Not Done Yet: Real media still tops, according to study

April 25, 2011 by  
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If you listened to the tech articles across the web, you would think that everyone and their brother was watching movies via Internet streaming and/or Video on Demand services via cable or internet services. It’s the big new thing, right? However, a new NPD Group of thousands of avid TV watchers has uncovered that DVD/Blu-Ray is still not quite dead and buried yet.

According to NPD, 77 percent of consumers they surveyed have watched a movie on DVD/Blu-ray hi-def disc in the past 3 months. However, only 21% have watched a home movie via a digital source like on demand or streaming. That’s quite a gap that will take a long time to shrink, more than likely.

Want more telling stats? You got it: NPD also found that 80 cents of every dollar spent on home video is going for the rental or sale of DVDs or Blu-ray discs, not streams or On Demand (the latter of which is too expensive most of the time anyhow compared to hard media). Not only is HD still hot, but the real thing is still pretty hot as well.

Stats: 17% of US Homes now have a Blu-Ray Player

October 4, 2010 by  
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Latest stats: 17% percent of U.S. households now have at least one Blu-ray player, according to a new NPD Group report, as reported by Home Media Magazine. The report also said that 20 million U.S. households own both a Blu-ray player and a DVD player, while 95% percent of surveyed U.S. households have a DVD player (nearly everyone in other words).

Another curious stat: 25% of households with a HDTV also have a Blu-Ray player (for obvious reasons), and Centris added that younger, wealthier consumers with children are more likely to buy a Blu-ray player for their homes, which in theory is a rapidly expanding demographic.

We like the fact that it is rapidly growing as a market, but in sobering reality, it isn’t totally replacing DVD as a medium as of now. It still has a ways to go to grow into that role, though it definitely has a nice head start.

Warner Exec: ‘Blu-Ray will be around for many years’

September 20, 2010 by  
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Warner Bros. big-wig Barry Meyer has been quoted as stating that DVDs and Blu-ray HD discs will be around for a number of years, according to an article by Home Media Magazine, and that despite some predictions that discs will soon be replaced by Video on Demand and streaming video type media, Meyer told an industry conference last week that disc sales seems to be solid and stable after several quarters of small percentage declines.

This is good and bad news, we suppose. The good news: The discs you’re buying now won’t be obsolete in just a few years. The bad news: eventually, yes, On Demand streaming will replace hard media for many in the know. Of course, discs will always have some place among those who can’t be bothered with fancy tools or modern technology of any kind, so they won’t die off completely.

Meyer continues: “The physical DVD market is going to be around a lot longer than VHS was. That little silver disc is a pretty ubiquitous thing. It is high quality, usable on a lot of different devices, portable and all that. And until we start getting digital into that place that is as ubiquitous, playable on multiple devices and as portable as DVD, I think you will see physical hanging around for a long time.”

We do agree, but will add that Blu-Ray (in our opinion) will replace standard DVD within the next 5-10 years or so, even among much of the mainstream audience, especially considering the quick decline of players and disc prices.

Flip It: More Blu-Ray/DVD Combo movies show up

April 14, 2010 by  
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We’re still not sure if those Jason Bourne DVD / Blu-ray combo discs did well (if you were going to buy the films, you would’ve bought them either way, we think), but Universal is already preparing its second go round of “flip” DVD/BR combos with Out of Africa, Traffic and The Jackal all set to appear in stores April 27. Is this a trend you’re excited about? With the HD 1080p fidelity of Blu-Ray in the package, would you really care if a DVD was included?

With $27 MSRP and below-$20 pricing on Amazon and similar outlets expected there’s not the huge price premium on these catalog releases that there would have been a year ago, but they’ll probably end up in a bargain bin within a few months, more than likely. Any of these interest you to pick up, strictly on the fact it includes both formats separately? Let us know if this trend is something you appreciate.

Cheap 1080p: Blu-Ray player selling for $70 at Target

March 15, 2010 by  
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target-philips-blu-rayWe knew it would happen, and now it has: A Philips Blu-Ray player is now selling for under $70 at Target stores. That’s cheaper than some DVD players right now, and its a bargain for easy entry into the world of 1080p HD glory. Maybe pair it with one of these fine TVs?

For those 70 schillings you’ll be getting DivX support, a SDHC card reader, BD Live, and HDMI CEC convenience. While a quick search returns a group of mixed reviews (image quality is only ok), for $70 are you really going to complain too much? We didn’t think so.

It seems Blu-Ray is making inroads to becoming cheap enough for everyone to consider owning. And to think a year ago, players were still averaging around the $300 mark or so…makes you wonder how sane early adopters really are.

Perspective: The Real Reason Blu-Ray Will Win The Race

January 29, 2010 by  
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blu-ray_logoWell-respected research firm InStat issued a study saying that Blu-ray player sales will still be lagging behind DVD players in the year 2013. Is this true? Probably not. And its very easy to see why, from our perspective: there won’t be competition. Within 18 months, some big name companies will stop making DVD players. That’s correct. And news like this strengthens our case.

It’s a bold prediction, we realize, but the benefits of BR (not to mention most units play regular DVDs anyway) outweigh any backwards compatibility of older DVD units. By then, BR players will be very cheap (probably $50-60) and there won’t be a point in producing DVD players any longer.

So this isn’t a huge reach really; it’s what many AV guys know but won’t necessarily come out and say. We have no such reluctance; we’re ready to embrace the future of HD and home entertainment (as far as physical media goes anyway), which is Blu-Ray. And you can tell your friends you read it here.

