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back to article A Blu-ray Christmas? Don't bank on it

There’s little point in dreaming of a Blu Christmas this year, because the credit crunch looks set to sap consumer spending on the format, one market analyst fears. In a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Russ Crupnick, senior industry analyst at market watcher NPD, said that sales of premium-priced electronics, including …

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Happy

A Title,

And cue all the 'you can't tell the difference with high definition films only with hight definition games & telly' comments

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No shit, Sherlock

With DVDs at 5 for £30 in retail shops and a single Blu-Ray at around the £25-£27 mark, is it any wonder at all that people like myself, despite having a 1080p 46" screen and a PS3, still snap up those bargain DVDs?

I for one find it really hard to justify spending an extra £20 for a slightly sharper picture.

Blu-Rays really need to drop below the £10-a-pop mark before I buy them with any kind of regularity.

Not just that but the majority of stuff I want isn't even available on Blu-Ray anyway.

They've got to do better than that.

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Paris Hilton

Anyone else finding...

...that BR discs have dropped to around the 10-15 quid mark? Also started noticing that (FINALLY!) the content is considerably more...?

i tend to find that the films I look for and want to buy are in this price bracket; considering that this is roughly what DVDs were for the first two years of being available, i'm seeing a trend. guessing the more players sold and the more discs sold, the more the price comes down.

@ AC "A Title" : You'll always get them ;o)

Paris, because her new 'amateur' films will be in BR soon, I'm sure of it!

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Alert

let me get this out of the way

XBOX is better than Playstation

MAC OS X is better than XP/Vista

HD-DVD was better than Blu-ray

AMD is better than Intel

Atari ST was better than Amiga

HP is better than IBM

Sony is the greatest company on earth

GNU/Linux is better than XP/Vista

SQL Server is better than Oracle

Apache is better than IIS

::OR::

NVIDIA is better than ATI

Playstation is better than XBOX

Blu-ray is better than HD-DVD

Amiga was better than Atari

IBM is better than HP

Sony is the Devil

C64 was better than Spectrum/BBC

ATI is better than NVIDIA

Blades are better than Rackmount

Intel is better than AMD

IIS is better than APACHE

Oracle is better than SQL Server

Balmer is nuts.

That should get flaming fan boy stuff out of the way....

I'll leave the comments about MAC OS, LINUX & C64 alone.

All I want for christmas is Fiber.

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People will buy everything for Christmas despite any financial crisis

The quality difference between native HDTV 1080p content on Blu-Ray discs is huge compared to the outdated ancient SDTV DVD one (and no, upscaling doesn't compare).

Prices are falling down very quickly, from Japan you can buy BD-R 25GB discs for even less than 5.00 Euros(3.8GBP) each. It's just the price of DVD-R discs around 2002-2003. Blu-Ray burner drives like the LG GGW-H20L now cost around 160Euros(124GBP), no more than what DVD-R 4x burners were priced at around 2004-2005.

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Cost of discs

The cost of blu-ray discs is dropping fast, actually. got a few emails from HMV recently punting The Dark Night 2 Disc edition on BRD for 15 quid.. Hellboy 2 for 13 quid..

They are hitting the price points DVD was about 12 - 24 months back... Another year or two and we should start seeing large scale sales of them putting them well in the same pricing bracket as the cheaper DVD's right now.

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Flame

Errm.

"That might be enough to swing sales in the console's favour over the cheaper Xbox 360."

Even the dumbest person knows the easiest way to save money is by buying wisely. That clearly does not always mean buying the cheapest products. The Xbox is a great example of that, sure it's cheap, but it's also a steaming turd, and most likely to fail many times within it warranty period, and as soon as the warranry expires it's bin material.

Let's not forget that anyone who wants to play online will very quickly offset any cost savings in buying the 360, when they pay Xbox Lives recurring fees. I havn't even mentioned the constant price gouging that you will be setting yourself up for if you buy the bottom of the range "gimped" 360 Arcade..

Spend a few ££ more, and get a PS3, which is infinitely better would be my advice...

