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Sony Thinks Blu-ray Will Sell Like DVDs by Year End

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the ambitious-planning dept.

Sony 434

An anonymous reader writes "Sony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don't. At a press conference, he announced Sony's plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% of all movie discs by the end of the year. 'DVD and BD currently account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of global demand for movie discs, Chubachi indicated. The new BD devices to be offered by Sony include models integrating an HD LCD TV with BD recording functionality, Chubachi pointed out. Sony has relied mainly on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) to promote BD, and sales of the game console will increase along with the offering by top Hollywood studios of new BD movies, Chubachi noted. However, Sony will extend its BD promotion from the current focus on the PS3 and BD players/recorders to IT devices, Chubachi pointed out.'"

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Then you had better lower those prices! (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999614)

By the time DVD reached that kind of market share, the prices on players had dropped to the sub-$200 range and disc prices had dropped to the average $20 range.

Right now, the cheapest blu-ray players are still up around $400 and the discs still average (at most brick and mortar retailers) in the $30 range. Not to mention that DVD looked good on virtually any TV (even older legacy sets), wheras Blu-ray players will (for most people) require the purchase of a new, potentially very expensive, HDTV.

If you're going mainstream, you had damn sure better get those prices into the mainstream. Japan made be filled with technophiles who are willing to spend big money on the latest tech of the moment. But most of the rest of world isn't.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (5, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999702)

If you're going mainstream, you had damn sure better get those prices into the mainstream. Japan made be filled with technophiles who are willing to spend big money on the latest tech of the moment. But most of the rest of world isn't.

Average people will not spend $400 on new technology especially with an economic recession looming over us.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (5, Insightful)

Gription (1006467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999726)

More to the point: BlueRay won't hit 50% until the price drops so there is a $150 player and the disks have dropped to a sub-"premium" price.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000014)

Even then, an Upconverting DVD player looks almost as good as BluRay. It's not exactly as good, it gets you quite a bit closer, with spending quite a bit less. The last upgrade from VHS to DVD offered a ton of new features. BluRay, apart from quality advances, doesn't really offer anything.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

FireXtol (1262832) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000128)

Quality/density increase by a factor of over 5!!! Worth the extra money??? Not for me -yet.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000266)

Does the upconverting really make any difference? I've never seen the output of an upconverting player, but I don't understand how upconverting in the player can look much better than upconverting in the TV.

The alternative interpretation ... (3, Interesting)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000066)

The other interpretation is that regular DVD sales will crash, to the point where they're even with BluRay sales.

In a severe recession, anything is possible, especially since cable is rolling out video-on-demand like crazy, and if people have a choice between a dvr or a bluray player, they'll take the dvr.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999822)

Damn straight and for the average person DVD is way beyond what VHS was which is why most probably switched. I have three DVD players at home, do they think I'm actually gonna dump them and go for Blue Ray and fork over $400 for another player? No thanks.

Plus who wants to have a root kit on their tv. No thanks Sony.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (5, Insightful)

Alphi1 (557250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999936)

I'll be honest, the "average person" sure won't see that much of a difference between DVD and BluRay. Even if they do, it'd be a real hard sell to convince them it's worth buying a $400+ player and spending MORE for each disc than they could with DVD. I mean, it's one thing when there's a MASSIVE jump in technology, like going from VHS to DVD. I mean, with DVD suddenly the discs were a lot higher quality (picture and sound), and were considerably closer to indestructible than VHS tapes (that would wear out over time regardless of how well they were maintained). And then you add the DVD extras as well, it's a slam dunk. What does Blu Ray have over DVD? A better picture (but only for those who have HDTVs and can see the improvement), a little better sound (but how many "average" users think that 5.1 from a DVD really sounds "bad"?). What else? Not much. Certainly not enough to justify the extra cost. Personally, I'll buy my first BluRay player when I can buy one that will also up-convert my existing DVDs and cost $100 or less. Considering you can get up-converting DVD players now for $40, I'd pay an extra $60 for the ability to play BluRay at some point. But pay an extra $360? No way.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Interesting)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000386)

What's the point of an upconverting DVD player when the TV can do it natively and likely much better (as it knows what its own native format is)?

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (3, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999946)

I have three DVD players at home, do they think I'm actually gonna dump them and go for Blue Ray and fork over $400 for another player?
I doubt Sony expect you to. However, once you have a BD player, are you going to buy a DVD or a BD of the latest movie. I'd hazard a guess that most folk would opt for the new technology.

I know I stopped buying VHS tapes as soon as I had a DVD player, even though I still owned a couple of VHS players and plenty of old tapes.

