Blue-Ray’s Dead

Looks like the boys behind Blu-Ray are up against a wall.

This morning, I was browsing PCMag and discovered deplorable sales performance last quarter for Blu-ray. For those unaware of the monicker, Blue-Ray is that spanking new the HD disc format touted to revolutionize the industry. Well… almost.

Marketers looked forward to sales of Blu-ray players after Blu-ray killed off HD DVD in February 2008 in the most stupendous format war since VHS killed Betamax.

Sadly, the follow-up punch wasn’t there. Demand for DVD players outstripped Blu-ray players by a factor of 10, despite some Blu-Ray players selling for less than $200. Worse, consumers have found greener pastures in the convenience of digital downloads and digital hard drive recorders. I’m no soothsayer, but I feel Blu-ray may very well perish as buyers, like myself, leap from DVD to downloads.

CD and DVD put an end to the chore of rewinding betamax tapes. That’s what killed betamax. Now the convenience of downloads and the superior availability of flexible digital content may be a killer reason folks just won’t get hot about getting a new player. The computer IS the ultimate player. With free download sites, DSL and Draft-N wifi… any PC can be the ultimate entertainment system. Who needs Blue-Ray??

According to Reevo.com, there are three other reasons Blue-Ray may fail to make the cut.

1. Enhanced DVD players
DVD players are still outselling Blu-ray players by a monstrous margin. With a basic DVD player now costing just $40 (equivalent to the cost of a new release Blu-Ray disc alone), and newer high-end DVD players capable of upscaling a standard definition image to near-HD, the gap between DVD and Blu-ray has shrunk to the point that shoppers see no reason to upgrade. I know I don’t. (aside from having empty bragging rights)

2. Inflated Blu-ray and disc pricing

Blu-ray prices remain high. Over 6 months, the average price of a Blu-ray player was $400, more than four times the average DVD player at $40, and has remained largely flat month-on-month, with a small increase in average price from July to January. Average DVD player prices have dropped by 20% from July to January. Blu-ray disc prices are also high, costing $40 for a new release, compared to $40 for a new release on DVD and an extensive back catalogue priced very cheaply.

At epinions.com, reviews of Blu-ray players raise frustrations regarding slow loading times and an inability to play certain file formats.

Slow to read the BluRay discs but is this a feature of BluRay?
Still a bit slow to load discs
My granny is faster than this.

3. Can’t beat free downloads!
Remember Porter’s five forces? A product often hits demise when Substitutes enter the fray. Right now the format competes with cheap downloads through services such as Apple’s store which offers quality content for rental or purchase at a lower price than Blu-ray discs. Peruse their content and note that many cost less than $5. How can BlueRay compete with that??

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25 Responses to Blue-Ray’s Dead

  1. PAYG iPhone March 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Bring Back Xbox 360 HD I say!

  2. PAYG iPhone March 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Bring Back Xbox 360 HD I say!

  3. fab March 23, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    we know the writer doesnt know what he is talking about when he spells (BLUE-RAY) it’s blu-ray u doosh

  4. Jeff March 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Another technology about to meet its death is the conventional HDD at the hand of Solid State Drives (SSD).  The cost of SSDs is predicted to be at parity in 2011.  Capacity is nearly there also with the first 1 TB SSD recently being released.

  5. Jeff March 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Another technology about to meet its death is the conventional HDD at the hand of Solid State Drives (SSD).  The cost of SSDs is predicted to be at parity in 2011.  Capacity is nearly there also with the first 1 TB SSD recently being released.

  6. garrett March 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    Do some research:
    - Upsampling dvd players are nice but are crummy looking compared to a blu-ray picture, plus hd sound on blu-ray kills dvd
    -if your paying $400 for a player and $40 for new releases you must:
    1) live in the sticks away from any mainstream store or
    2) be a really retarted shopper
    -downloads picture and sound cant measure up plus i for one dont want to have to plan to start downloading the movie hours ahead of when i want to watch it.
    - Get your facts right and stop bashing blu because you dont have one yet.