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Go

Prices

Alex, yeah Blu-rays seems to be cheaper than earlier this year for sure. Even HMV are now doing 2 Blu-rays for £30. The Dark Knight is only £2-£3 more on Blu-ray than DVD (if we had to pick a high-profile title coming out). Amount of content is ramping up, as expected.

However, the story seems to be a typical "did you know the grass is green" type of story as in it's stating the obvious. DVD sales will drop too, in fact sales of most products will drop due to the credit crunch. It doesn't take a genius to work that one out so why the focus on Blu-ray?

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How to get blu-ray to take off

Simply combine DVD and blu-ray films into one box. Buy one film and get the DVD and blu-ray version.

This will mean people will have a watchable film no matter what, plus those with DVD will have plenty of blu-ray titles when they do upgrade and won't have to re-purchase all their films again (which maybe a money spinner for the film companies, but it is a major reason for not upgrading).

Either that or allow people to swap their DVDs for the blu-ray version, since they are effectively buying a licence to watch the film, not the media.

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Unhappy

Need glasses Jim ?

"for a slightly sharper picture"

I may need glasses, but standing close to a 46 inch Sony Bravia set I could see the beads of sweat on Daniel Craig's forehead without optical aids. I'm sure you can't see that on a DVD and CRT even if you are close...

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Whilst I don't agree with the knee jerk nay-sayers....

... I do agree that BR is knackcered this Christmas. The discs are the same price now and have the same availability as DVD was at the same point in its life cycle, and consumers are probably more aware of BR than they were of DVD at the same point too. But the hard fact is, the every day punter who turns a new format into a main stream one just doesn't have the available cash to buy a new player, a new TV, or both.

Those people still quoting £25 a disc only shop in HMV or Zaavi and are daft to do so because of the price of all products, and those shops do NOT represent the true price of the high street. £16-£20 is about the average price point at the moment, which people HAVE to remember is the same as DVD at the same point. But we are so spoiled now with the price of DVD films and with incomes getting tighter, I think this is going to kill BR adoption for at least a year. Not because of the fact people feel you "only get a slightly sharper picture" (get your eyes tested or stop buying Asda special TV's).

I bought both HD-DVD and BR and went through DVD buying right from the start, so know my facts and figures. Which is why I have no time for the ranting nay-sayers. But I do agree that the lead time on BR adoption is going to be stretched out by another 12-18 at least because of the economic situation. Not through ill information.

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J
Joke

ER...

"I could see the beads of sweat on Daniel Craig's forehead"

OK, I don't want to get HD anymore, then...

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RE: How to get blu-ray to take off

"Simply combine DVD and blu-ray films into one box. Buy one film and get the DVD and blu-ray version."

I totally agree. That's one of the reasons I preferred HD-DVD, was the combining of the two discs. Obviously, Disney is thinking that way too, as the new Sleeping Beauty Blu-Ray included a DVD version of the film. I was able to pick it up for $22, just $7 more than the DVD only version.

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Why not pay for a seat at your local?

Cinema for the one or 2 must see films and save ££££?

Not only that but keep a 14" B&W TV at home or adopt a granny and go COLOR

WTF thinks any kind of disc will be the future?

It's the cloud, stupid

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Flame

Re: C64 was better than Spectrum/BBC

Fuck. Right. Off.

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Blu ray not that superior to DVD

Blu-Ray is not superior enough to DVD to justify any price difference IMHO.

Quality wise Blu-Ray is only sightly superior to standard PAL DVDs if you consider that 1) most people with HDTV only have 720P capable TV sets and 2) the difference between PAL 576 lines and BD 720 lines is only 144 lines, or about 25% (if you live in the USA where they have the crappy 460 lines NTSC standard it's another issue though)

On the convenience level DVD is the clear winner: it's much easier to play DVDs on my laptop or to rip them for watching on my iPod than a BD disk (MMC is STILL missing from Blu-ray). Currently BD is a "play in the living room" format, DVD is a "Rip and play anywhere format".

