Goodbye CD, hello Blu-ray Disc?

Tue, 17 Jun 2008, 3:32pm

You can do a lot with statistics, but some fairly convincing market research suggests Blu-ray Disc players are selling faster than DVD machines did in the early days of that format, and predicting some 45m BD players will be in use in Europe by 2011.

After a slow start in the first year of its availability, with just 1000 players sold in Europe in 2006 (against around 3000 DVD players in 1997), Blu-ray Disc take-up is accelerating ahead of DVD, with 10m players expected to be in use by the end of this year, according to research company Futuresource Consulting. By DVD year 3, 1999, there were just 1.58m players in use.

By the time DVD had been on sale for six years, there were 37m players in European homes, the research shows, whereas the installed base for BD machines is expected to be 45.42m by 2011.

All of that will come as some relief to those who'd been holding their collective breath once the Blu-ray Disc/HD-DVD 'format war' was resolved in favour of BD, and who'd been worrying that the slow sales to date hadn't been about format confusion, but the result of customer disinterest in HD disc formats.

Or, more to the point, mainstream customer satisfaction with the quality already available on DVD.

If Blu-ray Disc doesn't fly now that the HD-DVD rival has been seen off, then the proponents of BD will have a severe problem on their hands.

However, there is one shudder-inducing comment in the report, at least for those of us who still value musical ability in our systems, and it comes from the company's much-quoted MD of Corporate Development. Jim Bottoms.

"Longer term, as player prices continue to fall, title availability grows and awareness increases, BD players will become the product of choice – given the fact that they also play DVD and CD media," he says.

And here comes the killer: "There will come a time when the branded suppliers focus on this higher capacity drive, mirroring the trend we saw with DVD players replacing CD decks."

Do you want to tell him, or shall I?


this year we will start seeing 100$/Euro Blu-ray players, thanks to many cheap Chinese company's signing up to Blu-Ray licensing.

they key reason for the slow sales aren't just player prices, also disc prices compared to DVD are uninteresting and the lack of a sub 100$ burner for laptop/pc's.

Blu-ray will be just a distraction as online/downloadble media will eventuially win out.

When do the DVD figures start to include the PS2?

The PS2 along with affordable players from the likes of Samsung have been credited with being behind DVD's success.

The PS2 was not available until 1999/2000 wheras the PS3 probably makes up a large proportion of the projected BD figure for the first 3 years.

The figures for standalone players excluding the PS2/3 would be a better comparison in many ways, as would sales of movies for each format imo.

well we all know how rubbish most dvd players are with cd's, my tosh sounds like its playing music through a a tin can. unless big money is spent i think ill stick to cdp's cheers.

interesting to know they're selling like hotcakes though!!!