If there is one sector that is sure to ride out the economic downturn in some comfort it has to be business punditry. Today's instalment in Things That Will Be Either Better Or Worse In The Next Financial Cycle comes from the HD3 Conference in LA, where a panel of entertainment execs discussed how the Blu-Ray format might suffer as the credit crunch begins to bite. Sony may have won the format wars - seeing HD-DVD driven before them and hearing the lamentation of its early adopters - but longer term the discs may go the way of the Betamax and it's all that pesky economy's fault. "The economy is the biggest challenge, because there are just so many pieces to the Blu-ray puzzle that consumers face," said Disney's Lori MacPherson, "You need the high-definition television set, you need the player, you need the cables, you need the software . . ."And films. You definitely need films. The price of which compared to DVD, streaming and downloads might also be a factor. "We're all constantly looking at (disc) pricing," said Rich Marty from Sony, "What it amounts to is that we'll wait until after the fourth quarter and see how it goes." Economy grinch may pinch Blu-ray format [Reuters]
I think the biggest problems were honestly that it was too soon and not enough difference. VHS was the big thing for about twenty years before DVD replaced it and DVD was a monumental leap over VHS in both quality and features/capabilities, not to mention DVDs were actually cheaper than VHS cassettes. DVD hasn't even been a real big thing for a full decade (DVD didn't really hit it big until the early 200's and they dropped Blu Ray on us in 2006) and Sony's trying to push it out in favor of a format whose only advantage is being prettier. I had no problem canning a decent VHS collection in favor of DVD because it was such a technological leap, but even as an AV geek, I'm hard pressed to replace my approximately 100 strong DVD collection in favor of a format whose only legitimate advantage is higher resolution.