Internet Connectivity Propelling Blu-ray Sales

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News Posted: Mon, Jan 25 2010 4:19 PM
Sales of Blu-ray players have begun to pick up, and you can thankInternet connectivity and changing TV watching patterns for the shift.

Shipments of the players tripled in 2009, though they still lag farbehind DVD players, mainly because they're far more expensive. But asmore people seek new and different ways to watch their favorite television shows and movies,whether via Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Boxee or other means, the players'network connectivity becomes more attractive and makes the price morescalable, according to a report by In-Stat.

Some key findings of the report:
  • Shipments of network-enabledBlu-ray players/recorders will approach 80 million units by 2013.(Still slightly less than DVD players by volume, but quadruple therevenue because of the retail price.)
  • 18% of US survey respondents with at least some interest in purchasing a Blu-ray player cited cost as a barrier.
  • Japan dominates the market for Blu-ray recorders. Europe is the largest revenue market for Blu-ray players.
  • The key semiconductor providers supporting the Blu-ray and DVD player/recorder market include Broadcom, NEC, MediaTek, Sunplus and Zoran.
Several brands of Blu-ray player already are able to stream videodirectly from Netflix, eliminating the need for consumers to connect acomputer to their television. Internet connectivity also potentiallywill enable the players to stream video from other sources, such asYouTube, Vimeo and Boxee, the latter of which offers its own TV box tostream its offerings.

So while the content producers (the networks and studios) and thecontent providers (the cable and satellite companies) are living infear of consumers skipping the traditional means of getting theirentertainment, the device manufacturers aren't too concerned.Especially seeing as most manufacturers of DVD players also produceBlu-ray players.

"The consumer electronics makers are really the only ones who don'thave anything to lose if consumers switch," Forrester Researchanalyst James McQuivey told Advertising Age. "Everyone else is conflicted."

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Jan 25 2010 7:05 PM

Yeah they have just been to expensive in players and media to warrant the upgrade. I also have not gone HD on the TV yet. My daughter watches cartoons on it more than anything. We are thinking about it at tax time though we will see.

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It still makes sense to just buy a PS3 instead of a Blu-Ray player.

The other issue with Blu-Rays is that people would need to purchase an HDTV in order to utilize it. From an article a few days ago on HH, 50% of America now owns an HDTV. It's only a matter of time till Blu-Rays start creeping towards that ratio as well.

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realneil replied on Tue, Jan 26 2010 10:14 AM

I've noticed a change in prices for the players recently. The movies in BluRay are selling for the same price as the same title DVD's at WalMart. They really want us to adopt this technology, and they're starting to make it more affordable too. But I wonder what will happen to BluRay movie prices once we're hooked on the technology? The quality of the movie is much higher, that's for sure.

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