As others have commented, they need to get the player price down to encourage adoption, but I think that once the players are out there, the disc sales will quickly follow. Assuming they make a decent royalty off each disc, it may even be in their interest to subsidise the player cost to boost uptake.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000046)

Well, BD players can play DVDs, right? So maybe for compatibility with the DVD players, you would just continue to buy DVDs since they cost less and the other players can play them.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000200)

I think that will be the case for many people and for many movies so long as Blu-Ray discs are at a premium. If they're the same price then naturally I'll go Blu-ray every time. For movies like the Harry Potter series, or Serenity, or Lord of the Rings, etc, I'd spring for Blue-ray. However, there are those "other" movies I buy. You know, the $5 bin movies. Not necessarily bad (well, subject to personal tastes), but not an epic movie. I'm talking about movies like "Mr. Destiny" or "Defending Your Life". "Robin Hood: Men in Tights". I like those movies (and many other similar such films), and I pick up a lot of them as an impulse purchase for pretty cheap. There's no way I need to see them in full HD glory though and I'm certainly not going to pay extra for that. As such so long as they make both and price them differently, I envision buying both BD's and DVD's depending on the particular movie in question.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000214)

>However, once you have a BD player, are you going to buy a DVD or a BD of the latest movie. I'd hazard a guess that most folk would opt for the new technology.

Actually considering the price difference here between DVD and BD I'd still buy DVD's. Now for me I also rarely buy new dvd's I always buy used dvd's from pawn shops ($4-10) and rental stores ($7-12).

IF they would bring in a cheap BR burner for computers then I might be persuaded to change since it is a huge change in the amount of data BR can store. Now this makes sense to me and would be a VHS to DVD type of a leap.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000220)

What's more likely is that as old and/or cheap DVD players start to break down, they'll be replaced by Blu-ray players instead of DVD players. That's a trend that will increase as DVD players get older and Blu-ray players get cheaper. The two £20 DVD players that my parents have are on their last legs, although one of them has been replaced by a Mac Mini.

What's also possible is that, bearing the above in mind, those cautious people that sat out the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war will now opt for Blu-ray as the future-proofed option when they're looking for a new shiny disc player (assuming, of course, that some Profile 2 players start to appear on shop shelves).

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999898)

Average people will not spend $400 on new technology especially with an economic recession looming over us.
Right. So credit cards serve what purpose, exactly?

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000004)

They exist to allow consumers without an ounce of self control to spend themselves into not being able to pay the minimum credit card payments and the interest only payment of their over-valued sub prime mortgage during a time when they can't even declare bankruptcy anymore?

Is that the answer you were looking for?

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000040)

Ensuring that you are thoroughly fucked when the recession hits.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000060)

Right. So credit cards serve what purpose, exactly?
To pay the mortgage, of course!

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (3, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000170)

Credit Cards allow you to go shopping without carrying large sums of cash around. Given the interest rates most cards charge, only a mentally defective person would carry a balance on a card and pay it off over time.

Average people won't spend $400 on gadgets? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000116)

Two words: i phone.

2 words? (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000256)

That is one letter and one word. Or 6 letters and a space... ;-)

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (3, Insightful)

Creepy (93888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000324)

heh - that's what the "economic stimulus" package is for.

But blu-ray is worthless without an HDTV and HD capable receiver, which will set you back several thousand more if you don't already have them. With the push for digital only, an HDTV/receiver is far more important than Blu-ray - maybe in 2-5 years when those prices drop and Blu-ray drops we'll see 80%.

I'm still debating whether to do what I'm supposed to, buy cheap Chinese goods with the government loan from the Chinese (like an HDTV) with my economic stimulus, or doing the 'wrong' thing and paying another month on my mortgage. Never mind - I'm paying off my debt first - I can always move to a debt free country.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999712)

I should also add that I'm not anti-bluray. I'm a longstanding early adopter who got into DVD in 1997 and HD-DVD and Blu-ray when they first came out. I love my blu-ray player and HDTV, but they're a long way from mainstream.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999814)

Not to mention the fact that any reduction in the price and increase in the prevalence of Blu-Ray will cause a depression in the price of DVD's. People have already invested in the DVD technology and are familiar with it. For the time being, DVD is the biggest competitor to hi-def. For now, only the quality buffs will pushing gains in market share. People want cheap movies. High-quality is an afterthought as long as the current standard isn't complete trash, which DVD isn't.

I'd hate to see it come to studios extorting people by squashing DVD while there is still legitimate demand, but it is not unthinkable.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (4, Interesting)

yankeessuck (644423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999836)

Amen to that! I only have the Spiderman 3 disc that came with my PS3 for that same reason. IMHO, there's a pretty short list of movies that could pry $30 from my wallet.

However, Netflix could be the savior for all parties involved. They already let you borrow BD discs for the same price as DVDs so that's really the only cheap BD source for consumers. As demand goes up, Netflix will have to increase BD purchases which should ultimately lead to lower production prices.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

SpiritOfGrandeur (686449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999950)

Not only all the points above but is Sony aware of the recession we are in? Do they think that DVD's will continue to thrive at this rate? I know a lot of people that are not able to spend as much as they were able to 6 months ago and in 6 more months they will be able to spend even less.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999986)

Blank recordable Blu-Ray discs (BD-Rs) cost $109 for a 10-pack of 25GB/1L ($11ea), and a 50GB/2L costs $175 ($37ea).