If you put both in balance, BD is only really worth it for people with state of the art 1080P HDTV and very large displays, which are still a small minority... To attract the general public they need to either bring the price to or below DVD levels or make huge progress on the MMC front soon.

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Another Sony fanboy news topic

"I may need glasses, but standing close to a 46 inch Sony Bravia set I could see the beads of sweat on Daniel Craig's forehead without optical aids. I'm sure you can't see that on a DVD and CRT even if you are close..."

46" Sony Bravia ...... . They saw you coming when you walked into the showroom. Now thats a tv that costs 3x more expensive then a TV by another brand of equal credability and spec. Your the type of person that adopts Blu ray as you get sucked into salesman's hype and have little technical knowledge. Perhaps you need your eyes tested if you cant see the beads of sweat on a DVD shown on a CRT TV. .

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Happy

@Eric Van Haesendonck

Luckily there's hardly any difference now, between blu ray & dvd new releases, maybe £1 or £2. If you're worried about that trivial amount then maybe you should be looking at working a bit harder so that buying a sandwich isn't an investment decision

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@monkey

"probably more aware of BR than they were of DVD at the same point too"

Not so sure. DVD had a lot more advertising and it was an obvious product to consumers. Blu-Ray is barely advertised at all beyond a brief mention on DVD releases on TV (e.g. "available on DVD and Blu-Ray"). The name might be familiar to people, but to Joe Public, just what is it? Especially given most people think they can just buy an HD Ready TV and that will make their DVDs High-Def! In fact some are convinced it's HD because they seem an improvement due to a new TV and an HDMI connection.

"Those people still quoting £25 a disc only shop in HMV or Zaavi and are daft to do so because of the price of all products, and those shops do NOT represent the true price of the high street. £16-£20 is about the average price point at the moment, which people HAVE to remember is the same as DVD at the same point."

Well HMV and Zaavi pretty much are the high street. There's not much else (WHSmiths and Woolworths perhaps, and they're usually the same prices).

Now whilst the majority of tech-savvy types who frequent the net realise it's cheaper on the net, a vast amount of people do buy in the high street.

However, it's not what people do or don't buy, it's the impression they get. Walking around HMV and seeing Blu-Ray tucked away in a corner with no one really paying attention to them and their £25 stickers, is going to leave and impression on the majority of Blu-Ray-Clueless Britain. Far more than the price on web sites which isn't going to be noticed by those who aren't looking for Blu-Ray. Result is people *think* Blu-Ray is £25 a disc vs DVD at £5.

But anyway. As for price comparisons with DVD at the same point, it's important to understand that things have moved on since those days and the demand for such consumer items is such that prices are driven always lower even with "new" products. Especially as up until the credit crunch, a lot of people were enjoying plenty of disposable income. So whilst £15 to £20 may be seen as better than DVD at the same stage, it's still not what people expect now.

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My brutally honest opinion

I download movies illegally off the internet. 30gb 9+ for a blu-ray movie, rip the m2ts file out the iso and stream it to the ps3 through a NAS.

I also have a vast legal CD/DVD collection and continue to add to these.

Till I can pick up BLu-ray movies for less than a tenner I'll continue to download my HD content illegally.

Yes I'm a dirty Heathen.

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Black Helicopters

Blu-ray - what about the competition

Blu-ray unfortunately does not really stand much of a chance. The competition is fierce - With the likes of SKY HD etc you can get a large selection (8 channels at last count) of movies and you don't have to leave your front door.

Also, Microsoft are doing HD video on demand. and this is only going to increase.

I still have loads of DVD's I got in 1999 for my first DVD player that are still in their packaging - I won't make that mistake again. Also the number of rental movies on Blu-ray is limited.

I have 2 Xbox 360's and 1 playstation 3 and 2 games :) Why, well when I buy kids movies (they watch them over and over again so I feel I get value for money) I rip them to my home server and then play them through media center. Works great. The PS3 is purely to stream the AVCHD home videos I make as I was getting frustrated trying to get HD video to stream (WMV-HD files are HUGE!!!).

