January 08, 2009
| by Chuck McKenney
This year’s Blu-ray Disc Association press conference at CES came with much less drama than last year’s media frenzy. With the format war over for nearly a year now, the only thing for the BDA to prove today is that the format is surviving the economy.
Andy Parsons, head of the BDA, started the press conference off with some sales numbers:
- Nearly 1,100 BD titles now available
- 24 million discs sold in 2008; compared to 5 million discs sold in 2007
As for BD-Live, at least 21 titles currently carry the feature and there are 9 BD-Live capable player models on the market.
A panel of media experts; Tom Adams, Adams Media Research; Richard Doherty, Envisioneering; and Paul Erickson, DisplaySearch, discussed the future of Blu-ray. It was moderated by Mike Snider of USA Today.
The comparatively high cost of Blu-ray players and movies continues to keep many consumers from jumping aboard. However, the panel cited the increased number of players whose price dropped below $200 this holiday season. “Low end pricing will go lower,” says Doherty.
As for the competition posed by digital downloads, the panel believes that cost and availability of high-speed broadband will prevent streaming media from surging ahead of Blu-ray.
Blu-ray has been mentioned in various reports with regards to 3D. But Parsons says there’s no formal proposal within the BDA for 3D. “We are interested in studying how to combine the best HD experience with the best 3D experience,” says Parsons.