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ZDNet: Blu-ray is dead - heckuva job, Sony!


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141 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:28 PM

From ZDNet:

Blu-ray is dead - heckuva job, Sony!

Blu-ray is in a death spiral. 12 months from now Blu-ray will be a videophile niche, not a mass market product.

With only a 4% share of US movie disc sales and HD download capability arriving, the Blu-ray disc Association (BDA) is still smoking dope. Even $150 Blu-ray players won’t save it.

16 months ago I called the HD war for Blu-ray. My bad. Who dreamed they could both lose?

FULL ARTICLE HERE

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#2 OFFLINE   cdizzy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:34 PM

Hmmm....I like Blu-ray myself. I hope this just causes more price drops.

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#3 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:18 AM

Two things are hurting Blu-ray sales: high price of Blu-ray discs and upconverting DVD players. When people can buy widescreen DVD's for half the cost of Blu-ray product and play them back at near HD quality, why buy Blu-ray? The BDA is shooting itself in the foot by enforcing high prices in general.In retrospect, Hollywood's paranoia about copying killed HD DVD, which was a less expensive approach to high quality DVD's.

I'm seriously considering joining Netflix for obtaining movies for home viewing.

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#4 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:26 AM

Time will tell. I think it's too early to say Blu-Ray is dead or dying. I think we all agree "real" media will probably lose to downloadable product but there is a question of when.

sub-$100 BD players are very likely by spring IMO and I see most BD new releases only $2-3 more than comparable DVDs.
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#5 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:28 AM

Makes me kind of glad that the wife insisted we sit back and wait before going to Blu-Ray.

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#6 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:31 AM

They key at this point is the insane cost of producing discs. The same was true of LASERdisc and to a lesser extent capacitive discharge discs.

As long as it costs more to manufacture a disc than most of the public is accustomed to paying for a DVD set, the interest will be limited.

#7 OFFLINE   dhhaines

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:50 AM

Time will tell. I think it's too early to say Blu-Ray is dead or dying. I think we all agree "real" media will probably lose to downloadable product but there is a question of when.

sub-$100 BD players are very likely by spring IMO and I see most BD new releases only $2-3 more than comparable DVDs.


I really hope that "real" media doesn't go away. There is still something to be said for having the disk. When only downloadable media is available you'll have to buy the media for each new device it is used on, instead of being able to take it with you on vacation, to friends, etc.. I believe that's what this is going to come to. :nono2:

#8 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 11:36 AM

I'm slowly starting to buy more BD movies - up to one a month now - but only for movies on sale and under $25. Most of them I've purchased have been $19.9 or were $25 and I used Reward Zone coupons to lower the price.

This would suck if it's true, but what's really going to happen is that I will stop buying BD movies again simply to see what happens, and if others follow-suit, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: By waiting to see if BD survives, I contribute to its demise.

#9 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:39 PM

For movies, I prefer to own the actual disc rather than watch a download. First of all, I actually enjoy having a collection of movies on the shelf (well, shelves) and second, having the disc means I can trade with friends. With downloads and PPV’s, you can’t trade them and in fact it may not always be convenient to go back and watch an older movie. On top of that, I enjoy the “bonus” content of movies, like the director commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, backstage documentaries, etc.

I not upgraded to Blu-Ray mainly because of the price, but also because my friends and family don’t have the players, so we couldn’t trade movies if I start buying new discs. Of course now that the price is dropping, that will likely change. Blu-Ray is already on my Christmas list, and I am guessing we’ll give at lease one player as a gift.

#10 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:45 PM

I agree with much of what has already been said. Initial entry was the first roadblock with high-priced players... but the main problem remains to be movies that are priced too high.

Even though many stores sell with "discounts", the MSRP for many Blu ray titles continues to be $39.95 and upwards which is just insane to most consumers... so even when a place like Amazon has a 30% discount, it just takes the price to where most of us think MSRP should be and we still wait for deals.

Also, hollywood continues to play the waiting game for their best movies. They are afraid to release catalog blockbusters because of potential low sales BUT that lack of high-calibre releases keeps people from coming off the adoption fence. It's a chicken or the egg scenario where hollywood doesn't want to see $5 bargain-bin Blu rays because of a flooded market when people start having players in high-quantity... but in the meantime they are missing sales from people who are waiting for super releases to make them jump.

The state of the economy isn't helping things out either... so that's a bit of unfortunate timing... but even with that, some decisions would have helped:

1. No war in the first place would have helped from the beginning (no HD DVD vs Blu ray to split the early adopters and splinter the market)
2. Entry level players from the beginning instead of all models starting at premium pricing.
3. Instead of multiple releases forcing consumers to choose DVD vs Blu (or HD DVD) and multiple Target/Best Buy/FEY editions... release one edition that includes Blu (or HD DVD back in the day) + DVD that has all the extras and everything in one package. Consumers who want the movie get everything... and once a few Blu movies are already in the home, the player purchase will follow.
4. Pick a few movies and don't release in anything but Blu. Especially useful for catalog, like the recent Godfather rework.. just release in Blu and not also DVD.. pick a few new releases and do the same thing. IF it backfires they could always release on DVD later.. but try and see what consumers would do if only Blu comes out.
5. Stagger release dates... Release Blu first, then DVD a few weeks later. The "I can't wait" crowd might go for Blu rather than wait.

