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back to article Blu-ray backers highlight rising demand

The Blu-ray Disc Alliance (BDA) has pooh-pooh'd claims that demand for the format is slowing under the recessionary pressures. It even forecast "Blu-ray will enter the mainstream" in Q1 2009. Still, it's circumspect about releasing real numbers. The best it offered this week was the news that Brits bought 462,500 BDs in November …

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Anonymous Coward

Countdown...

...to the first poster who complains that he watched a bluray movie sitting 20 feet from a badly-calibrated 30" LCD TV in a sunny room, but that it wasn't any better than SD DVD.

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Vup??

'while early adopters, who are keen on buying into the format, will be hindered by shortages of cheaper machines.'

I'm totally willing to give them the recession hurting sales bit, no arguments there. But anyone buying in at this point I would say is not an early adopter, so the current cost of machines is meaningless for them. The format is hardly mainstream yet, but its been around essentially 2 and a half years now.

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Paris Hilton

Still overpriced

As much as I love my Bluray gear, the media is still overpriced. I rent mine instead because I'd hate to shell out 17-20 quid for a film that might be shit.

The other problem is that the release date for a bluray of a new movie is often a couple of weeks (or sometimes up to a month) after the DVD release. People only have so much patience. Sunshine was a good example of this. I couldn't wait the extra month or so and bought the DVD instead.

Because of overpricing and shitty release schedules I only have 10 bluray disks to my name....and I've had the player and the fancy gear since summer of 2007.

So far they're doin' it wrong....

Paris....'cos she does it right.

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Maybe I shouldn't be commenting but...

... I, like many other normal people, don't have a HDTV, Blu-Ray or the likes, and have no intention of buying one in the near future. I'm happy with my TV set up, DVDs look fine to me, the only HDTV footage I've ever seen a noticable difference in is football, which doesn't interest me.

Sites like The Register and Slashdot will always be biased because tech-heads read them and will always get people posting comments about the death of DVD being just around the corner. The trouble is it's not tech-heads who make this stuff main-stream, it's average people. It's your mum & dad, it's your brother and sister who would be lost on the 'net without Google and MSN.

I imagine the death of DVD will be very, VERY slow and fairly painless. Blu-Ray will eventually over-take DVD, but not in Q1 2009, maybe by Christmas 2012. Oh and at least 50% of those Blu-Ray players will be plugged into SDTVs, or setup incorrectly.

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Re: Countdown...

It's not that it isn't any better; it's that it isn't sufficiently better for the price. Besides, I always watch my DVDs upscaled, which while not as good as native HD, is pretty decent. Best yet, I already own the laptop I use for upscaling. Eventually, when BD comes down in price, I'll buy in. Until then, I'll just stick to DVD, thank you.

-Daniel

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Anonymous Coward

The only thing they're "doing wrong" is selling for a profit

On the shelves here in NZ are BD releases that are months old, retailing at NZ$50 (about 18 quid). Right alongside them are fresh-off the presses new releases for just NZ$25

e.g. The Rock - $50. Letters from Iwo Jima - $25

The problem? The Rock was released months ago, before BD interest really picked up after the end of "The Format War", but retailers presumably can't bring themselves to clear their shelves of that old stock by reducing the price to match the newer releases, as that would mean selling below cost (someone needs to teach them about the true cost of stock not selling).

They are also aided and abetted by SOME distributors insisting on INSANE price points for their new releases. Paramount are the absolute worst.

Would you believe the NZ Paramount channel was originally going to set an RRP of NZ$80 on Iron Man and Indy IV. 80 frikkin bucks! There was a storm of protest but still those two titles hit the streets with an RRP of $60!!!!

And then they wonder why people aren't rushing to embrace BluRay?!

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Stop

It's all over priced!

A bare BluRay drive at trade costs just £50 so manufacturers probably make them for £40 or less. Shove it in a consumer case with about £25 of electronics and it could be on the shelves of retailers for £99. So why are they being sold for double and tripple that price?

