVD as they have with CD Audio – the quality is good enough for 90%+ people.

    When it’s cheap enough people will buy it anyway though, I hope.

    Dave

      • BKA
      • 12 years ago

      Exactly, for me its not that I don’t see the difference, it’s just that the difference isn’t worth $300 for a player and paying double the amount for the media. Once prices drop on players to around $100-$150 count me in. Until then DVD quality is good enough for me.

        • pluscard
        • 12 years ago

        I see a huge difference with DVD over my directtv. I can’t tell a big diff between HD and DVD – at least not on my 37″ set.

        Directv wants me to buy a new receiver and dish (they’re less than 2 years old) to get their new HD channels. Sorry – I just had to say no.

        I may cancel directv all together and just watch downloads and dvds.

        Plus

    • Vrock
    • 12 years ago

    Why do people like to spread doom and gloom about HD optical disc? It’s almost like they take perverse pleasure in it. Some pertinent facts that these research firms may not have considered:

    Blu-ray disc sales are up 351% over last year while DVD sales saw a decline.
    §[<http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=1222<]§ Universal and Paramount have announced release dates for discs. Blu-ray is only in its 2nd year of existence, and it already had matched the marketshare that laserdisc had at the end of its 25 year run. The US is in an economic slowdown, so it's no surprise that sales of expensive luxury electronics are trending downward. I'd bet HDTV sales are down, too. What does that mean for the HDTV format? Oh noes!

      • poulpy
      • 12 years ago

      Right so you’re discounting statistics from /[<"these research firms"<]/ for something called §[<http://www.blu-ray.com<]§ which for some reason would be more credible and more impartial towards Blu-ray..? Lots of people are far from convinced that Blu-ray will ever be the "new DVD", be it because the majority of the market has neither the need, the knowledge nor the money to go full HD or that we may very well end up skipping physical media altogether. And the irony of comparing Blu-Ray to a complete commercial failure (at least in the US IIRC Laserdisc was quite popular in Japan) isn't lost on me :)

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        Blu-ray.com reports the news, they don’t make it up.

        And Blu-ray doesn’t need to supplant DVD to be successful. Laserdisc was niche and it was around for 25 years. As for where you get that Laserdisc was a “complete commerical failure”, I have no idea. I guess Ferrari is a huge commercial failure because there are more Honda Civics on the road than Testarossas, eh? Frankly, I’d be fine with Blu-ray staying niche and catering to movie enthusiasts, it means greater quality control and less mass-market crap.

          • poulpy
          • 12 years ago

          /[<"Blu-ray.com reports the news, they don't make it up."<]/ And the other mainstream ones that you distrusted in the first place were? Why would you trust more an obscure §[<http://www.my-format.com<]§ ? Regarding the commercial success of laser disc my point was obviously pointing towards the potentially ever lasting niche market status. Which is what the article is pointing too by saying /[<"Blu-ray selling poorly despite HD DVD's demise"<]/. If you're fine with that then fair enough but don't give me the /[<"it means greater quality control and less mass-market crap"<]/ cause that's the exact opposite! You get all the crap that will sell at a decent number because something less commercial would sell at -say- 5% of a niche market which means no profitability.. Therefore you can be sure to have all the movies from people like Michael Bay and not the independent/foreign ones.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            q[http://www.my-format.com?<]§<]q They're reposting news from another, more mainstream site? q[

            • Krogoth
            • 12 years ago

            [b]Well, in this case, most of the people who own Blu-ray are film aficionados, or at the very least they care about visual presentation. That’s the market right now. Assuming that market doesn’t change (which is your position, not mine) doesn’t it make sense to target that market?[/b]

            I think videophiles are a more accurate definition.

            • poulpy
            • 12 years ago

            /[<"Well, in this case, most of the people who own Blu-ray are film aficionados, or at the very least they care about visual presentation. That's the market right now. Assuming that market doesn't change (which is your position, not mine) doesn't it make sense to target that market?"<]/ Err something must have been lost in translation as you're returning my point in a question there. You said: Blu-Ray staying niche is actually better for there will be less mass market crap. I said: wrong, the opposite is happening with studios catering the most mass market crap movies for the support as that's what sells the most. People who are ready to/can pay the extra money for a full HD tv, a blu-ray player, a theatre like sound system and more expensive discs clearly care about quality and it would be suicidal to give them black and white oldies indeed, Michael Bay & Co are way more suited 🙂 But hey to go back to the begining I've got nothing against Blu-ray it's just that I'm not convinced it will ever get out of the niche market and I'd rather go to a DRM free media less format, that's all.

      • NotParker
      • 12 years ago

      DVD sales down 600 million in 2007.

      Anticipated Blu Ray sales up 500 million in 2008.

      It appears to be (so far) a losing game.

