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Blu-ray is doomed according to Don Reisinger

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:16 AM   #1  
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Default Blu-ray is doomed according to Don Reisinger

Well I came across this blog over at CNET and he lists 4 reasons why Blu-ray will die in the not so distant future.

Here are his reasons. And here is the link http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13506_1-9...l?tag=blgs.pop

Do you agree with some or all of his reasons or disagree?
Please refrain from bringing HDDVD into this discussion.

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Quote:
In the past, I've always felt that Blu-ray would win the high-def format war. After that, I wasn't necessarily sure what the future would hold for the format.

Would it be the success DVD was? Would it flop worse than LaserDisc? Would it cater to a slightly more advanced crowd but never reach the mainstream? Would it be a downright loser?

For a while, I decided to hold off from making any judgements until I could see how the Blu-ray group handled its victory. And while it has only been a relatively short amount of time since that win, the end is already in sight and the format has no hope of survival.

As James McQuivey, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research explained to me this week on my Digital Home podcast, Blu-ray isn't quite the shining light on the mountain that some believe it is. Instead, it's a vulnerable product that has considerable work to do before Sony can even think it will stack up to the DVD.

And while all of McQuivey's logic was well-founded and well-researched, I couldn't help but take it a step further and use it as the backbone for my prediction--Blu-ray will die as a forgotten warrior in the long and arduous battle of media formats.

Reason 1: No flexibility

First and foremost, Blu-ray is not flexible, nor is it portable. Doesn't sound like a big problem? Think again. According to McQuivey, the "DVD is extremely usable and you can take that disc and play it in your car, at a friend's house; you can take that DVD and after you're done with it, you can give it to a friend and they can play it at their house."

"Blu-ray players won't be like that for quite some time," he continued. "Because there just won't be nearly enough Blu-ray players in the home to justify even doing something like that."

Realizing that people want to take media and bring it wherever they go, how can we possibly justify saying that Blu-ray will win or even make a dent in the DVD market? McQuivey's point is not only a good one, but it reflects one key point that some have missed--media formats go far beyond the idea that we only care about viewing what's on them. Instead, we are looking for ease of use, availability, and portability--three facets that Blu-ray doesn't provide and probably won't for quite some time.

Reason 2: The issue of looks

HD has always been pretty and everyone knows that an additional 600 lines of resolution are important, but let's be honest--can anyone truly say that the difference in quality between DVDs and Blu-ray is so great that the thought of using that old format is unbearable? Of course not.

McQuivey explained to me that, "the average person can't tell the difference between DVD quality and HD content...so a DVD looks pretty good for most people, especially when they use a DVD upconverter."

I've said it once and I'll say it again--the difference in quality between DVDs and Blu-ray is not nearly great enough to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a player. And as I'm not alone in that assertion, what will that do to the idea of portability that I mentioned above? If people are unwilling to buy Blu-ray players and portability is a key factor in DVD's success, how can anyone possibly say Blu-ray will be a similar success?

Reason 3: Cost, cost, cost

The price of Blu-ray players is simply too high for people to even want them. Why would someone who can't bring media wherever they would like and cannot tell the difference in quality actually waste time spending hundreds of dollars on a player?

At this point, pure logic should come into the discussion. To put it succinctly--Blu-ray will only do well if players are readily available, and players will be readily available if prices are lower. In order for prices to be lower, production costs will need to come down, and so far, production costs are still quite high. And all this is irrespective of the other issues already plaguing the device. Do you see what I'm getting at here? There's trouble in paradise.

Reason 4: The clock is ticking

Right now, Blu-ray is relatively safe because broadband speeds aren't nearly where they should be and HD media downloads are plagued by many of the same issues affecting Blu-ray. But that won't be true for too much longer.

As McQuivey pointed out, HD media downloads probably won't be too big for at least another five years, which means Blu-ray must make a huge splash in that time or face total annihilation. Of course, with crazy player prices and a slew of issues it needs to confront before then, what are the chances of anything like that happening?

The end is near for Blu-ray and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Say what you will, but Toshiba should be ecstatic that it didn't get caught in the middle of this quagmire and got out when it did.

But if you don't believe me, take McQuivey's take on it: "On many levels, Toshiba should be glad it lost (the high-def format war)."
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #2  
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DOOOOOOOOOOMED!

