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Bad Signs For Blu-ray

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the anguish-languish dept.

Media 1276

Ian Lamont writes "More than six months after HD-DVD gave up the ghost, there are several signs that Sony's rival Blu-ray format is struggling to gain consumer acceptance. According to recent sales data from Nielsen, market share for Blu-ray discs in the U.S. is declining, and Sony and its Blu-ray partners are trying several tactics to boost the format — including free trial discs bundled into magazines and cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200."

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Noone likes DRM (4, Insightful)

TheSlashaway (1032228) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113769)

Can anyone say DRM? Consumers do not like DRM and thus are not buying Blu-Ray. The poor economy is also a factor.

Re:Noone likes DRM (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113777)

Can anyone say DRM?

Yeah, but the masses can't tell you what it stands for.

Re:Noone likes DRM (3, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113837)

Digital Restrictions Management?

Though, I don't know if 190 pounds is enough to be considered "masses".

Re:Noone likes DRM (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113869)

And it doesn't matter what they think it stands for. All they have to know is DRM means support headaches and/or getting screwed out of stuff you pay for.

DRM (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113793)

Don't Rely on the Market?
Yeah, Washington DC says that all the time.

Re:Noone likes DRM (3, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113841)

Balls. People had no trouble buying DVD players before deCSS, and many (I dare say a majority) people still don't know about it/care. It's true consumers don't like DRM, but that's because they generally don't even know about it.

The increase in quality and features is not as great as DVD, and the economy is a huge issue.

Re:Noone likes DRM (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113985)

Calling "less than $200" cheap is pretty absurd. Perfectly solid DVD players [newegg.com] are flying off the shelves for less than $18 bucks at newegg. Why would someone buy a $200 blu ray player when they can get all their favorite movies on a player that costs less than a single DVD?

Re:Noone likes DRM (3, Insightful)

Bazar (778572) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113899)

Consumers are for the most part too ignorant to care about dvd based DRM.

DRM on music is enough to concern them, since many have an mp3 player they would like to use with their CD's/Downloads.

However with blu-ray disks, i cannot picture the average consumer, or even the less common nerder consumer giving a damn over the inability to copy 40gig movies to their computer or to where ever.

Put simply, don't fool yourself into wishful thinking that consumers have suddenly woken up to DRM. Its far more likely to be a more simpler reason, like the recession.

Re:Noone likes DRM (5, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114125)

Its far more likely to be a more simpler reason, like the recession.

...or that Blu-ray offers nothing better for the average consumer than SACD does for sound. It's great for videophiles and those with really expensive setups, but at the end of the day it's the same movie at a higher cost.

Re:Noone likes DRM (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114155)

Agree. The U.S. economy is melting down as we speak, and Sony is worried why people aren't investing in more HDTVs and Blu-ray players and buying all our movies again in another format at $30+ each for only a gain in resolution?

Hell, the economy even has only a little to do with it.

Make players that cost $100 and make the disc premium $1-2 more than standard DVDs ($15 for a new release DVD during the first week of sale at Walmart!) and you can even sell it during the recession.

Re:Noone likes DRM (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114231)

What about being able to use 1080p with a TV that doesn't have HDMI?

1080p can be sent over component, but no Blu-Ray players do that.

Re:Noone likes DRM (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114245)

Yeah, because DVD was such an open and free format.

Most consumers dont even know what DRM stands for? Dont Read Manuals? Dog Rimming Machine?

Re:Noone likes DRM (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113957)

Naaaaa, convince porn distributors to go blu-ray. That will drive demand up.....no pun intended.

Re:Noone likes DRM (2, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113993)

The poor economy is also a factor.

DVD sales are steady, though. Granted the article only examines the trend between last week and this week, so both numbers are next to meaningless...

Re:Noone likes DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114005)

Consumers couldn't care less. All they see is this brand new format being pushed by a company that's in no hurry to make it affordable, and feels no push to make it into their living rooms. Hell, how many people have HDTVs? The switch to DVD was one thing, the benefits were immediate with a standard def TV. This time around, not only do you have to plunk down at least $250 for a new player, but at least $500 for a new TV as well. Great cost for little benefit. Blu-ray is a few years ahead of its time.

Re:Noone likes DRM (2, Insightful)

TheSlashaway (1032228) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114057)

Let me add that I purchase all my DVDs and I own NO Blu-Ray discs. Why? I want to view my movies on the player of my choice -- typically a computer connected to a projector. I also want to view the movie without forced commercials at the beginning. Furthermore, I would prefer no discs at all. I want to simply choose a title from a menu and play my paid content. I don't want to be networked in order to play it and I want perpetual rights to play what I paid for. Do this at a reasonable price and people will buy into it.

