Blu-Ray won, but is it better for the consumer?

Apr 11, 2008
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So Toshiba conceded in the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD battle and all of their mates quickly fell with them. Since then things haven’t gotten better for the consumer. Sure your new PS3 comes with a Blu-Ray player and that makes it a nice format, but HD-DVD had affordable prices for both its players and discs, Blu-Ray players are still astronomically priced almost making the PS3 the most economical option.

I like the fact that Blu-Ray is constantly adding new features and overall making its technology a better purchase for the consumer. The broad market for BD players though makes it hard to figure out which one to buy and with some companies pushing the market upwards of $2000 for a Blu-Ray player things are starting to get ridiculous.

Then there is the fact that a single company, Sony, still controls the sole production of a number of Blu-Ray components which almost means that getting Sony’s approval to enter the market is a must. That means that it’s not likely that you’ll be seeing an affordable BD player hitting the shelves under some generic electronics manufacturer’s name, and if competition, such as Microsoft, try and add the technology to their systems, Sony has the power to make that a lot harder task than you might imagine.

I wrote an article last week I believe about the likelihood of Microsoft adding Blu-Ray to their Xbox 360’s and the biggest concern wasn’t how, or whether the hardware would support it, it was whether Sony would allow the OEM who won the contract to purchase sufficient numbers of the requisite parts to make the drives. Then I see headlines fairly regularly regarding the Blu-Ray association limiting who is allowed to produce the disks which will serve its purpose of keeping low quality or knockoff disks off of the market, but will also keep prices of the discs up.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you still grasping tightly to your HD-DVD player and small collection of HD-DVDs? Or have you fully accepted Blu-Ray as your savior and switched your entire collection over to Blu-Ray? Maybe next time everyone will further consider the merits of each format instead of just going with the one that’s integrated into their new gaming system.


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