Sony’s Blu-ray won the format war, but faces even tougher battle

“Sony Corp. won the home movie DVD format war, but the consumer-electronics giant faces an even tougher battle persuading shoppers to buy Blu-ray discs in an industry which is looking to the download era,” Kiyoshi Takenaka reports for Reuters.

“But Sony has become heir to that fortune at a time when more consumers are bypassing stored movies and games altogether and downloading them,” Takenaka reports.

“‘We believe it is highly likely that the Internet will become the mainstream method of distributing visual content, in the same way as with music,’ Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analyst Yukihiko Shimada said in a research note,” Takenaka reports.

“Industry specialists say, however, it will be quite some time before telecommunications infrastructure becomes strong enough to allow people to download high-resolution feature-length movies with reasonable time and costs,” Takenaka reports.

“Sony does have its eye on this market too. Sony CEO Howard Stringer said in December he sees its PlayStation 3-based online content distribution service, the PlayStation Network, as a key growth driver for the Japanese company,” Takenaka reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “balanced” for the heads up.]

32 Comments

  1. There a few things Sony has going for it… at least for a few years.

    1.) There’s NOT enough bandwidth, in the US at least for the foreseeable future, to allow for Full-HD downloads in a reasonable time. How long would it take to DL a 50GB movie at current speeds? What would happen to your cable signal if half (or even 25%) of the people in your neighborhood decided to download Full-HD movies at the same time? Exactly.

    2.) With the recent boom(let) in HDTV sales and the drop in Full-HD TV prices, more and more people will want Full-HD content. Once people see what Blu-ray looks like on their big-ass 52″ or 65″ HDTVs, they’ll want more. Blu-ray delivers it. (Hey, I want one for my 40-incher)

    3.) There are MANY people who STILL like to collect physical media. That’s not going to end any time soon, either.

    I do wish movie packaging would shrink to CD size. I hate the waste of those big, clunky DVD cases. Opera recordings have been released for years with nice booklets filled with essays, photos, librettos, etc.. Why can’t movies do the same? It’s long overdue.

  2. I have a Blu-ray player and it is absolutely spectacular to see a 1081p movie. Yes, digital downloads will eventually come into their own. And yes, 1080 will get bypassed. That is just the way it is. Oh, did you see the news about the compressed air driven vehicle from France? Downsized oil companies and OPEC nations would be nice also.

  3. Mr. Reeee, the movies don’t take up the full 50GB, they’re closer to 20GB. Plus the downloads would likely be more compressed, in the same way iTunes SD content is a fraction the size of the DVD equivalent. I’d estimate 4GB to 5GB per film – still hefty, but more feasible.

  4. ‘We believe it is highly likely that the Internet will become the mainstream method of distributing visual content, in the same way as with music,’

    The problem is, it hasn’t. CD sales still outsell digital downloads. And when it comes to movies, people want something physical and don’t want to wait hours for a download. Downloads will do well, but so will BluRay

  5. To add to what Mr. Reeee said…

    4. People aren’t going to want to download their wedding videos to archive on a hard drive (that will die someday).

    5. Corporate videos can’t be downloaded to plants that don’t have dial-up, let alone broadband, in their training rooms.
    I still have some clients that want their videos delivered on VHS.

    Downloads will be big for some, but not all.

  6. Given 5 GB, and 10 mbps, what is the minimum time to begin streaming – that’s the tipping point.

    If streaming can start with 1%, that’s a few minutes, right?

    My iTunes movie rental experience has been great so far. A stutter here and there, but much better than waiting in line. And as an owner of over 1000 DVDs, I can state that they are anything but eternal.

  7. I’m in agreement with Mr. Reeee. I for one want to have my media in physical form, whether it be a disc, chip, crystal (Star Trek etc.) or whatever. I don’t want all my eggs in 1 basket. What if the drive you keep all of your movies on craters. Woops. What a pain in the ass to get them back. I like the ability to just grab a disc and out the door to a friends house or maybe put it in my portable player. No spending time converting or even syncing, uploading etc. It is still easier to get a DVD off of my shelf and play in my portable DVD player than to convert it and then sync with my iPod. I’d like to see movies distributer on something like an SD card. Those things are small. You could keep hundreds in the space 2 or 3 DVDs with cases take up.

  8. as if…

    I personally don’t wanna get stuck with having to redownload all my movies just because my HD gets replaced.

    And plus, the costs of blu-ray discs will go down, no doubt … and it’ll always be cheaper and more convenient to have blu-ray discs than have external HDs holding data…

    on the other hand, I think movie rentals on the apple store is going to take over the rental shops

  9. I’m sorry, but until the day comes that everyone has 10+ Mbps broadband, and at least 2+ TB hard drives in their computers and Apple TVs to store their entire movie/video collection, HD downloads will never come close to rivaling Blu-ray. The bandwidth and storage just isn’t there for the overwhelming majority of consumers, and won’t be for the next several years.

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