Movies shouldn't cost that much more to make than on the DVD format. Perhaps £1 extra per disc. The retail difference in price between the two is entirely artificial. I suspect the thought process there is:

1) If people can afford to dump their DVD player and buy a BluRay player for £300 then they won't be put off at the higher price for discs.

2) The difference in price ought to reflect the difference in quality between the two formats.

If the BDA want to increase sales then let's have some down to earth pricing. I'd rather pay for SkyHD than BluRay, until the pricing comes down.

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Data needed

How much more does it cost to produce a Blu-Ray disk compared to a DVD. Like for like comparison - no 2.0 online interactive features.

I'm trying to think how the price difference is justified... is it purely economies of scale?

I would buy Blu-Ray discs if they were only 15% more than DVD - purely because in 10 years time I'll most probably think the DVD quality is not good enough (who listens to cassette tapes compared to CDs)...

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Stop

They still don't get it

The lack of uptake in Blue Ray is simple. The equipment and media are still over priced and the difference in release dates between the DVD and the Blue Ray version of movies has people asking themselves a simple question about all this. That question is "Is the potential (in every case I've seen woefully small) upgrade in picture and sound quality worth the expense and wait time"? It's obvious that for quite a large portion of the movie buying public the answer to that question is, No no it's not worth it.

Time for the blue ray collective to get their act together and give people a genuine reason to upgrade to blue ray. If they don't they will end up in the also-ran category of technology that could have been significant had their backers not totally dropped the ball, the most notable examples being Betamax and the laserdisk.

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Anonymous Coward

too few titles at too high a price

Let's face it most of the output of hollywood is mindless, if pretty crap. I have bought some bd movies but only when they are part of an offer deal 2 for 1 etc... TBH my TV upscales DVD really nicely and my GF's eyesight is too bad to see the improved quality of BD.

So unless it is a really special film that I know I will watch many times I'd rather pay £5 for a dvd than £17 - £35 for the blu ray version.

They need to set a loss leading price for disks before mass uptake causes the production costs to drop.

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Paris Hilton

An echo...

I'd like to echo Anonymous Heros comments really - I've just bought into a Sony 550 player, but having had it for over two months now have purchased only two discs. I don't intend to replace my DVDs I'm happy with them being upscaled. So releasing loads of back catalogue stuff often at massively high prices is meaningless to me. Reading between the lines on the web alot of back catalogue transfers are poor anyway - much the same as what happened in the early days of DVD, I remember abortions like the transfer of the UK version of The Wedding Singer.

Unfortunately Blu-rays development is being stiffled by the greedy corporation that Sony is. We need cheap players, HD TVs and media. Until this happens Blu-ray will remain a niche product. And yes most people don't have a clue about Blu-ray, and those that are in the know don't really want to spend the minimum of about £700-800 to get it (Player\TV\Leads), certainly not in these recessionary times. For most Blu-ray won't feature until they really have to replace their TV and DVD player because they break.

Then there's the next thing coming along, where's the TVs with the Freeview HD Tuners built in? You've just bought your spanking 52" TV set with Freeview, then you find out Freeview HD has arrived, and you either need an external box to get it or change your TV...let's just say the Digital \ HD Revolution as a whole has not been thought out or planned very well.

Paris...because she could have organised it all better...

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No idea if it's any good...

...but this is the first player I've seen for less than a hundred quid...

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/catalogId/1500001151/productId/1500317761.htm

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Blu-Ray quality

Well, I got Blu-Ray with my PS3 and was sat watching it and not noticing much difference between it and the upscaled DVD I had been watching just before. Personally I thought it was a right rip-off.

Then I went and got my eyes tested and found out I needed glasses to un-blur my eyesight! Turns out it looked pretty good after all, but my eyes were too pants to see it.....

I agree with Anonymous Hero though in that they need to get many more Blu-Rays released at the same time as the DVD equivalent. The majority of people wouldn't bother with a BD copy of a film they already own on DVD so they need to get them on offer at the same time.

