Originally Posted by Kosty
TV shows will never be sold on Blu-ray as they were on DVD. TV on DVD really helped sustain DVD sales revenues from 2004 to 2006 or 2007 after the major catalog theatrical move titles were starting to be exhausted for DVD release.
Netflix and Hulu streaming is just a superior experience for episodic TV series viewing for most consumers and much of that old TV show catalog does not benefit much from high definition Blu-ray anyway if it was standard definition or video based. Plus all the old special interest DVD skus and all the double dip DVD releases as well that are useless or obsolete to release on Blu-ray.
Blu-ray is more geared to theatrical movies and for high quality television series and much of the other DVD list of skus will never be released on Blu-ray.
I agree that Blu-ray is a specialized format and for most consumers is overkill when it comes to older content. That's why it's been a long road for mainstream adoption for the format as a whole. Here we are nearly 6 years in and still around a 24% share. That says a lot about the difficultly it has at replacing DVD in all its forms.
It's true that TV on Netflix or on your hard drive is much more convenient than a 5 season set with 30 discs to swap out. It's a pain to remember where you were when you leave the series and come back several months later, as by then the player will have erased the position memory.
So then you're left with those consumers who feel Blu-ray's better quality is worth the extra hassle of dealing with discs, and those are in a minority. Although with disc you also get special features and sub/audio options and never have to worry about availability. It can be risky to watch a series on Netflix only to see it pulled before you finish.
With older content the problem is, and always will be, the trade off of having more grain to go with higher resolution. Most consumers would probably rather get DVD resolution and lose the grain, so you get the "problem" of having too much resolution. Fortunately though, a larger than normal percentage of consumers that like older movies (because they're cinephiles) also appreciate higher resolution and realize that grain is the nature of the beast, so we still get classic movie releases although not nearly on the same scale as DVD. Adding to that is that most of these classics were just released on DVD in the later years of the format and the same consumers who bought them are not interested in double dipping so soon.
Of course the tent pole and popular classics will get better treatment but for the most part, the older movies are being released by small distributors such as Kino or Criterion. Of the 44 pre-1950 movies released last year, only 4 came from the major studios.