DVD-R costs $190 for a 1000-pack, $0.19ea.

Sony's got to cut those BD-R prices really a lot, to something like 2-5%, to get the IT industry using them the way we use DVDs. Compared to media prices, the burners even at $500 are only the price of 15-45 blank discs.

There's still not much demand for single packages of content spanning multiple DVDs, which is where BD is better. BD is only 5-10x DVD, so once content is larger than a single DVD, there's good chance it's larger than a single (1S) BD. So real applications will still need a changer, which is expensive. By that time, the whole contraption is more expensive than a competing HD (eg. 200BD changer is at least $2000 for IT, BD-R drive is at least $500, discs at least $2180, so $4680 (probably well over $5000) for 5TB, which is clunkier and slower (and less rewritable) than 7*750GB HDs @$115ea = $805 + maybe $150 for an entire 1Gb ethernet host PC, at $955 for a way better system. But one that doesn't spit out 25GB or 50GB discs you can hand or mail to someone, or let some normal user put in their "videodisc" player.

You can, however, get a 20-disc 1xBD-R USB duplicator for $3025. Which should cost $500.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999994)

I think your facts are a little off.
1. "Not to mention that DVD looked good on virtually any TV (even older legacy sets)"

DVD looks like crap on any television with coax inputs (a significant portion of them when DVD first came out) because of Macrovision copy protection. Running the DVD player through a VHS machine to get coax outputs triggered the copy protection, and DVD players did not have coax natively.

2. "Blu-ray players will (for most people) require the purchase of a new, potentially very expensive, HDTV."

Actually Blu-Ray will work just fine on older televisions, although it won't look any better than DVD. But if the prices do come down it would be silly to buy a DVD when you could future-proof your collection with a Blu-Ray disc instead.

3. "By the time DVD reached that kind of market share, the prices on players had dropped to the sub-$200 range and disc prices had dropped to the average $20 range."

Firstly, it's not really comparable because DVD players could not play VHS, so you were making a pretty big jump back then. All Blu-Ray players can play DVDs, so if you're buying a new player you might want to future-proof the hardware, as well. But even so, with inflation you can't compare exact dollar figures. If folks are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on iPods, it doesn't seem unreasonable they'd spend something similar to play the latest disc media.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000182)

I consider my DVD collection more future-proof since there are lots of nice tools (Handbrake) to rip my DVDs to a PC, where I can then convert them to other formats. Blu-ray rippers are very experimental at this point, and still stuck in the cat and mouse game with the content creators. Someday I'm sure Blu-ray will be easier to crack, but the DRM on DVDs has been quite thoroughly defeated. (Although I'm still annoyed that recent DVD drives are enforcing the region coding in firmware. Having to buy a second DVD drive, or finding a drive that can be reflashed is a pain.)

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (2, Insightful)

outlander78 (527836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000372)

As I understand it, Blu-Ray evolves and new versions are released. If I buy a 1.0 or 1.1 player today, there is no guarantee that later Blu-Ray releases will be able to play in my 1.0/1.1 player, as they may have new features, or just updated DRM due to hackers breaking older DRM attempts.

If future players are going to support DVDs, then I don't see the harm in buying cheap DVDs that are good enough for my eyes, can play in next-generation players, and can be ripped to my PC should players cease to support them.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000150)

DVD looked good on virtually any TV (even older legacy sets), wheras Blu-ray players will (for most people) require the purchase of a new, potentially very expensive, HDTV.

Blueray looks fine on old 60cm CRT PAL TVs (I've tried it). Sure, the resolution isn't upped at all, but you still get nice things like Java interactive menus, online stuff (if your into all that of course) and more content on a single disc. It certainly looks no worse than DVD, more or less the same.

The two Blueray movies I have watched look absolutely stunning plugged into a $300 22" Samsung SyncMaster 226bw. Of course you'd need a real HD TV to watch it with more than 2 friends, but the idea that you can't enjoy 1080p (or 1050 pixels of that in the case of the SyncMaster) without spending $2k is simply ignorant. My cheap monitor on the other side of the loungeroom still looks appreciably nicer than a SD set of the same size sitting there and can be pulled up close when I'm watching movies alone or in a small group. At 30 degrees of ones field of vision DVDs start showing their problems, especially on hard edges.

Honestly, to me none of that matters because the reason I don't buy Bluerays is that I can only watch them on my PS3, I can't watch it on my Linux based PC or rip it onto my iPod Touch which are two ways I like to watch DVD. If the encryption is cracked I'll actually start buying large amounts of them right away.

Re:Then you had better lower those prices! (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000352)

Who cares about movies? I want a complete Fedora install for all supported architectures, with source code, on a single disc.

Not if everyone is like me (3, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999644)

I am going to wait at least 2 years. DVD's are fine for me. Maybe a drive for storage though.

Re:Not if everyone is like me (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999916)

That's the kicker for me. I want a BD burner on my computer and access to cheap (but well made) blanks so I can burn pirated stuff. It's been years since regular dvd's were really sufficient for our storage needs.

