Why BluRay is still a DOA format...


This is pretty much a continuation of the spin-off topic of BluRay and it’s relevance after looking at the new release of Final Cut and it’s limited support of authoring for BluRay. Also, a big part of the conversation was the questionable sales numbers of BD players becuase such a high number of them are part of products that aren’t primarily for watching movies.

     I can and pretty easily just because it wouldn't be the first Sony developed technology they had to dump...  Sony is in last place in the console wars now which is a HUGE part of the company these days and many developers are jumping ship.  Wii and MS aren't going to start to "Play Nice" now either so Sony can catch up.  As a whole the company is probably worth a third of what it was only a couple of years ago and they own several other patents on now defunct technologies that never took off (Anyone interested in my buddy's slightly used MD player???).  As many merits as Sony may believe that the format has there are some financial realities they will have to come to grips with or BluRay may be the last exotic format they will pay to develop and have to drop.  If they don't turn that ship around and soon the public conversation could be about how long before there's a question about Sony's long term solvency.  Sony is in a similar position to where Sega was with the Dreamcast EXCEPT if Sony simply drops BluRay they can compete to win against Nintendo and Microsoft.  
Aside from Sony's position as a company it's pretty clear that more often than not it looks like the writing is on the wall with this format so it makes sense that Apple's not really supporting it well.  Think about it, if you were paying to build movie related software for these things and were told that a third to half of the units sold aren't used primarily for playing films it would be a problem. Generally speaking whenever something new, that's evolutionary, comes out there is a certain vibe of excitement that comes with it, the perceived benefits are obvious and lots of news journals constantly report nice things about the product...None of that stuff happens with BluRay which is why when you ask most people they either have no opinion or they don't have a particularly good impression of it.  People that do get BluRay don't get it for BluRay they maybe get it to go with the TV they like because the image is marginally better and they have an "Early Adopter" mindset, or because the Playstation has one built-in because there's no alternative other then getting different console (which most people are doing.)  It's clearly not helping Sony get ahead in the console wars which was a big part of their initial sales projection forecasts.  No one is really running out to buy BluRay player, to add to their new standard definition TV that they bought a year and a half ago because it's breakthrough technology and that kind of product apathy is a recipe for technology getting undone at the first sign of an alternative.
     Another thing to look at in all of this is that the main player in deciding whether BluRay, as a consumer/living room product, flies or not longterm is probably Matsushita not Sony and Matsushita has a lot less invested in the development of the format.  If Matsushita jumps ship with all of their "Mass Market" brands you can put a fork in BluRay too. The big practical complaint most people had with the shift from VHS to DVD was replacement of their existing movie libraries, that's still a major issue with "Non Early-Adopters" Matsushita's bread and butter customers.  With the difference between DVD and BluRay not being the same as the difference between VHS and DVD that's just another chink in the BluRay armor especially for those "Non Early-Adopters" Matsushita serves in droves.


Just to add my two cents, can anyone name a popular Sony format that has ever taken off?

Betamax, yup had one of them, piece of junk
minidisc, had one of them too, not too bad but still pointless
memorystick duo, its an overpriced sd card with an extra pin, propped up by their laptop and camera business
bluray, Sheep keeps posting amazing sales figures, which when compared to dvd show the percentage staying completely stationary against dvd. Its propped up by a games console.

Plus a bunch of others its not worth mentioning because they failed even more epically than those above, you likely havent heard of them.


I think it’s a whole lot like Betamax.

I just don’t think that anyone is too interested in any DVD-like format, let alone some new one, because “physical media” is the thing that is so very obviously going-away.

“We don’t need yet-another DVD format: we need to get rid of DVDs once and for all.”

The industry has already tasted the market-value of electronic downloads, which cost them essentially-zero in terms of cost-of-goods-sold. And, they have also tasted having to re-state the quarterly earnings of a publicly-traded company after so many unsold copies of Shrek 2 were returned by retailers. (Hint: “re-stating your earnings” is not what a publicly-traded company e-v-e-r wants to do!)

When a copy of your song or movie gets downloaded, "bam! book that puppy as almost-100% net profit, and book it right now today."

Sorry for the engineers who worked so hard on Blu-Ray, but theirs is a solution looking for a problem that does not need a better solution. “This horse needs a bullet, not new shoes.”