Re:Noone likes DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114211)

I don't want to be networked in order to play it and I want perpetual rights to play what I paid for.

According to the movie companies you paid for a few bits of plastic and metal. The contents of the disc do not belong to you.
When you bought the disc you were granted a license to view tthe contents in the manner they choose until they decide to change
the license and screw you.

Yeah it sucks and I dont agree with it either. I'm guessing it wouldn't stand up in court but nobody with enough money has tried
to fight it yet.

Other factors (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114075)

Can anyone say DRM? Consumers do not like DRM and thus are not buying Blu-Ray. The poor economy is also a factor.

I believe that other factors have been significant as well.

What you will not hear any Sony executives say: "Gee, maybe if we hadn't insisted on a long and drawn-out format war and did whatever we had to do to come up with a single standard early on, perhaps the market for high-definition DVDs would be doing better right now."

I agree that DRM is an abomination but whether I like it or not, it seems that most "consumers" don't understand it and don't see why it's such a bad thing. "Another Betamax vs. VHS" and "I don't want to invest in the loser" however, is something that most people do understand. Because of the way digital downloads (legal and otherwise) are becoming more and more prevalent and are obviously here to stay, the idiots behind the format wars should have seen that time as their one chance to establish themselves and gain some marketshare before people lost interest in purchasing physical media.

The Blu-ray format will be useful as a replacement for DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW, since more space is always useful for data storage. But I really think the days of buying physical media from a brick-and-mortar store in order to watch movies are numbered.

Re:Noone likes DRM (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114103)

DRM only because DRM == $29 disk for basically the same product as the $16 DvD disk sitting next to it.

I've seen them selling "dumb" Bluray titles for $12. The market is clearly phenomenal on titles they think are popular.

Folks are struggling- 10,000 people in new york that made over $100k a year plus bonuses just got laid off (there goes 10,000 genuine customers).

Regular folks tend to prefer 43" screens after they get a 55" and it is *too big* for ordinary workin type's living rooms (who needs a 60" screen when you are 12' from the screen). It's this huge black eye when it is turned off. Blu ray on 43" screen is not that much better than DVD. Esp. with upconverting player.

Re:Noone likes DRM (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114115)

Can anyone say DRM? Consumers do not like DRM and thus are not buying Blu-Ray. The poor economy is also a factor.

DRM has little or nothing to do with it (outside of geek circles anyway). While the DRM may be a significant potential problem, I don't think too many people have actually been badly bitten by it yet (that will change the longe the format is around). Most average consumers don't know enough about it to realise the problem it represents.

The reason Blu-ray is doing badly is fairly simple: it just isn't that compelling. The difference in quality and durability between video and DVD was quite apparent to even the average viewer (particularly durability, given how bad a video tape can look after many viewings), and so DVD took off fairly quickly. The difference between Blu-ray and DVD is less clear, particularly when you're comparing an upscaling DVD player. The difference is there, but it is simply not enough to get consumers excited about buying a whole new player and re-buying their DVD library in an even more expensive format. Through in an ailing economy and lower consumer spending and Blu-ray's fate is clear. There's much potential for Blu-ray to go the way of SACD -- it will matter to those devoted to the medium, but average consumers will pass it buy, and it will end up as a niche product.

Re:Noone likes DRM (2, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114131)

Most consumers don't care. They just pop in a disc and watch it.

One of the factors is probably that for a BluRay player to give you any benefit, ignore the $400 player... you need a $1500-$4000 television.

Some folks still won't drop four grand on a TV, go figure.

Re:Noone likes DRM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114159)

Nonsense. The "masses" don't care about DRM. What they care about is price. BlueRay players and media are still more expensive than DVD equivalents. Once the price point comes down, expect to see more sales.

Re:No-one likes DRM (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114205)

I really don't think "the masses" are worried about DRM. They don't care - as long as it is not in their face.

DVDs all contain DRM, no-one has a problem with that. Only the geeks, who insisted on playing DVDs on unsupported platforms, until the DRM was broken of course.

Then there is something like, what's it called, HDCM or so? To prevent high-def content being sent to displays that do not support that standard. That is also something that doesn't seem to take off, and from what I hear here has a lot of problems. It gets in your face, it blocks people from playing their content, and then and only then the DRM becomes an issue. But that's for small numbers only now, most can't afford that.

All in all I think blu-ray may be nice but there is no need for ordinary people to upgrade. You only see an increase in image quality if you also invest in a large, decent quality HDTV. And that is a big investment, too big for most people, even when the economy were in good shape.