So all in all, since I can't rip blu-ray I wont' be buying them. (Though I did get the xbox HD-DVD addon for planet earth {and a few other nature films} which is amazing!!!)

So my prognosis is HD dvd will never really take off in the same way DVD did - it is an old format (disc I mean) in a new online world.

Just my 2c worth.

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Linux

Quality difference

Having a 720p projector creating a 3m diagonal 16:9 image, I can see the following: SD telly is *ok*; DVD is *better*; BBC HD, ITV HD and Premiere HD are lovely. I have actually been tempted to add a BD/HD-ROM combo-drive to my HTPC so that I can snaffle The Matrix for next to nothing on HD ;-)

But.....

prices are just not good enough. Will I end up copying my "mate" who ends up watching DVD-rips on a 32" telly anyway?

The penguin - because he likes a freebie too ;-)

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Joke

@ Paul Brain - you need fibre?

With comments like that I'm not surprised you want fibre - sounds like you're definitely 'gummed up down below'

you should try eating oats with bran in the morning - will really help your outlook on life

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@Giles Jones

I wish they would put blu ray and dvd into one box - OR even better let you swap. But , if there is money to be made so they wont do it.

@Eric - you are correct in that the main benefit of blu ray is for people with big 1080p TVs

These are not as unpopular as you think.

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@Tim

... The high street comment, in hindsight, you're right. Many people I know class Play, Amazon etc, as part of the high street, even my Mom! But in relation to this, I agree with you that HMV and Zaavi are the high street these days so I take it back. Regardless of how little those shops represent the actual costs of what you can pay.

I still maintain though that the adoption of BR is going to be affected so much more by the lack of available income full stop with the economic situation, rather than the nay-sayers about lack of quality.

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@Namesake

Scott - oddly enough if you want an LCD, the Bravia's really are the best, by a fair margin too... Pioneers new ones are alledgedly excellent, but the W4500 with a built in DLNA streaming system (could help Hedley above) and the X4500 series are leagues ahead of anything else on the amrket.. including even the Samsung ones using the same panel. It's not salesman bullshit, it's fact.

Hedley - ITV HD is crap anyway, hardly anything there and in a tiff with Sky are only on Freesat.... as for your dilemma, if you can afford both do it, both have their own benefits and if you have a fast connection and don't mind about "only" 720p from AppleTV it's an excellent system. As for the Sony player, at £179 from Amazon, it's quite a bargain at the moment - buy one!!!!! http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001DN1SP4/202-3314281-8268652?ie=UTF8&tag=spoavetstu-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=1634&creativeASIN=B001DN1SP4

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Apple TV 'excellent'? Er.... No...

Apple TV has the POTENTIAL to be excellent, but is hampered by its software, which the company only seems to upgrade whenever it wants to sell us more content. Apple has shown no inclination to address the issues many of us Apple TV owners face, such as the fact that it takes over five minutes for the system to respond to a remote button being pressed.

And then there's the fact that it has no off button - very environmentally-friendly, I have to pull the plug out of the damn thing every night. Oh, and let's not forget the 'Apple TV is synching with iTunes...' box that pops up every few minutes when you're in the menus, and stops you doing anything for a few minutes at a time. And then there's the fact that the box heats up alarmingly in operation, even on standby, which leads those us who placed it on wooden display units along with the TV to discover our furniture is permanently branded as a result.

Oh, and even when you add content to the Apple TV rather than trying to stream it, you still find the unit stutters throughout TV shows and fllms, often pausing for minutes at a time, or, when it's decided it held things up too long, jumping ahead of where you were in the film or show by several seconds or longer.

All the problems could be addressed, but Apple refuses to acknowledge them. All we get is that it's down to some of us having large iTunes libraries - well, duh - I though we were supposed to be ideal consumers for buying into digital, not maligned for having done so.

Yeah, there are many ways to get HD content. But no, Apple TV is not 'excellent' until such time as its software delivers on the undoubted promise of the box.

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