August 15, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
Have you picked up a Blu-ray player yet? Are you buying Blu-ray discs or just renting them? Or do you just download movies from iTunes when you want to see something new?
Word from the Redhill Group (via Hollywood In Hi-Def) is that Blu-ray sales are steadily increasing, and the numbers for 2008 seem pretty positive.
An average of 1.14 million Blu-ray disc sales per month is about 2 1/2 times more than how business was going last year, and about 1 1/2 times that of Blu-ray and HD DVD combined in 2007.
The more than 8 million Blu-ray discs sold in 2008 through August 3 also represents a bit more than of overall sales since the format arrived in 2006—about 14 million overall.
Hmmm ... there are more options for hardware and more options for software these days, so we could expect a steady increase at this point. I guess the question is, will the increase start jumping even more substantially? From most industry experts and consumers I talk to, $200 appears to be the magic number for the hardware. For the software, we’re constantly seeing deals that can get you movies for much lower than those $34.99 and $39.99 asking prices we’ll see on new Blu-ray releases—heck, when I pre-ordered “The Police: Certifiable” from Best Buy last week it was only $24.99 for the Blu-ray and the two CDs combined.
Will we see $200 players by Christmas? We’ve seen the Funai brands for around $300 already, and we’re guessing we’ll see a price drop by the holiday shopping season—just a matter of how much.
The other question is, are people treating Blu-ray like standard DVD, which you can really stock up on with lots of $5.99 to $10.99 deals—are you going to collect Blu-ray discs? That, along with picture quality, was part of the big shift from VHS to DVD, especially when you consider the amount of TV box sets that arrived on standard DVD. So will you buy more or rent more? Let us know in comments below.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.