It is the law of diminishing returns. The step from VHS to DVD was great in both convenience and quality, and small in terms of cost: only a new, inexpensive player was needed. Same for vinyl to CD, all that was needed was a CD player to have the better quality.

Now to get really better quality (there is no increase in convenience I believe, decrease maybe due to the digital restrictions included), one not only needs an (inexpensive) blu-ray player, also a new (expensive) display is required. The existing TV just doesn't do it, no difference between normal DVD and blu-ray.

Not a surprise. (3, Insightful)

nyu2 (1263642) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113771)

After all, Blu-Ray's real competitor wasn't HD-DVD. It was, and still is, downloads.

Re:Not a surprise. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113949)

After all, Blu-Ray's real competitor wasn't HD-DVD. It was, and still is, the DVD.

FTFY

Big News (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113775)

Frivolous new overpriced tech does poorly in tough times. Who'da thunk it?

Re:Big News (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113995)

Not only that, but remember how well DVD did before players dropped below the magical 100 dollar mark?

LOL! Bitter Xbox/HD-DVD Fanboys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114027)

Cry those bitter tears losers!

You would have thought that after Zonk was kicked the fuck off Slashdot the bitter Xbox/HD-DVD articles would have run their course.

PS3 + 1080p TV + 7.1 audio system + Netflix account == Movie Heaven.

That reminds me of a story. Remember that time where you Xbots bought HD-DVD addons and lots of movies so you could brag about 'teh attach rate' and then your shitty format DIED. LOL! That was hilarious.

   

Sorry Sony... (5, Interesting)

porkus (16839) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113779)

I'm not about to rebuy my DVD collection or upgrade my TV to enable your HDCP-enabled dreams of complete consumer control.

Also, I could care less about your game console, so you won't be able to use me as a marketing statistic showing the success of Blu-Ray there either.

Re:Sorry Sony... (1)

TheSlashaway (1032228) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113809)

DVD quality is good enough and there's no HDCP. Also, people are downloading video. When will the industry learn?

Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113781)

Recession + DVDs-are-good-enough = Slow adaptation of new technology.

content content content (5, Insightful)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113783)

I'd much rather see a good story with crappy special effects than a crappy story with good special effects.

Re:content content content (1)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113905)

Yeah, when will the studios release more movies like The Godfather [amazon.com] , Taxi Driver [amazon.com] , or A Clockwork Orange [amazon.com] ?

movies like those? (3, Funny)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113951)

Careful, someone in Hollywood heard you.

You'll get remakes which will be nothing like those movies. Don't worry, they'll make the Great Space Coaster and Different Strokes first.

DVD (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113799)

DVDs are inexpensive and gets the job done fine. I'm more interested in the story than the oooopretty.

I don't need to enjoy super high resolution movies, and in this time of economic crisis I'd rather just buy the DVD version and put the rest of the cash in my gas tank.

Re:DVD (3, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114009)

Blu-Ray mastering needs work, to my eye. Without motion blur, you need ultra-high refresh rates (up over 120fps) to keep progressive scan video - regardless of definition - from looking jittery. That's controlled by how the images are mastered from either film or digital stock, and by how well your TV can really play back the material.

To me, all Blu-Ray stuff I've seen so far looks like crisp newscam compared to a real cinema experience. DVD playback has actually come a long way in emulating cinematic effects, despite the lower res, so in some instances DVD doesn't just get the job done fine, it actually looks better in some ways than Blu-Ray.

Blu-Ray vs DVD (3, Insightful)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113811)

what the hell does blu-ray offer that DVD doesn't?
oh a super high resolution that MOST people won't notice on their old CRT Television sets and only few would actually notice on their Hi-Def TVs. DVD for me thanks.

Re:Blu-Ray vs DVD (2, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114089)

The studios can add little Java applet games to Blu-Ray discs.

Of course, you'll need to be connected to the internet so they can verify that you're running the applet on a single player at a time.

Yeah, Blu-Ray didn't win. (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113815)

HD-DVD lost, clearly, but that doesn't mean Blu-Ray won. DVD is winning; and if it can hold onto a lead for several more years, long enough for a substantially better technology to go along, Blu-Ray will fade away just like LaserDisk.

Blu-Ray is better than DVD, but I don't know if it is enough better to survive and conquer.

Re:Yeah, Blu-Ray didn't win. (1)

chamont (25273) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114111)

Dude.

Laserdisc [wikipedia.org] , not Laserdisk. But I guess that's the point. My wife would say "laser what?". And most buyers of that format would say "DAMN, what am I going to do with these huge fucking obsolete discs".

