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  1. #1

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    Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I found these two articles quite insteresting:

    Is Blu-ray the new Laserdisc? : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

    Is Blu-ray the new Laserdisc?

    ZDNet's Robin Harris is now taking the bold step of calling Blu-ray "dead" and "in a death spiral," saying that in 12 months the format "will be a videophile niche, not a mass market product." While it may be early in the game to make such a prediction, Harris has some good points in his screed. Among them: That after its gruesome, 18-month battle with HD DVD, no one has the energy to care about high-def players any more. Probably a bigger issue: That upscaled DVD players, which can be had for $50 or $60, look almost as good as content played on a Blu-ray player. Consumers just don't see the value proposition in upgrading their hardware, particularly given that players are still over $200. What's a little better picture worth? With Blu-ray pegged at a four percent market share, most people seem to be saying not that much.
    Blu-ray is dead - heckuva job, Sony! | Storage Bits | ZDNet.com


    According to Digital Content Producer Blu-ray doesnít cut it for business:
    • Recordable discs donít play reliably across the range of Blu-ray players - so you canít do low-volume runs yourself.
    • Service bureau reproduction runs $20 per single layer disc in quantities of 300 or less.
    • Hollywood style printed/replicated Blu-ray discs are considerably cheaper once you reach the thousand unit quantity: just $3.50 per disc.
    • High-quality authoring programs like Sony Blu-print or Sonic Solutions Scenarist cost $40,000.
    • The Advanced Access Content System - the already hacked DRM - has a one-time fee of $3000 plus a per project cost of almost $1600 plus $.04 per disk. And who defines ďproject?Ē
    • Then the Blu-ray disc Association charges another $3000 annually to use their very exclusive - on 4% of all video disks! - logo.
    Thatís why you donít see quirky indie flicks on Blu-ray. Small producers canít afford it - even though they shoot in HDV and HD.
    Honestly, after getting our HDTV I was all set to make our next purchase a PS3. I kept telling myself it's for the Rock Band, etc, etc, etc. But it was for the Blu-Ray.

    But a funny thing happened. As we started watching standard DVD's on our HD-DVD player (that we got for $100 in the fire-sale when HD-DVD died) which up-converts our standard DVD's, we realized that we can't really tell the difference between the Standard DVD's we have (even ones that are old) and the HD-DVD's. Further emphasizing that fact was we do have a few movies on both Standard DVD and HD-DVD.

    Ocean's 11 - The Standard DVD is at least 5 years old. I could tell absolutely no difference watching the same scene (the heist scene, when they are scaling down the elevator shaft, and blowing the doors). I couldn't tell the difference AT ALL.

    Now, our TV is only 42" so I'm sure that has something to do with it. But most people who have an HDTV probably don't have one over 50" (the ones Blu Ray probably makes a difference on).

    The other thing that changed my mind was the prices of Blu-Ray discs. They are totally crazy.

    So what are your thoughts??? Is Blu-Ray dead? With upconverting DVD players so cheap now (You can get ones for $50 or $60 now) does this spell doom for Blu Ray if they don't lower prices on players and discs soon???


  2. #2

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    blue ray was still born
    You mention two good points, the improvement vs. cost difference. The increase of resolution isn't great enough to justify $200 - $300 hardware, and $30 software for blue ray when progressive scan, HDMI, upscaling DVD recorders can be had for $70, and DVD's can be had for $1, $5, and $10 (ten bucks at Wal Mart gets you 4 movies on one disc no less)

    Most people already think they are watching High Def.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    Clink has some great points. and

    In the "purchasing a blu-ray" player, you might also have to upgrade your tv to something that has better resolution. So it's not just the blu-ray player, and the more expensive blu-ray discs that you have to purchase.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I'd like to know who's killing it since well... may HD R.I.P.
    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever



  5. #5

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    Unless the prices on TV's, BluRay players, BluRay discs and movies drop significantly - it will remain a videophile niche. I know only one person who has a BluRay investment. Even then his biggest complaint that the quality increase over DVD and upscan players is not a value with the cost increase of BluRay. In other words - he's feeling milked for too little increase in quality.

    After seeing his many-thousands of dollar system...I am inclined to agree. A 1080P hd system with an upscan player is the best bang for the buck and the difference with BluRay isn't signifigant enough to justify the cost.

    Where BluRay works for me is in the ability to store data. If the SATA burners weren't so darn expensive... and there was better transferability between drives. I'm sticking to DVD's for the forseeable future for all my movie/data storage needs.







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  6. #6

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    My husband snuck out and bought a PS3 - he's convinced that it's a better picture and so wonderful. All I know is that the stupid fan goes on about 1/2 way through a movie and is so annoying!!! I really don't notice too much in the picture quality compared to the HD. But, then again, I'm not a huge "bigger, badder, better" person, so I don't really get too much into tv's and stereos and stuff.

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  7. #7

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I'm perfectly content with my 1080i HDTV (which has an amazing picture for being a "budget" brand) and upconverting DVD player (which is hooked up to the TV via HDMI cable). I have no desire to go Blu-Ray.

  8. #8

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    Bluray is a videophile niche market... but so were DVDs when they started up. Remember how few people had one of those? Laserdisc junkies were dumping on DVDs for having poor video quality in comparison, saying it was like comparing IMAX to regular film.

    I personally didn't jump on the DVD bandwagon until a ton more titles showed up. But by then, it was clear that DVD was here to stay. A lot more people WILL embrace Bluray if they feel that it has longevity. People aren't going all gung ho with bluray because they're afraid that the next big thing is just around the corner.

    I remember my first DVD player. It was included in my Gateway computer. Soon everyone had access to a dvd player without actually needing to go out and buy one. That's the difference. Right now, you either have a bluray player or a PS3. If bluray is to really survive, they need to put them into people's homes without them asking or paying a lot for it.


