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Sony Media

Sony Thinks Blu-ray Will Sell Like DVDs by Year End 434

Posted by Zonk
from the ambitious-planning dept.
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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Sony Thinks Blu-ray Will Sell Like DVDs by Year End

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @09:54AM (#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.

    • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:01AM (#22999702) Homepage

      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.

      • by Gription (1006467) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:05AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          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.
          • by Zelos (1050172)
            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.
            • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @11:16AM (#23000664) Homepage

              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.
              Technically it doesn't matter where it gets up converted but the general thinking is that up conversion in the player is of a higher quality since it is performed before the signal is compressed to fit over the video cables.

              Also players typically offer a higher quality of up conversion since they're designed to work specifically with the kind of content found on DVDs while TV upconverters are designed to be more generic (jack of all trades, master of none... or some such).

              Really it comes down to which device has the better scaling equipment. No matter what you should set it up to only scale the image once. ie: having your player scale from 480i to 720p then your TV from 720p to 1080p is a no-no.

              What you should be doing is setting your player to scale to the native resolution of your display, and see how that looks, then set your player to output at the native resolution of the original content, thus letting your display do all the scaling, and see how that looks.

              The problem is most people have their player set to upscale something stupid like 1080i (because it's the "biggest") when their display has a native resolution like 1366x768 and the results generally look like garbage in comparison to what they COULD look like.

              As for myself, personally I have a projector with a native resolution of 1280x768, and I have an Oppo upscaling DVD player set to scale the dvds to 720p (1280x720), my projector is set to just center the signal and leave some black bars on the top and bottom (often called "just scan" mode) thus completely bypassing the scaler in the projector. Both the player and projector have identical scaler chips (Faroudja DCDi) so the player is the better place to scale since it's done before converting the signal for travel over the cable. The scaling is only done once and the picture looks fantastic.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by AbsoluteXyro (1048620)

                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 problem is most people have their player set to upscale something stupid like 1080i (because it's the "biggest") when their display has a native resolution like 1366x768 and the results generally look like garbage in comparison to what they COULD look like.

                Actually, on my setup I have a 720p LCD HDTV with a native resolution of 1366x768, and an OPPO upconverting DVD player. I find that the image actually looks better with the player upconverting to 1080i, then having the TV scale the image down to 1366x768. I believe that may be because at 720p, the image must still be stretched to fit the native resolution of the screen. The image winds up looking better being squeezed down from 1080i to fit 1366x768. Just my two cents.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  Actually, on my setup I have a 720p LCD HDTV with a native resolution of 1366x768, and an OPPO upconverting DVD player. I find that the image actually looks better with the player upconverting to 1080i, then having the TV scale the image down to 1366x768. I believe that may be because at 720p, the image must still be stretched to fit the native resolution of the screen. The image winds up looking better being squeezed down from 1080i to fit 1366x768. Just my two cents.

                  Actually your scenario is not uncommo

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by vux984 (928602)
              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 upscaler in a new DVD player may be better than the upscaler in the TV, but that's only half the issue. For a LOT of people, the benefit to upgrading DVD players isn't so much about the scaler as it is about getting a progressive scan player with composite/dvi/hdmi output.

              Hooking up a 7 year old $20
          • by Gregg Alan (8487) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @11:00AM (#23000474)
            Which BluRay dics have you watched? I'd like to avoid them if they look as crappy as a DVD, even upscaled.

            For me, everytime I watch a BluRay disc it's as WOW as when I first tuned into DiscoveryHD when I first got the HDTV.

            But even the overcompressed HD of some of the cable channels is better than DVD.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Enderandrew (866215)
            I had a top of the line upconverting DVD player (which now sits in my basement ignored). My wife and I both believe that the PS3's upconverting is better than the upconverting found in our $250 DVD player.

            Buying the PS3 for $400 netted us:

            - Home media server
            - BluRay player (with frequent firmware updates!)
            - The best upconverting DVD player I've seen
            - A next gen console.

            I won't hate on the other consoles here, but people are quite willing to spend $450 on the XBox 360 Elite. You can argue that the $400 PS3
        • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:32AM (#23000066) Homepage Journal

          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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        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.
        • by Alphi1 (557250) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:23AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by pnewhook (788591)

            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: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Alphi1 (557250)
              To put it simply: HDMI. A non-upconverting DVD player isn't likely to have an HDMI out, and if I'm trying to minimize the cables that have to go to my tv (or for that matter my receiver), I'd rather use a single HDMI cable instead of a three-cable component video and a single digital audio cable.
        • by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:24AM (#22999946) Homepage

          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.
          • >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 sto
          • by codegen (103601) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @11:14AM (#23000634) Journal

            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.
             
            It very much depends on the movie. I know that there are many movies out there that I won't even pay regular DVD prices for, and I only buy them when they hit the bargain bin. There are a few movies that I would be willing to pay a premium price, but for the rest, I would buy the DVD.