I got one of those "Trial" discs. (5, Insightful)

chaossplintered (1164745) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113817)

In the latest issue of Wired, I got one of those "Trial" Blu-Ray discs. I would have loved to check out the movie and disc, except: a.) I don't own a Blu-Ray player. b.) I don't know anyone who owns a Blu-Ray Player. c.) I don't have interest in said movie. I mean, why the -hell- would I spend $200 on something I got in a magazine that I pay $15 for? If I do own the Blu-Ray player to play it, then why good does it do to tell me all the benefits of Blu-Ray when I'm already sold on it?

Re:I got one of those "Trial" discs. (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113843)

Maybe they should consider putting free trial Blu-Ray players in magazines. I'd consider giving them a spin of they did that.

Re:I got one of those "Trial" discs. (5, Funny)

Tingler (56229) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113861)

Oh, so that is what that was. I saw 'Sony' on it, so I ripped it out of the magazine and threw it away. I thought someone rootkitted my magazine!

Re:I got one of those "Trial" discs. (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113961)

Okay, stop right there. This is the Common Sense Police! You are in breach of the daily allowance of Common Sense(tm).

Please back away quietly. Nothing to see here folks, nothing to see.

I know! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113833)

I'm not business man but maybe they should make them not cost like double. If they were like a dollar or two more, everyone would buy them! But like $25 for a movie, not gonna happen for me at least.

lollercoaster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113845)

CAPITALISM WORKS!!! SEE???

Maybe the author is clueless to how the free-market works...they probably support Obama too

DVR + Netflix Online + USB + DRM = why bother (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113851)

With DVRs to record stuff off the air, NetFlix Online to download stuff, and USB sticks to replace tapes and burnable discs, why bother with BlueRay?

Maybe if it were DRM-free for purchased media, under $10 for a blank recordable disk, and under $100 for a recorder, I'd go for it, but why bother?

Copy-protection has one valid place: The rental market. And even then, nothing says "we don't trust our customers" like a ball and chain attached to the product.

Re:DVR + Netflix Online + USB + DRM = why bother (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113953)

I heard a number the other day. DVR penetration is at 25% of households. People are probably just too dang busy watching all of their DVRed stuff to want to watch DVDs and Blu-Rays.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113855)

fp

Upscaling DVD is good enough.... (4, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113857)

I have a PS3 which upscales DVD and plays Blu-Ray. Most of the time, upscaling is just fine for an action flick on my HD TV. I thought I'd be buying Blu-ray discs but I find myself just wanting to spend 20 bucks on a DVD rather than 32 bucks for the Blu-Ray version.

Re:Upscaling DVD is good enough.... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114169)

Oh, you've got a PS3 that upscales DVDs? Mine doesn't, so I get a 7 inches image right in the middle of my 30 inches television..

Re:Upscaling DVD is good enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114239)

dont be silly on amazon you can get a good blue ray for 12-20 bucks. At walmart i can get a somewhat recent movie for 5 bucks as a dvd, just depends where u shop.

Win the main game, lose the bonus round. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113859)

Some things just plain need competition to work. When HD-DVD was around, Blu-Ray providers had incentive to win the format war. Now, there's no need to spend marketing dollars on "I'm better than you!" campaigns, they're just going to grow at the rate of HD adoption... and the public seems to have a big "don't care" about that one.

Re:Win the main game, lose the bonus round. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114061)

Seems more like competition is the problem when it comes to format wars.

Blu-ray is a backwards step for consumers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113863)

Blu-ray delivers an increment to picture quality for those with the equipment to take advantage of it. It delivers a crippled experience in the form of increased Digital Restrictions Management to everybody. Add it all up and it is a backward step for consumers (but a leap forward for producers). Consumers aren't stupid and will not pay for their own handcuffs.

Perhaps it's the 50% price increase from DVDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113873)

Boy, I wish there was a class you could take in Highschool or College that would explain how the market works. We could call it something like "Economy 101" or even something obscure like "Consumer Behavior 231."

From one consumer's perspective... (4, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113883)

* I don't have a HD TV, so what would be the point right now?

* It's my (probably uninformed as heck) impression that not that many movies are out on Blu-Ray. I'm more into documentaries (which would look superb in HD) -- are they available and affordable?

* The players are not cheap -- and judging from the pattern of all similar tech devices, in a year or three, they'll be under $100 or so -- and eventually be downright cheap, once the thrift stores have switched from selling VHS players to DVD players.

* Finally, I have a substantial DVD collection and am in no hurry to re-spend all that money (especially since, until I get used to HD quality, DVDs look fine to me.)

Re:From one consumer's perspective... (1)

tulare (244053) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113991)

Exactly! "Less than two hundred bucks" isn't cheap when you can get a reasonably decent DVD player for $30-$40. And who gives a rip about 1080p when all one has to watch on is a 19-inch CRT screen.