    I personally want Blu Ray for all the extra features... it's not just about the quality, which is a good reason too.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I agree that it depends on the pricing. I remember when DVD's came out that players were expensive, but now you can buy one for less than $100.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I'm a big person that believes in getting the best quality for my buck. Which means I don't mind paying more for something if I feel I get a good value out of it. The BlueRay I researched very briefly and I found the very things that have been complained about in here. The picture quality doesn't justify the price difference and who wants to spend $30-$50 on a movie I can get at Target on a regular HD $14.99 special.

    For people to want to pay the difference you have to have them go, "Whoa, now that's a difference I really see." I just don't think Blue Ray pulled that off and that's why I think it will die out. No value for your buck.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    One note on upscaling vs HD discs and seeing the difference. If your TV is not configured well, the details may be lost due to being washed out. When a TV is setup properly, at the detail level what may originally have been one band of lines previously you can now see are 4 distinct lines. That is without changing the content itself at all. Brightness, contrast, sharpness, and black levels play a huge role in this.. skipping all the right colors. This is an area cheap LCDs do very poorly in. And we all know the cheap $600-700 LCDs are hitting the sweet spot for consumers and they are buying them like hotcakes. So in short.. the benefit of Blu-Ray can be lost on many because things need tuning to maximize the return. It needs to be auto-magic for the mass consumer.

    Beyond that.. this is what I and others have been saying all along. Sony is shooting themselves in the foot and going to bring it all down. They only have a very small window of opportunity to really hit critical mass in the face of every advancing technology... set-top boxes.. streaming.. on-demand.. etc. And instead they've held their guns on their prices and licensing.. causing the product to be excessively expensive.

    DVD is at full stride with prices of $5-$15 per disc.. players are dirt cheap and everywhere.. from the car.. the computer.. to home. For the features most people use, Blu-Ray offers little beyond the resolution. Then it only can be played at home today and you pay at least 2x the price per disc.

    For most people it offers
    - limited scope
    - marginal improvement on their equipment
    - 2x the cost per disc
    - limited accessibility to material

    The image quality is noticeably better on a good set... but its not night and day.

    It's beta all over again... Sony has the technically superior product, but they don't know how to commoditize it to flood the market and knock out the competition. The Blu-Ray vs HDDVD war was fought and won at the publisher level.. ignoring consumer needs/preferences. Now that they have to focus on the customer, they are still way off base.

    This x-mas season home players are finally getting cheap, but they are still too expensive to integrate into the rest of your life (pc, car, mobile, etc).

    Good job Sony... you mucked it up again.

    If Blu-Ray discs were $19.99 from the start, they'd have a chance but at this stage they'd have to have a huge campaign to integrate blu-ray beyond the home player and marketing campaign to change public perception.

    These type of commentary pieces about 'death of blu-ray' do not go unnoticed in the market.. its an uncertainty that customers hear about and it question when considering purchases.

    This is coming from a guy with a high-end TV and huge library of movies.. no interest at all in upgrading to Blu-Ray. The only way I'd do it today is if I had a dedicated media room with projector.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  12. #12

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    Flynn pretty much said it well.

    As a videophile I did upgrade to Blu along with a new 56" LCD tv. As Flynn said, once I configured my tv and adjusted all the levels, there is a noticable difference in quality from regular DVD to Blu; but not much. Granted there are certain titles that showcase the quality better than others (Speed Racer, any animated film). Blu players do upscale regular DVD's as well making them look even better than before.

    However, being a confessed videophile, I can say with certainty that Blu-ray still has a very long way to go for mass market acceptance.

    To add to what Flynn has said, the average consumer does not have much patience for having to adjust their tvs, update the blu-player firmware, wait for Blu-ray movies to load, and deal with hooking up all the necessary cables to get the most out of the technology.

    Having owned a player for most of this year, I've been frustrated by the slow load times, lack of compatibility for some movies, general lack of features for some titles, the inability to stop a movie and come back to it at the same spot I left off at the next day, and the prices of most titles. Sure, some of these things may be small in scope, but if they can be annoyances to me, I can only imagine what they would be to non-videophiles (aka the mass market). At this point in time there would be no way that I could reccomend Blu to any of my friends and relatives.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    I get a chuckle that our Blu-Ray player in the lab actually has active cooling.

    Setup of the device is pretty simple, especially since people have fallen hook line and sinker for the 'HDMI is god' arguements. But it's still TVs that still need good tuning to maximize the return from blu ray. The stupidity, is the tuning is something the factory could do very easily and automated no less - but its the BRIGHT, BOLD, INTENSE that sells the TV on the show floor. The irony is that is exactly what is washing out your detail when you get home

    You don't even need a upscaling DVD player or HDMI to get the benefits.. your TV has a upscaler built in, and with a good set, it will be better then the one in your DVD player anyways.

    Upscaling DVD players simply was a money maker for the DVD companies. Convincing people they needed HDMI (which they don't) and this will give them something they didn't already have.

    Using component is actually better for DVD, as that is the native format the DVD is output as... less conversion before getting to the set.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    Is that true about component Flynn??? Because I bought into the whole "HDMI rules" for my HD-DVD player and I think it looks great. And unfortunately my component inputs are taken with the PS2 and Wii.

    Maybe I should play a DVD on the PS2 and then on the HD-DVD player and see if I can tell the difference.


  15. #15

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    Re: Is Blu-Ray dead already???

    Thanks for the information Flynn, it's great reading more into the details.

    To be honest I'm just happy if my 47" 1080 can play clear pictures and the surround sound is working. LOL

    Nothing like the cow noise bouncing around the room at the beginning of the THX intro. LOL

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