Actually, I think this guy is spot on, except for his assertion that laserdisc was a flop. Laserdisc wasn't nearly as popular as VHS, but it survived and had a pretty good little thing going until DVD came along and wiped out everything. Blu-ray is most likely heading for a similar run, and should be just fine, unless the studios are expecting a lot more from it and end their support when it doesn't take over the world.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:35 AM   #3  
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bite my shiny metal arse. Indeed Laserdisk was not a failure but was an alternative to VHS low resolution and squeaky sound (well before HiFi audio tracks). Just like HDM it did not make that much difference to the vast majority of viewers. But, for those of us who wanted better PQ and AQ, LD was greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:47 AM   #4  
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He might be right, I always said the Twin disc idea had merit because of it's flexibilty and being able to be used in all of the DVD players people have.

The hardcore BluBoyz have hated that idea and been very vocal in their opposition, now it is logically pointed out the Blu-ray is very inflexible and this would have overcome that fault for the J6P consumer.

I hope this is wrong, but any intelligent person has to admit it is distinctly possible that is has merit and could actually come to pass.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:53 AM   #5  
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IMO DVD will remain mass market due to value for the money and its incredible accessibility and ease of use. BD will remain the darling of the hardcore and so become a niche product like LD, but slightly more popular. If SR DVD actually works it will fragment the market some more in DVD's favour. I have two BD players and have gone back to renting DVDs because its so easy to get what I want and so inexpensive. Its a catch 22 problem for the BDA - they need really cheap players and titles to compete with DVD, but that takes all the profit and therefore incentive to publish in BD out of the equation - you can't compete with DVD and still make any money! For most people BD is just excess PQ and AQ they don't need and don't want to pay for!

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:56 AM   #6  
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dooooom & glooooom?

No flexibility? (= "Hardly anyone has a Blu-ray player?")
DVD is "portable", because there are a lot of cheap players around. I don't think two years into the game DVD was as "portable" as it is today.

The issue of looks? (= "What is good enough?")
Yes it is real High Def. Some people are good with upconverting. Some people are good with 720p double-reencoded crap from the internet. So be it. Others are interested in "the best" for both audio and video, even if they can't really take advantage of it or know what it means.

Personally i will wait for this years holiday season, until i make up my mind about what people might want and what they might not want. First holiday season after the "war"....

Cost, cost, cost? (= "Is Blu-ray too expensive?)
I still think the prices will come down naturally. I think they did so with most successful ce products, like CD players or DVD players or HDTVs. Having rather high prices at the start of a life cycle says nothing about how these prices will develop as the product catches on with the public. IMO it is certainly no base for any kind of assumptions that prices will stay where they are.

The clock is ticking? (= "Downloads will rule the world?")
I think there will be a significant market for a disc based movie format for a long time still. Downloads/Streaming will be side by side with Blu-ray. Some will want the "best of both worlds" (maybe cheap downloads for casual movie viewing and buying the favorite movies on disc), others might prefer one delivery system over the other.

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The end is near for Blu-ray and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
I recommend growing a long beard, writing this on a sign and wandering through the streets of your town, proclaiming this....
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:59 AM   #7  
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Is this the type of thread I could have a field day with? ... oh but, could I! But I won't. The topic and blog speaks for itself
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #8  
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Nothing new here. Sounds like the same old lines from the Toshiba post HD DVD playbook that many HDF members have been using since the apocalypse. It's funny that in '06 and '07 people really wanted HD, now that Toshiba's future HD royalties are a distant memory because they were beat down by BD, no one cares much about HD. I'm sure it is just coincidence however.

We really need the, running around in circles waiving arms in the air, smile and the biting nails smile in the list for all this doom and gloom posting.

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:03 AM   #9  
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One thing I am becoming more and more convinced of is that HDM in general may never reach out of niche status.

It seems to me that no one outside the internet cares at all about it and the time has come where I can no longer ignore the fact that every single trip I've made to retail, I happen to be the only person browsing the HD titles.

The time for the BDA to act is now, the vast majority of consumers just don't give a shit about HDM whether it be because of price, available titles or what have you. IMO, the longer this keeps up, the more likely that consumers may never give a shit about it and will remain happy with upscalers and their cheap $10 DVD's.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Reason 1: No flexibility

"Blu-ray players won't be like that for quite some time," he continued. "Because there just won't be nearly enough Blu-ray players in the home to justify even doing something like that."
Sounds like DVD in 1999.

Quote:
Reason 3: Cost, cost, cost

The price of Blu-ray players is simply too high for people to even want them. Why would someone who can't bring media wherever they would like and cannot tell the difference in quality actually waste time spending hundreds of dollars on a player?
Sounds like DVD in 1997 and 1998.

