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back to article Blu-ray Disc added to UK shopping basket

HD has officially entered mainstream consumer conscience, because the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) has added Blu-ray Discs to its list of everyday purchases. The ONS maintains a list of 650-odd products and services, and updates the selection annually. The list is intended to reflect public spending habits and is …

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How to fix the figures

Remove one item that has more or less reached the bottom of the price curve and replace it with one that still has a good way to go in that direction. Are MP3 players really that passé?

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mmmm hedonics

Looks like they are hedging against inflation then.

By removing one category of goods and replacing them with another they also ditch the historical price relationship.

Anyone with any sense would see this as 'home visual entertainment' or similar, and 'personal media player' and the history would go back to black and white tellies and walkman.

But no, this will be a whole new set of categories, timed beautifully to coincide with the sudden and rapid hedonic deflation of these items.

The items will get measurably better over time and will drop in price over time, therefore exerting a powerful negative effect on inflation.

Feeling manipulated?

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wouldn't adding blu-ray

at this point in it's lifecycle* be pretty pointless for the purposes of statistics. there will be a large number of one off initial purchases fairly soon, that won't reflect a normal sales rate.

*ie when the price is falling & awareness is raising, if a £50-£100 one is released people are going to buy ton's of the bloody things just because they might as well

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Paris Hilton

Hmm..

OK, so DVD rentals have been taken OFF the list, yet internet DVD rentals are still classed as en vogue (assuming you mean the actual films and NOT the players).

I find this somewhat hard to believe. My local Blockbuster is rammed with folk renting, mostly, DVDs, with relatively few Blu-ray titles being (i)available, or (ii)rented. Also, I only know a handful of folk who use internet DVD rental services.

Perhaps if the ONS actually did research......... ho hum...

Paris, 'cos it's 20-to-8 here in Hannover and I'm still at work and want a beer...

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Stop

BT rolls out fiber

...so I will wait till I can download HD films online - just like the yanks.

No expensive HD films here thanks until the price comes down to sub £10

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Anonymous Coward

MP4

Anyone else think that the term "MP4 player" is a terribly generic "product" to add to this list?

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Anonymous Coward

Rubbish...

Blu-Ray, I give you half points for that...

MP4/Video players... absolute rubbish... common spends? My arse.

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What a fiddle

Spot on JS @ 17:39

Next they'll add an Apple Mac

Seriously, just how many (or, more pertinently, how few) households have the BluDeath?

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list?

Where is this list of 650-odd products and services?

cant you lazy journos at least link to the list?

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Anonymous Coward

I'd like to know who's making all these MP4 players

that don't support MP3.

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Stop

RPI?

So the inflation rate is based on the list drawn up by these jokers?

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Paris Hilton

No inflation... My a***e

I guess, Brown's government has learned the lesson from its happy soc teachers from the now defunct eastern block. Add as many items as possible whose prices are guaranteed to fall or remain constant over time. Result - no inflation. Voila. Q.E.D.

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Pirate

All a big con

As mentioned above, they keep loading the index with high tech items that will fall in price as mass production kicks in, therefore keeping the inflation index artificially low.

B'stards !!!!

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re: Ron Hughes

I know at least 10 people with blu-ray players. Let me guess, you're one of the supporters of the other lesser format? Or one of the blind people who can't tell the difference between DVD and blu-ray.

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RDW

MP3 vs MP4

'MP4/Video players... absolute rubbish... common spends? My arse.'

Doesn't 'mp4 player' now include every iPod with a screen?

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@Pete

Seems we are different demographics, I know two people with blu-rays and they are both PS3's. On the other hand, everyone else I know has a DVD player and buys or rents films regularly. IMHO blu-ray is still a few years from common acceptance. it will happen but its not there yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Cue one up...

...for the bluray camp. Not because it's bluray in particular, but because it's HD. For those who say there's not an obvious difference, take a look at this:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=811102

The difference is absolutely staggering. I happen to have a dedicated home theater with a projection screen, so the image goes from barely tolerable to basically-theater-like, but take a look at those shots on your (little-screened) laptop and tell me it doesn't matter!

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RPI

Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Nothing more to say.