  7. garrett March 24, 2009 at 12:37 am #

    Do some research:
    - Upsampling dvd players are nice but are crummy looking compared to a blu-ray picture, plus hd sound on blu-ray kills dvd
    -if your paying $400 for a player and $40 for new releases you must:
    1) live in the sticks away from any mainstream store or
    2) be a really retarted shopper
    -downloads picture and sound cant measure up plus i for one dont want to have to plan to start downloading the movie hours ahead of when i want to watch it.
    - Get your facts right and stop bashing blu because you dont have one yet.

  8. iPhone March 24, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I watch more downloads than anything else now but if I want to see a really good film I’ll rent it on blu-ray as the quality difference is huge.
    Over here in the UK a new release blu-ray will cost you £20-25, a standard DVD will be around £10-12 and a download is free!
    Cut the price and I’ll buy them.

  9. iPhone March 24, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I watch more downloads than anything else now but if I want to see a really good film I’ll rent it on blu-ray as the quality difference is huge.
    Over here in the UK a new release blu-ray will cost you £20-25, a standard DVD will be around £10-12 and a download is free!
    Cut the price and I’ll buy them.

  10. PS3 March 25, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    I got a Blu-Ray for Christmas 2008, which I have to admit – the graphics of it are amazing, the only downfall is the cost of the disc’s.

    Afterall, the cheapest Blu-Ray I’ve managed to buy is £16.79 – for HellBoy 2.

    If the manufacturers want it to take off, lower the price of the players – like Sky have done with Sky HD and more people will buy them = more DVD sales, more DVD sales = lower prices.

  11. PS3 March 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    I got a Blu-Ray for Christmas 2008, which I have to admit – the graphics of it are amazing, the only downfall is the cost of the disc’s.

    Afterall, the cheapest Blu-Ray I’ve managed to buy is £16.79 – for HellBoy 2.

    If the manufacturers want it to take off, lower the price of the players – like Sky have done with Sky HD and more people will buy them = more DVD sales, more DVD sales = lower prices.

  12. Want a Cartridge March 26, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    I still think Blu-ray has a chance of survival. Yes downloads do look like they will eat into the Blu-Ray sales but at the end of the day a lot of people like collecting something physical which is not the case when downloading.
    Yeah Blu-Rays were expensive but so were DVDs when they first came out. To be honest I have only just started buying them recently since loads of DVDs are are £3-£5. Guess I am just cheap though!!

  13. Want a Cartridge March 26, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I still think Blu-ray has a chance of survival. Yes downloads do look like they will eat into the Blu-Ray sales but at the end of the day a lot of people like collecting something physical which is not the case when downloading.
    Yeah Blu-Rays were expensive but so were DVDs when they first came out. To be honest I have only just started buying them recently since loads of DVDs are are £3-£5. Guess I am just cheap though!!

  14. Free Macbook March 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    i still prefer HD-DVD, i got a ton of them for £2.99 when they announced they would stop being produced, the best money ive spent the quality is brilliant

  15. Free Macbook March 26, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    i still prefer HD-DVD, i got a ton of them for £2.99 when they announced they would stop being produced, the best money ive spent the quality is brilliant

  16. Blue ray June 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    A comment on Fab’s post. There are people who write that it is spelled as Blue-ray. I heard this is correct, but on packaging it got shortened as Blu-ray.

  17. Blue ray June 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    A comment on Fab’s post. There are people who write that it is spelled as Blue-ray. I heard this is correct, but on packaging it got shortened as Blu-ray.

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  25. Sean Hirsch July 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    I think consumers are tired of the industry expecting us to buy all our films again every time a new format comes out. At least with the VHS to DVD change, there were several good reasons. (1) The picture was much better. (2) You didn’t have to worry aboout the film wearing out through normal use. (3) You could watch the dvd on a computer. (4) No need of RR or FF. (5) DVD’s took up much less space than VHS. (6) You could put a whole tv series in one neat box. (7) Some films (like “Superman”) could put the whole saga in one neat package.

    For a slightly better picture, blu ray is not worth the cost of a new system and  a new tv. (To say nothing of having to pay twice as much for the film.)

    DVD is good enough for me. I am not going to buy my whole collection of films over.