Quote:
Reason 4: The clock is ticking

Right now, Blu-ray is relatively safe because broadband speeds aren't nearly where they should be and HD media downloads are plagued by many of the same issues affecting Blu-ray. But that won't be true for too much longer.
Unless the ISP's can get away with throttling or metering our bandwidth, then downloads will die in the cradle.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:13 AM   #11  
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My remarks in Red

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikopol View Post
dooooom & glooooom?

No flexibility? (= "Hardly anyone has a Blu-ray player?")
DVD is "portable", because there are a lot of cheap players around. I don't think two years into the game DVD was as "portable" as it is today.

This goes hand in hand with the next comment - if J6P thinks upconversion works just fine, he wont get a BD (or HD DVD) player, thus limiting the portability

The issue of looks? (= "What is good enough?")
Yes it is real High Def. Some people are good with upconverting. Some people are good with 720p double-reencoded crap from the internet. So be it. Others are interested in "the best" for both audio and video, even if they can't really take advantage of it or know what it means.

Personally i will wait for this years holiday season, until i make up my mind about what people might want and what they might not want. First holiday season after the "war"....

It will be harder to convince J6P to buy a BD player AND replace his library (or portions thereof) to get the benefits of his HD TV instead of just just upconverting his current library and any future releases, becasue, you know, the studios are STILL releasing EVERYTHING in DVD. As with the first point, this point ties into the next point, J6P will be less inclined to shell out duckets for a BD player when a <$100 upconverter will make him happy.

Cost, cost, cost? (= "Is Blu-ray too expensive?)
I still think the prices will come down naturally. I think they did so with most successful ce products, like CD players or DVD players or HDTVs. Having rather high prices at the start of a life cycle says nothing about how these prices will develop as the product catches on with the public. IMO it is certainly no base for any kind of assumptions that prices will stay where they are.

Again, ties into the next point. Will the price drop fast enough to make adoption occur faster than adoption of downloadable digital content? Probably not, if you go by the adoption scale you discuss above.

The clock is ticking? (= "Downloads will rule the world?")
I think there will be a significant market for a disc based movie format for a long time still. Downloads/Streaming will be side by side with Blu-ray. Some will want the "best of both worlds" (maybe cheap downloads for casual movie viewing and buying the favorite movies on disc), others might prefer one delivery system over the other.

Downloads, so to speak, already rule. VOD, PPV, 360 DLs, TV tuner cards. There are a score of different ways to download movies. the Download revolution will not be, "click here and download a movie", although you can *already* do that with unbox, and/or with your 360. It will be when the bandwith hits a high enough number to DL 1080 movies with multichannel audio. But what % of consumers really care about those features anyway? J6P is perfectly happy with VOD and PPV (its why Blockbuster is fialing so bad). And with Torrents and the like I can download a movie faster than Netflix can send it to me; its why they are going to a download model ...

I recommend growing a long beard, writing this on a sign and wandering through the streets of your town, proclaiming this....
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #12  
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Don Reisinger?

Never heard of him. Never heard of this McQuivey either,.. does this blog ever explain who that is?

I, however, say that Blu Ray has a bright future. My reasons are..

Reason 1: No flexibility

Friends come over and see the movie collection and get gaga eyes and are like hey let me take home some of your movies. My kids want to watch that disney film in the car which will result in scratches like you can't believe. And I'll be like first of all "I aint your Netflix" and second this is Blu Ray and you can't afford it yet.

Reason 2: The issue of looks

Hd looks miles better then DVD but you won't see the difference if you hook up your PS3 with the composite cable. Eventually though,.. People will know the difference between HD and SD and the desire for HD will skyrocket.

Reason 3: Cost, cost, cost

Blu Ray players and discs cost about the same as initial DVD players and discs cost. Did everyone forget early DVD players were $500 and up and that money was more valuable back then due to inflation since. Cheaper players are coming, I've bought Blu Ray movies new and sealed for $10 shipped due to special promotions which is cheaper then the DVD. For now,.. renting a Blu Ray costs exactly as much as renting the DVD.

Reason 4: The clock is ticking

And if you sit and have to listen to those moments ticking away fully aware that millions of others are instead watching HD Movies at home via Blu Ray it won't take you long before your out the door on the way to Best Buy to join the party.

-Brian

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:16 AM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoSin View Post
Sounds like DVD in 1999.

Sounds like DVD in 1997 and 1998.