When house-sized flat screens start to match (not come close to, but match) the cost of similar CRT or projection sets, and when Blu-Ray players drop below about 80 bucks, then the market will shift. Not before.

Re:From one consumer's perspective... (2, Interesting)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114261)

Another consumer's perspective:

I own a Sony 60" 1080p tv.
I own a HD DVD player.
I own a BR player.
I rent an HD DVR from Cox.
I can tell the difference between HD and SD.
I have no desire to go back to SD.
I paid new technology prices for each player and it was worth it to me.

I have no desire to use digital downloads. I like my physical copy. I'll make my own digital copies, but thanks anyway.

Lower the price (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113885)

Just lower the price of movies that come on BD. It's simply too expensive. Because of this, I buy most movies on DVD and only buy special movies on BD. For example, I just got Transformers. But my last BD purchase before that was about 5 months ago, but I bought a lot of DVDs in the meantime.

"Transformers" is special? (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114201)

That's nearly as worrying as seeing "Eraser" at the top of the sales chart in the article.

Why not start with lowering the price of movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25113889)

why would I pay 2x or more for the same thing i can get and upscale?

If the brd was 15-20 I would actually be inclined to buy them....if they also had a dvd copy i could rip for my car...and 1/2 dozen other dvd players i own....see the problem here?

Re:Why not start with lowering the price of movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114165)

I say they just drop the bottom out on DVD's, and package movies to include both BD and DVD copies, for the same price.

...and as an extra poke in the eye of Sony, bring back and open up a standard for HD-DVD-R on the consumer media front (screw Hollywood!), much like CD-R and DVD+R has done.

Confused.... (2, Insightful)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113893)

Discs that are more expensive than DVDs? Having to buy new type of player? Limited selections? Difference noticeable only on HD TV sets? Gee...seems like the perfect combination to me.

Meh... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113909)

...for me and my HT it's the best and only option. While everyone else bickers about this I'll be enjoying dozens and dozens of movies in 1080p with lossless audio while everyone is watching compressed video with DD over cable.

In 5 years, when a better solution comes along, I'll have been satisfied in the meantime with BluRay.

$200? (5, Informative)

rc5-ray (224544) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113913)

cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200

Keep going. I can still get a no-name DVD player for $30, region free as well.

Re:$200? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114067)

I concur.

At the moment I like to go browse through my local JB HiFi and find a few DVD's that I want and generally find things that are on sale. When I can browse about and find the same BluRay flicks for $7-15 a pop I will very happily move over. Till then, I don't see any benefit to me. Especially not a benefit that costs me more up front for new gear and then costs me a lot more each time for new content.

SDTV/DVD Quality will be good enough for most (1)

willbry (1209876) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113919)

for years to come. Everyone has a huge collection of DVD's, and no one is going to spend a fortune upgrading to Blu Ray, except an elite few. Besides, with a quality DVD Upconverting player (DVD Upconvert [dvd-upconvert.com] ), most people can't tell the difference.

even for free.. (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113921)

I won't install or use a BD system.

on principle.

sony: you lost a LOT of money on people like me who BOYCOTT you for all your various evil ways.

note to industry: upscaled dvd's are JUST FINE on any modern day video player or streamer (I use a 'popcorn hour' box which upscales just fine and is fanless and instant-on).

BD can die for all I care. I'll never fund your poor products with my money.

Riiight... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114137)

Are you also refusing to use DVDs because of the DRM and do you request you computer to be equipped with a CD burner AND ONLY a CD burner.
Or do you still use floppies for your daily data disk needs?

You do realize that in about a year or two a BD burner will be as common as a DVD burner was a year or two ago?

Not enough (1, Redundant)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113927)

Here's what they'll need to do to get me, a regular Joe consumer, to even consider "upgrading": 1. Remove DRM restrictions, including anything requiring firmware upgrades to support the latest schemes 2. Related to 1: ensure any disc can play in any player any time 3. Drop the price to $99 or less. That's what I'm willing to pay 4. Make sure that $99 player has all the features available 5. Drop the price of discs to something close to current dvd prices. I know you need to recoup your investment, but you're just going to have to do it over 10 years instead of 2

Re:Not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114073)

you're not a "regular joe" if you know what DRM is, or even that it exists. Fail. Also, most consumers know, understand, and accept that a technology that is more advanced, better, etc - will cost more.

Downloads the way ahead? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113931)

I wonder if downloadable movies are going to make optical media obsolete before Blu Ray gets a chance to become ubiquitous. Speaking for myself, I've barely touched my DVD player since I got my Roku Netflix download box, and I'm curious about how many other people are thinking along the same lines.

