More Research Asserts that Blu Ray Adoption Isn't Apt to Surge

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mark Talmadge, May 15, 2008.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I don't know how you came to that magical price of $200, but as I stated more than a few times, I agree prices need to come down by the end of the year. However, I don't think they need to be at that pricepoint by the end of the year. Movie downloads are a threat, but if we're going to suggest that Blu-ray won't be adopted by the mass market due to buying additional equipment to benefit from it or that people don't understand how to setup their equipment properly than we can say the same thing about people placing a server in their homes for downloads then taking the time to download the movies and play them.

    Your argument about this Christmas season is not convincing to say the least. I think the industry has more time than that. I do agree with you that 2009 is a pivotal year for HDM.
     
  2. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I think $200 or under is the magic number because I doubt that most people would pay more than $200 for a regular DVD player. Actually most people probably wouldn't pay more than about $80 for a regular DVD player. But the point is I don't think that most people will buy into blu-ray until it doesn't cost any more than to just replace a dead DVD player.

    Eventually I'd like to see the point where all new players are just automatically a blu-ray player, but at $200 or more thats just not going to happen.

    As for downloads, my cable company will come in and set up everything I need for movies on demand. I don't need to know a thing other than how to select the movie I want.

    I'm only suggesting Christmas because that seems to be the best time to sell lots of players fairly quickly. And there needs to be many more players in homes next year.

    Doug
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    IMO, the industry still has time, but Blu-ray will never achieve the market penetration of SD DVD for reasons I have noted previously in this thread. It's as simple as that which is why the need to have a player cheaper than $200 by this Christmas is questionable to me because this format won't be a total mass market product.

    Also, I want to see this HD download in action for a while and I know for a fact that the quality of them will be less than Blu-ray.

    Lastly, people forget that the first standalone BR player didn't come out until June of 2006 which is why I think next year, the third year of the format is the pivotal year for it.
     
  4. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I don't expect it to have the market penetration of DVD to be considered a success, but I would hope that a high percentage of people who have bought an HDTV would invest in blu-ray. At this point I'd be happy if they sold 5 million stand alone players.

    I downloaded a 2.5 min 1080p trailer for a movie from the playstation network a few days ago. It was encoded in AVC and was hitting a max bitrate of about 30 mbps and averaging around 20 mbps. And it took me about 20 seconds to download it. Which means a blu-ray quality 2 hour feature could be downloaded in less than an hour, and would probably start playing in 1 or 2 min.

    Doug
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Dismissing the economy as a factor is just short-sighted. People's incomes are not rising with fuel, food, and healthcare costs. Fuel affects so many things. Fuel goes up and there's oil in BD's. It takes fuel to get raw materials to the Blu factories and ship the finished goods. There is no doubt that discretionary spending is falling. Some of that is voluntary because individuals are worried about the future. Some of it is because of the shrinking value of the dollars in joe and jane's pockets. This is just undeniable.

    I think player prices are a problem. However, I think consumers are more sympathetic to player prices than the bloody disc prices. The disc prices are just a dealbreaker. Another problem is that local rental outlets don't all have BD's yet. I found this out for myself recently when I ventured into the Blockbuster closest to my house last week. They had a few high-priced BD's for sale and none to rent. They said they'd proably get BD's for rent this summer. In my mind, $35 BD's sitting prominently on store shelves is just poison.

    BD prices are so high seemingly because DVD prices are too high. The industry thinks they should get a premium for HD but they want too much. They have DVD's occupying the highest plateaus that consumers will pay for videodiscs. You can't just slap $10-$20 dollars on top of that! .....and expect folks to come running, throwing money! Well, you could do so in your wildest dreams but when the sun comes up and reality comes home. There's not much of a market for $35 videodiscs which minimalizes the market for players that play $35 videodiscs.

    Blu-ray is a product that was designed for the industry's wishes and desires, not consumer's needs and desires IMO. Player prices reflect this I believe. Just how much have they run up the prices because of BD+, encryption schemes, internet conectivity, and so on.....? Then, there's those $35 videodiscs advertising to the general public, you don't need and can't afford this product........
     
  6. Goko

    Goko Agent

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    Excellent post and you make valid points from the casual CE consumer's point of view and I totally agree with you.

    COST and not perceived presentation superiority is going to determine Blu-ray's eventual success beyond being just a niche product which is where it stands right now.