            I don't think tour analogy to VHS is entirely accurate. I also stopped buying VHS tapes as soon as I had a DVD player, but that was because (a) no more rewinding, (b) smaller size and easier to store and look through (c) easy fast forward and backup [including skip] (d) subtitles and closed captioning, (e) easy access to bonus materials. The advantage of Blue Ray is not nearly as compelling
          • 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.

            In all seriousness, my laptop, my wife's laptop, my PC, my wife's PC, the PVR in the entertainment center, and the cheap portable DVD players that we're considering getting for my wife and for her parents all use DVDs, not Blu-Ray. EVEN IF the desktop PCs become cheap to upgrade to Blu-ray I'd have to buy at least two read

        • 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-ra

      • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:19AM (#22999898) Homepage Journal

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Colonel Korn (1258968)
          The average person laughs at the idea of buying an iphone. The average person has a tv. The average person has a car. The average (American) person does not have a $400 phone.
      • by Creepy (93888) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:50AM (#23000324) Journal
        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.
      • by pnewhook (788591)

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

        Actually now is a perfect time to buy. With not many people buying, prices will drop to try and entice more people into spending. You can get good deals in a recession.

        Incidentally the looming recession is only in the US.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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 stud
    • by yankeessuck (644423) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:13AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)
      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
      • by jandrese (485)
        Frankly, I'm not rushing to get a Blu-Ray drive for my computer. The blanks are too expensive right now and it might never support playing movies thanks to the industry paranoia and DRM, especially since I primarily use FreeBSD. Thus far I do not have a pressing need to burn disks that no other computer I have access to can read either.

        The blanks aren't quite as bad as you said though, simply because they do have higher capacity. Blu-Ray blanks at $11/each for $0.44/GB. This is still more expensive th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by samkass (174571)
      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
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by outlander78 (527836)

        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 suppo

      • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:56AM (#23000420) Homepage Journal
        I'm calling you out.

        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.


        BS. DVD is always better, even on crappy sets. And, no, people didn't just deal with the macrovision and assume that it was functioning normally. They got themselves an RF modulator (or just used their VCR, since back then, a lot of VCRs didn't even have macrovision features). But claiming that DVDs looked like crap? I still use a DVD player hooked through an RF modulator, looks just fine, and there's no annoying stripe at the top of the screen for the first half hour of the movie.

        So compairing the best scenerio (Blu-ray) with a clearly not-functioning setup (DVD-through macrovision enabled VCR) is just a bit disingenuous. At least give us a fair comparison.

        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.


        Actually, blue ray will require a new tv. Know why? Technically, it'd work on an old TV. But wasn't your last argument simply that DVDs "DVD looks like crap" on older tvs? So why go blueray if that's true? At least be consistent!

        The upgrade from DVD to Bluray is purely asthetic. So don't get your panties in a bunch, but people are only going to upgrade to blu-ray if they have a TV that will show the difference. Otherwise you're throwing $400 out for absolutely NO increase in quality.

        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.


        First problem in your reasoning:

        1. Blu-ray needs to be backwards compatible because it's the only way to get people to switch. DVD was a major improvement over VHS, that alone was enough reason to switch and buy replacement DVDs for all those crappy VHS Tapes. Additionally, it didn't take long for combo players to appear, to get those people who wouldn't make the switch.

        2. The iPod comparison doesn't work. There are obvious benefits to the new iPod: Space. Your old iPod only fits X number of songs? But you have more? If your audio collection is cumulative (and it is) then you'll always need more space. But the comparison you're trying to make is buying an ipod that plays the exact same amount of songs, but pretends to do so with higher quality, which isn't that big of a deal unless you're plugging it into $1500 speakers or earbuds. Oh, and this high-quality version of the ipod is $400 more, but again, offers no new space for more music.

        As you can see, you've compared apples and oranges. During a recession people will have to make decisions on what they'll buy. Understand that you must maximize the advertised value to get people to buy. Money is tight, but not gone. So yes, people will buy an iPod because it's obvious what the benefits are. Blu-Ray? Expensive, plus neccessary additional equiptment to enjoy. Not in the budget- my dvds play just fine.
      • 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
        I can play any DVD in my DVD player...

        Some people are already complaining that their profile 1.0 Blu-Ray players can't play the latest discs. I'd say DVD is the better bet for future proofing at this point, especially as far as hardware goes. Who wants a $400 Blu-Ray player that won't play next month's discs?
        • Every DVD player that I know of can be flashed with new firmware by the simple expedient of burning the update file to a CD-ROM and putting it in the drive. It was common to do this back in the day, because sometimes the old firmware couldn't play some newer DVDs. Or sometimes people did it to gain access to extra features like region code hack menus.