I think this is another reason for slow take-up as well, as when DVD came out it was a massive improvement over the quality of VHS, so worth re-buying the best of your films. With Blu-Ray it's more of a case of just supplementing your collection by buying the odd BD copy of a really spectacular, effects-laden film.

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Bronze badge

Needs to interest parents

Well, to be fair, my parents saw my HD set-up and went out and bought one themselves.

For me the main problems are:

1. It's easy to spend a lot of money on kit that doesn't look good due to poor set-up or using the wrong cables.

2. The discs are still expensive.

So, I buy some Blu_Rays for films I think will benefit from it and the reset (the majority) I get on DVD.

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Argos

The Bush player from Argos seems to be ok, if you have a 1080p/24 set... outside of that, spend the extra £50 and buy the Sony S350 from Amazon, it's a far superior set...

Herein lies the problem, a budget set finally appears and it's not great, or to clarify, it's not great for the likely target market - picture the scene a person who bought a 'HD Ready' set that runs at 720p spies a sub £100 BR player and buys it... it's crap at this point, support is handled by Argos so don't expect regular firmware updates or people with a clue and it uses off the shelf Broadcomm parts.... all in all the person now watching "HD" isn't going to see much of a difference and consequently the take up won't be great.

Cheap products isn't always the solution... a Sony BDP-S350 for £155 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001DN1SP4/202-3314281-8268652?ie=UTF8&tag=spoavetstu-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=1634&creativeASIN=B001DN1SP4) with 2 free discs is very good value, but many will assume that taking a Gary F's suggestion makes a quality BR player, when in reality it doesn't at all....

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Coat

PS3 Smokes all the other Blu-ray players out there.

We already know the PS3 has a fantasic SD upscaler, and it's BD performance both video and audio is up with the best of them, we it's also the fastest player, by a very long margin.

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=2138

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=piYqxCKNZlI2LlUR4Ik6hDg

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Even the stores know it's too expensive...

Given that I can buy two DVD's individually priced at £21.99 & £24.99 in HMV for £30, I think they know that there's something wrong with the pricing.

Oh and it's par for the course too.... Play are selling The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray for £15 which I think is a brilliant deal (Batman Begins in Blu-Ray is so much sharper and clearer than DVD).

If it's too expensive, then you're shopping in the wrong places.

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Pirate

Incomplete without the rootkit

Someone involved with IT would *never* think a Sony design or product could reprise the long-denied rootkit trick, would they? It's just got to be safe to hook any Sony product or design to your LAN, right?

Maybe not so much.

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Flame

Oh for goodness sake...

The same old anti-Blu-ray arguments wheeled out time after time:

"I'd hate to shell out 17-20 quid for a film that might be shit."

Always the highest price you can quote and I take it you'll happily buy DVD "shit"?

"too few titles at too high a price"

The tide is rapidly shifting and more and more titles are becoming available all the time. No doubt the titles your looking for are those 'little classics' like the film that won the Oscar for best picture in 1947. Etc.

There are many years of films to catch up on.

"I'm happy with my TV set up, DVDs look fine to me, the only HDTV footage I've ever seen a noticable difference in is football,"

The 'I can't see the difference' view: Only football? Rubbish! Try watching this clip from last Monday's Gadget Show:

http://fwd.five.tv/videos/news-bluray-vs-dvd-upscale

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mainstream

""Blu-ray will enter the mainstream" in Q1 2009"

Not even this side of the next century will Blu-ray achieve this. I think the BDA have been spending too much time in the Blu-Ray.com forums and the rabidness has gone to their heads! ;)

Blu-Ray will continue to be popular in a niche market, and do quite well for a good 5 years or so, with I'm sure some excellent releases and impressive movie watching for those who care, *but* for the mainstream majority DVD is here to stay for a good 5 years, maybe 10. Then there will be something else. Not Blu-Ray though.

Re: Oh for goodness sake...

"The same old anti-Blu-ray arguments wheeled out time after time"

The same old arguments are what Joe Public thinks! Doesn't matter what the "anti" camp thinks, this is plain fact from the consumer.

