Sony pushing for 50% global market share for Blu-ray
How do you keep a new format from dying? By growing its market share, which is exactly what Sony plans to do this year with its Blu-ray format.
Currently the high-definition disc format has roughly 20% market share which isn’t terrible, but its competition (DVD) has roughly 80% market share.
Is downloadable HD content a competitor? Yes and no.
Downloadable content has the potential to overthrow Blu-ray and become the king of the HD hill, but in some ways I feel that its not quite there yet.
A couple of its biggest problems right now are DRM and bandwidth.
Want to rent an HD video without leaving the house? Great–you can do that right now on an Xbox 360, Apple TV or a handful of other devices. Once you start watching it you have 24-hours to finish it or you’ll have to rent it again.
If you have a film that you really enjoy watching from time to time do you really want to rent it each time you’d like to watch it?
Want to watch it on a different television without having to drag your Xbox 360, Apple TV, etc. over to it? You can’t thanks to DRM.
Getting rid of DRM would help this quite a bit, but then you’d hit the next problem: bandwidth.
Microsoft and Apple have done a nice job with allowing you to download just as much of the movie you need to so that you can begin watching it while the rest of the movie downloads in the background.
The quality even looks pretty good compared to DVD, but to make this happen over your high-speed connection the video has to be compressed quite a bit and a side effect of compression is compression artifacts.
There is so much data in HD that to make it all download within a reasonable amount of time the video has to be compressed so much that the video quality suffers. The easiest way to see it is in fast action scenes or very dark scenes. If you see blocks in the image, its an side-effect of the compression.
I really don’t want to make this a big post about compression artifacts, but suffice to see if video is compressed it will suffer from some compression artifacts and HD from a cable or satellite provider has the same problem.
Blu-ray doesn’t suffer from this plus it also gives you the potential to watch bonus content like making of documentaries, interviews, etc., which a lot of movie fans also enjoy.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah…Sony’s plan to expand Blu-ray’s market share.
Sony plans to unveil more home theater oriented electronics that integrate a Blu-ray drive, including a new HDTV that will contain a built-in Blu-ray recorder.
Sony’s objective this year? Expand Blu-ray’s market share to 50%.