          You can update the firmware on Blu-ray players as well. Probably the exact same way.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by evilviper (135110)

            Every DVD player that I know of can be flashed with new firmware

            You just don't know of many, then.

            This was very true back in the day, and is a big reason I go to great lengths to keep two of my old VCR-sized monster DVD players working.

            However, when the DVD-CCA got upset about all the workarounds, and when price competition drove DVD players down to $50, the ability to flash firmware was entirely removed from the vast majority of DVD players. ROM is cheaper, and fewer instructions in the firmware means you

      • by drsquare (530038)

        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.
        If they prices come down? I thought the whole point of Blu-Ray is that they could charge more for it.
    • 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 watc

      • by epee1221 (873140)

        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.

        You're missing GP's point though. The big selling point of BluRay (high-definition video) is meaningless unless you have an HDTV. Picture quality on the TVs most people have is, as you observed, about the same

  • by 2.7182 (819680) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @09:57AM (#22999644)
    I am going to wait at least 2 years. DVD's are fine for me. Maybe a drive for storage though.
    • by Blimey85 (609949)
      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.
    • by wattrlz (1162603)
      I'm with you. Gonna wait 'till it's free-after-rebate on Black Friday =) .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @09:59AM (#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.
  • by Tiberius_Fel (770739) <felNO@SPAMempirereborn.net> on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:00AM (#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.
    • 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 s
    • 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 w
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:01AM (#22999688) Journal
    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!
    • 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
      • by ivan256 (17499)
        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? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pablo_max (626328) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:01AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by poetmatt (793785)
      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
      • 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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:11AM (#22999808) Journal
      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.
      • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:26AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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? (Score:4, Informative)

      by leuk_he (194174) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:22AM (#22999926) Homepage Journal
      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.

    • by ratboy666 (104074)
      "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.
  • 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.
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:04AM (#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.
    • by esocid (946821)
      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 stimul
    • by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:36AM (#23000122) Homepage Journal
      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?
  • by andy1307 (656570) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:05AM (#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.
    • 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 hur
  • by tsotha (720379) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:07AM (#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?
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:12AM (#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? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AndGodSed (968378) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:12AM (#22999820) Homepage Journal
    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...
    • 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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by znerk (1162519)

        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.
        Not for me. I go out of my way to avoid giving Sony any money. I never liked the money-grubbing tactics of th big-time marketers, and when they came out with the rootikit on their audio disks, that just put the final nail in the coffin. I haven't knowingly purchased a Sony product in over two years.
    • by Dirk Pitt (90561)
      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.
  • by Arthur B. (806360) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:17AM (#22999876)
    Will blu ray rips outdownload dvd rips ?
    • by Blimey85 (609949)
      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 th
  • 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).
  • BR will be a premium item until I start seeing BR's of decent movies go for $10 and players go for $100.
  • 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 discoun
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Because my desktop is Linux and my home server (connected to my tv) is also Linux.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:34AM (#23000100) Homepage
    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
  • 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 abo

    • ...may be the manipulation of the profits/royalties/agreements necessary to make BR hardware now that HD-DVD is more or less officially dead.

      Short term they may start pushing the market by selling at a loss, knowing that long-term they're not really competing with anyone and by flooding the market with BR hardware they can create momentum.

      Long-term they may switch up who's allowed to make players and cut some of the royalty costs to bring in more of the low-end Chinese manufacturers to keep player prices lo
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @10:47AM (#23000294) Journal
    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.
  • > 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
  • The uptake of HD television sets virtually guarantee that Blu Ray will succeed. Aside from price, there is no downside to purchasing a Blu Ray player - they're backwards compatible and most of them will play your DVDs better than ever before. And once someone has a BD player they will be inclined to favour HD content.

    The biggest sticking point is price. I think $400 is a bit steep for a standalone (although the PS3 is great value), but I expect we'll see sub $300 and possibly even a sub $200 player by yea

  • by DdJ (10790) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @11:37AM (#23000958) Homepage Journal
    They're saying that DVDs make up 80% of sales and Blu-Ray 20% right now. A lot of people don't believe it.

    I believe it. Why? Rentals. Most of the people I know with DVD players do not buy many DVDs. They rent tons, but do not actually purchase many.

    Is it hard to believe that Blu-Ray early adopters are more likely to buy media than rent it when compared with late adopters? No, it's not hard to believe at all, which means each DVD sold is on average viewed by more people via rentals. And that makes the 80%/20% split much more plausible.

    Can they drive up Blu-Ray usage so it makes up 50% of sales? Dunno. Seems ambitious. But the thing to remember is, the number of people consuming Blu-Ray does not have to equal the number of people consuming DVD for it to be true. You could have 90% of the population sticking with DVD, but as long as the Blu-Ray folks make purchases all out of proportion to their numbers and the DVD folks stick with rentals, it's possible for Sony to hit their numbers.

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