Blue-ray Won the Battle but Lost the War

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It is already one year since Sony signed with the four big movie studios and knocked out Toshiba in the war for the high-definition video format. Seagate’s CEO said then “Blue-ray won the battle but lost the war”, referring to hard-drives as the end winners that will store HD movie downloads. Time is predictably confirming his point, as broadband speed grows, movie downloads gain popularity and storage costs drop.

As NYT writes in Blu-ray’s Fuzzy Future, DVD was a big step forward compared to VHS, but Blue-ray quality improvement versus a DVD is not enough to compel consumers to invest into it, less in the middle of a recession. And time plays against Sony’s format. A Blu-ray disc (BD) has 25 GB capacity,or 50GB for two-layers BDs. By next year memory cards of 32GB will be available, and that will kill the adoption of BD-ROM units in computers. The Mac Air and all netbooks already said good-bye to DVD-CD discs. The popularity of external Terabyte drives makes the use of a 50GB Blu-ray disc irrelevant for back-up too.

Not even Microsoft is considering anymore to include Blue-ray in the Xbox 360. Why would they make it more costly when the 360 already has an Internet connection to download movies and games?

With the growth of  broadband speed and cheap storage, do not be surprised if Blu-ray is not in the picture(s) in ten years. As flash get cheaper, even SanDisk could venture into SlotMovie to distribute movies in micro-SD cards, as they did with SlotMusic.

3 thoughts on “Blue-ray Won the Battle but Lost the War

  1. FJC

    Hello, I wish that Blu-ray can’t expand in this world. Firstly, VHS, after laser disc-although its career was horrible-, DVD…now, Blu-Ray.
    Spectators, that they change all their pictures VHS to DVD, see another change without expectatives of true improvements for changing once more all their films.

    Internet is the most powerful army that people have to win this battle to blu-ray.

  2. Pingback: Disruption Matters » Blog Archive » Bad Times for Sony

  3. Wade Duck

    I think it boils down to the fact that consumers are getting tired of buying the same movie over and over again with each new format that comes out. Oh, sure. You have some maniacs who have to play along and replace everything they have each time the new format comes out. But they are NOT the rule.

    DVD at least offered concrete reasons. (Much better picture, not having to worry about the film wearing out from normal use, more portability, etc.) There was a reason to go DVD. (Actually there were several good reasons.)

    Not only does Blu Ray not offer anything concrete enough, but it also presents problems. (Having to buy a whole new system, a whole new tv, paying twice as much for the film, etc.) Not to mention that in many cases you often have to go through a long painful registration process before a blu ray disc can be played! And did I mention that you lose the convenience of playing it on a computer or at another person’s house?

    Enough with the format changes! If you’re not going to offer something concrete like DVD did over VHS, leave us alone! Blu Ray can disappear, and that’s just fine with me. DVDs are good enough.

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