Unless the ISP's can get away with throttling or metering our bandwidth, then downloads will die in the cradle.
It's not the same at all. The BDA said there will never be any portable players or anything else like that, only SAL and PS3 are allowed to be produced and only at price of $346 and above. It's right there in the rules under "How to Maintain Obscene Profits," and right above "How to Pay Off Everyone in Order to Kill the Format Everyone Really Wants.” Do a little research sometime.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:17 AM   #14  
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I have no crystal ball, so who knows what will happen to HDM. BUT!

Blogs like this are very short sighted and a bit assinine. How exactly can you compare a fully developed format of over a decade to a brand new format? His points are all based on the assumption that DVD is as prevelant today and that BD should be equally prevalent right out of the gate. That's a bit ridiculous.

Reason 1: When did portable DVD players come to the market? The day DVD was first introduced? I don't think so. When DVD first hit the market, could you take your brand new $30 DVD over to your buddies house who only had a VCR and play it? Not that I know of. I had my first DVD for months before I could actually watch it on my tv. (got it free somehow) It takes time for these things to actually enter the public. With the speed of today's business, BD will hit these types of equipment offerings faster than DVD did. Though it may not hit the number houses as fast. That's different. But how long do you think it would take for a portable BD player to be made if anyone wanted to? Not years that's for sure.

Reason 2: This guy is an idiot. It is complete BS to say that the average person cannot tell the difference between HDM and SD-DVD. Maybe they can't take advantage yet, but the difference is jaw dropping. This is just plain stupid. This is just bad information and completely wrong.

Reason 3: Again, what's the deal with bloggers expecting brand new technology to be dirt cheap instantly. We are expecting WAY too much if we expect a brand new format to be cheaper than a decade old format the day after it hits the market. HDM prices WILL go down. It is the nature of the marketplace. I'd bet they go down even faster than DVD did. How many people said DVD would never overtake VHS because the first players to hit the market were too expensive? That's just plain lunacy.

Reason 4: The clock is ticking, but again with the speed of market place, not an issue really. $300 BD players this Christmas, $200 next year? Next Christmas maybe even seeing $150 or less? It'll happen. Downloads will be big in the future. I have no doubt. But downloads will not kill BD. Lack of public interest maybe, not downloads in and of themselves.

Here's a fascinating quote about DVD players:

Quote:
As with many new consumer electronic devices, as more people use a device, its price drops. DVD players are no exception. Toshiba's SD-3000 DVD player (one of the first DVD players to debut in the United States) costs roughly $700. Four or five years ago, a standard DVD player could cost at least $200. Today, you can walk into your local consumer electronics store and buy the no-frills Toshiba SD-3980 (www.tacp.toshiba.com), a single-disc DVD player, for a suggested retail price of $59.99.
http://www.firstglimpsemag.com/Edito...7y07.asp&guid=

$700 for the first DVD player 10 years ago! Today that DVD player would cost the equivalent of about $950 (using a rough inflation calc). And now people are complaining that BD is not below $100 a year after introduction?
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:43 AM   #15  
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Originally Posted by AintNoSin View Post
Sounds like DVD in 1999.

Sounds like DVD in 1997 and 1998.

Unless the ISP's can get away with throttling or metering our bandwidth, then downloads will die in the cradle.
As far as reason 1 goes, he just doesn't explain how downloads will be portable. He has this issue with Blu-Ray but does it mean that if you download a movie from let's assume iTunes, that you will have an AppleTV in your car as well? Or will iTunes allow you, without hacking of course, to burn your downloaded movie to disk? Or will you be allowed to zap your newly downloaded content to a friend's house Kazaa style?

As far as reason 2 is concerned, he should also add why should anyone pay for HD channels through cable or satellite if standard def is good enough? If someone buys an HDTV he/she will want to watch HD movies, events or shows. We should stop patronizing the people we call J6P and give them some credit. I doubt that anyone will spend $2000 on an HDTV but keep on watching standard def content forever.

OK reason 3 is about cost. So what? When DVD or VCR for that matter came out did they cost $100?

Finally reason 4. Broadband "issues" will be a thing of the past in maybe 5 years. I still know people who use phone line connections. Those that have hi-speed are probably at 2 or 3 Mbits/sec. And what about download limits or added premiums?

IMO the one issue he never addressed was the wide-based acceptance of HDTV. Blu-ray is linked at the hip with this. Until the majority of homes in the big markets (US, western Europe and Japan) have converted to HDTV, meaning over 50% of homes have HDTV, we won't see if BD is a success or failure.
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