Blu-Ray still (slowly) gaining ground
It appears that the pundits who predicted that Blu-ray would never make it are wrong. It’s been an uphill battle—especially once the economy bottomed out—but the next gen optical technology continues to gain ground, if slowly.
Overall, worldwide DVD and Blu-ray player and recorder unit shipments declined to 137 million units in 2008. The In-Stat research group expects a modest increase in 2009, with a more healthy increase in 2010, spurred by high volume shipments of Blu-ray players.
Standard Definition DVD players will decline at a slow but steady rate as consumers opt for Blu-ray for replacement or upgrades in the primary television room. DVD players will continue to ship in areas where HD programming is less accessible including Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia, and for secondary television sets within a household.
In North America, significant price drops of Blu-ray players are driving unit shipments to triple in 2009. With Blu-ray players as low as US$99, the price differential between Blu-ray and DVD is shrinking. Blu-ray recorders with hard drives are taking off in Japan, cannibalizing the DVD recorder market, where DVD recorders with hard drives have been popular.
High-volume shipments of Blu-ray players, most of which feature network connectivity, are finally making inroads into the broader disc player and recorder market, reports In-Stat. By 2013, Blu-ray player shipments will still lag slightly behind the 90 million DVD player unit shipments. However, higher average selling prices will put Blu-ray player revenue at more than 4 times as large as DVD player revenue.
In North America, significant price drops of Blu-ray players drove unit shipments to triple in 2009, says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. The cost differential between standard definition DVD and Blu-ray is becoming much smaller and new features such as IP/network connectivity are becoming increasingly important. Blu-ray is finally starting to make significant advances market.