The price for Netflix’s Blu-ray subscribers is going up again on April 27th.
The increase translates into an extra USD $4 a month for BD users opting for standard three-at-a-time plans.
While Netflix is arguably justified in charging more to finance its rapidly expanded – and more costly to buy – Blu-ray stock of over 1,300 titles, it doesn’t help the high-def format’s image.
US consumer spending on packaged home entertainment – rental and sales of DVD and high-def disc formats – fell by 5.5 per cent in 2008, to USD $22.4 billion, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.
Spending on DVD purchases fell more dramatically than the total, declining by 9 per cent, to about USD $14.5 billion, and the shipment of DVD units was down almost 15 per cent in 2008 to 1.4 Billion
It’s fitting that after a roller-coaster year for Blu-ray the high-def format should end 2009 on a high AND a low.
With sales in the US encouraging, a poll by Zogby International shows that Blu-ray players are one of the most wanted holiday gifts this season for HDTV owners.
The high-def players are only beaten by consumers looking for a second HDTV.
Warner Brothers’ The Dark Knight has eclisped Iron Man to become the fastest selling Blu-ray Disc movie of all time.
Approximately 600,000 Blu-ray copies of the movie sold on the first day in the US, Canada and UK.
This represent 20 per cent of the total three million copies sold during the first 24 hours.
Blu-ray players bucked generally weak Black Friday sales in the US – helped considerable by average prices dropping to USD $200, according to DisplaySearch.
Stripping out sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3, the researchers report that US Blu-ray Disc player revenue "more than tripled from a year earlier" during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday .
Blockbuster may be hinting at offering its download service on Blu-ray players – Netflix is actually doing it.
From next week two Samsung Blu-ray players are to provide Netflix videos in high definition.
Blu-Ray discs will go on sale in China for the first time today – officially that is.
While it’s been possible to buy dubious pirated version of the high-def format for some time, today marks the start of what is expected to be a major push by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment into the vast Chinese market.
The latest survey from SmithGeiger shows that HDTV owners would rather watch movies on Blu-ray Disc than stream content directly to their TV.
Well, hardly any surprise there. There’s never been any doubt about the phenomenal quality of Blu-ray images – but that still doesn’t seem to be translating into sales.
Even with price drops in the US of between USD $200 and $300, the HD players aren’t rushing off the shelves.
The Dark Knight is likely to be the biggest Blu-ray release of the year – if not ever.
So it’s appropriate that Warner Bros has decided to make the Batman tale its first BD-Live capable release.
Much has been made of the role the high cost of Blu-ray Discs has played in hampering the high def format’s uptake.
Yet if reports from Engadget are borne out, VUDU is shortly to offer HD downloads " equal in quality to Blu-ray movies"