1. It's expensive (doesn't matter if you think it's value for money. JP does not)

2. Existing £200 TV, £20 DVD player and £5 per DVD, vs an investment of upwards of £1000 for a complete HD/Home Cinema set up (TV, player, amp, speakers, etc), and then expensive discs on top? Hmm no brainer for those who aren't interested in Home Cinema but do watch a few DVDs.

3. DVD is good enough (and to be fair, I agree with them at 32" or less)

4. Blue what? Oh, you mean that games console PS3 thing. I have a Wii.

5. HD? what's HD?

6. I've got HD because my TV says it's HD Ready (he says with an Freeview analogue SD SCART connection).

7. Why on earth do I *need* a monster sized TV and HD anyway?

8. I've just been made redundant (etc etc)

That's the reason why Blu-Ray at the present doesn't stand a chance.

Dismiss it if you like, but this kind of rabid fanboyism that "Blu-Ray is going to rule the world and anyone who argues against it is clearly deranged" is more blinkered than those they mocked in the HD DVD camp!

You can bang on about how fantastic HD is until the cows come home, but it makes crap all difference to Mr & Mrs Loaded with a mortgage and kids, with little disposable income, and no interest in premium home cinema equipment. They want a TV in the corner of the room to watch Strictly Come Bollocks, and play the kids DVDs. That is Joe Public. That is the majority. That is the mainstream.

Face facts. As much as I'd love everyone to jump to HD now, in whatever form, so I can get my fix of HD, JP is just not ready (and to be honest, I don't think they ever will. They will have to be forced into it, and that requires switching off SD entirely. Given we're only just switching to digital, it's going to be 10 or 20 years before that happens!!).

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BR over DVD...

i have recently started buying a few films on BR for my ps3. the problem is you need a good system to see the difference.

so many people say their HD picture isnt that great - then you find they are using a similar tv to my parents - 720p and low contract ratio.

for me with a top end tv, amp and speakers i can see and hear a noticable difference. plus im really looking forward to hellboy 2 in proper 7.1 audio!

like said before tho, BR is only worth getting for super looking films. ironman is my fave so far - its breathtaking, as is transformers. the most ive paid for a BR disk is £15. play.com have some deals on and amazon is 3 for 2 at the moment on pretty much all released BRs... you just need to shop around.

really looking forard to xmas as i know the mrs has the 2 batman films and indiana jones ordered for me :)

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No Blue Ray for me.

Including all of my computers as well as Gaming consoles, I have four DVD players, plus a DVD player on the living room TV. No blue ray players in my house, so no reason to buy any movies on blue ray. Until the PS3 comes down in price, I won't be owning a blue ray player. DVD all the way for me.

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Joke

Blu-Ray Alliance?

Read 'Sony'.

Nuff said.

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Ian

blah blah blah

"A bare BluRay drive at trade costs just £50 so manufacturers probably make them for £40 or less. Shove it in a consumer case with about £25 of electronics and it could be on the shelves of retailers for £99. So why are they being sold for double and tripple that price?"

They don't even cost that, I picked up a Bluray Reader/HD-DVD Reader/DVD Writer drive for my PC for £45 last month so if they can do all that for £45 and still handle logistics and profit then a normal Bluray drive is likely to only cost about £15 - £20 wholesale probably.

What amuses me is that these comments from the Bluray group sound EXACTLY like the comments from the HD-DVD group before it died- releasing only half-arsed statistics, using skewed percentages and just being in plain denial.

I'm not someone who denies 1080p looks better than DVD, I agree it really does, but I am someone who thinks it's not enough to matter. The extra detail brings nothing to the entertainment of watching a discs bar a few niche types such as the Planet Earth documentairies where it really does work. This is because in a film you concentrate on the story for the most part whilst in a documentary like Planet Earth you watch it for the visuals as much as the commentary, hence why visuals matter more.

99% of people don't give a damn if they can watch a film and see Leonardo DeCaprio's facial blemishes or whatever in full detail or not. It adds nothing to the film. What doesn't help as well of course is that there haven't been as many great movies in recent years so it's even harder to justify paying £20 for the mediocre crap that's being chucked out now vs. the top end stuff such as The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix trilogies for example that really made DVD succesful.

