You can’t help but feel bad for all the people who have a financial stake in the Blu-ray Disc medium. When it first launched, it had to engage in a battle to the death with rival format HD DVD. And then, just as its acceptance started to become widespread, the digital distribution market just exploded right in its face. Now, an ambitious player in that digital market sees a slow death for Blu-ray.
At an event in San Francisco called the “TV of Tomorrow” show, Roku CEO Anthony Wood opined, “Will people use Blu-ray players in four years? I don’t think so.” Of course, Wood hardly has a vested interest in hoping that Blu-ray will succeed so he brings to the table a partisan viewpoint. Nevertheless, he believes that Roku will have a life that exceeds Blu-ray players, even though there is some doubt about that within the streaming world as well.
For Wood, the question is whether or not dedicated set-top boxes – devices that customers need to buy in order to access services like Netflix and Hulu on their TVs – will be relevant in a few years. The majority of American households now have a video game console, which are perfectly capable of delivering the same kind of digital content. In addition, Internet-connected TV sets are on the rise, negating the need for something extra that you need to plug into your TV.