When Blu-ray was first introduced in 2006, it was unclear just how the format would fare. Direct competition from HD-DVD and the continuing success of plain old DVDs meant an uphill battle for the expensive new medium.
Then, HD-DVD died off (though some might say “killed” is the more fitting term), Blu-ray player prices came down and consumers scooped up HDTVs en masse: the perfect storm for a niche format to find the mainstream.
Blu-ray and its 3D-enabled sibling certainly have a ways to go before they completely supplant the much more common and affordable DVD, but many analysts are predicting that the formats’ successful rise will continue in 2011 and the years to come.
Seemingly contrary to an earlier report that painted bleak sales for Blu-ray sales through the next few years, IHS Screen Digest’s new research predicts the complimentary Blu-ray 3D format will see a consumer spending surge of 533% this year alone in the U.S., German, U.K. and France markets.
IHS believes BD3Ds 2010 introductory year take of $33.8 million from those four countries will explode to almost $214 million by the close of 2011, and by 2014 the format will generate almost $1 billion in sales.
Citing “increasing consumer awareness of 3-D technology, growing 3-D hardware sales and an expanding catalog of 3-D films for the home environment,” IHS analyst Richard Baxter notes that over 60 BD3D films this year will buoy the new medium in homes.
Tempering this optimistic forecast is a recent survey conducted by market researcher and related by Home Media Magazine and sales compiler NPD that described both price and the requisite glasses of 3DTVs as two major hurdles the 2,000 respondents were unwilling to leap. The firm did agree that 3DTV and BD3D awareness had increased over the past few months.
While BD3D has caveats attached to its success, normal Blu-ray Discs are faring well all-around.
The Consumer Electronics Association’s recent “Future of DVD” report (which MyCE covered here) noted that overall Blu-Ray sales saw an 86% increase last year. The main worry for 2011 is a manufacturing shortfall which could leave consumer demand for the technology unmet.
In Taiwan, Blu-ray player sales should pass the 100,000 mark this year says insider news site DigiTimes; a drop in the bucket when compared to the 60 million+ mark worldwide the format is expected to hit this year.
Are you enjoying fancy new 3D Blu-ray movies, satisfied with regular Blu-ray, or still content with DVDs? Let us know in the comment section.