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No Blue Skies For Blu-Ray

Sony can't afford to spend too long drinking the champagne. The real news isn't that HD-DVD's future looks grim. It's that if Blu-Ray's backers can finish off HD-DVD quickly, Blu-Ray might have one.

With Apple , NetFlix and Microsoft pushing downloadable movies and cable and phone companies peddling a plethora of on-demand, high-definition content, the day is coming when the stacks of plain vanilla DVDs that clutter many home entertainment centers will go the way of the CD collection.

JVC even introduced a flat-screen television at the International Consumer Electronics Show that allows users to simply pop in one of Apple's iPods to watch video content--threatening to turn the slim media players into an alternative to digital video discs. And Panasonic is building iPod docks into its home theater systems alongside an integrated Blu-Ray player.

Another worry, according to Robin Harris, an analyst with the Data Mobility Group, is that Blu-Ray adoption will be slow because few people will notice the difference between formats, since many players can neatly "up-convert" DVDs for high-definition sets. As a result, few will opt to replace their entire DVD libraries, as many did with the earlier generation of videotapes. "So is this going to be a pyrrhic victory for Sony? I think that there's a fair chance that it will be," Harris says.

Blu-Ray's victory came at a high price. Sony delayed the release of its PlayStation 3 so it could include the pricey Blu-Ray technology in its console. Partly as a result, the PlayStation 3 has lagged behind the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 in sales--even as analysts credit the PlayStation 3 with giving Blu-Ray an edge over HD-DVD.

That edge was vital to blunting HD-DVD's price advantage. HD-DVD players can be had for as little as $99, and its HD-DVDs cost less to produce. By contrast, Blu-Ray players start at $350.

That said, analysts say the chances of a comeback for HD-DVD are slim. Harris points to the move by Blockbuster (nyse: BBI - news - people ) to expand its Blu-Ray offerings last year as one key point. And Warner's move signals the studios are tiring of pitting the competing consumer electronics manufacturers against one another. "Hollywood is now done with this particular argument," Harris says. "They are worried about movie sales and they don't want consumers hesitating about high-definition content."

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Brian52473482d ago

That's all the consumer needs to know.

Hatchetforce3482d ago (Edited 3482d ago )

When the day comes when I can download a movie in true 1080p, and then minutes after deciding to download it immediately loan it to someone and they can play it any where on anything because it is paid for. Or I can play it on a plethora of devices, inlcuding quite a few that do not belong to me, then I will be concerned about a physical medium being obsolete.

When I can do the, 'pass the movie around' regardless of internet access yet have all my movies instantly on demand, all them with their special features, then I will be concerned.

When said download comes with all the features I want (I can just see the 5 disk Bladerunner set being downloaded) then I will be concerned.

This article is a load of horse dump, written and endorsed by the same people that were proclaiming HD DVD as thr second coming of entertainment.

This is how you can tell people on the HD DVD side had the sap knocked out of them and are really giving up the fight. They start resorting to "Well it doesn't matter anyway because none of it would last anyway." Just walk away from the sour grapes and shut your flapping piehole.

Yes the day is coming when that will happen and we'll carry our 10,000 game library in a belt buckle and my wife has every song ever made playable through a microdot under her left butt cheek. But by the time that happens we will all be in diapers for the second time in our lives.

Just like HD DVD, all these sour puss losers need to die also.

PhiI Harrison3482d ago

What is HD DVD anyway? NOBODY HAS TOLD ME WHAT HD DVD WAS!!! ZOMGLMAOROFLOMFG!!!!!!

