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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Why hasn’t blu-ray caught on?

The second-ever Question of the Day, back in January 2009, was “Do you have a blu-ray player?” There was a lot of mixed feeling from those who responded then about the format, with most of us unimpressed with the difference in quality between DVD and blu-ray.

Obviously lots of people continue to feel the same way. Yesterday John R. Quain at FoxNews.com discussed the surprising lack of enthusiasm for blu-ray:

Strategy Analytics researcher Peter King recently said his analysts were surprised that DVD player sales continued to be so strong against Blu-ray players. That reminded me of what some critics have suspected: Blu-ray really hasn’t caught on — and probably never will.

“I’m surprised DVDs have continued to hang on,” said King, referring to the fact that player sales of over 20 million units in the U.S. last year were pretty much evenly split between DVD and Blu-ray models. His figures show that Blu-ray player sales will surpass DVD sales by the end of this year … but only slightly.

Quain touches on the major stumbling blocks for the format: consumers never understood that blu-ray players can also play DVDs; consumers worried (justifiably) that they wouldn’t be able to share blu-ray discs with friends who hadn’t upgraded; and the difference in quality between DVD and blu-ray isn’t dramatic enough to make the jump (which was always my own reason for skipping the upgrade).

And now, of course, as Quain notes, blu-ray may never catch on, with streaming getting more prominent and more convenient. Ironically:

Indeed, [streaming is] such a significant trend that the makers of Blu-ray players were forced to add the very streaming services they compete against to their own players.

What do you think? Why hasn’t blu-ray caught on? Why hasn’t it caught on with you?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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