Compact Disc (CD) was a Phillips/Sony format. It did pretty well. :shrug:


I think expecting BD to go away at this point is a bit nutty. :wip:
I’ve seen these arguments and counter-arguments and variations on them in a million different threads since HDDVD vs blu-ray so I think I will just bow out here.


blu ray is the only format for high def. it is selling like crazy… people are buying blu ray and high def LCD’s like bread and butter…every time im in the (electronics store) i see someone walking out with a salesman and a cart with a big honkin 60 inch TV and along side it is a bluray player… the way things are moving its all disposable anyway… new formats arent going to stick around for long… look how long the tape was here… then the DVD was about half that… now highdef will be about half that… its moores law for generational format updates… in about 10 years we will be changing formats every month so stop worrying about and go buy the bluray player and enjoy it… and i dont wanna hear anyone talk about how theres very little difference between dvd and bluray… i have a projector and a 120 inch picture and the difference is amazing…


I actually like BluRay, I figure it’s about as close as I’ll get to seeing the original quality of many films - HD being close enough to a 2K DI version for all intents and purposes.

But then again, I’m a film geek. To your average consumer, there isn’t the incentive to

The biggest downside about BluRay from my perspective is the cost of the films. If your going to price a BluRay movie over £20+ ('bout $34 USD) then it better be a bonafide classic worth owning. Otherwise I tend to keep to the £10-14 price range.


As in consumer formats? Not off the top of my head. Their professional formats have tended to do a bit better.


In fact it Did GREAT…right up until Napster and then the LEGAL
Digital Distribution model of itunes rendered the $18 Music CD
with one hit song and Seven Filler tracks, obsolete.
Yet Hollywood Failed to take note of the lesson that nearly Destroyed
the Commercial Music industry.


isn`t miniDV a Sony format? Thought that one did well…


Their new PSP handheld, the “PSP GO”, will a 16 GIG flash drive
and All games will be sold Digitally eliminating the need for a MSD
and of course that ridiculous UMD Drive.!!!.

So they seem to see the wisdom of DD but still insist on yet another ridiculous format.


Try downloading/ streaming a full qaulity 2+ hour HD film, current ISP’s would crumble at the shear traffic.

Hence Blu-ray, as much as some people dislike it, is here to stay for a little while atleast. Anyway what is wrong with having the ability to write x amount of GB’s to a disc, surely that’s a good thing for backing up work, instead of collecting a huge collection of HDD’s.


My thoughts:

BluRay is here to stay, at least for some time. HD has still not taken over, and I think only a little part of the market has gone from SD to HD, and it will still take some years to make HD the standard format. It is a reason it’s still called SD (Standard Definition).

So Bluray has a lot of years before becoming a new standard.
But the format is still not complete, I think. I remember reading that someone had made a BluRay disc capable of 200gb/500gb (can’t remember which), and those disc were still readable on today’s BluRay players! Although, at that stage, reading speed would be a problem.

I think that the problem is not with the format, but the definition, HD will soon be outdated. They have already been sniffing on 2k/4k, 3D and such, and HD is just a quick stop before the next “big” thing.

Disc-based physical media may be a drag for some people, and it will probably not live as long as the DVD, I think the next step is card-based media. Small memory cards with lots of memory (we are already moving in that direction), they are easier to store, cheaper and does not break that easy. But we are no way near 100% digital distribution, no-one wants that, the majority of the consumers still don’t have high-speed internet and probably never will.

Bottom line: BluRay will be the HD-media, and we will never get a “digital-distribution only” scenario, as the consumers don’t have the internet to support it, and most people prefer a physical copy of the product.

(This post may not make sense, due to my sometimes bad english, and not well thought-out post.)


“Try downloading/ streaming a full qaulity 2+ hour HD film, current ISP’s would crumble at the shear traffic.”

The technology is already here. The BBC streams full 1080 content which works fine over most household broadband connections. Im sure theres plenty of places it wont work, but think of it this way; the installed userbase of people with broadband connections is already several times higher than those with a bluray player, and its only accelerating in favor of the net connection.

If there was no internet, bluray would do great. But there is, and in probably no more than a couple of years we’ll laugh about buying a physical disc for a movie as much as the current generation laughs at the idea of buying a music cd.

It has happened to music, CDs are on their way out
It is happening this very moment with games, the new PSP, steam, wii store, xbox marketplace
Its strongly gearing up with movies. You can buy movies on itunes right now and I can watch my local tv station in hd streaming.

MiniDV and CDs, ok ill give you half a point of each of them, they were joint ventures between sony, jvc, panasonic and phillips.