DO NOT WANT (2, Insightful)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113941)

I already picked the superior format (HD-DVD) and Sony purchased its demise... The absolute last thing I'm going to do is purchase the Sony format.

That's like... Someone brings out a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for $15,000 brand new that runs well, handles well, and is an all-around great car. You go ahead and make a purchase. Then, some conglomerate comes to market with a car that runs on cat shit for $10k and puts the fuel cell company out of business.

I'll walk, thanks.

You can throw in all the free cats and laxative kitty treats you want, I'm not buying.

Re:DO NOT WANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114063)

I think you have more serious problems than blu-ray.

Re:DO NOT WANT (1)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114105)

...you've been talking to my wife, haven't you?

When player prices fall below $100, it will happen (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113965)

What do the manufacturers want, instant gratification? They only got the standards issue settled a few months ago. Get the player price down below $100, and over time, people will buy players with Blu-Ray capability.

Meanwhile, the $99 DVD players with image rescaling to 1020p and HDMI output are pretty good. There's a significant improvement in image quality to big LCD screens when the analog cabling is eliminated. All the ringing and vertical edge blurring goes away. Compare HDMI DVD and HDMI Blu-Ray, and the differences aren't that big until you get quite close to the display.

Blu-ray is the new ... (4, Insightful)

boxlight (928484) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113979)

When I chose a Blu-ray player over the HD-DVD player, I was worried that maybe Blu-ray would be the new Betamax.

Instead, maybe Blu-ray turns out to be the next Laserdisc [wikipedia.org] .

Too little, too late, for too much (1, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113981)

I'm still finding it bizarre the industry settled on Blu-ray over HD DVD. While the latter would have been struggling at this point too, it at least had a future - online downloads weren't a rival to HD DVD, the entire technology was intended to be the center of an online downloads world in the longer term.

Blu-ray offers little over DVD other than improved quality. For many, that quality is imperceptible. For 90% of the population, whether it is or isn't is neither here nor there because they don't have the equipment necessary to view the difference. This is unlike DVD, where DVD had immediate benefits even if your primary viewing device was a 14" Black and White TV.

The jump to a new format will happen when the new format has compelling advantages over DVD, as DVD had over VHS. Had Blu-ray been designed with just a little more thought (just copying the principles behind HD DVD rather than trying to match it on a bulleted list) it might have been that format. It isn't. It's dead. What a waste.

How 'bout some movies get released first? (4, Informative)

gravyface (592485) | more than 6 years ago | (#25113983)

Bought my Blu-Ray player a few weeks ago and was all pumped to pick up a copy of Saving Private Ryan and... nope. Well, I'll just go to Blockbuster and rent something at least... nadda. There was all of 12 movies available, none of them worth renting let alone purchasing. We settled on Fantastic Four I and II. God awful movies. Shamefully bad. I'm surprised they're not churning out movies faster than this; there's barely any titles worth getting that have been released yet.

Look at the titles (5, Insightful)

bizitch (546406) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114007)

I've been kind of wanting to get a Blu-Ray machine. But I've been waiting for a title that I can get excited about.

Can anyone recommend a movie - that when you watch it on blu-ray you say "awesome ... that was worth it!"

When I look at the BluRay section - I see movies like "SuperBad" and the latest chick flicks

Who the fuck cares about these on BLURAY - @$30 a pop no less

I figure if the re-master Pink Floyd's Delicate Sound of Thunder from the original AGFA film masters, I will be all over that format. ... but until then .... *yawn*

Re:Look at the titles (3, Informative)

JMZero (449047) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114217)

"Master and Commander: Far Side of the World" was pretty great. After watching it on Blueray, I went back and watched the first bit on DVD .. wasn't nearly the experience.

No big deal. (0)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114011)

This isn't a bad sign for Blu-Ray at all, it is just taking sales numbers out of context and hoping people don't notice. I think this is just someone looking for page hits, but that's no surprise.

I've been watching the Nielsen VideoScan numbers on occasion. The share goes up and down every week, it really depends on what is released that week. Last year at this time, both HD formats fought for about 1% combined share, right now it's at 8% for this week, bumping between 6% and 12% over the past few months. I think it's a sustainable volume, and may very well grow, it's only been around for just over two years, and that's actually a decent uptake for a new media format.

I don't doubt there is some consideration in pushing for a $200 player, that's when the format might get mainstream notice.

Several Factors (0, Redundant)

Soiden (1029534) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114017)

Show a normal/casual consumer a DVD movie and then a Blu-Ray movie. Technically, it may be better, but seeing with your own eyes shows little difference. Is a normal person capable of paying 3 o 4 times the price of a DVD to watch something that looks a little better? I don't think so.