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#11 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:26 PM

I agree with most of your points. However, high initial pricing didn't hurt DVD or VHS from eventually dominating the market.

I do think you'll find that there are some movies that have come out with a digital copy edition which includes a DVD-quality digital version, usually without the special features. Sure, HD-DVD was great because you could have a combo disc, but DVD mastering is cheap enough it's not a problem.

I do think there will be Blu-only releases in time, just as it took a while for DVD-only releases.

In the meantime, I don't know if there when true bargain BDs will come out, because unlike VHS vs. DVD you don't have to rebuy your whole collection. Only when BD mastering gets as cheap as DVD mastering will you see that, and then they'll probably be crap anyway :)
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#12 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:41 PM

Blu-Ray is FAR from dead.

The real problem is that many people had false expectations for it; they assumed that it would grow as fast as DVD did (the fastest-adopted CE device in history). That just isn't realistic.

DVDs are NOT HD, but for a lot of folks who either don't have HDTVs or have HDTVs but no HD programming, DVDs look "great" compared to normal SDTV. For many of these people DVD is "good enough", just as many people used to say that VHS is "good enough" when DVD players were first released and DVDs were $30-35 for new releases.

Most people I know already own their favorite movies on DVD, and most families own 100-200 DVDs. They are going to be relutant to spend any more money on most of those movies, and honestly, many of them won't be any better in HD. Is Zoolander going to be any funnier in HD? Enough to justify the expense? No.

What WILL happen is that people will buy Blu-Rays for action, Sci-Fi, and horror/thriller movies, where HD makes the biggest visual and aural impact. They will re-buy Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other classics action movies on Blu-Ray. They won't buy Steel Magnolias or Tootsie again, because the cost/benefit ratio isn't there.

But... once they have Blu-Ray, it's likely that they'll start buying NEW movies in Blu-Ray almost exclusively, even ones that aren't major action movies. This will be especially true when you can get these titles on sale, where the price isn't too far from DVD price.

The pace of Blu-Ray adoption is going to be slower, no doubt, but it will happen. And unlike VHS-to-DVD, all Blu-Ray players are backwards compatible with DVD, so again, there's less incentive to re-buy those non-blockbusters if you already have them on DVD.

The people who counted on HD to duplicate what DVD did for the industry were simply deluding themselves. Today, there are far too many alternatives (including DVD) for one product to make such an impact.

#13 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:44 PM

Wow, I wonder what this joker had to say about DVDs in 1998. BD is the future, player prices, burner prices, prerecorded media and blank media will all come down in price just like VHS Tapes and DVDs did. As more and more people get HDTVs and get second and third HDTVs, a Blu Ray Disc player would be the perfect compliment..
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#14 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:06 PM

ZDNet has been wrong on so many of these kinds of "predictions" before, you can't even take then seriously. :rolleyes:

In fact, adoption continues to grow....players will be sub $250 for the holiday season, and disks keep getting cheaper. The % of Blu Ray to regular disks are increasing, and with many, many new titles coming out during the next 8 weeks....this will be yet another ZDNet prediction folly.
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#15 OFFLINE   cb7214

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:22 PM

and even the the downloadable media, you have to have something to output the HD movie show etc f to your TV, which means probably 95% or more of the people would have to upgrade to do that whether by computer which probably 90% can't show HD content let alone output it, some type of hardrive media etc
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#16 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:26 PM

Being a "lite" Movie Viewer (TV is more my thing), it will be a while before I get a BD player. But certainly I can see myself getting BD next. Heck, if the prices for the hardware drop low enough it would be a no-brainer to go ahead and jump in .. It's not like DVDs are going to live forever .. They too will be replaced just like Laser Discs.
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#17 OFFLINE   cb7214

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:30 PM

I jumped into the forray of BD back when I bought my PS3, it was a selling point in convincing my wife :D, 2 for the price of 1
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#18 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:32 PM

A lot of people bought original playstations for the same reason.
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#19 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:38 PM

While not quite the quality of Blue-ray, this recently announced $159 Toshiba XDE (for extended definition) promises to be another shot at Sony's bow by extending the life of conventional DVDs a bit more. Be funny if the reported $500 million Sony paid Toshiba to drop HD DVD was used to develop this product. Besides some new image enhancement technology, it outputs up to 1080p at 24fps. /steve
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#20 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:39 PM

Blu-ray will survive. But because of Sony - the leader in music DRM screwups because it makes money on content - it'll take several years before these morons can get through a whole repeat of the music DRM experience in the video arena.

And I have a perfectly good "older" pre-HDMI, pre-1080p Panasonic 42" plasma that gives me a great picture from component input. It's going to be awhile before I change my DVD player.

Maybe when DRM-free MPEG4 videos are generally available to legally buy and download from Amazon just like MP3 tracks are today. I'll need to replace the plasma by then.




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