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Fears revealed over economic impact on Blu-ray during the holidays

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 12 Nov 2008 2:08 User comments (13)

Fears revealed over economic impact on Blu-ray during the holidays In a panel discussion Tuesday at the HD3 conference in Century City, industry figures with a stake in the Blu-ray Disc format raised concerns over how the economy will hit the Blu-ray format over the holidays. Now that the format war is over and a lot of money has been put into promoting Blu-ray through retailers, the format's backers had hoped for a strong performance this holiday season.
"The economy is the biggest challenge, because there are just so many pieces to the Blu-ray puzzle that consumers face," said Lori MacPherson, GM of domestic home-entertainment at Disney. "You need the high-definition television set, you need the player, you need the cables, you need the software..." MacPherson still believes Disney's seasonal slew of new releases and catalog titles in the Blu-ray format will help move consumers towards the format.

"The economy is hitting everybody," said Danny Kaye, executive vp research and tech strategy at Fox. "But we still look forward to a great fourth quarter." There is good news on the horizon however for high-definition video equipment. "I know the economy is tough right now, but the manufacturers are really bringing down the price of their HDTV sets," Paramount vp marketing Chris Saito said.

Blu-ray player prices are falling but not as fast as many consumers would like. The disc sales themselves also present a problem, since new DVDs retail for around $15, whereas Blu-ray releases go for around $25. "We're all constantly looking at (disc) pricing," Sony vp business development Rich Marty said. "What it amounts to is that we'll wait until after the fourth quarter and see how it goes."

Some concerns have also been raised about how consumers might opt for DVD upscaling hardware instead of moving to the Blu-ray format, but MacPherson dismisses the theory "For me, it's the difference between costume jewelry and a diamond," the Disney executive said. "Costume jewelry is nice, but I still want the diamond."

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13 user comments

112.11.2008 14:05

To really benefit from the Blue Ray you need a 1080P set. I have a 1080i / 720P set which i bought before the 1080P sets came out. I'm sure as hell not going to buy another LCD TV for the Blu-Ray.

I have an upscale DVD player and it looks just fine to me.

212.11.2008 14:42

I have a 1080i/720p set in my bedroom (which was my first HDTV) and a 1080p in the living room. I'll take a BD on the 1080i display over an upscaled picture any day hands down. But to each his own. On topic though the economy is hitting a lot of areas but it's hard to understand how here in this article there are concerns about BD sales and it's impact but similar entertainment (specifically gaming) shows an increase over last year...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Nov 2008 @ 14:57

312.11.2008 14:55

I too, am happy with just an upscaled DVD. It doesn't look as good as true HD, but I backup everything to my hard drive on my media server, and 1080p BR just takes up too much space.

So for a good compromise, "Space VS. Quality", I am sticking with the DVD upscaled until they come out with a 10 TB hard drive for $99.


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412.11.2008 15:01
varnull
Inactive

I think the most telling thing I have seen was the Iron Man release advert for Tescos.. 1 in every 5 spent ratail in the UK goes through Tesco.. but Iron Man was only advertised as "Out Now on DVD".. no mention of Blu
If the UK's largest retailer doesn't think there is a viable market for it then it's not looking good:)

512.11.2008 20:38

I've centered my blu-ray purchases around the cartoons, or movies which are really good. The Godfather set for one. Got Tinker Bell for my daughter, that one looks amazing on blu-ray. But I'm not about to recollect every movie I have for blu-ray. If SanDisk will hurry up and release HD movies on 16GB - 32GB flash cards for $15 each I would happily switch. If Blu-ray wants to attract more people bring down the price of the movies not the players!

612.11.2008 21:01

Originally posted by chubbyInc:
If SanDisk will hurry up and release HD movies on 16GB - 32GB flash cards for $15 each I would happily switch.
SanDisk doesn't own any movie studios so they have no power to release any movies on flash media. Someone has to convince the studios that flash media is a viable distribution format before this becomes reality.

Plus don't expect initial prices of flash movies to be on the inexpensive side.

Originally posted by chubbyInc:
If Blu-ray wants to attract more people bring down the price of the movies not the players!
Not the players???

There has to be price cuts for both hardware (already happening) and software (hopefully coming soon). It doesn't make sense to have $15 movies when players are $500 or more.

717.11.2008 0:48

standalone Blu-ray players are going for $199 and up. PS3 is $399.

I'd rather buy one expensive player and 100's of $15 new blu-ray movies.

Given the price of new DVDs I don't see Blu-ray movies going down much anyways

Maybe we'll see SanDisk movies in 5 years when the consumers want a more reliable smaller format.

817.11.2008 7:12
Brian2008
Inactive

Spam and spammer removed by loco

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Nov 2008 @ 12:10

917.11.2008 12:11

*poof*



1018.11.2008 12:57

Interesting... this article kinda in conflict with the other one, the one about game industry is not affected by recession. People tend to stay home and try to spend less during bad times. Thus, they buy home entertainment stuffs, like games and movies. Well, i don't see how's BD sales affected by the slow economy and not games... You can argue that games have more hours of fun than movies, but still, movies are cheaper than games. Of course, BDs have the inferior dvd format to worry about, so i can see why it's affected. After all, most people buy dvds...

1118.11.2008 15:35

You say inferior like it's a bad thing...I don't feel like re-buying $1000+ worth of DVD's just because Blu-ray mfr's told me it was time to do so.

I will admit, tho...I like you guys with thousands in disposable income with which to re-buy what you already have. Keeps the economy moving which is sorely needed right now.

1218.11.2008 16:34

Inferior is what inferior does, it's not bad or good. It's all relative. When DVD first introduced, people said the same thing with VHS... Back then, it's something like "you don't need DVD players, you don't need flat screens... VCRs are cool" Now, it's "You don't need a HD TV, you don't need BD, upscaled DVDs are cool." Anyhow, i'm seeing another upgrade in a couple of years or probably more upgrades since i'm still young. For those of you think dvd is hip, probably BD will be last kind of upgrade (sorry, bad joke).

1320.11.2008 9:02

Gnawnivek said: "Back then, it's something like "you don't need DVD players, you don't need flat screens... VCRs are cool"

Nope. Back in '96 or so, everyone I invited to watch a DVD (I already had a studio then) immediatly went out and bought a player (and often a wide screen CRT TV). The quality difference between VHS and DVD was just SO huge.

Now they see HD and say, "When I've got the money I might get one of those. Nice aren't they. Are there any good films available, or is it just 'Hollywood mass entertainment rubbish'?" (most of my friends like arthouse and classic films). And a lot don't speak English as their first language and so have no interest in HD until there is a decent selection of French, Scandinavian, German, Russian, Arabic, Indian etc. films available.

Most everyone I know is just worried over whether they will have a job (or a house) in the near future, not whether HD is a 'must have'.And the BD - DVD quality difference just isn't as big as the DVD - VHS difference was, NOWHERE NEAR as compelling.

And nearly everyone I know has cut up their (maxed out) credit cards and sent them back to the bank. And NO ONE I know buys disks (CD,DVD, BD)using cash!!!!!

BD 'might' win through, but I suspect that the most which can be hoped (from the present perspective) is that it will occupy the same position as did 'laser disk' when that was positioned against VHS - ie a minority interest for the more wealthy, but NOT a mass market item (at least, Laserdisk was always VERY minority outside of the US).

Sad (I'm in the business), but now is not the moment to introduce a new format, and the music business has proved that the consumer prefers cheap, portable, but totally rubbish mp3 to beautiful, high quality (but expensive) DVD-Audio or SACD (more's the pity).

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