Re:Not if everyone is like me (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000158)

I'm with you. Gonna wait 'till it's free-after-rebate on Black Friday =) .

I'm skeptical (1)

exultavit (988075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999670)

Of course BD offers advantages, but even if BD were priced comparably to DVD, the selection just won't be there yet by the end of the year.

The only way I could imagine them selling at the same rate is if DVD sales drastically drop off.

Re:I'm skeptical (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000302)

Agreed. I have owned a bluray player for over a year now and there just isn't much of a selection. Amazon's entire bluray selection contains about three pages of movies. And most of them are garbage like "beautiful sceneries set to the sound of guitar music" or lame movies from the 80s.

I wanted to buy The Mist. Can't.

I wanted to buy Battlestar Galactica. Can't.
(There's not even a Season 2 on bluray).

Have wanted to buy some other stuff, but either the movie doesn't exist on bluray or it's an edition with limited content. For example, why would I want to spend $30 to get Fifth Element with no extras or other special content when I could wait a year or two and buy the full ultimate type version for much less money?

After a year of owning my bluray, I own Planet Earth, Apocolypto, 300 and the special five disc edition of Blade Runner. That's it. Four movies in a year. They're losing a lot of money by having nothing but crap out there.

Maybe if they give away HDTVs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999672)

I've got two perfectly good non-HD televisions in my house that I have no plans to replace anytime soon-- the longer I hold out, the better and cheaper HD sets get.

Regular DVDs look fine to me, and the price is right. When you factor in the TV needed, upgrade costs are ridiculous.

Upgrade? Not Worth It (4, Insightful)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999680)

They seem to be overlooking the problem that DVDs are good enough for most people and that Blu-Ray doesn't really confer the same advantage over DVD that DVDs did over VHS.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

dleewo (80434) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999736)

I agree. I have about 500 DVDs that I have bought over the last several years and I have no plans to replace them.

Also, I have a home theater media room with a 10' wide screen and projector and DVD quality is fine for me.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999964)

...I have no plans to replace them.
You realize that BD players can play, and even upconvert, your existing DVDs right? They kinda added that feature in with the realization that consumers don't want to replace their current collection.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000108)

Yeah, that's all well and good, and so I'll happily buy a BluRay player to replace my DVD player. But probably not until my DVD player dies. That's assuming that my DVD player will last until BluRay players come down in price.

I don't think many people are particularly opposed to upgrading, they're just not in a hurry to do it.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000080)

Agreed. I actually have 2 HDTV's and about 50 DVD's but I have no intention of upgrading to Blu-Ray for a LONG time. My HDTV's are only 720p resolution, and my upconverting DVD player is good enough for my needs. I probably won't upgrade to Blu-Ray until I first upgrade at least one of my HDTV's to 1080i or 1080p, and I don't expect to do that for a long time. The way I see it, the longer I hold out the less I'll pay for a Blu-Ray player and the more likely they'll have ones that support newer Blu-Ray specs, which means a much better investment when I do finally decide its time.

Unless, of course, Sony wants to replace my HDTV with a 1080p one for me, then I'll be glad to invest in Blu-Ray tomorrow.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000212)

You're penny wise and pound foolish. 720p is sufficient for any screen up to 50" - 60" in a normal sized living room. 1080p is ideal for screens 60" to 100".

Why would you waste all the money on 2 HDTV screens, and not make use of its maximum resolution?

It's like getting a Quad-Core processor to use Word.

Crazy.

Re:Upgrade? Not Worth It (1)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000174)

They aren't good enough for anyone with an HDTV, which is everyone I know.

DVDs look like crap on a large HDTV. Why spend the money on an LCD or Plasma screen if you aren't going to take advantage of it to its fullest?

Not every purchase is an upgrade. (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000360)

And this is one area where blu-ray has an advantage over DVD--a new blu-ray player will play my old DVDs. A DVD player won't play VHS tapes. (I don't remember seeing combo-DVD and tape players until VHS was all but dead already.)

Most of this thread seems focused on the argument for upgrading from DVD to blu-ray vs. not buying a new player--and I agree the 'don't upgrade' side is winning. But not every purchase is an upgrade with an option to purchase nothing.

I recently replaced a combo TiVo/DVD players with an HD TiVo, and so I'm in the market for a disc player. (The old TiVo is finicky about which discs it plays, so it isn't worth to keep just for DVDs.)

Not buying a new player is not an option. So my choices are buy a DVD player, probably an upscaling model in the $80-$100 range, or go with blu-ray, at about $300. If we were still in the midst of blu-ray vs HD-DVD I likely would have gone with an upscaling DVD player, but at this point it doesn't make sense to not get the newer technology.

I instead of spending $300 now, I could spend $100 now on a DVD players and then another $150-$200 on blu-ray when the prices come down, but that just doubles the amount of time I spend wrestling with the rats nest of cable behind my entertainment center.

If the option was go blu-ray or stick with an old DVD player, I'd stick with what I have. But since I am getting a new player either way, it's harder to make the case for DVD.

