Blu-ray Steven Kippel on 03 Oct 2008

Samsung doubts Blu-ray's potential

Samsung doubts Blu-ray’s potential

The Blu-ray Disc format has clearly grown considerably since the decisive victory over HD DVD in March of this year. Player manufacturers are still struggling to keep up with market demand. Yet amid the clear desire for the latest, greatest video format is doubts about the longevity of the format.

Korean Times is reporting today that Samsung’s regional director in Great Britain, Andy Griffiths, said, “I think the high-definition Blu-ray format has only five years left. I certainly wouldn’t give it 10.” This is in contrast to Sony’s claim that Blu-ray will last at least a decade.

I think Sony is right. When we talk about Blu-ray Disc we often forget that the Playstation 3 is the best selling Blu-ray product. The games sold to the PS3 far outnumber the movies sold on the format. Blu-ray will last as long as the PS3, at minimum.

Samsung logo

Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Sony and others are devoting huge resources into Blu-ray development. The expectation is that Blu-ray will outpace DVD by 2012.

But the release slate of Blu-ray movies hasn’t picked up any. It seems to have slowed, actually. New releases are all on Blu-ray, but catalog titles are coming much slower. I don’t consider that a big deal considering most consumers aren’t eager to replace their DVD collection, but it does take a bit of wind out of the sails.

Of course some are still bitter about the format war. Recently I read a letter written to an audio/video magazine which said, essentially, that the market didn’t decide on Blu-ray, Warner did. This of course doesn’t take into account that Blu-ray was outselling HD DVD by nearly two-to-one, and Warner was going with the market’s clear choice.

And then some HD DVD supporters simply haven’t taken their head out of the sand yet. Toshiba shill Rob Enderle was recently quoted in Home Media Magazine saying vendors were “purging” their stock of Blu-ray players, oblivious to the fact that Blu-ray sales are growing, and taking more home media market share every week.

This seems like the quote from Samsung’s Griffiths is contrary to the company’s very own official narrative, especially considering they’re investing more and more into the format. They’re currently the number two seller of Blu-ray players in the world. Samsung also just released the new BDP-2500 BD-Live enabled player.

Clearly Blu-ray won’t be the market success of DVD, but it is this generation’s DVD and will last for quite some time. If you want the highest-quality video and audio available, it’s time to get a Blu-ray player.

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