Blu-ray: why no-one’s watching
Entertainment giant Sony has today announced another introduction of Blu-ray to the Australian market today with the start of an advertising campaign it hopes will have us all watching Blu-ray movies on a Blu-ray player by Christmas.
For many consumers it’s “Blu-what?” as they digest the bill of last year’s big Chrissy present – the big-screen telly. The real problem for Sony is that with the invention of a technology called “upscaling”, DVD movies actually look pretty darn reasonable on a big-screen telly.
Now if you’ve seen a Blu-ray movie in all its 1920×1080-progressive scan glory, you’ll know how much better they can be but the surprising thing to me is that most people I’ve talked to just don’t see the difference.
Technically, the jump in resolution is considerably more than what we saw going from VHS to DVD but DVD was a lot more than just a roughly two-fold increase in resolution. It brought noise-free images, widescreen, surround sound, fancy extras on the disc that we didn’t have before.
Blu-ray has those things in much bigger dimensions but they’re no longer have that “wow” factor.
However, the real problem for Blu-ray is price.
Whether you look at the now $449 entry-level price tag to get a player, the $40 you have to fork out for a recent movie, the $350 for a Blu-ray burner for your PC or the $20 price tag for a write-once Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray is just too damn expensive.
The fall from grace of the Australian dollar will also be putting pressure on the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and others to look at the Australian price tags and consider pushing them higher as well.
The release of the BDP-S350 at $449 may help start putting some competition back into Blu-ray prices after the demise of the Toshiba-backed rival, HD DVD but with the Australian dollar having fallen 20% in the last three months, it’s hard not to see those prices heading back up again.
Blu-ray players will have to drop to under $300 and movie prices to under $25 before consumers are likely to start taking interest to the level the likes of Sony would prefer.
- Sony to launch PlayStation Network Movie Store this Thursday
- Why are Blu-ray players in Australia still so damn expensive?
- Aussie dollar to drop to 40cents US?
- REVIEW: Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player
- Australian pricing for iPad 2?
- 3DTV: three simple reasons why you should wait
- HOW TO: Turn your netbook into a surround-sound DVD player
- Apple announces Australian iPad pricing
- PC User December 2008 – Creating your own HD movies on DVD
- Q&A – Can netbooks play Blu-ray movies?