Do 50% of homes even have HDTVs? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999684)

n/t

Re:Do 50% of homes even have HDTVs? (1)

fyrie (604735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000010)

No not even close. Furthermore BluRay accounted for only 8% of total dvd sales for the week of 3/30.

Meanwhile ... In Neighboring Microsoftia (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999688)

Meanwhile in the enemy camp of Microsoft (maybe not so enemy now that HD-DVD is dea), they claim they were concentrating on HD downloads (digital distribution) the whole time [play.tm] !

"The horse that we're fundamentally backing is the one that says the future of entertainment content is online digital distribution. I would argue that we backed the right horse," Xbox UK chief Neil Thompson told The Guardian.

"If we're sitting here in 12 or 18 months time, we'll be saying, 'Why were people even thinking about a disc format when it's really about digital distribution?' Our strategy's been developed for the last six or seven years, and ever since we launched the platform this has been our big, big, big bet."
So I guess you still have two camps here--Sony who thinks Blu-Ray is the future and Microsoft who is now betting on downloads of HD.

Convenience and you being at the mercy of whether or not your ISP deems that traffic taxable or expensive bulky disc boxes with insane prices? Good luck, consumer, you're bound to be screwed one way or the other!

Re:Meanwhile ... In Neighboring Microsoftia (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999962)

Microsoft was really only backing HD-DVD to make Sony spend a lot of money, they weren't going to let them grab up the next disc standard that easy. Microsoft never really had a commitment to HD-DVD, they never packaged it with the Xbox 360 and never came close to spending the kind of money Sony did to ink deals with the studios. Microsoft was screwing over their customers the whole time because they knew from the start that yes, it would be great if they could become the standard, but they weren't going to spend the money to do it that would be required to win a format war.

They really were banking on digital downloads. They have been available for at least a year and a half on the Xbox Live Marketplace and have many similar deals that Blu-Ray has with studios, including Disney.

Re:Meanwhile ... In Neighboring Microsoftia (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000202)

Microsoft's digital downloads are not competition to BluRay. Pay-per-view content is a different market than re-viewable media. Microsoft's competitors are Blockbuster, Netflix, and Amazon. Not Sony.

Whats the point? (3, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999700)

Seriously, whats the point of spending 2-400 bucks on a DVD player and then an additional 2--50 per movie? I know that they look better, but they don't look 40 bucks better than upconverted DVD in my opinion. especially when you are talking about older movies that sure as heck were not recorded in HD....why the hell would you pay triple for someone else to unconvert it when you can do it with your 80bucks DVD player? Then again, why buy and DVD? Personally, I would prefer to download it.

Re:Whats the point? (1)

pudgetest (548119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999776)

Seriously, whats the point of spending 2-400 bucks on a DVD player and then an additional 2--50 per movie? I know that they look better, but they don't look 40 bucks better than upconverted DVD in my opinion.
Exactly. I am a nerd and somewhat early adopter who can afford the higher price of BR and has a BR player (PS3) and large HD TV and even I will still be buying more DVDs than BR-DVDs by year end, simply because of the increased price of BR-DVDs.

I don't even own a single BR video disc. On normal films, I do not see a significant difference. Spider-Man 3 on BR did not look a lot better than upconverted superbit Spider-Man 2 on DVD. Also, the plot was much lamer. FWIW.

Then again, why buy and DVD? Personally, I would prefer to download it.
Yeah, except it looks worse, sounds worse, is less portable, and costs almost as much ... of course, I still buy most of my music on CD, too, for similar reasons.

Re:Whats the point? (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999788)

One of the real subtle reasons why DVDs eventually added extra features is because it increased the size of the discs to where you'd need to have a dual layer to copy all the data. This was to "combat casual piracy", labeled as "increasing the value of a dvd" (ever heard that in the market? hmmmm?)

Not many people care for the extra features. But they sure do manage to take up a lot of space! You'd be able to fit if it was "just a movie" onto a regular 2.4gig DVD easily, thus the media industries say its too easy to pirate...don't forget the production costs to come up with all this "Commentary" bullshit and all that instead of giving it out online.

Re:Whats the point? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000016)

Well, it's quite easy to rip just the main movie from my discs for backups, saves a lot of space and you can generally get them on single layer discs without much compression. I'm sure the same thing will be available for Blu-Ray eventually. From everything I hear, having backups is a virtual requirement for when you have kids, and I have my first on the way, so I'm getting prepared.

Re:Whats the point? (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999808)

especially when you are talking about older movies that sure as heck were not recorded in HD.

They were recorded on 35mm or 70mm film. The grain size is finer than a High definition CCD's pixel.

Re:Whats the point? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999978)

I love these discussions, because it's ridiculously easy to pick out the people who have no idea what they're talking about. The "but it wasn't shot in HD" argument is one of my favorites.

Re:Whats the point? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000098)

Yeah, there's a reason why movie theaters with digital projection point out that the resolution in the theater is 4x greater than that of HDTV.

