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Low Sales for High-Def Discs in Europe

According to a new report, Britons, Germans and the French are saying “Who-ray?” when it comes to Blu-ray. Unlike this side of the pond, where the high-def format has seen steady growth, BD sales are stagnant in Europe. London-based Screen Digest is reporting that among European households that purchased a Blu-ray-capable device by the end of 2009, a mere 1.
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5 Blu-ray discs were purchased.
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The Screen Digest report stated that:

“For many people, it seems, DVD remains ‘good enough’ for most titles and the additional cost of opting for a hi-def BD version simply cannot be justified in the current climate of austerity,”

Also according to the report, “BD will account for 35% of total international spending on packaged media sales by 2014. In the United States, Blu-ray will represent over 68% of packaged media sellthrough during the same period.”

Helen Davis Jayalath, head video analyst with Screen Digest, had the following to say about the future of the format:

“The failure of the Blu-ray format to capture enough of the [foreign] market in 2009 means this downward trend is now set to continue, with the short-term uplift in video spending that we had previously expect to see in 2010-2011 now unlikely to materialize,”

How many of you have opted to upgrade to Blu-ray in this “austere” economic climate? What, if anything, would it take to jump start Blu-ray disc sales in Europe? Why do you think Yanks have been so much more receptive to BD than other countries?

(via Home Media Magazine)

10 Responses to “Low Sales for High-Def Discs in Europe”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    1st timer [visitor]

    The jump from SD TV (4:3, 480i, MTS) to DVD (16:9, 480p, 5.1 DD) is so much bigger than the jump to Blu-ray (16:9, 1080p, 7.1). I also find Blu-ray players painfully slow and the discs are much more prone to scratches and Blu-ray rot (google it).

    I’d estimate that 40% of Americans who own a 1080p set, can’t see the difference between 480p and 1080p and think that HD simply means 16:9 aspect ratio. I’ve seen so many people buy 1080p sets without an HD source and then think the picture is better (it’s actually worse than it’s scaled). When they run their non-progressive, DVDs over composite cables, they think the picture is beautiful. I just don’t have the heart to tell them.

    Europeans don’t subscribe to “more is better” the way Americans do. Some things are just “good enough” even if there is something technically superior. Americans are obsessed with numbers (1080p, sq.ft, megapixles, Ghz, MPG, 0% financing, etc) rather than just asking themselves if they really need it.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    greenpad [visitor]

    If 1st timer is right, and 40% of Americans can’t tell the difference in 480p and 1080p, then the 40% that are married to them can :)

    I will admit that a DVD looks pretty good on my 55″ TV. It looks awful on my friend’s projector (probably 100-110″). But I also have HD channels to compare to, and DVD just doesn’t look quite as good as “normal”. Kind of like how a VCR never looked quite as good as the original show. So, while DVD looked pretty good, I did upgrade eventually to Blu-Ray.

    As for the American bashing, nice. Incomes in America are, on average, much higher than most of Europe, and I would imagine that plays into whether someone decides they “need” a big TV. And without a big TV, there’s no need for Blu-Ray.

    Or it could be the same reason I only own 1 Blu-Ray. Stores think they can charge $30. Sorry, no.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Superkid [visitor]

    If people can’t tell the difference in a DVD and a BD on a 50″+ tv, they need to get their eyes examined. The difference isn’t going to be as noticeable on a 32″ TV, but there is still an obvious difference.

    I’ve had blu-ray for about 1.5 years and I only own 4 BDs, 3 of them kids shows. There aren’t many movies that are “buy worthy” for me. I typically rent a movie and watch it once is all. I don’t like watching the same movie over and over.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    I immediately can tell the difference in picture. I can even tell between HD cable and SD digital channels. I only will watch HD cable and Blu-ray now.

  5. Member [Join Now]

    My wife can’t tell the difference or just doesn’t care, to me it’s now somewhat annoying to have to watch in SD. To me it’s a very obvious difference and my eyesight isn’t exactly perfect.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Schulzey [visitor]

    Blu-Ray looks great. No doubt. It is a significant jump although I’m sure my wife wouldn’t care. When she has the option between a SD & HD station, she’ll probably choose the SD channel because she knows that channel number by heart and just doesn’t seem to be bothered by the scaling. For me, there hasn’t been a film yet that warrants a Blu-Ray purchase. The problem for me is that the films that should look best and draw me to the theater or Blu-Ray is the big budget mega-summer spectacles. Problem is, and this includes AVATAR, that Blu-Ray makes that picture look so good all the CGI stands out as fake. Watch SPIDERMAN III and watch Spidey swing. You’ll clearly can see (on a 52″ LED) Real Person in Costume, CGI, Real Person, CGI. It’s distracting and I stop being involved in the story. I’ll be buying AVATAR this fall on DVD, not BLU-RAY, and will continue until they can get the 3D from AVATAR in IMAX to come through a home set without me buying another $2K tv.

    That being said…played Modern Warfare 2 on the LED last night and the game has never looked so brilliant. Maybe the next generation of games built on BLU-RAY will push the technology into most American households…but that’s 3-5 years away.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    gandhawk [visitor]

    There is no question that Blu-ray is superior to HD Cable/Fios. Just as
    HD Cable/Fios is superior to DVD. I have over 40 Blu-ray movies. All are superior than DVD. As someone else mentioned my wife doesn’t care which format either. Movies like Avatar, 2012 and Dark Night are fantastic on Blu-ray. However, why spend the money for a movie like It’s Complicated on Blu-ray? Dvd quality is enough. Looking forward to the complete Star Wars Blu-ray release in a couple of years.

  8. Member [Join Now]

    bluray definitely looks better. but no one who watches 300+ movies a year is going to buy disks at 25-30$ each. so we gear our lives to renting. renting BRs is a problem. no kiosks have ANY selection. if you get BRs then you get them from BBonline or netflix!

    next to make those services worthwhile it means you to turn disks and you
    must rip them to computer and watch later. with BRs that means a BR drive
    $200+ and a large hard drive and more limited software all of which is even more $. i’d recommend the pioneer bdr205 and the wd 2tb black hd with dvdfab trials and use ghost to keep trials from ever registering.
    even then to play BRs on a HD requires other tools and a very good quality dual core cpu. etc etc. then to make it better you need 2 computers, 1 to rip, while 2 plays. add a 1g network to link them and run cpus 24/7 to keep files transferred.

    summarizing br although much better are just still very expensive and limited.
    BR blanks are now $3 each and tools are available to easily rip BRs and compress just the main movie to a 25g $3 verbatim disk.

    it is the way to go, but new releases are hard to get from netflix within 1st 6 weeks. library hasn’t gone BR and probably won’t! BR are limited. i own 2 BRs and no BR copies except one that is copied as a test from one of my disks.

    imho, costs are still too high, and VERY hard to get, but blanks are now reasonable, maybe 1 more year! i’m hardware and software READY.
    missing source material worth copying.

    btw most sets in america dont do 1080p and in order to get the most out of BR you need quite a setup, from receivers to speakers to a sweet monitor.
    expect to spend another 1k for that playback computer too.