Blu-ray to rule by 2011
...gotta go out and buy all my favourite movies again
Blu-ray backer Sony has announced that the format’s likely to outsell DVD globally in 2011, with over 5m Blu-ray discs having been sold around the world this year already.
According to a report by Digitimes, Tim Meade, Asia Pacific Vice President for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said at a recent press conference in Taipei that US market reports indicate that the global sales ratio of Blu-ray films to DVD will rise to a ratio of roughly 40:60 in 2010.
About 12 months after this, he expects global Blu-ray sales to surpass those of DVD. He said 11m Blu-ray film discs have been sold globally so far.
In the run-up to his 2011 claim, Meade added that sales of films on Blu-ray discs – as a percentage of all formats – will have increased from 9 per cent at the end of 2007 to 25 per cent by the end of this year.
Blu-ray players will, Meade claimed, account for 15 per cent of all video players sold by the end of this year, up from between seven and 10 per cent in 2007.
And I predict the bottom will fall out of the disc market because we'll all just be downloading films. The product life cycle for Blu-Ray will be a fraction of the time that DVDs have prevailed.
1/ Downloading is so easy.
2/ Downloadable movies are portable.
a. you'll want to re-purchase the download version because it would take you many hours per film to rip and transcode (even more so if you've purchased discs with excessive DRM)
b. you can legally share amongst your devices
3/ Apple has introduced films for download via iTunes - in HD format if you have Apple TV. Others are sure to follow - Sky?
4/ Downloads are cheap (comparatively)! Usually £6.99 or £9.99.
5/ A couple of external hard drives plus maybe an Apple TV or similar take up far less room.
So Bluray wants to go from marginal high end product to mainstay in a little over 2 years? sure, right after the porcine flying schools become popular.
The statistics listed mean nothing - 11million bluray discs sold globally? that is less than one disc per PS3 sold (14 million), let alone the dozen standalone players sold. Hardly a riproaring success. So bluray to account for 15% of all players sold? where, his local high end audio shop? Sure if you take the PS3 sales into account that may be possible. Bluray to dvd to rise to 40/60 ration by 2010 - where, his personal film collection?
Bluray may one day surplant DVD if there is no other viable alternative available to replace DVD, but until then it is simply this generation's Laserdisc. I mean, this is a format surviving solely on the back of a games console - if you took that to the dragon's den, they would collapse in heaps of laughter.
SD vs HD...
It actually quite surprises me by how much people underestimate the difference between SD and HD. Even Anon up there who makes the point that (UK) DVD is 576i seems to underestimate the situation. Yes it's a 25% increase to go from 576 lines to 720, but that is literally only half the picture. Since it is progressive, 720p is 720 lines 50 times a second, whereas interlaced 576i is 576 lines only 25 times a second (and that is a simplified version ignoring the weird defects interlacing can introduce). Also the increase in spatial resolution is massive - from 720 pixels wide in 576i to 1280 in 720p (over a 75% increase). It all adds up to nearly 4.5 times the amount of detail per second when you include the difference between interlaced and progressive. And of course that is just 720p... 1080p is even better. That's 1920x1080, 50 times a second. 5 times the h x v resolution of DVD and 10 times the detail when including p vs i.
Then of course there is the superior compression technology that is used in Blu-ray (MPEG-4/AVC vs MPEG-2) that makes the difference even bigger, and not to mention the difference HD audio can make (though admittedly even less people have hd-capable sound systems than have hd displays).
Naturally this all means a lot less if the viewer can't see all the detail in 1080p (or even 720p) - but larger screen TV's are definitely becoming more standard, and you certainly don't need a 42" TV to be able to appreciate the difference between SD and 720p (though for 1080p that does indeed seem to be about the benchmark "normal" viewing distances).