Actually, 16mm film meets or even exceeds HDTV resolution.

I would guess that pretty much any movie made after 1930 probably has more resolution than HDTV. Of course, to harness this, the studio would need to master from the original negatives, or a high-quality print.

Re:Whats the point? (3, Informative)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999926)

You forgot one detail,

Buy Blue ray player now, and buy it again next year when the 2.0 [wikipedia.org] profile becomes mandatory for the published disks. Only the sony PS3 promises it can be updated. All "cheap" BR players do not say such details, and probably you can forget about that.

Re:Whats the point? (1)

fodder69 (701416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000366)

OK, agreeing with the basic idea for most people but other than that this post is seriously misinformed.

HD is not upconverted, DVDs are downsampled. Actually so is HD, just downsampled at a better quality. Upconverting does not "add" information back that was lost in the downsampling.

And older movies look great on HD, because they were recorded on something called "film", and not in HD. In fact, a lot of newer movies still use this ancient analog technology called "film".

And my obligatory comment that dvds look great on your average tv or even average "big" screen. When you have a home theater setup where your screen is measured in feet, and not inches, HD makes a huge difference and makes it really hard to go back to watching regular DVDs.

Re:Whats the point? (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000378)

"Older movies" are on film. Not recorded on video (HD or otherwise). So, a quality HD encoding will make a difference. For home use, HD (HD DVD or Blue Ray) is about as good as it gets. On a 42" screen, I can't tell the difference from film.

Blu-ray player sales (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999708)

I went looking for some numbers about the sales of Blu-ray players and found this from January where sales went up from 15,257 units to 21,770 units. The first number was pre-Warner announcing their support.
And some UK retailer has reported that sales are up 600% [gizmodo.com] . Regardless I won't be buying a Blu-ray player any time soon.

I don't believe it. (5, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999722)

Looking at the local Best Buy and Walmart, I can't believe that BluRay makes up 20% of the demand of video discs. Even if you throw in all the Playstation 3 games. I'd be surprised if it was more than 5%.

Maybe 20% of generated income, since Bluray discs are not discounted and tend to be $30 or more, while DVDs are getting to be heavily discounted.

Re:I don't believe it. (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000036)

They probably don't. It most likely is more like a percentage of income, but no way in hell will it reach 80% by the end of 2008. Or do they mean it will be 50-50 DVD BD. Even so that won't happen. It just isn't worth it. I've seen HD and Blu-ray compared to DVD and the difference isn't noticeable. Maybe if you play them side by side you can point out a little crispness but that is not worth the shellout for a new player and $15-20 more for a Blu-ray than a DVD right now. But then again that economic stimulus package just might be enough to...do nothing.

Re:I don't believe it. (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000122)

I agree. Also, where does HD DVD fit into that figure? I remember reading that HD DVD was selling like mad after Toshiba conceded defeat, so if 20% is Blu-Ray and 80% is DVD, where are the HD DVD sales?

I think they are spinning it:
DVD and BD currently account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of global demand for movie discs

So this isn't sales, it is demand. What is demand and how do you quantify it? Through a survey? Through a market expert? Are people really demanding Blu-ray, or do they merely want HD and Sony is conveniently using the Blu-ray trademark to represent all HD content in all forms? Just because 20% of people want higher resolution than DVD doesn't mean they will pay for it. Heck, I demand even better resolution than Blu-Ray, but that doesn't mean I will actually pay money for it. Do the people that demand and seek only HD movie torrents count in that 20% too?

Upconverting is good enough for me. (4, Insightful)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999732)

I have a good HDTV and I'm quite happy with my upconverting DVD player. I don't see the point in spending 300-400$ on a bluray player.

Re:Upconverting is good enough for me. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000340)

I have a 'hdhomerun' (silicondust.com) HD receiver.

no drm at all. saves regular .mpg files. clear-qam and atsc support.

no, I don't get HBO in the clear, etc. I actually cancelled most of my pay services via satellite anyway and I'll cancel that, too, shortly.

my .mpg files live on my HTPC terabyte server.

blue ray? what's that? I have no need for a disc that has a virus built into each one (the running-code that is mandatory part of every BD disc, with revoke lists and all kinds of malware that could hurt my running system).

I also don't support hdcp and my hdmi connector is nothing more than a way to send DVI data to my tv.

I've totally bypassed any NEED for BD. and that's actually unusual as I'm often of the first to latch onto new tech and 'toys'. but BD is evil and it will never find a place on my computers or networks. if its fully broken like dvd's are, today, that might be ok; but right now its still mostly locked up.

and besides, each time you buy BD discs or players, you are voting for this oppressive media 'regime'. I simply can't send any of my money to sony (actually nothing sony gets bought by me; they have been on my boycott list for a few years, now).

Re:Upconverting is good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000368)

For me personally it's not even about the higher cost of the player that's holding me back. I can live with a one time purchase of a player that will last me for 4-5 years barring premature failure. What's keeping me from buying the player is the cost of the average blue ray disc.