    Another thread in this forum talks about the 3"Indie" movies being shown in HD on Sci-fi channel. The OP added, "doesn't compare to Blu-ray" and he's right, but for the wrong reasons.

    Casual CE consumers that have HD-DVRs and satellite/cable HD services now have, for their viewing pleasure, outstanding HD presentations of these 3 films without having to wait...and wait...and wait for the BR releases. I have DVR'd these films and I'm perfectly satisfied with the PQ/AQ and for me it's not worth spending $400 for a BD player and another $100 for the BR set when the "Indie" films are finally released. My attitude may not bring many endorsements in this forum but for the average person, this strategy makes a lot of sense and is easy on the budget.
    Just as most CE consumers "skipped" Laserdisc in going from VHS to S-DVD, I think most consumers will skip Blu-ray in going from S-DVD to satellite/cable/internet downloads for their HD movie enjoyment and for the same reason - COST.
     
  7. Goko

    Goko Agent

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    Excellent post and you make valid points from the casual CE consumer's point of view and I totally agree with you.

    COST and not perceived presentation superiority is going to determine Blu-ray's eventual success beyond being just a niche product which is where it stands right now.

    Another thread in this forum talks about the 3 "Indie" movies being shown in HD on Sci-fi channel. The OP added, "doesn't compare to Blu-ray" and he's right, but for the wrong reasons.

    Casual CE consumers that have HD-DVRs and satellite/cable HD services now have, for their viewing pleasure, outstanding HD presentations of these 3 films without having to wait...and wait...and wait for the BR releases. I have DVR'd these films and I'm perfectly satisfied with the PQ/AQ and for me it's not worth spending $400 for a BD player and another $100 for the BR set when the "Indie" films are finally released. My attitude may not bring many endorsements in this forum but for the average person, this strategy makes a lot of sense and is easy on the budget.
    Just as most CE consumers "skipped" Laserdisc in going from VHS to S-DVD, I think most consumers will skip Blu-ray in going from S-DVD to satellite/cable/internet downloads for their HD movie enjoyment and for the same reason - COST.
     
  8. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Couldn't agree more, and that is precisely why I do not believe it will ever completely supplant SD DVD.

    John
     
  9. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I don't think anyone is denying that the economy is a factor - it affects the sales of all non-essential products. However, it can't be the determining factor for Blu-Ray's slow sales - just a small part of it. There are other products that are still selling in great numbers even though they've dropped in sales.

    When Apple eventually releases their next iPhone/iTouch - it'll be within the same price range of some BR players... but you can bet it'll sell MUCH better than those Blu-Ray players. Global sales of Plasma TVs have increased 53% in Q1 of 2008 compared to Q1 in 2007.

    People just choose to spend their money on other toys and don't consider a new HD movie format all that important or compelling. Economy or not, I just can't see this being anything but a niche product - and there's nothing wrong with that. If SA-CD can remain alive after all these years in a time where music (especially in audiophile quality) interest is low, Blu-Ray should be in a much better position.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's not that simple nor does the state of the economy play a small part and many people have reduced their discretionary spending despite them buying an iPhone or new display.
     
  11. Goko

    Goko Agent

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    I read your statement to my wife (she does the weekly shopping) and her comment was, "what planet does he live on."
    I have to spend several minutes calming my wife down after each trip to Walmart for the groceries and listening to how much this has gone up or how that has nearly doubled in price!

    On a more personal note, the discount theater that I regularly attend has recently raised their prices from $1 to $1.25 for the first raise in 5 years and the popcorn has gone from $4.50 to $5.50. Outrageous!!!
     
  12. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    Well, you also have to look at things like GTA 4 selling more than any other media in it's first week at $60 a pop. When that stuff happens it's hard to swallow the "BD discs are too expensive" line. As I said earlier economy for some may be a very real factor. That would apply to anything though, and Yet people still go to movies and eat out and so on. If were talking discretionary spending then you would think people would scale this back as well.
     
  13. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Comparing video game sales to movie sales is apples to oranges. Video games are interactive and movies are passive. People are willing to pay more for the interactivity of video games. GTA is also a special case. There was a pent up demand for a new installment from gamers who had played previous incarnations of the game. The same cannot be said of movies.
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Aren't they trying to make BD's more interactive like video games? The Master And Commander BD I viewed had a bunch of inter-acting junk on it. I could of chosen to have been informed where on the map the H.M.S. Suprise was as it journeyed along. I don't want my movies made into game-like thangs, especially at the expense of BD-Java which eliminates the Resume function of my players.
     
