Evidence Mounts That Blu-ray Will Struggle

1 min read

Who wants Blu-Ray

Stewart Wolpin of Digital Tech Consulting was been talking about Blu-Ray and has put his cards on the table and said that Blu-Ray will not replace DVD’s in either the retail or rental movie segments.

To be more specific he doesn’t expect Blu-Ray to hold more than 30% of the market in 5 years time, so it won’t be a complete failure but it won’t do what DVD did for movies.

The reasoning behind it is that higher definition has never been a major motivator for people to pick up a format, just look at the failings of SACD, S-VHS and DVD-Audio as examples.

However there is a flip side to this, while higher definition isn’t the biggest motivator, wanting to get the most out of your new HD-TV may well be… That is something that hasn’t been part of the equation in previous years…

So will Blu-Ray ever become truly mass market and replace DVD? I highly doubt it but it may just happen.

Evidence Mounts That Blu-ray Will Struggle – Dave’s Download (usnews.com)

Last Updated: May 16, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Naudran

    I think it might actually happen, but only when/if HD-TV’s etc becomes more affordable.

  • BigDadDy

    You can get a 37″ HD LCD at 5k now… that is practically free!

  • Lupus

    Dude how the hell is that practically free? You can get an 37″ normal TV for 3k? People still need to accept the fact that normal TV signal won’t look brilliant on it. Though DSTV doesn’t look too bad through component.

  • Naudran

    And probably very standard. 720i not 1080p, only one HDMI input etc. etc.

    To get a proper HD-TV it’ll easily set you back anything from R 7500 upwards. Did some browsing the other day…

  • My son doesn’t give a hoot if Bob the Builder is in HD, SD, wmv, VHS or reel to reel! It’s about the content and unless.

    My theme song for the HD war: “Extra pixels don’t make bad movies any better”.

  • Very true!

  • kabraal

    “My son doesn’t give a hoot if Bob the Builder is in HD, SD, wmv, VHS or reel to reel! It’s about the content and unless.

    My theme song for the HD war: “Extra pixels don’t make bad movies any better”.

    Damnit man with that attitude you might as well wait for The Dark Night to screen on e-tv. Then you can watch it on your 20 year old 50cm black and white Telefunken and screen “To hell with the HD AV I say!”

    You also need to remember that the success of this format very much depends on what the movie studios want. And the big movie studios want a new revenue stream but I’m sure they also don’t want to kill of DVD just yet. But there are rumours flying that Disney and Sony might want to consider releasing BD titles three weeks before the DVD release. At the end of the day, the people wanting BD to win are the 9 big Hollywood studios, it means money for them, and they’ll definitely give it a bash.

    And don’t really know want the point of this article is but in my books, BD is already successful. Far far more successful that SACD and Audio DVD. Why? Because every day-date release from every big Hollywood studio gets a BD release on the same day as the DVD. Then there are a truckload of current/planned catalogue releases. I don’t care if it takes 10 years for BD to overtake DVD if ever. Fact remains if you have a BD player, you’ll be able to pick up and watch all new releases on BD plus the catalogues. With SACD and DVD Audio this was definitely not the case. If you had a player capable to play these formats, you pickings of titles to play were really slim, especially for DVD audio.

  • That 50cm comment is actually pretty true.

    I have a high end SDTV with 5.1. A lot of the time I don’t get to put the surround on because the kids are asleep, and the effect is … nothing. Yeah, booming explosions are nice and everything but provided the audio is clear enough to follow the story it doesn’t impact on my enjoyment of the movie.

  • SlippyMadFrog

    I say the jump from DVD to Blu-Ray isn’t as big as the jump from VHS to DVD. To watch a VHS movie is an absolute drag with all the rewinding and head cleaning and moving to DVD was an absolute pleasure.
    From DVD to Blu-Ray, not so much. Is the extra pixels worth the money (and I mean a lot of money)? I don’t think so. Blu-Ray doesn’t make watching movies easier and more convenient, it just looks better.

  • Abe

    Most people are picking up HD tv’s without even knowing what HD is. They just think they are new, bigger, flat screens to save space. My dad just bought a 42’and delighted in telling me how its HD, even though he had no idea what it meant and had no idea that it would still be displaying his dstv in SD.