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Happy

Watch this!

I forgot about this but it's SOOOOOOO funny! It's from an anime called Kannagi. But there was this part about Blu-Ray that made me scream with laughter. Everyone should view it for the lulz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC50F5pyMhI

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Re: Oh for goodness sake...

"The 'I can't see the difference' view: Only football? Rubbish! Try watching this clip from last Monday's Gadget Show:

That isn't that informative considering they tell you NOTHING about what player was used for the upscaling. Some players are better at it than others. Indeed some HDTV's upscalers are better at it. Toshiba even has a new upscaling system coming out that proclaims near HD quality from standard definition. Granted it will NOT be true HD but if it looks as good at a reasonable viewing distance then who cares.

They comparison is so bogged down in questions as to what equipment they used for the test that it fails in my eyes at least.

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Paris Hilton

Average Joe has no idea about Blu-Ray

Whilst most of us reading sites like The Reg will be the kind of people who keep up to date with technology, the vast majority of the public have no idea.

Just the other week, when I went round to a 40 year old friend's home for a DVD night, they said to me "I keep seeing these adverts for blue ray... what's blue ray?". They have no idea.

And I bet they haven't a clue about all the different audio formats, if they want to really experience TrueHD audio then they will also need to spend a few hundred on a new amplifier.

And what about all these different profiles of Blu-Ray players, got to make sure you have at least v1.3, if not 2.0.

Eh? No wonder they're happy to go out and buy a £30 DVD player.

Paris as most people will be as clueless as she is.

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Anonymous Coward

Image quality

I own a 26" 720p television and I can tell the difference between my dvd's and Blu-Rays (except for one anime I replaced, but one disc was more convenient than 2 and the dvd went to a friend who could care less).

I'll be buying an LCD 720p for the parents and give them my old blu-ray player. I'll also give them 'Planet Earth' ($67 at Wal-Mart even though I can't stand the place) because it's the type of thing blu-ray works well with. My little brother and sister will probably like it as well.

The biggest problem with blu-ray is the price. I'm willing to wait a few months before best buy runs what I want for $15/disc. I'm not hurting for cash, but I'm not letting myself be gouged either.

I can't see most people being able to tell the difference. My mom and her husband can't, but then, I do visit and like to watch something that doesn' bug me visually. That's why all their equipment is stuff I've bought. Saves them the hassle of buying garbage (because they listen to in-store staff too much) and then hooking it up (which isn't a problem until my mom moves the furniture and pulls all the cables without thinking).

My grandfather listens to mp3's only because I put 12 albums worth of music on a cd-r and he didn't have to learn anything new... just put in the disc and hit play. He was impressed by the amount of music though. Also impressed when I told him his old stereo was able to hook up the new equipment I brought over (like stereo outputs on new equipment don't exist).

It may eventually replace dvd, but I don't really care. As long as I can pick up a player to watch my current movies, I'll enjoy the better video.

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Anonymous Coward

$/GB

I was looking at Blu-ray media and was amazed media is stilling being sold for up to $25 Can for a single disk. I can buy DVD blanks for $10 for 50 pieces or $0.20 each. That works out to nearly 24GB/$1 for a 4.7 Gb DVD. At $25 or so per Blu-ray media disk and a capacity of the same 25 GB that works out to be just about 25x more expensive to store data.

This is progress?

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@Gary F

"A bare BluRay drive at trade costs just £50 so manufacturers probably make them for £40 or less. Shove it in a consumer case with about £25 of electronics and it could be on the shelves of retailers for £99. So why are they being sold for double and tripple that price?"

Because the hardware necessary to take a 30Mb/s 1080p AVCHD video with DTS-HDMA audio stream, along with the secondary video and audio streams required to support Profile 1.1, decode them all and output them to the TV over HDMI with HDCP costs more than £25. That's why. I'd have thought that was fairly obvious, myself.

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