By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Win the battle, lose the war. The saying might as well apply to Sony’s Blu-ray high definition disc format (I’ve used it before on this topic), which continues to struggle for relevancy. Even with player prices now as low as $70 through Walmart, consumers are still taking their good old time in adopting the format.
Strategy Analytics researcher Peter King told Foxnews.com that even through Sony won the format war against Toshiba and HD DVD more than three years ago, only now has the format been able to equally split the 20 million disc players sold evenly with standard DVD.
It now seems clear that the format war mortally wounded the format, as consumers held off purchases while the two sides duked it out. And Blu-ray’s slow start may also be due to the fact that consumers still don’t see any value in upgrading their players.
Yes Blu-ray offers definite clarity advantages and backwards compatibility. But as King notes, most likely don’t realize this and incorrectly assume that moving to Blu-ray would require upgrading their collection. They may also not spot the difference between an upconverted DVD and a Blu-ray disc.
Could it be that as has critics have repeatedly said, time is running out for Blu-ray? Ever faster Internet connections and a boom in streaming media (with high-definition now coming into vogue) may spell doom for optical discs.
Seventy-seven percent of consumers still watch movies on disc according to NPD, so there still is some hope. I’m more than certain that the percentage is on its way down, so Blu-ray’s window of opportunity is closing, regardless.