Blu-Ray is simply not making sense to customers, unless they are film fanatics who must have the very best picture and sound(who are in the minority). And even then, they must have a TV at least 32" or greater to get the benefit of it. On top of that, Blu-Ray is much more expensive…

And speaking to those film-buffs - they all pretty much agree that its only worth buying VFX titles for Blu-Ray. Its stupid to assume that the casual girl on the street is going to pay £20 for “Confessions of a shop-a-holic” on Blu-Ray, when they can get it for £12 on DVD.


And that is why it is doubling in sales every 6 months?

“VFX only films are the only films worth getting on blu ray” thing is the biggest BS. I have bought fargo (for $14 btw) and the godfather collection and the quality difference is amazing. A lot of catalog non vfx movies sold quite well on blu ray.

I love how the anti blu ray crowd only offers anecdotes and predictions while in reality the format is taking off quite nicely.

People like to own something they can touch. Blu ray movies have resale value, Apple store movies do not. Last I checked apple store was selling movies for $19-24 so they are not passing the savings to the customer. A bunch of retailers are not even selling the new psp because it offers no revenue for them. You are still buying the psp games for the same price from the sony store, the only difference is you cant sell rade them.


i think it’s pretty crazy that VHS lasted for what, 20, 30 years? i’m not all too sure, but then it was overtaken by dvd, which has been dominant for about… 10 years? i can’t believe dvd is just going to fade away after such a short time.


BluRay isn’t a Sony only thing, which makes it very different from the examples you list below, but because they were the main promoters (since it was a selling point for the PS3) people confuse things around.
BluRay is a rather large consortium, and Apple for the record joined it in 2004.

As for the last cooperative format Sony worked on, it was the CD RedBook, which was decently succesful I believe :).
DV, DVone and MiniDV also all saw sony participation in the original design and book groups, and those have been total domination of the consumer and prosumer camera for over a decade before d2dvd came out.
The DAC that dominated several markets was also sony.
The MiniDisc did well, better than it should have had actually considering all the usual copyright and fees BS, so it definitely can’t be said not to have taken off.

Betamax, yup had one of them, piece of junk

WTH you talking about? Betamax was largely superior to VHS in every aspect. The only reason it tanked was Sony’s greed and the percopy fees. It was distribution money that got VHS a win, not the quality of the format. It hasn’t taken off, yes, but piece of junk, not at all.
Rest I agree with.

bluray, Sheep keeps posting amazing sales figures, which when compared to dvd show the percentage staying completely stationary against dvd. Its propped up by a games console.

All I’ve read is different, and the percentage against DVDs quadrupled over a year. Care to list the numbers you are thinking of?

Plus a bunch of others its not worth mentioning because they failed even more epically than those above, you likely havent heard of them.

You confuse a lot of failed attempts with never having succeeded, which are two very different things. You don’t get to the position sony is in (winning half the format wars and having estabilished almost all pro and most of the prosumer formats around) by not trying a lot.
After the cassette, which was oneshot at first try by AEG and BASF, and well before their media design debut, Sony has been behind almost every major consumer format for media of any success, and the only significant defeat was betamax, and even then only because of sheer greed.

Not a bluray fanboy or anything, but a lot of stuff I read in this thread is rather spiteful and unfounded :slight_smile:


hmm, professionally, that’s called Sony Beta and TV still uses that all the time. It’s about as hiqh quality as you can get before getting into HD.

I should add my voice of disgust to the general clamour surrounding Blu-Ray authoring though. Those that bought CS3/CS4 expecting to be able to author playable, properly interactive BD-R discs have been sorely disappointed. small to medium scale companies cannot justify the $120,000 spend for a copy of blu-print - the only software apart from the similarly overprice Scenarist capable of writing proper blu-ray titles.

just my £0.02



DVD is still a good format and I think it sort of took off because it made movie collecting a little better and affordable compared to Laser Disc. Plus you didn’t have to rewind it, the quality was better then vhs, and on good HD tvs with calibration, some newer dvds can actually look amazing. Plus all the extra behind the scenes features, etc. It fit that price to quality range quite well too. $20 or cheaper is a good deal for most people. When you start getting into the $30 range, it becomes more of a purchase decision for most people as opposed to an impulse buy.

Blu-ray is a better format for sure, but it’s not quite like the jump from VHS to Dvd. Just going from the big boxy tape to the sleek little disc was big in people’s minds.