Right now most every new movie released can be had for roughly $15. Blue ray discs cost more than twice as much and simply do not offer a viewing experience that justifies the price difference.

My magic threshold for movies is =$20. Until the blue ray releases come down in price I won't even consider a player.

Increase demand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999754)

So, they're going to lower prices?

When BDRs are $1, I'm in. (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999760)

I'm looking forward to the day when I can fit 20 H.264s on a BD for $1. I may have 1 offical BD title for testing purposes. I'm in China right now, where compression data rates are hitting all time lows.

Re:When BDRs are $1, I'm in. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000136)

I'm in China right now, where compression data rates are hitting all time lows.
It sucks to be you. I've heard people say that China is backwards but I didn't realize that applied to programming where apparently they are implementing less efficient compression algorithims and so compression rates are dropping. I guess that makes me proud to be American where compression rates are increasing.

I think I might just have to call up my congressman as well and see what they can do about this global disparity in compression rates. Why should one country be hogging all the high compression rates, whereas apparently those aren't available in China and other parts of the world?

Will I ever need one? (3, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999764)

Sony has a small window where Blu-Ray is available and convenient, legal downloads aren't. They had better make the most of it, or Blu-Ray will join mini-disc in the "almost but not quite" category. Remember those?

When Sony stops putting out films on DVD ... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999782)

then sales of Blu-Ray will really take off. Now they pwn the market with their format, they can do whatever they want.

Unlikely. (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999804)

First they'll have to convince the market that Blu-Ray -or even HD, for that matter- is worth the hundreds of dollars extra they charge. That hasn't happened, nor will it until prices come down to something reasonable, which of course won't happen unless Sony can convince people to pay hundreds more for a marginal improvement. It's a vicious circle.

Not in this household. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999818)

I won't buy another drive/receiver/player for a format which doesn't allow me to store the content in a networked media library under my control. I know it's technically feasible to see movies without shuffling pieces of plastic. I won't pay for the houses of another round of media executives just because they think they can hold back technology.

20% of sales? (2, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999820)

Wow, I did not even think they had that much market share...

I sense a snake in the grass - no way Blu-Ray is gonna up sales to that levels without either a massive price cut or other sneaky tactics - like no longer making regular DVD drives - but that would be stupid...

Re:20% of sales? (1)

SirSmiley (845591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999880)

I have a ps3 but have never bought blurays however walmart has new releases for around 20$ to 24$ canadian. The dvds price around the same within 10%.....the blurays used to be 30-35 but with the american dollar tanking and bluray becoming more commonplace i see these prices as pretty decent (not that there are a lot of decent movies to put on said bluray disc)

Re:20% of sales? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999882)

other sneaky tactics - like no longer making regular DVD drives

They don't need to stop making DVD drives, they just need to stop making DVD discs. And considering the size of the studios that are owned by Sony, it wouldn't be all that difficult for them to make a move towards that.

And if by year's end you can't watch a movie put out by Sony without owning a blu-ray player, then that will drive up blu-ray sales.

Re:20% of sales? (1)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999892)

I wonder if that's 20% of unit sales, or 20% or revenue. If the things are 3x more than a DVD, they would still only represent a small fraction of unit sales.

Real question : (4, Funny)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999876)

Will blu ray rips outdownload dvd rips ?

Re:Real question : (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000008)

Yes they will but not anytime soon. I grabbed a blu ray rip of I Am Legend and it looked really great compared to a standard rip on my computer screen. I tend to watch movies on my non-hd tv in my living room however so downloading these on a regular basis isn't going to happen for me anytime soon.

I think the tipping point will be when the pre-release rips start showing up as blu ray rips. When the first rip hits we tend to download whatever is offered as long as it's not a crappy cam version, and even then sometimes we just can't help ourselves. If the first high quality rip is blu ray then yea, we're all going to be downloading blu ray rips but until that happens, the regular rips are working just fine.

no way. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999924)

sorry sony, I have a PS3 and I like it - but no BDs.

a up sampling DVD player and an HD TV are all I need for the time being.

in short - DVD is perfectly acceptable for my needs (and many other peoples from the looks of things).

Hmmm raise prices and sell better? -- no (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999934)

BR will be a premium item until I start seeing BR's of decent movies go for $10 and players go for $100.

He speaks of "cobranding" (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999968)

Here's the two-step:

1. Blu-ray gets cobranded with another product, probably a video game console or computer DVD drive maker. In exchange for the Blu-ray drive being sold cheaply, it is sold under a high profile brand to increase market awareness and market share.

2. In time for Christmas, around September, they half the price of their low-end model.

These two steps will have box stores stocking as much of the stuff as people can get their hands on. It's probable the industry is going to be forced to discount CDs and DVDs anyway, since they have become hard to sell at their current prices.

Yeah, it's going to happen (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999970)

Forget the player prices. It's the disk prices that really matter. I was in the store yesterday and was shocked to see that most of the blue ray movies were down into the $20-$30 range, even some of the new releases. Most of the special edition stuff and the box sets were priced the same as their DVD counterparts. In one case, it was even $10 cheaper (Discovery Planet/World? I think it was).

