A Blu-ray Christmas? Don't bank on it
Credit crunch to hurt HD format's sales
There’s little point in dreaming of a Blu Christmas this year, because the credit crunch looks set to sap consumer spending on the format, one market analyst fears.
In a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Russ Crupnick, senior industry analyst at market watcher NPD, said that sales of premium-priced electronics, including Blu-ray, will suffer as consumers tighten their belts.
Consumers are “going to be more selective in their spending”, he said, adding that consumers are likely to place a higher priority on buying, say, a games console or an HD TV than a Blu-ray Disc player.
Andy Parsons, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association’s US promotions committee, was - unsurprisingly - a little more upbeat about the format’s Christmas sales potential though. “We’re hopeful even though things are getting a little tough out there, economically speaking,” he told the paper.
But why be blue, Andy? If punters do indeed favour games consoles, they're likely to consider the PlayStation 3, which, conveniently, doubles up as a Blu-ray player.
That might be enough to swing sales in the console's favour over the cheaper Xbox 360.
Apple TV 'excellent'? Er.... No...
Apple TV has the POTENTIAL to be excellent, but is hampered by its software, which the company only seems to upgrade whenever it wants to sell us more content. Apple has shown no inclination to address the issues many of us Apple TV owners face, such as the fact that it takes over five minutes for the system to respond to a remote button being pressed.
And then there's the fact that it has no off button - very environmentally-friendly, I have to pull the plug out of the damn thing every night. Oh, and let's not forget the 'Apple TV is synching with iTunes...' box that pops up every few minutes when you're in the menus, and stops you doing anything for a few minutes at a time. And then there's the fact that the box heats up alarmingly in operation, even on standby, which leads those us who placed it on wooden display units along with the TV to discover our furniture is permanently branded as a result.
Oh, and even when you add content to the Apple TV rather than trying to stream it, you still find the unit stutters throughout TV shows and fllms, often pausing for minutes at a time, or, when it's decided it held things up too long, jumping ahead of where you were in the film or show by several seconds or longer.
All the problems could be addressed, but Apple refuses to acknowledge them. All we get is that it's down to some of us having large iTunes libraries - well, duh - I though we were supposed to be ideal consumers for buying into digital, not maligned for having done so.
Yeah, there are many ways to get HD content. But no, Apple TV is not 'excellent' until such time as its software delivers on the undoubted promise of the box.
Scott - oddly enough if you want an LCD, the Bravia's really are the best, by a fair margin too... Pioneers new ones are alledgedly excellent, but the W4500 with a built in DLNA streaming system (could help Hedley above) and the X4500 series are leagues ahead of anything else on the amrket.. including even the Samsung ones using the same panel. It's not salesman bullshit, it's fact.
Hedley - ITV HD is crap anyway, hardly anything there and in a tiff with Sky are only on Freesat.... as for your dilemma, if you can afford both do it, both have their own benefits and if you have a fast connection and don't mind about "only" 720p from AppleTV it's an excellent system. As for the Sony player, at £179 from Amazon, it's quite a bargain at the moment - buy one!!!!! http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001DN1SP4/202-3314281-8268652?ie=UTF8&tag=spoavetstu-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=1634&creativeASIN=B001DN1SP4
... The high street comment, in hindsight, you're right. Many people I know class Play, Amazon etc, as part of the high street, even my Mom! But in relation to this, I agree with you that HMV and Zaavi are the high street these days so I take it back. Regardless of how little those shops represent the actual costs of what you can pay.
I still maintain though that the adoption of BR is going to be affected so much more by the lack of available income full stop with the economic situation, rather than the nay-sayers about lack of quality.
Another Sony fanboy news topic
"I may need glasses, but standing close to a 46 inch Sony Bravia set I could see the beads of sweat on Daniel Craig's forehead without optical aids. I'm sure you can't see that on a DVD and CRT even if you are close..."
46" Sony Bravia ...... . They saw you coming when you walked into the showroom. Now thats a tv that costs 3x more expensive then a TV by another brand of equal credability and spec. Your the type of person that adopts Blu ray as you get sucked into salesman's hype and have little technical knowledge. Perhaps you need your eyes tested if you cant see the beads of sweat on a DVD shown on a CRT TV. .
@Eric Van Haesendonck
Luckily there's hardly any difference now, between blu ray & dvd new releases, maybe £1 or £2. If you're worried about that trivial amount then maybe you should be looking at working a bit harder so that buying a sandwich isn't an investment decision