  15. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I didn't say that prices hadn't gone up, I said they aren't anywhere near all time highs when adjusted for inflation. Even the price of gas isn't as high, when adjusted, as it was in 1982.

    I guess a lot of you don't remember the 70s when we were REALLY in a recession. When unemployment was around 8.5% and taxes were taking almost 50% of your income.

    Walmart recently reported that while sales were off for about 2 months in the winter, that their sales were right back up to normal levels last month. Ford last month reported a profit for the first quarter of 2008. Ford has been in the red for something like 18 months. So SOMEONE must be spending money.

    Doug
     
  16. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    To me, the meaning of the word "interactivity" is different in regards to movies and video games. Video games are interactive in the sense that you, as the player, directly effect the outcomes that occur throughout the game. In movies, interactivity means controlling a series of features that are supposed to give further insight into the film; however, a person has no effect on the outcome of the movie. It is still essentially a passive activity while a video game requires considerably more audience participation to move a story or events forward.

    Interactivity with a movie is voluntary. If the participant chooses not to use an interactive feature there is no detrimental effect. You can still watch the film. Video game inteactivity is mandatory. No audience participation means no progression.

    That is why, to me, interactive features are not a good excuse for higher prices on BD discs. Interactivity does not add any particular value to the act of watching a movie, so why pay more for it? In fact, from some of the complaints I have read, interactivity during a film actual reduces the enjoyment of watching a film because a person is taken out of the film by the need to perform some action for little actual gain.

    The biggest strength of movies is passive participation. A well made movie with a good story causes a person to fully invest in the experience. The participant gets fully absorbed into the experience and can even lose track of time while watching. In that environment, "interactivity" is a bad thing.
     
  17. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    A good video game should also provide you with at least 10 or 20 hours of unique game play, not to mention re playability, making the $50 price a much better value in comparison.


    Doug
     
  18. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    the bottom line for me is, that the general public just does not value an upgrade in PQ enough to get new equipment (and more importantly, learning how to use it).
     
  19. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    This argument just goes round and round. If a majority of people think that buying an HD display automatically gives them an HD picture (and many surveys show that people think just that) AND you have 50 or more SD DVD players with 1080p in giant lettering/numbering all over the boxes claiming to "upgrade your regular DVDs to high definition" (you've all seen such packaging) AND you have salespeople reinforcing that lie (because that is what it is--and I've argued with several people until I was blue in the face that their player did NOT make SD DVD into high definition, that in fact that was IMPOSSIBLE, but to no avail--and these are people I know, not strangers) AND the fact that even fewer people care about properly set up audio than they do video AND that the principle reason they buy HD displays is for a BIGGER picture and a smaller profile TV--NOT to enjoy the "subtle" (and don't kid yourselves, to most people, it is subtle, particularly under 50 inches) improvment in PQ (remember, they think their display automatically gives them HD for TV and their 50$ "upconverting" DVD player is transforming their SD DVDs into high definition).


    (I know, a run-on sentence, but I did it to make a point)

    Factor in ALL the above (leave out the economy if you wish, but for most people, it most certainly IS a factor because the majority PERCEIVES the economy to be going badly--regardless of its actual state) and it should be quite clear that Blu-ray faces an uphill battle. I certainly hope it becomes the standard as I appreciate all it brings--but I am equipped and informed enough to do so and I care about it. These are not generally shared by the broad public.

    And consider that I (quite without unnecesary boasting) am more knowledgeable of and sensitive to PQ and SQ issues than, conservatively, 95% of the general public but when I wander in here and elsewhere I find people complaining about "glaring errors" that I don't even notice (or wouldn't if I didn't read about them in here--and even then, I find the "errors/flaws", in the overwhelming majority of cases, to be rather minor--certainly not the "omg I can't watch such dreck/the film is ruined/etc." that gets expressed by some people in fora like this one). That just adds an additional layer of complication.
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I like the way you've managed to "adjust" inflation and the erosion of purchasing power right out of the picture. But you forgot the other half. Adjust the average wage for inflation as well. Now factor in the debt load carried by the average American today vs. 20 years ago.

    The media isn't fabricating a crisis so much as catching up late with a story that's been brewing for some time. Here's a reliable indicator. When a major Wall Street financial firm collapses, the crisis is probably real. In the late 80s, it was Drexel. Currently it's Bear Stearns.

    M.
     

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