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Blu-ray Takes Bigger Piece of the Pie

The water the home-entertainment industry is treading is getting Blu-er.

That’s the news that came out of an Entertainment Merchants Association report this week about U.S. consumer spending on DVDs.

Studios celebrating Sony’s Blu-ray victory in the high-definition DVD format war in February were validated by an EMA estimate that spending on Blu-ray discs will overtake standard-disc sales by 2012. EMA said Blu-ray disc revenue will surge to $9.5 billion by then, up from $260 million last year.

In addition to the end of the format war, Blu-ray disc sales will benefit as U.S. consumers acquire Blu-ray disc drives at a faster rate than they did standard DVD players almost a decade ago. Blu-rays will reach homes largely through Sony PlayStation 3 videogame consoles, according to some estimates.

Blu-ray will be a bright spot in what appears to be a flattening market for DVDs. Overall home entertainment spending, which reached about $24 billion last year, will inch forward to $25.6 billion in 2012, or at a compounded growth rate of about 1.3% a year. By comparison, the U.S. population has been projected to grow at about 1% a year between 2000 and 2010, while inflation alone may account for 3% to 4% in overall annual spending increases.

Still, with studios ramping up Blu-ray releases to keep up with increasing demand for HDTV sets and introducing features like BD-Live interactivity and 3-D capabilities, greater consumer awareness of Blu-ray and falling prices for its players are likely to feed demand that will help Blu-ray disc sales cross what many analysts expect to be the $1 billion threshold this year.

“New generations of hardware and software, and alternative delivery channels, will ensure that home video and video games remain phenomenally popular entertainment options for the American public for years to come,” Bo Andersen, EMA’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Comments (4)

webzpinner:

Yay... another reason for Hollywood to triple-dip into their catalogs of titles and gouge the public. Seriously, I saw side-by-side comparisons of BluRay and regular DVD upconverted on a good scaler, and I saw a very minimal difference. NOT worth the $400+ for a new player. Kinda like SACD or DVD-Audio... you get a better quality product, but limited on where you can play it. If I get a DVD, I can play it in any room, on any computer, in my house. My inlaws can borrow my movie... But a bluray, I'd have to replace all the DVD players with BluRay players, etc.

How many times are we going to be forced to upgrade in the name of "current technology"?

doodlehawk:

webzpinner... what size screen did you see the comparison on? People with larger displays notice a striking difference in picture quality. Also, you saw a DVD upconverted on a good scaler. How much does a good external scaler cost? A couple grand? And it still can't match the quality of a $400 Blu Ray player. BTW...by the time you have to replace all your DVD players, Blu Ray players will be a lot cheaper than $400.

mandingo:

I'll second that, Doodlehawk, BluRay makes a difference. DVD does look good upscaled, but only to a point. Anything beyond a 40 inch TV and the jaggies become noticeable.

The clarity and quality of BluRay hi-def makes it worth while. I've been slowly trading my DVD movie collection to BluRay as titles become available... and, of course, prices become reasonable.

And nobody is forcing anyone to upgrade. As far as I know, DVDs can be played on most, if not all, BluRay players and movies are being released in both formats.

So what's the problem?

David Fox:

When I bought my big screen (52" Sharp Aqous) back in January, I also bought a HD-DVD player...I know, I bought the "Betamax", but I had heard nothing at the time about format wars, and found out in February that Blue - Ray won. I was so angry that I backed the wrong horse, I bought an Aqous BD Player. Truthfully, I could see no difference between the HD and the Blue Ray initially. It seemed that the BD was better with color, while the HD won on clarity...That's until I got a BR & HD copy of the same film, and watched them concurrantly.
The BD disc blew the HD out of the water! However, now, what do I do with my HD DVD's? I have about 23 and I just know I will replace them.
The used record stores don't want them, so what am I to do?

Please advise.

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