Is Blu-ray Victory Too Late?

Blu-ray’s victory in getting Warner Brothers to drop the HD-DVD may not be enough to fend off obsolescence.  As Dawn C. Chmielewski reports in the Los Angeles Times, downloads, cable, and satellite delivery of HD movies might make the whole HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray battle moot anyway.

But sales of these next-generation discs fell short of expectations, given the huge summer box office from popcorn movies, said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Nor, he added, did the high-definition DVD players keep pace with the sale of high-definition TVs.

"There’s a window of opportunity here," Tsujihara said. "There are a number of high-definition television sets being purchased. The best time to sell one of these high-definition DVD players is when the consumer walks out the door with that television set. That window was beginning to close on us."

If a consumer doesn’t get an HD-DVD or Blu-ray player when they get an HD television, it may make it more likely they will simply rely on their Internet, cable, or satellite company to deliver movies in HD.

And it’s clear that the format war — though benefiting consumers by driving down the price of high-definition DVD players — has been confusing them too and keeping them from replacing their DVD players and their movie collection.

"Unfortunately, the loser here with the format war has been the consumer," Gownder said. "We found that 28% of people said the fact that there was a format war meant they weren’t going to buy a high-definition DVD player. They weren’t going to try to figure it out."

It is possible that other people are like me, in that they keep their DVDs in good condition and thus they last without losing quality, as opposed to VHS tapes.  People had lots of reasons to buy a DVD of a movie they already had on VHS.  HD-DVD and Blu-ray are both better than regular DVD, but some people may not care enough, and as long at the studios are still releasing new movies on DVD, they don’t feel like making yet another format jump.  I’m sure die-hard animation fans are not happy Disney, Fox, and DreamWorks Animation aren’t all in agreement yet.

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3 Responses to Is Blu-ray Victory Too Late?

  1. Phil says:

    To my eyes, the difference between regular DVD and HD-DVD or Blu-Ray is just not a big enough gap to warrant replacing my collection of movies.

    The next jump will have to be something dramatic, like to 3D-Holographic.

    I’ll be one of those people who waits to make the switch to Blu-Ray until it’s the only format available in stores and through Netflix. Until then, I’m more than content with my regular DVDs playing on my HDTV.

  2. gary kaplow says:

    yes we are moving towards a digital download world, but the two things that holds me off from purchasing downloads is this: 1) you don’t get all the extras with the digital downloads. half the time i get it for the commentary and the bloopers and other various extras, which don’t come with digital downloads. and 2) the ability to resell or trade the video (song) when done with it. i am on amazon all the time selling off all my old dvd’s that i don’t watch anymore. in the digital download world you can’t do that.

  3. The Future Has Arrived says:

    People who can’t tell the difference between Blu-ray and DVD are crazy, because Blu-ray movies are indistinguishable from the 2k and 4k masters on 100+ in. screens. And upconverting DVD players don’t even hack it. (Pop in Brother Bear and look how blurry the menus are.) Pop in a Disney Blu-ray and you’ll get chills from the uncompressed audio. Disney Blu-ray exceeds even the best movie theaters; it doesn’t even compare with HD cable channels, downloads, or blurry, blocky DVDs.

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