Remove ads with our VIP Service
Add Your Comments
- A Product That Redefines a Backyard Home Theater Project [1/29]
- Blu-ray Review: Dolphin Tale [1/13]
- Blu-ray Review: Planet Earth Special Edition [10/28]
- Netflix Realizes After 3 Weeks What Every Customer Knew Right Away - Qwikster Was a Bad Idea [10/10]
- Amazon Shakes Up the Tablet Market with New 7-inch "Fire" and Releases New Kindles Too [9/28]
- Netflix Splits In Two, Sending Streaming and Discs to Separate Corners [9/22]
- Blu-ray Review: Hall Pass - Enlarged Edition [7/1]
- Miramax Bringing Movie Library to Hulu [6/2]
- Blockbuster Closing 186 More Stores This Week [3/28]
- Orville Redenbacher Introduces New Microwave Popcorn Bag That Turns Into a Bowl [3/18]
It's been just over a year since the home theater industry was rocked with the news that Warner Bros. was going to end its support of the HD DVD format, a move that ended up killing the format altogether by the end of February 2008 (read the announcement of Toshiba conceding defeat).
The Blu-ray format today is very different from a year ago. Last year, I was really wondering if the companies involved could get their collective acts together and start producing hardware that was full-featured (much less at reasonable prices) and that software titles would start pumping out at a higher rate. At that time, the only Blu-ray player worth buying at any price was the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) game system (read my article "Looking for a Blu-ray Player? The Only Good Choice Right Now Is..." which was published 2/11/2008), as the rest were a mixed bag of overpriced underperformers, none of which had a chance of supporting the upcoming profiles that provided enhanced features, such as Picture-in-Picture commentaries (Bonus View) and Internet connectivity (BD-Live).
2007 was a lousy showing for Blu-ray, and with the death of HD DVD, I really hoped that 2008 would be better on both the hardware and software fronts.
According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the group behind the Blu-ray high definition format, at a presentation given at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) yesterday, 2008 was indeed a good year for the format!
Andy Parsons, Senior Vice President of Advanced Product Development, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., started off with some statistics.
- To date, 10.7 million Blu-ray capable players have shipped, including the PS3, which is about twice as many players as the DVD format sold in its first three years (Blu-ray launched in June 2006).
- Approximately three times more Blu-ray players were sold in 2008 than in 2007.
- 1,100 Blu-ray titles are now available
- The Dark Knight is the first title to surpass 1 million sold (it was released December 9, 2008). You can read more about the sales records for The Dark Knight.
- More than four times more discs were sold in 2008 than in 2007 (24 million vs. 5.3 million)
One year ago, there were no BD-Live titles and no players to play them. Sony promised that the PS3 would be upgraded to support the format, since it had horsepower to spare and an Internet connection (both wired and wireless) ready and waiting. Even though naysayers discounted the benefits that could be had, I was adamant that any player, especially at the prices that were being asked at the time (the $400 PS3 was a relative bargain just a year ago!), should have Bonus View and BD-Live functionality.
Skip forward to present day, and there are 21 BD-Live titles (Search Amazon.com for BD-Live titles), including The Dark Knight, Sleeping Beauty, and Wall-E. There are also 9 BD-Live capable players now on the market, including the PS3. 11 more players have been announced at CES.
My other major gripe last year about Blu-ray players was the incredibly high price points for what I saw as under-equipped and under-powered offerings. Thankfully, prices have come down, which is a most welcome change. For example, you could get a Sony BDP-S350 for $179 from Sears on the day after Thanksgiving. During the Christmas shopping season, it was easy to find BD-Live and Bonus View-equipped models for $200. Prices have risen slightly now that the holidays are past, but nowhere near the $500 price points of a year ago. For example, the Sony BDP-S350 and Samsung BD-P1500 are both going for around $250-$275 on Amazon.com.
The panel that convened and answered questions from the crowd after the presentation were very positive on Blu-ray's outlook. One panelist predicted that 2009's sales would be 5-6x that of 2008! Even in the face of downloads, which is the current whipping post for naysayers, they felt that Blu-ray still provided the best picture, the best sound, and the best value.
It will be interesting to find out how the market looks next year!
HD blog site EngadgetHD covered the presentation, and you can view photos and running commentary at the Read link below.
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your ZIP Code -- the site remembers your ZIP code, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2014, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.