I also feel the Blu-Ray is not a great step forward as DVD was from CD. 50GB is already not too much for many.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a Blu-Ray now, for the reasons I said and because I'm sure there's a 'better' technology about to appear [Holographic?].

Because there's nothing on it to watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114019)

Seriously, I had a loan of a PS3 for a while, so figured I'd grab a Blu-Ray disk to see what the fuss was about. Spent 20 or so minutes going through the collection of disks at one of the larger multimedia retail chains (JB HiFi for Australians in the audience) and there was just nothing there of interest. Just the latest bunch of half assed Hollywood crapola. The things that were almost interesting to me were :

1) Things I already had.
2) Not worth spending the money on to watch in HD.

If I'm going to watch something in HD, it's got to be something big and atmospheric. Knocked up is not something you get HD for.

Too little, too soon. (4, Insightful)

Malicious (567158) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114025)

While we can be quick to claim hot topics as 'DRM' or 'Poor Economy' for the cause, it's more likely the simple fact that the difference between BluRay and DVD is negligible. DVD from VHS brought 5.1 surround sound and full digital picture. There was also the elimination of over-use causing damage to your tapes and of course the dreaded RE-WIND. BluRay brings nothing spectacular or revolutionary to the table aside from slightly higher resolution for an excessively higher price. Consumers don't need/want it. Myself included.

Cracking the player/content nut (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114031)

People won't buy players while there are only a few overpriced titles in stores and the titles won't be cheap and plentiful until lots of people have players.

They really should have seen this problem coming and planned from day one on making flippies. Origionally a lot of DVDs had widescreen/fullscreen on opposite sides because that was a problem at one time. Stores didn't want to stock both formats. So now what we need is DVD on one side and BlueRay on the other. Yes the BD copy could be a shovelware edition on most back catalog and the A features could support two SKUs to allow the BD version to sell for enough more to justify the extra expenses in mastering the additional BD exclusive bonus features.

The other option is really cheap players. And it looks like they are finally realizing they need the players to sell for less. They need a 'bridge' player that optimizes the experience with component to sell to all those folks who bought big TVs before HDMI was finalized. Then they need really cheap ones that perhaps only does S-Video/Composite for second rooms. Forget the super picture quality, just lemme play my damned discs in the back bedroom or kids room without paying a crapload for a player or having to buy both DVD and BD copies. Especially since the copy restrictions prevent duping off a spare copy myself.

Caching Blu-Ray players are legally impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114037)

There exist at least two legal caching DVD player systems: Kaleidescape [kaleidescape.com] , and RealDVD [realdvd.com] . IANAL but I have heard that these are possible because, when the original contract for a legal DVD player was drawn up, no-one thought to include a clause forbidding caching or requiring the disc be present in the drive whilst being played.

I have heard that for both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, the contracts do in fact specify no caching, so the convenience of caching is legally impossible.

I'm not rich enough for a Kaleidescape but I plan to get RealDVD once available. The hi def disc formats need to wake up and smell the coffee.

They tried camouflage on us ... (1, Troll)

savi (142689) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114049)

At our local Borders, my wife happily picked up a "dvd" from the dvd shelf. She bought it and had the outer packaging off by the time she realized that it was blu-ray. We went back into the store and found that out of an entire wall of dvds, the movie she had picked was the only blu-ray title. Since the outer packaging was off, Borders initially refused an exchange for a dvd of the same title (which they had displayed somewhere else entirely, instead of on the dvd wall). They claimed (probably truthfully) that even though we had bought it five minutes previously, with the packaging off, they couldn't "return" it or resell it. I politely refused to budge and they eventually let us exchange - their solution for themselves was simply to put the blu-ray version on the "defective shelf."

Boo blu-ray.

Why on earth would I want to buy a blu-ray player? Our dvds work fine and look great on our crappy, ancient TV.

DRM, lack of content... lack of a overriding need. (1, Insightful)

borgheron (172546) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114053)

People don't like DRM... there's nothing on it and DVD although inferior fills the needs of most people who are not videophiles.

BluRay/HD-DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114055)

I was waiting for drives that could run both HD-DVD and BluRay that were reasonably priced. Now that there is only BluRay I an going to skip the whole thing.

So Sony lost by winning.

Nah (3, Interesting)

Templar (14386) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114065)

Those of you claiming that upscaled 480p looks as good as native 1080p have probably never compared them side by side.

That said, I bought an HD-DVD player, and while I'm rather pragmatic about the results of the format war, I'm not going to spend twice as much for a player with half the features.

Remember, when the format war ended, Blu player prices went up. And cheap 2.0 spec players are still a myth.