M$ Blows!!!!

godofthunder103481d ago

hd dvd is dead and br is the winner but i agree with the article.br fans and movie collectors could say what they want but br will never have the secess that regular dvds have.i'm a movie collector with over a 1000 dvds but i'll admit that the article is true,hell dvd sales are dropping now because of downloadable movies and cable and phone companies peddling a plethora of on-demand, high-definition content.
when people started downloading songs people said that it want hurt cd sales because the sound isn't as good as cds but now cd sales is about dead,hell even big music companies are loseing money on cds and now some of them are starting to sales songs and whole ablums on the internet to download.
fans of br are saying that downloadable movies will not be ready for a decade or more because people want hd movies and want to watch them right away instead of waiting for the movie to download but the truth is that you could even get a hd movie on xbox live and start watching it about 30 secs after you start the download,you don't have to wait to the whole movie download.
people could say what they want but the future of movies isn't in hard coppies any more ,it's heading the same way as cds headed.cds is about at the end and now we see that the sales of dvds are droping every year and it's not because of br and hd dvds,they are included.if people see the chart on dvd sales in the last 3 to 5 years they will see how dvd sales or droping fast.
i'll admit that i like to own a hard copy of my movies,like i said i'm a movie collector with over a 1000 movies but we can't deny where it's moveing to.the future of movies is in downloading and it's moveing there now a lot quicker then we think.like i said before,just look how the sales of dvds are droping ever year,it's because of downloading.
i bet that move companies wouldn't mind to get in the market,hell just think they could rent them their selfs instead of other companies like block buster to rent them and they could sale them on line to download to and they would make a bigger profit because they want have to pay to make dvds.

Clinton5143482d ago (Edited 3482d ago )

As if on demand rental services threatens movie collectors. Heh. Good luck with that. The writing is on the wall and the general consensus is that HDDVD is in big trouble.

EZCheez3482d ago

It will be a long time before a physical format is replaced.

More and more people will realize the importance of HD when they get those big HDTV's and realize how bad regular 480i or 480p look. And not too many people will be willing to dedicate even larger amounts of save space for a HD video. Also, the bigger digital distribution gets, the better the DRM will get and it will probably get to the point of having to buy the same movie for different devices (for the average consumer not into pirating).

I'm looking forward to digital distribution as much as the next guy, but I just don't see it being mainstream as soon as others.

Please don't just disagree with a button. Let me know why i'm wrong because i'm really open to intelligent conversation. You might even change my opinion.

Clinton5143482d ago (Edited 3482d ago )

Of course DD will take off, but it's not something I'm looking forward to as my primary method of accessing entertainment.

edit: looks like angry little Bladestar is going on a disagree rampage.

ruibing3482d ago

I agree with that. I've bought a lot more Blu Ray movies ever since I got my PS3 than even DVD movies from all my past years. If I was to download movies, I would still rather just get them for free since any good movie I make it a point to own and new ones I rather watch in theaters with friends.

IntelligentAj3482d ago

Hell the main reason why people return Digital TV's is because the standard TV picture doesn't look as good as they thought it would.

Skerj3482d ago

If I'm downloading a movie I might as well do it for free.

Bubble Buddy3481d ago

bubble for u dude, exactly what i was thinking.

spammy_nooo3481d ago

I only buy movies so I can see them on my shelf. Any movie I'm not sure I want, i rent or downl...."find another way" to get it.

Even if I use DD to get movies eventually, I will still buy movies I like on physical media, so I can see them on my shelf.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there like me. I'm pretty average XD

OldGamer3482d ago

I don't want all of my entertainment saved on some disk drive. I want to have a hard copy of a movie or music. As long as I have that, I'll always be able to play it. Downloadable media can be lost or made inaccessable quite easily.

I just don't see DLC becoming as huge as some hope it to be too soon. Maybe in another generation or so.

Boldy3481d ago

Have you ever heard of the Ipod? Last time I checked that has been taking off like a rocket. No concrete CD's, just downloaded songs. If DD will never take off then wouldn't Ipods and Zunes be almost unheard of, and yet everywhere you go you see people with them. So if DD can work for music then it will work for movies. Not immediatley but within the coming years it will just keep getting bigger, and everyone will be using DD. As bandwith increases the downloads will only get better and could probably end up supporting Full HD capabilities.

With Netflix, Tivo, Cable Companies, and Xbox Live, hopping on to DD for movies, I think they are seeing something in this. Don't forget about DD in games (PSN Arcade, Warhawk, XBL Arcade, and Xbox Originals). DD is already here and has really started to gain acceptance.