        • BKA
        • 12 years ago

        This could be due to the fact that its easier to download a DVD movie and burn it to cheap DVD media. Once Blu-ray burners and media drop in price they will see the same reduction in sales.

      • ish718
      • 12 years ago

      Getting info from a site that advocates bluray is not a good idea if you want to get the “real” truth about sales.
      I bet more than 50% of bluray disc sales were driven by PS3 sales. What if PS3 didn’t have bluray?
      Bluray wouldn’t have never taken off so fast…

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        Your point is…what exactly? Are you disputing the 351% figure? On what grounds? That it was reported by a site called “blu-ray.com”? Um, what do you expect they’re going to report on, sales pink fuzzy bunny slippers?

          • PRIME1
          • 12 years ago

          Blu-ray.com got the news from The Hollywood Reporter so maybe he can now bash them for it.
          §[<http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/home_entertainment/video/e3i91323da4b3be14d2f74080ce44d7b5c4<]§

          • ish718
          • 12 years ago

          Oh yeah, you missed something. This statistic is about bluray players not bluray discs, so your initial post was somewhat irrelevant from the start.
          Though we can come to a conclusion based on all these statistics, that most people aren’t using stand alone bluray players to watch bluray dvds…

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            q[

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      Why do people take it personally when it’s suggested that something they find amusing isn’t the end-all, be-all of entertainment? Crikey, Vrock, do you own stock in the Blu-Ray consortium or something?

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        As a movie enthusiast, I’m a fan of HD optical disc. I think they’re great. It bothers me when people post FUD and misinformation about them or actively root for them to fail. I think the format should be evaluated on its own merits and failings, not because a bunch of folks are experiencing sour grapes because it’s out of their price range.

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      HD optical media is not going to go away, but I doubt it will reach the same marketshare that DVD obtain at its height.

      VOD is a problem for current HD optical media sales in the mainstream segiment. HD VOD will eventually come around and further marginalize HD optical media sales.

      HD optical media on the other hand, has a rather bright future as a cheap, portable data storage media.

      • PeterD
      • 12 years ago

      Vrock wrote: ” Why do people like to spread doom and gloom about HD optical disc?”

      Because they don’t sell it. They’re supposed to buy it.

    • Shinare
    • 12 years ago

    Dubya says we are not in a recession.

    Having said that, the strong argument against any HD media right now is “I just don’t need it.” It seems that HD media is a tough sell after all, regardless of competing formats.

    But, my internal conflict is that I hardly ever watch “standard” def TV anymore with Dishnetwork’s great array of HD channels. I’ll probably get a PS3 for the holidays 2008. I’ll be looking for a good Black Friday deal. 🙂

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      q[

        • Shinare
        • 12 years ago

        Since, evidently you are an economics expert as well as everything else, you should look up the term “stagflation” in your wikipedia as an example of recession without your so called “specific definition” criteria being met.

        Just sayin.

          • Vrock
          • 12 years ago

          Heh, I’m no expert on economics, but I was at least awake during my senior year of high school in Principles of Macroeconomics. Enough to get a ‘C’, anyway.

          I know what stagflation is, but it sounds like you’re using the term “recession” too generally. If you mean stagflation, say stagflation. If you mean recession, then say recession.

          • nonegatives
          • 12 years ago

          It disturbs me to see so many people quote Wikipedia as a reliable source, it sounds too much to me like saying, “I read it on the internet, so it must be true!”

      • PRIME1
      • 12 years ago

      We skipped recession and went straight to depression.

      • PeterD
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah, and there is no inflation either.

      • PeterD
      • 12 years ago

      In Europe they’re trying to get HD tv on the market since more than 2 decades. Really!
      And it’s still not really there.
      Nowadays they’re trying to push it through the clients’ throats, because otherwise they don’t want to swallow it.

    • ludi
    • 12 years ago

    I’m not sure if these numbers mean anything significant in the US context, other than that HD media is still a new market with prices to match. Lots of shiny things get bought in January and early February because people are still looking backward toward Christmas (and spending Christmas money), while most of February, March, and April tend to be slow because people are looking ahead to their tax liability. I see the same trend when selling on eBay and my mom sees the same trend with her Amazon Marketplace store.

    Add in a slowing economy with corresponding uncertainty, and it’s not hard to see where people might be slowing their consumption of $300+ toys.

    If the manufacturers can bring the hardware price down to the $200 point or less by the third quarter of the year, I would expect sales to begin climbing rapidly on into the holiday season. Analog television broadcasts cease in February 2009, so Christmas ’08 will probably be an HD festival.

    • Nitrodist
    • 12 years ago

    Movies aren’t selling well in what has been traditionally one of the slowest times of the year to sell movies!?!? Insane!

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