Blockbuster: DVD to Blu-ray shift slower than VHS to DVD
Consumer adoption still slow
Film rental firm Blockbuster has said that consumers will be slow at swapping their DVD libraries over to Blu-ray.
According to a report by Home Media magazine, Thomas Casey, CFO of Blockbuster said at a recent investor conference in New York that he doesn’t think Blu-ray’s replacement of DVD is “going to be nearly like DVD replacing VHS”.
Although he didn’t give any timeframe for consumer adoption of the HD format, he hinted that the wholesale and retail prices of Blu-ray films could be one of the problems slowing consumer uptake.
He also claimed that Blu-ray still has a market penetration of less than 5 per cent, but couldn’t escape the obvious by stating that sales of Blu-ray “will get better”.
The Blu-ray Disc Association recently predicted that Christmas 2008 will be a truly festive season for the HD format. Market watcher Futuresource has also predicted that 12m Blu-ray Discs will have been purchased in Europe this year and that sales will be at 250m units a year by 2012.
PC World Display
I can sum up my feelings towards the extra cost of "HD" equipment by simply telling you about a recent visit to PC World:
They had a "HD" display to "show the benefits of HD", i was there with my dad for about 5 minutes trying to figure out which one had the HD video on it, then when we thought we'd figured it out I noticed a sign did say it on it, and we were wrong... (the "SD" picture did look better, because the colour was set up better - other than that we couldn't see a difference)
@sooty - Film Restoration
As to how a DVD is presented on either DVD or BD is down to the studio and how much effort and money they want to spend on it.
They have several options. Do a telecine transfer of an exisiting film print if its in reasonable condition. They can send it for cleaning maybe. Cheapest option if there isnt an old laserdisc print done already.
Dig out the negative if its available, clean it, run a new print from it, maybe color correct it and put that out.
Dig out the negative and all the other film elements, scan each frame at 4K resolution, digitally clean/repair the scanned frames (but not too much or it will look like video), color time and correct exposure using notes/info from the time etc. 4K resolution is very very detailed and will hold up as a archive medium for some time to come. Most major 'restorations' have been done using this process.
There are other methods and means of doing it but the rough gist is there.
Blue Ray? Why? There are 6 DVD players in my house, including my X-Box, PS2, and two computers. Only one TV in the house out of 5 has HD anyway. I don't need Blue Ray. As long as there are regular DVD's, I see no need or reason to get anything Blue Ray until prices on players and movies in that format, drop.
blu-ray will be a better format going forward
but people aren't going to replace their existing catalogue of dvd's. Maybe one or two (eg. I'll get Aliens) but not all.
The sad truth, is that 90% of the films released on dvd aren't even taking full advantage of the quality available on a dvd. This has improved massively recently as the technology has matured, but the original source material usually hasn't been good enough.
Even if the film source used is pristine, and very few are, there can be all sorts of problems introduced while transferring it, wobble, dirt, scratches, etc. Older films just aren't high enough quality anymore to transfer well without restoration work. Who's willing to bet that the restoration work done for dvd's in the past was only done at dvd resolution and would need to be re-done for blu-ray?
Going forward, with things that were filmed recently, the amount of special effects work pretty much guarantees that there wil be a pristine, high res digital copy available.
People are not going to sell off all of their dvd's and buy blu-ray, there's just no point! But there are reasons to buy new films in the format, as soon as the studios actually release something worth buying that is!
We are all het up about this being a Sony format, aren't we ??
Yet everyone seems happy with DVD - which was a Sony format, albeit in conjunction with Phillips. The failed media around is vast - LaserDisc, VLD, Video 2000, BetaMax, DVD-A, SACD, MiniDisc, UMD, VCD, S-VCD, Video 8, Super 8, S-VHS, D-VHS and not all of them made by Sony.
Also, the take-up of DVD wasn't nearly as quick as people seem to think. It was released initially in 1997, a time when us early adopters paid around £500 for a player. Most people didn't get involved till we hit the new millenium. At the same time, the same happened with VHS, the price dropped through the floor when the shops realised they could make a better margin on the new format.
The only true point that people are making, is that it does require a new TV and people aren't going to be interested until they upgrade. At which point, most people will want hi-def content for the new purchase. Players are coming down in price, Samsung's BD-P1500 can be had for ~£160 and Sony's 350S can be had for ~£200, in comparison to the price of players at this point in the DVD time-scale, that is a bargain.
Finally, anybody who thinks that downloads are the way forward is deluded and is presumably also one of the few with a fast net connection. The only downloads available to most are through X-Box Live!, where you can get a 720p image and stereo sound - why would I want an inferior picture and sound, when i've spent all that money on a decent home cinema set-up ??
Bottom line, it's a new format and it will take 3-5 years to bed in, much like every other new format and then people will wonder what all the fuss is about. I still remember being toldm when buying a CD player in 1986, that it would never catch on, something I was told much the same in 1997 when buying a DVD player.