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Is Blu Ray dead in the water?

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Kevin Rossiter
Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 7:00:04 am

I ask this because none of our clients ever request blu ray disks for their corporate video productions, even though we have blu ray delivery.

These days we deliver our videos as DVD disk (but less frequently), various digital formats on a usb stick drive, and upload of flash flv and HM 264 based mp4.

No oned ever mentions blu ray. It's a non-conversation.

But this aside: Buying into a spinning silver object (sorry, blu ray disk technology) seems a step backwards.

Moving parts seem an anachronism.

We capture footage inepensively on solid state.

This footage now copies across to an edit suite in a very short time, compared with the hours we only recently spent feeding in HD tapes.

But Sony still want us to deliver HD video with a spinning silver disk?

Meanwhile I can't wait to get rid of my DVD collection because it just takes up so much space, and they damage so easily.

I love HD, but I can't say the same for blu ray.

Maybe blu ray is dead?

Your thoughts welcome

Rossiter & Co Video Multimedia Web for Business

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Matt Townley
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 4:59:24 pm

I'm not sure I would say Blu-ray is dead in the water all together, but I completely agree that corporate and commercial clients seem to continue to be slow to adopt or embrace it.

I think a lot of this has to do with the industry. Corporate clients are slower to adopt new technologies. They spend large amounts of money installing and standardizing equipment throughout their user base, so to update it all would be a significant expense and hassle. Heck, we still do a fair amount of VHS dubs for a few clients. And on top of that, a lot of large companies have very well established (and growing) Intranets that they now use to distribute content much more efficiently than on any type of optical media.

There are a lot of other factors that I hear when I talk to our clients, too; everything from compatibility concerns to "not wanting to appear excessive or spend-easy."

I am also slowly seeing more people want a few copies on Blu-ray and then larger quantities for distribution on DVD.

Now that is all corporate and commercial, but on the entertainment side of our clients, people are significantly more interested and eager about Blu-ray. They were our early adopters and continue to be what pushes our Blu-ray sales.

I would be curious to hear if these trends are unique to us/our market or if others see the same things.

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James Hilton
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 5:26:03 pm

My big concern is compatibility from a personal point of view.

If I shoot a video, and put a rough demo of it on a DVD-R at the request of a client, I can be nearly 100% sure that they will be able to watch it when it arrives somehow, be it on a standalone dvd player or maybe even in a computer/laptop.

If I give someone a demo on BD-R, I can not be sure it will play in a standalone player or pc for a number of possible reasons.

If someone wants a HD demo, then an mpeg or quicktime file on a DVD-R is the best bet if you want to ensure a client can watch it ok.

Now this is different from a DVD/BR made in a foundry, but I believe it to still be a valid point. I feel that outside of movies/tv programs being sold to the public, I have yet to see other areas (e.g corp video etc) embrace it that much.

I think it is fair to say that the average person out there still doesn't have a BluRay player for their tv and I think that does make a difference.

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Gary Hazen
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 23, 2010 at 3:48:11 pm

"If I give someone a demo on BD-R, I can not be sure it will play in a standalone player or pc for a number of possible reasons. " -J.H.

It's been a long time, but the early days of DVD were exactly the same. You would burn a disk, send it over to the client and hope that it would play. After a few years the process got ironed out and you didn't have to worry so much about playback issues. This time around I'm hoping that by the time BluRay gains widespread acceptance the authoring kinks will be worked out already.

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Stephen Smith
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 5:26:11 pm

With Blue Ray player prices dropping to the low $100 it will be interesting to see if more clients request Blue-Ray. Almost all of our clients want the content shot on HD but most of them want it delivered on an SD DVD or the web. We do Blue-Ray every once in a while.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials

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Mark Suszko
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:47:08 pm

BD is not dead; it just smells funny.

I blame the slow adoption on the down economy and corporations making do where they can. And also, FTP is coming on very strong for distribution.

That said, there is certainly a niche for an optical disk based HD product. I have said I like BD for this because besides computer drives and set top players you also have gaming systems that can play it, so one format can go from break room to board room to game room to newsroom. If you want HD and if you're GOING to want 3-d, then BluRay is your ticket.

Perhaps the depressed demand from the economy will result in the Asians dumping cheaper BD players here, and that will turn things around. True, not everyone will want or need one, but I know our shop didn't give up making umatic and 1-inch tape dubs only to start mailing out hard drives and SD flash memory cards we'll never get back. BD to me is the closest thing to a single "standard" format we've got for mass "physical" HD distribution and offline archiving now, the "betacam" of the HD distro world. Or at least it wants to be. I think the diddling around between Sony and Apple didn't help; it put 2-3 years' delay on things from my perspective.

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Mike Cohen
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Jan 26, 2010 at 4:01:51 am

From my corporate perspective, here is the issue (not really a problem, since we video professionals are happy to deliver whatever format the client requests)...

Corporate folks play their videos on laptops. They travel, fly a lot and go to trade shows. They are not going to lug a blu-ray player and HD tv with them. They are going to use their company issued laptop. This laptop is probably a year or two old and may or may not even have DVD playback software.

I have advised a few clients to install VLC player, since Windows Media player fails to play mp4 and DVD discs in some cases. Often a DVD with basic no-frills menu that makes it easy to find and play the video does the job just fine. Thousands of copies of such DVDs have been distributed around the world.

Sometimes we even create a custom self-contained Flash app featuring f4v video in a self-contained player not dependent upon a particular media player - because playback is more reliable than the unknown computers found at various locations. If we are to deliver HD video it likely will be for playback via Flash.

Also, the software DVD playback controls are non-standard and have very tiny buttons for mouse operation. Sometimes a custom solution is the best fit.

Blu-ray may take hold. Much of our work is edited in HD and delivered in SD as is discussed all over the COW. That is what the non-broadcast non-entertainment market demands.

And when this market demands blu-ray, green-beam, yellow-dream, mister-clean or unicorn-rainbow-bunny-rabbit-puppy-dog-ice-cream format delivery, we'll be there for them.

Mike Cohen

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Brent Ingroum
Re: Is Blu Ray dead in the water?
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:00:42 am

You've got to admit: the "spinning silver thing" has become familiar with consumers (when I say consumer, I mean the people at home).

If you're a videographer and some wants their wedding in HD, I would definitely give them the BD option. If you're and independent film maker, it wouldn't hurt to distribute on BD.

However, if you work for a production company, who deal with television commercials and the like, I believe BD may not be the option to go with. If I create a commercial for a client, it gets uploaded to a password protect portion of my site for the client to preview (I like Flash, but have been experimenting with Silverlight and it's not too bad). If they like the product and want it to air on the local television or cable insertion, I will send it on a requested format. I've never had a broadcast facility ask for a DVD or a BD.

That being said, BD is the best way to watch all of your favorite movies, and it is FAR from dead. HD-DVD, on the other hand.... well you know.


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