  • kabraal

    Well I mean to each his own here. If you prefer to not to go full out on HD sound and HD audio that’s what you prefer. If you think the jump from DVD to BD isn’t enough again that’s your opinion. You never know, maybe someday 65″ TVs will be mainstream. And you’d have to be utterly blind not to see and difference between a DVD and BD on that. BD is also not about “extra pixels” as everyone puts it. It’s about better color, better contrasts, beter blacks and better sounds. And it is significantly better than DVD if you use the right AV equipment.

    Enough with all that. My original point still stands. Seeing that all big Hollywood studios already bought into BD and looking at the release schedule of BD for the this year, BD is already successful. When will it overtake DVD? Who knows, but it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

  • I doubt with the current economical situation in South Africa, that your average South African would be able to afford a proper HD TV set.

    But funnily enough I have seen more Blu-ray titles in adult shops than in normal stores.

    Hurray for Blu-ray porn. LOL!

    larch’s last blog post..Witchblade Live Action

  • HoodedGrub

    Oh my Blu-Ray movies look sweet on my 55″ Sony Bravia…. Sure I can watch the movie on a 74CM SDTV Letterboxed, but why would I want to when it looks so much better closer to the source material? If size and quality didn’t matter, then why do we still have Cinema’s?

    I think anyone commenting on the insignificance of HD needs to first own proper HD.

    Kids don’t care about SD/HD, but I am not a kid and neither are any of the people I know that own either an XBOX and a PS3. I’ve influenced a lot of people showing them my setup into getting an HD LCD or Plasma. Once you go HD, you never wanna go back to SD.

  • HoodedGrub

    You would think the average South African would not be able to afford an HDTV, but then you would think the average South African would not be able to afford one of the next gen consoles, yet they are buying them up left right and center. If you can afford to pay R400-R500 for a Wii,XBOX or PS3 game, you can easily afford a decent HDTV these days and prices are constantly coming down. Even the government is aiming to have Terrestrial HDTV cutover by 2010…. 😉

  • Just to clarify, Digital TV is not HDTV, that’s not what the locals are doing. Yes it enables HD, and it will probably come down the line, but it’s not part of the current process. DSTV on the other hand, I believe, is working on something.

  • kabraal

    Sorry for reviving this tread. Just watched National Treasure 2 on BD (quite a while since I last watched one) and you have to be border line blind not to notice the difference from BD to DVD, and this on a 1024×768 plasma. It is a pretty damn significant leap from DVD to BD and if you fight against it your either heavy heavy anti sony, one of the three blind mice, or your using a standard CRT.

  • LazySAGamer

    I think most people still have a CRT to be honest and also most people don’t link Blu-Ray to Sony… It’s a whole collaboration of companies…

    Personally I think it looks much better on Blu-Ray BUT I am not sure it’s worth the extra expense

  • Messiah

    hmm, 1080i

  • Messiah

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Although I only have a 42″ HDTV, there is a huge difference between Blu-Ray and DVD.

  • There’s also a massive difference between an iTunes MP3 and and uncompressed 24/96 DVD-Audio, but in reality, people don’t care.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • kabraal

    You see this is where I differ slightly from your opinion. In all fairness you can’t generalize your opinion/interests onto 6 billion other people. Of course there will be people who won’t care. Hell the majority of my friends couldn’t care less for buying DVDs. And I’d say the majority of the world population does not spend cast amounts of money on DVDs. They’ll download the stuff and watch it on their 15” laptops. There are people out there who would not spend on buying ipods or what not. I can guarantee you that not everyone will be interested in digital downloads when that comes fully online in 2028. But it’s a big world with a lot of people out there. Not just 6 billion doobis or 6 billion kabraals.

    Fact 1: The difference between BD to DVD is pretty damn significant. Whether you care about it on not, doesn’t matter.

    Fact 2: Not everyone will buy into it because not everyone cares about it. But the fact that the big 8 Hollywood studios has fully bought into it as a alternate revenue stream, and the fact that BD has seen a quite significant growth during the last quarter tells me it isn’t going the SACD/DVD-Audio route anytime soon. There are more than enough people out there who will buy into it to make it successful

  • HoodedGrub

    A valid reason why sales of Blu-Ray standalones appeared to drop by 40% -> http://www.tvpredictions.com/blu052608.htm

  • They said the same thing about UMD movies.

