Yet Another Doom Article about Blu-ray Disc
Today I see another article predicting the doom of Blu-ray, this time by 2012.
I figured it was just another article based on the so called Samsung prediction, but it turns out it is actually based on a number of additional premises.
In any case, I thought it might be fun to check them out one by one and see if anything holds water.
1) HD Movie downloads
Apparently HD Movie downloads are expected to help kill Blu-ray by 2012.
This assumes that you can change the buying habits of everyone, get everyone a suitable device for downloads, get everyone a high bitrate internet connection and do all of in less than 5 years, sufficiently that the studios give up on Blu-ray Disc.
On the other hand you can read that around 97 percent of revenues for content sales in Western Europe will come from DVD and Blu-ray this year, leaving only three percent from legal video download services.
I agree that downloads will increase in market share, especially with the tech savvy, but in reality downloads, especially high quality HD downloads, have a long way to go before they kill packaged media.
2) BD Live is a joke
This is where the author shows his hand as a disgruntled HD DVD supporter, claiming that BD Live is a joke and HD DVD had better interactivity.
The reality is of course that BD Live is capable of doing anything that can be written in java code, which means anything HD DVD did – and more.
To say this will help sink the format assumes the the success of the format hinges on BD-Live – where in reality internet interactivity for movies would seem to me to be only a small part of the incentive for the format, hence the choice given to customers to buy cheaper players that don’t include the feature.
3) Samsung Thinks it is Finished
Granted one person at Samsung apparently gave a lifespan of 5 to 10 years in a Pocket Lint interview.
Of course he then goes on to say that it is going to be huge in 2008.
Huge in 2008 – dead by 2013 – an interesting prediction.
Personally I think the poor Samsung guy got spun – when you read the quote, “I think it [Blu-ray] has 5 years left”, it doesn’t say left as what… maybe he meant ‘reigning champion’ or ‘highest revenue earner’ as opposed to ‘left alive’.
In any case, he is entitled to an opinion I guess.
4) Sony thinks Blu-ray is finished
The author then references this article regarding a statement from Sony that Blu-ray is the end of the line for optical disc.
The Sony statement I inherently agree with. Blu-ray will likely be the last generation of optical disc. There are no clear paths to higher capacity, other than adding layers – in which case it is still Blu-ray disc.
I can also see Blu-ray getting extensions like 3D and 4k resolution – again it will still be Blu-ray.
Of course, saying that this is the last optical disc, isn’t a prediction of doom and doesn’t give any time line for the life or death of Blu-ray – it just says that the next media won’t be a disc – be it 5 years in the future or 20…
5. DVD is good enough
This is perhaps my favourite – he goes on to show that the BDA is claiming that in the USA, Blu-ray will have 61% market share versus DVD in 2012.
Apparently this somehow supports his case that Blu-ray will be dead in 2012.
This data is of course from a Futuresource Consulting press release back in August, and not from the BDA per se.
None the less it is interesting to think that the author sees Blu-ray having over 60% of the US market in 2012 is in some way equivalent to the death of the format.
While he seems to see other technologies growing rampantly, apparently he expects Blu-ray to stay static for the next 4 years, and then die.
So, what do you think? Valid points? Raving lunatic? Disgruntled Toshiba lover annoyed that his format died?
I kind of side with the latter based on the BD Live comment.
Personally I see Blu-ray having a decent run at it. We see how long it took for the CEs and studios to adopt DVD over VHS. And how long it took for a valid high def format (or two) to eventuate at all.
The CEs particlularly have invested a lot in the Blu-ray format and will want to see a return on that investment.
Rather than see Blu-ray die, I see the future where the Blu-ray player is actually capable of handling new media types. We already see this happening with the Panasonic players handling SDHC flash cards and the LG player handling Netflix streaming.
It doesn’t stretch my imagination to see Blu-ray players (or recorders like in Japan) that have sat or cable recievers, hard drive for PVR or download storage, net connection for BD Live and download/streaming and a slot for any number of flash based storage media.
Then the consumer can choose to capture a source from HBO, stream it from Netflix, or rent or buy the Blu-ray for the highest quality version of a give movie with all of the extras. I already make these kinds of choices on a per title basis, though not with a single box.
Of course the market will have to be shared – but I think that Blu-ray has plenty of life in it yet.
What do you think? Comments are there to share and enjoy…