Give it a year and even if they are still carrying a $5 premium over DVDs the sales will be fine. After all, the value added is rather obvious.

Oh, and am I the only one who finds the blue-ray trade dress kind of attractive? That long shelf full of blue boxes looks neat.

DVD Sales??? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999990)

Ever so slightly off-topic.

Does anybody have reliable numbers on DVD sales before and after the copy protection was cracked?

I'd just like to know what (if any) the effect was.

Oh, really??? (0)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000050)

This coming from the company that said Beta tapes would win the Beta/VHS war.

In related news (0, Troll)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000072)

In related news: microsoft thinks vista sales will go up soon...

Can I play Blu-ray on my Linux desktop? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000090)

Because my desktop is Linux and my home server (connected to my tv) is also Linux.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

Starturtle (1148659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000092)

...family want HD quality signal, family sit and look out window!

Utterly clueless ... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000100)

What is the statistic on how many people own HD display devices? I'm betting it's only in the 20% range of penetration compared to all TVs.

If people don't have something to display it on, they're not going to buy the Blu Ray disks, it's that simple. Everyone who owned a TV got to switch to DVD, and it was an improvement. The utterly huge installed base of a standard definition TV means that high definition DVDs are going to be relegated to a very small percentage of people with that kit.

My house has 3 functioning TVs -- none of them HD compatible. So, what do I want with a BD disk? Unless everyone stops making normal DVDs, there is no market reason why they can improve their sales ratio. If they stop making plain DVDs, I'm going to stop buying them, not upgrade just because Sony thinks I should.

Plain and simple, Sony is dreaming!

Cheers

Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000102)

Can we get a goodluckwiththat please?

Sony's spinning the truth... (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000246)

One reason that Sony is so optimistic is that the cutoff for analog TV in the United States is scheduled for February 2009. They anticipate (perhaps correctly) that an enormous number of people will opt to purchase a new high def TV set in advance of the changeover to digital. They'd make ideal Christmas presents. And once a customer has laid out $700 for the TV, it doesn't seem that much of a stretch to add another $400 for a Boo-ray player to show off to their friends. In other words, Sony's statement about "increasing market share" is really a prediction of how fast the technology will be adopted, ann Sony has limited influence on adoption rate - they certainly can manufacture players and media (as well as advertise them), but ultimately it's up to the consumer to make the shift.

In this case, I think Sony's being overoptimistic. Millions of Americans will opt for a DTV converter box (or continue to subscribe to cable or satellite services that will work just fine with analog sets for the foreseeable future). The economy's going to hell in a handbasket, and that will impact the number of souls willing and able to fork out $1000+ for a shiny new boob tube as well. I suspect the HD revolution will take longer than the marketers hope.

80/20 is funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000254)

An 80/20 split seems a bit generous...to Bluray.

Honestly, hard to say. (2, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000294)

Without getting into the dificulty of predicting market conditions, the price of gas, and all the other reasons companies use for not meeting their own expectations, I'm horribly underqualified to believe one way or another if this will happen on a large scale.

I can speak through personal experience.

For the longest time, I told myself I wouldn't be interested in HD displays, at least, not for a while. Then, I got my new laptop, with an HD capable monitor. After a month I finally popped in a DVD, and after being exposed to HD content I was able to appreciate the difference. I noticed how the picture was not as sharp, colors were muted.

Then I downloaded some movie trailers in HD. I saw a considerable difference, and for the first time seriously considered purchasing a new HD TV and player.

I think the secret to Sony's success on this front will be a gradual but constant exposure to HD content over time. As people upgrade their computers and get new monitors with better capabilities, I believe the desire for HD content will grow.

Most people only get exposed to HD in retail outlets, looking at a 52" LCD and saying "Oh, isn't that nice" and then move on at the price tag. Also, those not technically inclined may not be anxious to jump headfirst into something so new.

Impulse buys are only going to get Sony so far. And it won't be easy convincing people that they need HD content. Getting them to want it is the trick. And to want it, someone needs to appreciate what they're missing (in my case, through prolonged exposure to HD and then reverted back) and affordable pricing.

Having ranted on that with no particular organization (and the above is only my opinion, as is the following) I don't see Blu-ray selling like DVDs by the end of this year. Next year, perhaps, if they can provide a competitively-priced player and televisions, and are willing to take a financial loss to gain a presence in the living room.

first 4ost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000322)

BSD has always violated. In the Market share. Red w.anti-slash.org

Reading comprehension (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000334)

> increase Blu-ray market share to 50% of all movie discs by the end of the year.

Don't trust a sloppy blog like the TFA.
The source article at Digitimes says the 50% refers to the share of devices, not movie discs.
http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20080407PD201.html

>Sony looks to 50% global market share for its Blu-ray products in 2008

oh i wonder (0, Offtopic)

jaimz22 (932159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000350)

I wonder if someone makes a shelf that will hold my blu-rays, and mini-cd's!
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