At the recent MEDIA-TECH event in Hamburg, even the most pessimistic of predictions gave the Blu-ray format another 10 years of life, as digital delivery continues to prove a challenge when it comes to making money out of content
The first Blu-ray Disc titles were released on June 20, 2006 and, says Russ Crupnick, Senior VP of industry analysis at The NPD Group, “The whole world’s going digital, yes, but not right away, “says. “Over the next three to five years, we’ll all be doing stuff in the cloud, but Blu-ray’s not going anywhere. I think Blu-ray and digital delivery are going to peacefully coexist.”
Was there really any doubt that manufacturers would step up to the plate to create manufacturing equipment, software and services for Blu-ray Discs? Most companies had development going on for both HD-DVD and Blu ray before the format was decided upon, but admittedly it was a difficult time. Companies had to spend a lot of money in order to be prepared for the choice, or the decision that both formats stand.
Simon Heller, Consultant Director, British Video Association (BVA) Marketing and Communications, says “it is impossible to quantify” how much the format war hurt the initial growth of Blu-ray. “Consumer confusion has not helped to establish Blu-ray and, in the early days of high-definition discs, the BVA couldn’t favour one format over another, which delayed our ability to promote Blu-ray,” Heller says.
Six years after the Blu-ray decision was made, suppliers say the decision was a good one, but in order to keep discs viable, no one should rest on their laurels. Suppliers continue to improve equipment and as a result they are ensuring the existence of this high quality disc in years to come despite claims that digital delivery is the only wave of the future.
The June issue of D2D will feature articles on the business and technology of Blu-ray, with timelines, insights, and predictions for the future of the format.