    In fairness BD may find itself a market in the short term, but unfortunately it is an intermediate format. It’s not even DDL that is the only direct threat, but the format offers no real long term gain. It took DVD 10 years to reach parity with VHS, andthat was real innovation. Within 5 years not only will DDL explode, but UHD is already being spec’d. It’s that uncertainty that will prevent BD from ever overtaking DVD.

  • Well according to Philips, UHD (7680 × 4320) will be here by 2011

  • kabraal

    And it’ll say and revision A for 10 years until anyone else cares…

  • Like Blu-Ray? Has profile 2 been ratified yet? Oh yeah, there aren’t any standalone players that support that yet either…

    My point is, technology is shifting, DVD marked a sea change, something radically different. BD is a bump upgrade that’s already marked for obsolescence.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • kabraal

    “Like Blu-Ray? Has profile 2 been ratified yet? Oh yeah, there aren’t any standalone players that support that yet either”

    Yes it has and yes there are. Here you go: http://www.blu-ray.com/players/

    Anyway, you’ve just proven to yourself the mountains that need to be climbed in this industry to get a format going. It’s a slow moving industry to start with. If you by any means think that a fully spec’ed UHD format will be in your local pick ‘n pay first thing 2011 ready to start battling BD your fooling yourself. And you’re making me laugh.

    Of course there going to be new formats after blu ray. Everything CE is marked for obsolescence sooner or later so I don’t really know what you’re point is? But, BD has nice window now to start going. It has full support and go aheads from all major CE’s as well as Hollywood. Do you really think these okes will consider accepting a new format again in 3 years time? This ain’t the GFX card / cell phone industry pal. If something like a UHD surfaces during the next couple of years, it’ll go the SACD, UMD route very quick, very fast. This industry does not stomach changes every 2 years.

    Go look at bluray.com and hidefdigest. BD titles for movies and TV series being announced left right and center. 11 Chinese manufacturers sign up of hardware manufacture. Titles and hardware I (and millions of others) can buy. NOW. I don’t need some soothsayer telling me that there will come better things in the future because “technology is shifting”

    Anyway I don’t really know why I’m arguing with you. Wasn’t it you that predicted the PS3 will go the gamecube route?

  • For the record, no I wasn’t, I was the first to say “don’t write off Sony”.

    The reason I’m laughing is that you’re making my point for me. Every single thing you say about UHD can be said about BD. I am not saying “UHD will win”. What I’m saying is that there is sufficient doubt in the market against both to the point that they will never replace DVD.

    While you have a BD console and probably HDTV to justify, so that “little less blurriness” means a lot. Most people don’t carry that burden. From the public galleries the upgrade isn’t worth it.

    Anyway, why argue? Bookmark this thread and I’ll meet you here in 2 years.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • kabraal

    “Every single thing you say about UHD can be said about BD”

    Let me correct that for you as you obviously didn’t understand all that well:

    “Every single thing you say now about UHD was said about BD, and HD DVD for that matter”

    It’s a complete fully spec’ed format and fully supported by industry. UHD is a pipe dream which will only be realized years from now. It will be realized off course, as I generally believe in technological progression.

    Look you obviously couldn’t give a shit about all this and that’s fine. But the mistake you make again is forcing your own opinion / interests on the rest of the world. Your opinion that no one really cares is at best, a wild guess. What’s one of the fastest growing industries in the world? LCD and Plasma TVs. People are off course interested in stuff like this. It’s the Americans bread and butter. As the prices come down more will buy into it.

    And no worries there. I have book marked it. I’ve booked marked it since it since this thread was published.

  • My apologies if you’re still missing the irony of your own post.

    It’s not my opinion kabraal, that’s what the current sales numbers and precedent say.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • kabraal

    ehhh having read that linked article in on the main site, you do realize that this new UHD buzz word is not a new format right? It’s ummm BD on a seriously big expensive TV? So why bring it up as potential competition for BD that may lead to market doubt if it ummm is BD?

    Hmmm now where have I heard this before? Hitachi maybe?

  • ROFL!