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jai
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@ac re: I'd like to know who's making all these MP4 players

i think perhaps the point rather: who is making mp3 players now that are not also mp4s?

yes, i know you can get cheap players that don't do video, but if ipods carry such a large percentage of the market in portable digital music devices, and the only the shuffle being non-mp4, then it's fair to say the majority of people are buying mp4 players, even if they're only using them to listen to .mp3s

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Ron & Jon,

Wow, do you really think this is the first time they've switched products to reflect changing purchasing habits?

or are you still fighting a format war, 'VHS 4EVA!', and believe its $onys doing?

the biggest con on housing figures was a few years back when gordon brown removed housing costs to fuel a credit boom, and look how that turned out

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Anonymous Coward

How to deal with inflation

Set the average person's shopping list to:

1 litre milk

Tin of beans

Small sliced loaf

Sony OLED TV

Raspberry jam

10000 shares in Phorm

6 eggs

256 Gb Solid state drive

TV magazine

and a small aubergine

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@ Pete

People tend to gravitate to likeminded people. You like BD and you shape your circle of friends to include those who like it as well. Any fox hunt enthusiast would say he/she knows at least 10 people who enjoy going on a hunt regularly. An S&M fan will know 10 people who like a bit of spanking and latex.

All I can say about BD is that the Blu-Ray section in a high street HMV nearby takes one infinitesmally tiny portion of the floor space and it looks absolutely deserted, whereas the DVD section is still full of people, credit crunch or no crunch.

And I will not even start discussing the DRMs that can kill your player any time you play a newly purchased disc, ridiculous start-up times, region coding headache, confused specs - in other words, the total disprespect for the customer...

Only government as incometent and unscrupulous as ours can include BD in its inflation basket and still keep a straight face.

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MP4?

Don't make me laugh. That's not a category. If anything it's a marketing ploy by companies that think the consumer will believe "Ooh, mp-FOUR? That must be at least 33% better than mp-THREE! I'll take one!". Tools.

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@ Pete

I'm with Ron on this, mainly for the following reasons...

I work in the computer industry (yes, I have a job and I actually work for my pay) and none of my co-workers has blue-ray yet either. We' (like so many others in this recession hit country) sensible enough to wait until the prices have fallen to that of normal DVDs as we can't justify the extra expense at the moment.

It was the same with VHS to DVD, no-one I knew that was going to buy a format that was twice as expensive as the one they already owned. (and Yes, I do still have a VHS player, I've got 200+ films on VHS and I'm certainly NOT going to pay for them again)

Yes, it'll be nice when we all get access to higher resolution imagery, but that isn't going to happen when existing technology is still working and providing acceptable quality.

However, I can foresee a time in a few years when the current batch of players etc.. have come to the end of their working lives and are needing replacement - THAT is when Blue-Ray will really take off, unfortunately that's probably also the time when the CPI is likely to drop them and find something new.

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Coat

Unbelivable

There are still cretins holding a HD-DVD grudge against Blu-Ray. They need to get over it, and move on, as they are the only ones that still care, and those same "HD lovers" are the ones missing out...

I laugh at the generic Sony hate in the same way. What a sad bunch of losers...

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BluRay & DVD

I missed out on VHS, never bothered, couldn't see the point in downgrading from my Beta deck (a VERY top end Super Sony), so went to DVD pretty soon after it hit the UK (the gap was only a few years). Happy with that until we purchased a nice new 1080p TV.

We bought the TV for gaming - mainly one console which is HD and plays HD films, and also HD broadcasts when we got the HDR.

So of course I buy BluRays now rather than DVDs, the difference is staggering.

However I am an earlyish adopter, my last TV was an early IDTV, got the first Freeview PVR, the first Freesat HD PVR. So I am the one at work everyone asks for advice. All have DVD, two are considering PS3 (both currently PS2).

However the PS3 loads those BluRays quick.

Anonomous as anyone who knows me would know who I am.

A nice fire to consume all that VHS rubbish!

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A philosophical question

How can a person who drools over HD images on a 50in flatscreen also enthusiastically watch thumbnail size excuse for a video on microspcopic screens on their iphones, PSPs and other "MP4" players (or do they include Blu-Ray players into MP4 player category, which of course technically they are)?

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Boffin

Anyone want the job?

Clearly, the NOS underlines statistics by guiding its customers - e.g. politicians -with trends relevant to them. The PPI is often looked at, and as all point out, it is highly biased.

If food and goods (primary and secondary sectors) are hiring a minority of employees, the service sector needs embedding - taxes, insurance, law fees, massages, training costs,...

The NOS has an experimental measure, the SPPI, but it is also wide of the mark. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/cpi0309.pdf

Really, it would be helpful if competing institutes would publish and establish other measures. Perhaps they could be sponsored by a profitable newspaper or some other troublemaker, to enhance the debate.

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MP4 players...

I could possibly understand why they might have wanted to remove "portable audio players" and replace them with "portable video players", but will everyone *PLEASE* stop chanting "MP4" like a bunch of Gadget Show-watching imbeciles?

