Blu-ray may have won the high definition disc format war, but that doesn’t mean clear sailing for the format. Emerging DVD player upscaling technologies, along with downloadable HD and VOD, are giving Blu-ray plenty of competition.
One study from ABI Research says that consumers are not dissatisfied enough with their standard DVD players to justify the switch to an expensive Blu-ray player. The study says that there has been an increase in the number of DVD players with up-converters, currently at 35%. They estimate that by 2013 that percentage will increase to 60%.
Blu-ray Disc also faces future competition from downloadable HD content via Xbox Live, AppleTV and VOD from television service providers. If you can download the movie for $5.99, do you really need to purchase a $400 Blu-ray player and a $30 Blu-ray disc?
Die-hard movie fans and early HD adopters would say “Yes, of course.” However, the mainstream market, currently feeling the woes of a slowing economy are not so motivated to shell out for a BD player. It’s the same mass market that was slightly woken when HD DVD prices started dropping. When a high def player hit the $100 mark, eyes started to open.
On the flip side, ask any gamer if $400 is too much for a Playstation 3 and they will most likely say “No.” ABI Research noted that in 2008 85% of the Blu-ray players will be found in PS3 consoles. That’s the group that needs to be motivated to buy Blu-ray Discs.