    So if BD upscaled is “good” for UHD, which is a 4:1 vertical upscale, then why the heck do we need BD when DVD is twice as good on “HD”, because it’s only a 1.5-2:1 vertical upscale. Exactly.

    Nice one mate, there’s an own goal of note! Thanks again for proving my point.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • kabraal

    Wtf are you on about? You’re the one posting links of future technologies claiming them to be potential competition for BD, or as you put it, that it will cause sufficient doubt to sway people from buying into BD, but what you fail to mention is that this new technology is based on blu ray discs being upscaled.

    So please explain to me how a technology based on blu ray disc (1 layer, 2 layers, 3 layer or 100 layers) is bad for erm blu ray disc? I mean that’s what you said right? Please explain it. This is like me saying superbit DVD will kill DVD even though, it’s fucking dvd… understand?

    Please provide me with some links (not from some fanboy blog please) with your BD sales numbers. And before you do, think of a second and please don’t link month on month sales numbers from December/January/February like previously. That just doesn’t work for people who can think further than their nose. Because if you do, you might as well run for the hills. Everything CE tanks during those three months.

    I’ve some links for you






    I really don’t get the irony of my post. The way I see things is we started with projectors, went to VHS, went to DVD and now we’re starting to move to BD. After that we’ll move on to something else and then something else again. I don’t see what’s so difficult to stomach about that?

    Blu ray isn’t going anyway mate. Face it. I’ll waste more time on you in a year. Have fun.

  • 8mm, VHS, DVD? No.

    That’s the irony and the point your missing kabraal. Try a few others. A-track, betamax, minidisc, laserdisc, UMD, SACD. That’s BD forbearers, the formats that claimed improvement but no innovation. Funnily enough, they all have close ties to Sony.

    What you’re missing about BD, UHD or whatever is that the physical format is transient. Why buy an expensive BD player, when it’s replacement is already in the works? As far as multilayer goes, goodluck. The current gen players only support 2 layers, so you’ll need new hardware anyway.

    As I’ve said before, if you’d stop ranting and actually listen for a change, BD may very well find itself a market, but it’ll remain niche, like laserdisc or minidisc, and in time it’ll be superseded by downloads as is happening to CD as we speak.

  • kabraal

    That’s all forebearers that was doomed from the get go. The only company which drove these formats were Sony. No one else really bothered to buy into it. Damnit, where is the bold function on these board.

    I’m tired of aruging this shit. Blaming me of ranting and not listening? Please man. Please enligten me as to were I ever claimed BD will overtake dvd in the near future? If you go back, listen and read, my original point was that BD in my eyes is all ready successful. It already has a market. It can be bought everywhere in the world and as per my links, it’s already takening up significant chunks of the DVD market. It’s already taking 18% of the Japanese home video market. Then transition (which will be slow yes) is happening right before your eyes but you choose to stick your head in the ground.

    Yes this the physical format is transient (now way!!!111one wow didn’t know that, maybe I should leave the PS3 or 360 and wait for the PS10 or xbox 8?), but like I told you before, this is not the cell phone market. It doesn’t change every 6 months!!! CE companies and Hollywood just don’t want to change the way they distrubute movies and music every year. It costs too much money. If there was a new format that will be launched 2010 90% of CEs and Hollywood will shrug it off!! Your little list of failed formats there is excellent prove of this. No one wanted to buy into it because no one believed it could carve out a decend market for itself with decend returns.

    Now before you attempt to point out the supposed irony, like I’ve told you before, the BDA has already managed to convince every single movie studio to start BD, they already have all major CE manufaturers on board. They already have Dell in their pockets to start production or $800 BD laptops. They’ve done what none of those other formats got right.

  • You must be really worried about Blu-Ray to waste so much breathe after everyone who cared stopped listening.

  • kabraal

    Huh? You’ve participated just as much in this thread. And now I’m worried or waisting my breathe? Lol… 😉

  • Milesh Bhana

    Blue-Ray will be adopted the same same DVD got adopted. Initially it’s demand because people who have it swear by the difference, but eventually it’s supplier push.

    If you walk into a video store and the latest movies are Blue-Ray only, you’ll buy a BR player (whether you have an HD-TV or not). At least your old DVDs will still work in the new player.

    The best way to push the new is to simply phase out the old. (Naturally, this will only be done when it’s profitable for the studios to do)

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