There is no media format called "MP4" and there is no such thing as an "MP4 player" outside of the crazy minds of marketing drones.

I understand that the MPEG-4 Part 14 container format is sometimes referred to colloquially as MP4 due to the suggested .mp4 file extension, but since the majority of so-called "MP4 players" don't even support this standard, you can all just sod off.

Go on, clear off!

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IT Angle

Price reductions will follow - news at 11

Blu Rays are getting cheaper. I see deals all the time for films less than £10. Its not DVD prices , but things are getting cheaper.

May buy my first one soon. From ones I have borrowed from friends they do look good.

Its not just some marketing gimmick. (Cough - sky hd 5mbps bandwidth upscaled SD)

So many people hate the format because of its close association with sony playstation. I would feel the same if it was an M$ job.

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Glad I'm not the only one then...

... who on hearing this morning's "news preview" suspected a direct link with yesterday's strategically updated shopping basket.

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@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

"All I can say about BD is that the Blu-Ray section in a high street HMV nearby takes one infinitesmally tiny portion of the floor space and it looks absolutely deserted, whereas the DVD section is still full of people, credit crunch or no crunch.

And I will not even start discussing the DRMs that can kill your player any time you play a newly purchased disc, ridiculous start-up times, region coding headache, confused specs "

EVERY SINGLE ITEM THERE IS BS/FUD/OUTRIGHT LIE...

Did BDA kill your cat or something? I hope you enjoy tour HD-DUD...

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DR

basket changing

Well...

I think that we have here two sides to look at the argument, though one is fatally flawed.

Firstly, if they change the basket year on year, then yes, they will never see an actual relationship. the fact is that they change all the time. the CPI should be a weekly shop basket, i.e bread milk etc, that'd give a real indication of what people are actually buying week on week.

on the other side, you have to update the basket because buying habbits do change. (the point was made above about still buying VHS... it just doesn't happen any more.

I feel that the problem is adding tech items to the list only confuses the situation.

because then we get into the predicament of mp3 vs mp4, ignoring the fact that mp4 players actually support mp3, so most people already probably had an mp4 player, and indeed last year they probably actually looked at an mp4 player and called it an mp3 player because it still had ipod in the product name and they didn't know any better.

the fact is that tech depreciates far too rapidly. what costs a thousand quid one year, might be only five hundred the next. so with that in mind we realise that we have to update the list. because whilst your high ticket item dropped by half, your bread and milk increased say a thousand percent.

in that situation they say that last year a laptop and a loaf of bread costs £1001 this year it only costs £510... so we see deflation of around -50%... but in the real world goods we see inflation at +1000% for the loaf of bread that you buy each week. it only looks like deflation because the laptop halved in price.

simplistic examples aside. tech items should not be on the list, they depreciate far too rapidly. and there is too much variation in price across a range, (for example, if a mobile phone is on the list, do we consider mobile phone to be a shiny ipod being bough for a few hundred or a bog standard nokia being bought for a tenner?

what with the range price variations, massive depreciation, you can never get a true picture of the situation.

the worst part is that they use these calculations for assessing things like payrises and such as well, (actually they use the RPI since that has mortgage payments removed).

and like I said. who buys a laptop every week? regardless of whether it's half the price of last year? who would still buy a loaf of bread every week, (you gotta eat) but the price has gone up ten fold. yet your wages remain the same or lower because they looked at stupid high ticket items that skewed the figures so badly as to be unrecognisable.

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@Mark

Oh, I hear a BD fanboy talking :-) You might want to substantiate your accusations. Or get a valium or something...

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@ Vlad

My local HMV has a BD section which covers, maybe, 1/8 of the total floor space. Of the remainder, the majority is taken by CD's (~1/2 of the total). DVD's absolutely take up more space and have more people in the section, but then it's been around for 12 years (commercially) and films can be had for under a tenner.

Also, those who do have BD players are likely to be your more techno-savvy types and like me probably buy their BD's on-line, for a fraction of the price of the rip-off high-street retailers. I have quite a few BD's now (30-40) and most of those were brought for on or around £10, the exceptions being a few just released titles (Iron Man, Transformers, Dark Knight), but in those cases the cost diference between the DVD and the BD was about £2 - hardly note-worthy.

Further, the start-up times between BD and DVD are measured in seconds, average of around 5 seconds more for the BD. You would actually complain about that, when sitting down to watch for at least 30 mins (for a TV show) or 2 hours or so for a film ?

Region coding is enabled on less than half of the disks released, I have several imports from the US.

The specs are in no way confusing. All players play all films, some players have more features than others. DVD players were no different, in the early days there were any number that refused to deal with seamless branching properly.

