The faltering economy affects every industry, and consumer electronics is certainly no exception. Industry hawks and insiders are keeping their eyes on the few sectors that they believe will be able to weather the storm, and may even see some growth during this turbulent time – one of which is the Blu-Ray market.
The CEA has estimated that Blu-Ray players may double in sales this year, to about 5.7 million units. Yet Blu-ray didn’t meet last year’s production predictions. And it is not as significant an upgrade, in many consumer’s eyes, as VHS to DVD was.
The prohibitive cost of Blu-Ray may be holding it back. Prices are still drifting towards $200 for an entry level player, and the discs themselves cost $20, $30 or more, with very few “bargain bin” discs ever getting into the hands of the consumer.
Blu-Rays might be saved by the perfect pairing with 1080p TVs – consumers understand that Blu-Rays are the best performance player for these kinds of TVs, and are often willing to purchase the player once they’ve purchased the TV. Blu-Rays could also be given a boost by adding value, rather than reducing the price. The BD Live and IPTV features are a good start, but marketing campaigns really reaching out to consumers regarding these features have been limited.