Blu ray dead, alive, dead, alive, dead again

I’m with Robin Harris on this one. Despite some final death throes and some confusion over exactly what constitutes death there doesn’t seem any hope for Blu Ray as a mainstream video medium.

  • DVD is much cheaper (roughly half the price in the UK)
  • A year after Blu Ray beat HD-DVD there’s still a painfully limited choice of content
  • DVD to HD step in user experience is not as significant as the step from VHS to DVD
  • Hardware is getting cheaper, but we’re now in a recession so uptake will be hindered

So my money is on Blu Ray being consigned ‘video format valhalla’ and seated down the unfashionable end of the feast hall, nestled between Betamax and Laserdisc.

As for what replaces it… I’m guessing a segmented market comprising of

  • Incompatible DRM-laden download services provided by the big distributors
  • A few rental by-mail services for people who can’t be bothered relying on fluctuating bandwidth and technical glitches (these guys might have some Blu Ray uptake if it’s not priced too high)
  • A black market of illegal downloads for people who won’t accept distributors restrictions or don’t want to pay

I’m hoping I’m wrong and we get a more elegant solution.

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4 Responses to Blu ray dead, alive, dead, alive, dead again

  1. Mark Fowler says:

    I have a Blu-ray player.

    No blu-ray discs though. Can’t (easily) rip them and watch them on the iPhone (which is where I watch most of my movies these days).

  2. Richard Marr says:

    I do too, in my PS3. I don’t have any Blu Ray disks either. £19 each for old releases? No thanks, I’ll watch the £5 DVDs.

  3. MailAMovie says:

    Blue Ray is taking off in the US with HD-DVD now gone. Everyone buying a new HD TV is adding on a Blue Ray player. Redbox has begun renting Blue Ray discs from their kiosks. I think it is doing well.

  4. steveneddy says:

    I don’t think that the download market will play out as fast as the supporters of downloads expect it to. I wouldn’t wait for a movie to be downloaded just to have to ty again because of a variety of reasons. And where the heck am I gonna store 15-25 Gigs of video? On my 80 Gig HD on my laptop? No one I know has a terrabyte of storage to store everything that they download.

    Blue Ray will be successful this year especially if the makers of DVD players stop manufacturing DVD only players and stat manufacturing good entry level Blue Ray/DVD players.

    Lowering the price of Blue Ray discs wouldn’t hurt either. If the powers in charge want this format to take off, the media and replacement players will need to be more affordable.

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