The Blu-Ray high definition DVD technology may have consigned rival HD DVD to oblivion, but it has a long battle for market dominance over the older standard definition technology according to ABI Research.
The market research firm estimates that in 2008 Sony PS3 game consoles will account for 85 percent of Blu-Ray shipments and does not expect the installed base of Blu-Ray drives in consumer electronics and PCs to exceed those in PS3s until 2013.
“Blu-Ray player prices remain high, and supplies are limited,” says ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson. “This is good for the market because most current players do not support all the functions that studios place on the discs. Lacking support for – or upgradability to – BD Live! or Bonus View (picture in picture), consumers cannot utilise all the available options. Manufacturers would rather sell more fully-featured models.”
According to ABI, It will be 12 to 18 months before the Blu-Ray DVD player market kicks into gear. “Consumer electronics manufacturers need to introduce full-featured players and then get prices down to the $US200 level. Until then, non-HDTV owners will certainly favour standard definition DVD players,” it says.
Contributing to the slow take up of Blu-Ray is “a depressed economy in the United States [which] could also lead HDTV and prospective HDTV owners to opt for upconverting standard players as they delay buying higher-ticket CE items.” In addition, ABI notes that Blu-Ray packaged media comes at a heavy premium over standard DVDs, although studios have brought prices down to the low $US20-range for some titles.
In the PC market, optical disc drive manufacturers have lowered their prices for computer Blu-Ray drives in an effort to kick-start adoption, but, says ABI, “[with] Blu-Ray drives, priced three to four times higher than red laser drives and requiring an advanced graphics IC, [Blu-Ray] will struggle for support in entry-level products.” – itwire