Record Year: Blu-Ray dominance growing in the physical media market

January 19, 2010 by  
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blu-ray_logoNo matter how you look at it, HD and Blu-Ray specifically had a great year, both in terms of pure numbers and market penetration. It’s a good sign for the future of the medium, which should continue to grow as good broadband internet isn’t available everywhere in rural areas to support streaming. Especially in light of larger companies launching wider support for Blu-Ray.

Here’s some very nice numbers to peek at: the households with a Blu-ray player are up 76 percent, to 17 million or so, and were up 44% over the five week holiday season (mainly because of the deep player discounts of Christmas time, no doubt).

Physical discs will probably never be quite as dominant as they once were, but hey, those numbers have to be encouraging for BR media supporters. We predict it will be 2-3 years before Blu will be the de-facto medium over DVD at the retail level, at least as far as new purchases go.

Opinion: Will you trade your DVDs for Blu-Ray?

December 18, 2009 by  
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upgradeprograms121009Disney, Warner and some other companies are getting into the swing of Blu-Ray high-def by offering exchanges of DVD for Blu-Ray discs for selected movies, at a discount from the detail price…and you can keep your DVDs as well. It’s been a hit in some techie circles.

So how about it: Are you up to doing this sort of thing, oh HD lovers out there? In some cases, people are saying they can beat the $8 off MSRP discount offered by the Disney program with venues like to choose from, a very valid point. The Warner trade in is better, you can get most discs for only $8 each, and people have reported fast turnarounds with the program.

Feel free to speak up about your thoughts/experiences.

Incentive: Disney offering Blu-Ray upgrade program with rebate

December 9, 2009 by  
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disneyupgrade2bluDisney sure wants you to upgrade to Blu-Ray high-def, and they’ll even give you $8 to do it apparently, with their newly minted Upgrade2Blu program, and hey, you even get to keep your existing DVDs as well, so its a no-brainer, it appears.

Like a few other offers out there, you get an $8 rebate and it saves you some green on Blu-ray Discs that you already have on DVD, and this makes perfect sense from a company that tends to throw in the DVD with many of their product releases right now, and they’re very Blu-Ray gung ho right now, something we like and appreciate very much.

Nice offer, and we hope other large companies follow suit, so that adoption to BR can really take off and people can watch those classic Disney toons in true HD.

Blu-Ray outpacing DVD in growth, but won’t reach its numbers in penetration

October 6, 2009 by  
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blu-ray-discA recent study from a tech research firm is that Blu-Ray adoption is far outpacing DVD adoption in its 4th year, comparatively speaking, but for many reasons, total market penetration won’t reach DVD levels, because of various factors like media streaming and online availability.

The study predicts that Blu-ray will keep the adoption lead long-term –especially in light of recent price drops, which are both welcome and smart business wise.

We love the news as HD lovers ourselves, and figure Blu-Ray is here to stay, at least for the next 3-5 years, and will continue to grow and be adopted by legions of HDTV fans out there.

Mainstreaming: Blu-Ray and retail price levels dropping, and looking to the future

August 31, 2009 by  
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blu-ray-discBlu-Ray wholesale pricing is dropping slowly, according to VideoBusiness. And this is nothing but good for BR and the future of the HDTV format.

Rentrak reports indicate an average of a 10% drop in pricing on new releases to $23.47 and 30% lower pricing on catalog titles to $17.23. Retailers are no doubt thrilled about that development.

Some retailers are still saying they’re too high, hoping to see BR flicks priced just a few bucks above their DVD cousins. We’re hoping to see that someday soon too, but not in the next few months, probably. The day that does happen, though (and players sink a little more), DVD will be in trouble among the HDTV owning crowd (and that crowd grows every month).

What do you think, readers? What price point will it take for BR to gain more mainstream acceptance and retail numbers?

First Shot Fired: Wal-Mart reduces Magnavox Blu-Ray player to $98

July 9, 2009 by  
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walmart98_formatwarcentralSo here it is: the first volley in the format wars between DVD and Blu-Ray. We knew it was coming, and now its here. How will this impact the market for people who said Blu-Ray was too expensive?

It seems a sharp-eyed shopper at Wal-Mart spotted the Magnavox NB530MGX Blu-ray player rolled back for good to $98. Now this doesn’t have all the fancy internet-connected BR Live features present on more expensive players, but if you’re not worried about that or wouldn’t use it, here’s the player for you. No more excuses to view your movies in true 1080p HD, the way they should be seen.

We’ll keep you updated on this as news comes in about more discounts.

BD-Live for Blu-Ray: Huge disappointment so far?

May 2, 2009 by  
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disney-bdliveBlu-Ray and pure HD 1080p discs were quite a revolution for HD fans, but the interactive BD-Live feature now showing up on a few discs so far has been slow to access and content-starved, and have been overall a disappoinment, it’s safe to say.

The latest Iron Man disc for example took a lot of time to load (even on newer and faster BR players) and wasn’t worth the wait, according to many comments we’ve seen and read. It’s a shame that the BR people aren’t putting more time and work into this feature, as it could really be something to beat the special features of typical DVD’s.

Live HD on-demand new features on the fly and other goodies could really be good, but so far, it hasn’t really materialized like many thought it would. How about you, our readers? Anyone here have BD-Live experiences to share, good or bad?