Blu-ray fails at life

by Paul William Tenny

hddvd-bluray.jpgJust noting something that should be pretty self evident by now: Sony's Blu-ray hasn't filled the void left by having its only competitor in the business of high definition video storage implode due to questionable circumstances. Sony ragged on Microsoft for lobbing money at Paramount to stick with HD-DVD and then supposedly paid Warner Brothers over $200 million to get off the fence in its favor, which is really what killed HD-DVD. It had little to do with consumer preference, which actually leaned towards HD-DVD by most metrics.

But the fact that Blu-ray hasn't doubled sales as one would reasonably expect with the collapse of its only competitor -- or at least swung strongly upwards -- kind of says a lot about the weak market for HD hardware, mostly because high-def TV's are still big ticket items for most Americans, especially since the country is in a recession. But it also bursts the balloon called the high-def "war."

Turns out the war was only in the imaginations of the media and the companies sitting on opposing sides of fairly typical market competition. We don't ever say there's a war between GM and Ford, do we? Just a couple of companies doing the same thing, which was the same here. Oddly, according to Ars, Blu-ray sales were actually in the process of collapsing all on its own in the first quarter. That said, I still reject the theory that pseudo-HD downloads are having any significant impact on hard media now, or in the future.

It's a funny parallel if you ask me, and symptomatic of a larger problem with reporting over the past seven years. That tendency to exaggerate everything under the sun just to get attention has led to a popular consensus that flies in the face of reality. There was no HD war outside of the world of the pundit, were traditional single-movie DVD sales were an order of magnitude higher than all HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc sales combined. Blu-ray player sales apparently took a nose dive in the first quarter of 2008 and outside of satellite, even HD television is still crap shoot.
in Digital Media


Related posts:

Leave a comment

View more stories by visiting the archives.

Media Pundit categories