Please post a link to the stories of the DRM killing players.

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Joke

@Luis Ogando

Paris, 'cos it's 20-to-8 here in Hannover and I'm still at work and want a beer...

I hope you mean AM......

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Paris Hilton

mp4? What that?

wasnt that a proposed format for Mp3s that could be DRM enabled, only nobody could figure out a way to add better/tighter compression than mp3 in as well, so it got shitcanned? if it got resurrected as some other video/audioformat, whoop-di-doo for it, Ive never seen one or downloaded one, everyone I know uses AAC/Flac/ogg for audio and the still-extremely-venerable .AVI standard for video.

@DR ; The cost-of-living/wage table calculations has ever been utterly screwed up, usually by failure to poll a broad enough spectrum, link that spectrum to specific areas, and then they have the brass balls to delete and modify embarassing data from the table, like mortgage prices, fuel costs, home heating bills. basically the tables all insist we live in a nice, warm apartment, with good, thick walls, have cheap electricity, own a recent-model tiny car with 35+mpg (which we make no payments on) we're all over 25 (so our car insurance is minimal) etc etc etc.

@vlad ; the same people who spend !thousands on a super-TV are also the same people who buy tiny TVs for the commute into london, Brum, and Edinburgh. when PSPs came out I thought that the commuter subgroup as a whole had forgotten what books are for*. Why read when you can catch up on the TV shows you have to miss because you dont get home from your 9-till5- until 8.30?

*also, disturbing number of commuters watched porn on their PSPs. really. screen viewable from many angles, guys. plz to be less creepy.

Paris, because chances are she plays a lot on the Clapham-LSP route.

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@EvilGav

RE: "Please post a link to the stories of the DRM killing players."

@Luis Ogando

Here, read from the source: http://www.aacsla.com/marketplace/overview/aacs_technical_overview_040721.pdf

QUOTE:

3.2 Media Key Block (MKB)

The Media Key Block enables system renewability. ....... If a set of Device Keys is compromised in a way that threatens the integrity of the system, an update MKB can be released that causes a device with the compromised set of Device keys to be unable to calculate the correct Km. In this way, the compromised Device keys are "revoked" by the new MKB.

UNQUOTE:

Your player by design cannot reject a system renewability message with the new MKB, so you can't protect yourself from it. Any new disc you insert in your player can be the last. They are actually quite proud of it as a procedure "to provide system renewability in the form of device revocation."

The only mitigation is to rip everything to your PC, provided someone had already found/published/leaked the necessary keys on the internets.

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Same old, same old

....comments about "I'm not buying BR until it's 99p per disk" or "fk the DRM bastards" or "my DVD players looks just fine thanks". Fair play but get lost will you and read articles and comment on articles that are of actual interest to you. I don't know about other people but I am so sick and tired of the same old comments by the same people about things that are either 1) less of an issue than they were when BR first launched or 2) Not an issue any longer.

Prices... anyone who walks into a shop and pays more than £17 for a BR film is nuts and those still quoting prices selectively forget with little effort you can find films at or below £15. Those same people also forget that the financial situation the last six months has dramatically slowed uptake of BR just as it was reaching the same comparable point as DVD was at two years after launch (as in third generation players that were much cheaper and wider availability of disks below £17), and large scale uptake leads to reduced costs. They also forget that for the first year DVD new releases were nearly £30! The recessions have stalled BR by at least a year through no real fault of the product itself.

And DRM and slow disk loads.... Yes the DRM checking in the first generations of firmware really couldn't cope with the new profile disks and it lead to insane loading times, but that is a thing of the past. They screwed up and it’s fixed. DRM still exists but it does on DVD too and it is up to people to break that if they wish to. Or buy a third generation player. If you're an early adopter you know the risks and those who bought first generation DVD players were screwed when the second generation encoded disks came out (Gladiator for instance). Anyone who thinks companies AREN'T going to try and protect their intellectual properties are nuts. Shut up bleating about it now, it's getting old.

To comment on the article, it's manipulation by the government to try and show they have reduced inflation. Take out items that have matured as products and stabilised in value due to new versions controlling prices (MP3 players), and put in there products that are currently expensive but are on the verge of reducing in price quickly (BR disks). In a year Gordon will be able to say "ahh but look at the retail price index measures, look at the reductions in prices and lower costs of living as a result of Labour". There is a general election next year after all, and those obsessing about BR need to realise this has NOTHING to do with BR itself.

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Dead Vulture

The list (seeings as old reg was too lazy to link)

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/article.asp?ID=1951&Pos=1&ColRank=1&Rank=224

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