With the recession in the US and at the door here in Canada, this could be an opportunity for Blu-Ray to rise instead of staying standstill. One thing that I noticed was the price of Blu-Ray players dropping. Yet, I see some companies launching new Blu-Ray players in the $400 range. If it were not for the world economic crisis, I could had understand that more. But it's too expansive and those companies are not thinking long term.
The physical media window is closing but is the Blu-ray Disc Association accelerating it? In Blu-ray is dead - heckuva job, Sony, Robin Harris gave a few points that I agreed with. Those that have read my blog before know that I'm not a fan of digital downloads at this point in time. Sure, some might find it attractive but most consumers failed to see the other side like your Internet Service Provider not allowing you to download/stream HD like no tomorrow. The consumer will have to pay for the bandwidth. That's just one point. You may want to read this to know more about this side.
How to do it
The Blu-ray Disc Association has to lower the fees for the next year. On the physical media related cost, they can't do much but anything like below:
High-quality authoring programs like Sony Blu-print or Sonic Solutions Scenarist cost $40,000.
The Advanced Access Content System - the already hacked DRM - has a one-time fee of $3000 plus a per project cost of almost $1600 plus $.04 per disk. And who defines “project?”
Then the Blu-ray disc Association charges another $3000 annually to use their very exclusive - on 4% of all video disks! - logo.
So, anything that is intellectual property related can be lower. This will help smaller producers get into Blu-Ray too.
They could also release an unrated Blu-Ray version with the same extras(also in HD) as the DVD. The DVD version would be a theatrical release with a few extras. The unrated Blu-Ray should be about the same price as the DVD. This way, the only way to see an unrated version would be on Blu-Ray.
One other thing that will help is by releasing more exclusive versions on Blu-Ray only like a director's cut, special edition... If it's not possible/ready when the DVD is released, announce it too so fan's knows about it in advance.
Get out the big guns
There are a few trilogies/series like The Lord of the Rings(2009?) that would be a must buy on Blu-Ray. When they do release it, it should be the extended edition only. Other movie series that many would look for are: Alien, Star Wars, Back to the future, Jurassic Park to name a few.
One of my favorite sci-fi movies is Independence Day. But when it was released, they used the theatrical version not the extended version. It's one more Blu-ray I would had bought but did not.
They should not be rush either. I saw older movies(1985+) where the transfer was done with disappointing results. It's like they said: "Let's release a Blu-Ray on the cheap, fast and no or a few extras in SD from the DVD". If they want to skip on the extras, I don't mind but sell them $10 not $20.
Blu-Ray is not dead but the Blu-ray Disc Association must take action by using the recession. Many families will be more incline to stay near home instead of taking a vacation. Watching movies is one way to entertain many at the same time and at a low cost. If $100 Blu-Ray players are available on Black Friday, this would help too. Me, I'm using my PS3 to watch Blu-Ray movies. ;)
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Keywords: Alien, Back to the future, Black Friday, Blu-Ray, Blu-ray Disc Association, Business, cost, Entertainment, High definition, Jurassic Park, Money, Movie, recession, Star Wars, Technology, The Lord of the Rings, unrated