Variation much bigger than the "downturn" (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114081)

Just clicking a few of the links for the history show that DVD and Blu-Ray sales are poorly corrolated, this is per week so unless the releases are exactly alike that's a big factor, plus important DVD-only releases have a huge impact on a weekly scale. My conclusion is that Blu-Ray is pretty much flat, as in those that have Blu-Ray players are buying them but there's no huge uptake. Given the current happenings on the stock markets and elsewhere, WTF do you expect? For most people this isn't exactly the time to invest in a HDTV & Blu-Ray player.

drop the price of true hdtv's (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114139)

you need a high res tv to see the difference between dvd - i have a 70" hdtv and i can see it, but i'm not most people. hence why dvd is still acceptable.

now if you could pickup a 40" 1080p lcd for $500 i think you'd find it a different situation. come on china i know you can find a way!

Am I the only one? (3, Interesting)

oman_ (147713) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114143)

I've been waiting for HD content for YEARS. I remember thinking that NTSC was crap back in the early 90s and wishing for something better. I just thought it was disgusting that we had been relying on ancient technology for so long.

I finally broke down and picked up a decent TV and a ps3 earlier in the year and it's been like a breath of fresh air. The quality bottleneck in the bluray movies is finally the video source, not the format.

Check out the Dark Knight teaser on the Batman Begins bluray on a decent 1080p tv. It was literally jaw dropping for my friends and I. The thing is we should have been watching video like this 10 years ago.

I just don't understand it when people say DVD is "good enough". You can see the compression artifacts! (and that's on a low resolution display)

Oh and the DRM is annoying.... I suspect it will only be a matter of time before I'll be ripping the movies to watch on my portable devices just like I do with DVD. Just crack it and get on with your life.

Try less than $100 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114183)

...or rename HD-DVD "blu-ray 2" and forget the unneeded expensive to manufacture lasers and discs of blu-ray. Consumers like better picture, but don't give a crap if one format can hold twice as much data when its not needed.

Technoroty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25114191)

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD were products for the Technocrats with money to blow. The average movie consumer isn't going to throw down $200 for a "bottom of the line" Blu-Ray player and $30 a piece for all the movies they just bought on DVD. Yeah the quality of Blu-Ray maybe better but I can't say I have any complaints about the quality of DVDs, though. I don't see how SONY could have predicted people to go gongho for Blu-Ray when HD-DVD died. BUT THEY'RE SONY, F*#K PANTS!!!

price price price (4, Insightful)

Dillenger69 (84599) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114203)

I'll switch to Blu-Ray when the price comes down to about double a cheap DVD player and a Blu-Ray disc costs the same as a DVD.
Until then I'll simply download DRM free 1080p files to the PC hooked up to my 1080p tv.

Why blu-ray is failing (4, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114229)

Blu-Ray is failing due to pricing vs. benefit.

When it came to DVD, it won over VHS and Laserdisc because on the VHS side, wear and smeared playback and eaten tapes came to an end; take care of a DVD and it will last virtually forever. It won over laserdisc because DVDs are not 12" in diameter and don't need to be swapped one to three times for a movie (yeah it's true some single-layer DVDs might have needed to be flipped but I have never seen one).

However, early adopters got screwed; buyers of early $300+ high-end DVD players were the victims of bad runs, and manufacturers (read:Sony) denied issues existed. I replaced a high-end Sony player with a no-name Apex player, and the Apex player was vastly superior (not to mention region-free and macrovision-free). People who bought into DIVX got equally screwed, by paying as much as or more than a "Basic DVD" player and then losing access to all of their movies.

With Blu-Ray, players are overpriced, and people have to pay more for the same content. Why bother when upsampling DVD players work pretty darn well to make the difference indistinguishable for casual viewers at 720p, noticeable only to pixel peepers? Not only that but a lot of content (old TV shows, older movies, etc.) were either videotaped at NTSC resolution or are on old, grainy film, where encoding at 1080i or 1080p would actually create distractions from actually enjoying the story.

Lastly, what the hell is up with HDCP? If you are an early HDTV adopter and have a DVI flat screen that doesn't talk HDCP or has an early HDCP device which doesn't like to handshake properly with players, you're locked out of the content. You have to turn to either composite, S-video, or if you're lucky, component (if you invested in a large monitor-only device with only DVI and VGA, no YPbPr, you're screwed).

Bring the players down to $125 to $150 or so and limit the Blu-Ray content premium to 10% or so over DVD, and you'll see uptake quickly increase.

Plan B (0, Redundant)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#25114255)

Lets try free Blu-ray players bundled into magazines and cheap discs that cost less than $200.
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