Top Four Reasons Blu-ray Won’t Tank

February 29, 2008

Blu-rayIn case you missed it, Computer Worlds Lucas Mearian rattled a few blue chains Wednesday with his opinion piece titled, “Top four reasons Blu-ray Disc will tank”. I’m sure with a provocative title like that Mr. Mearian won’t be the least bit surprised that a few lone voices out in the wilderness politely beg to differ.

(1) “Blu-ray players are more than four times the cost of standard DVD players” Lucas goes on to mention $400 Blu-ray players from Sony being launched over the summer and an estimated $199 price point by the holidays. I’m really not even sure how to address this one, we already know (acknowledged earlier by the same author) that Blu-ray players launched at $999 or higher and we’re currently hovering around the $399 mark. maybe I’m naive but I don’t necessarily think $299 or better is out of the question before year’s end. I mean does that really sound all that impossible to anyone else?

(2) “Upgraded (SD) DVD players offer near-HD quality for a fraction of the price.” No Lucas, they don’t. It’s really not even close with the right display. By this point I’m honestly starting to get the impression this is all a big put-on. The color reproduction alone should clue someone in to the fact that they’re watching standard definition. Yeah, hold up, are we being had here?

(3) “Why buy when you can rent?” Good question but I’m not sure what it has to do with Blu-ray. In a nutshell renters rent and buyers buy, neither of these little truths seemed to hinder DVD adoption however. While I don’t expect Blu-ray to be as successful as DVD, even 15-25% of DVD’s market share would probably feel like a huge win for the studios. Never underestimate the desire to own, collect and point to a shelf saying, yeah I’ve got that right there.


(4) “Downloads” Well Mr. Mearian finally hit on a point that we agree on. Downloads will indeed carve out a healthy portion of Blu-ray’s overall potential sales, but so will the Box-Office, Starbucks, iTunes, iPods, socks and the world’s most successful home video format ever, namely DVD. My point is, gone are the days of one format being everything to everyone.

Yeah, DVD will still reign supreme for the foreseeable future but dethroning it really can’t be anyones goal here. The studios have all but admitted that Blu-ray’s true purpose is just to stem the bleeding, not necessarily replace DVD outright (at least not anytime soon). So by that very definition Blu-ray doesn’t have to come out both fists swinging, it just has to gain a small but steady market-share, which it seems to be doing last I checked.

All in Good Fun: Listen, this was all in good fun, no hard feelings Mr. Mearian. My goal here wasn’t to chastise anyone or throw down any imaginary gauntlets. I just wanted to offer an alternative stance and hopefully communicate the “home theater guy’s” point of view. I think that’s really the crux of what Lucas is saying, from his “PC” standpoint there’s nothing really all that special about Blu-ray and I might even be inclined to agree, but from a home theater standpoint, it’s the best we have going forward and in my book, that alone is worth giving it a fair shake.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Blu-ray


Comments

  • Dan P.

    Regarding “Why buy when you can rent?”.

    It’s the week before Christmas. I want to watch “Christmas Vacation”, “Elf”, “Polar Express”, etc. So do about 20 million other people. Think I’m going to be able to rent that stuff? Yeah, right.

  • Dan P.

    Regarding “Why buy when you can rent?”.

    It’s the week before Christmas. I want to watch “Christmas Vacation”, “Elf”, “Polar Express”, etc. So do about 20 million other people. Think I’m going to be able to rent that stuff? Yeah, right.