PS3 Driving '08 Blu-ray Expansion

Posted by: Matt Vella on March 30

bluuuuuu.gifThe so-called format war between high-definition disc formats is now over. But, a new report by Strategy Analytics details just how much ground the winning Blu-ray standard stands to gain. The Mar. 26 report forecasts that Blu-ray players will have found their way into some 30 million homes worldwide by the end of the year. That number could quadruple by 2012. More interesting yet, sales of Sony’s (SNE) Playstation 3 will be the main driver of this growth through at least 2009.

This year, analysts expect global Blu-ray sales of just under 19 million units. Of those, 2 million will be PCs, 4 million still costly stand-alone players, and a whopping 13 million gaming consoles. “HD-DVD’s withdrawal leaves the way open for Blu-ray to become a major revenue earner for technology vendors and content owners alike,” wrote principal analyst David Mercer in a release.

And, according to this piece in the Hollywood Reporter, sales of individual Blu-ray films have spiked. Recently released titles have seen the percentage of copies being sold in the Blu-ray format jump to between 10% and 13%, up from a mere 2% to 3% before Sony rival Toshiba threw in the towel in February.

All in all, additional bits of evidence that bode well for Sony.

Reader Comments

I don't have an HDTV

March 31, 2008 01:01 PM

Actually things aren't looking too good for Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray's heavy dependence on a console at this stage would show the format's weakness in reaching out to a geneal public audience. DVD penetration rate was higher prior to PS2's launch in 2000.

The absence of low-cost stand-alone players, caused by Blu-Ray's prohibitive $60 per player royalty plus a ban on Chinese manufacturers, guarantees than Blu-Ray will be nothing more than a niche format like LaserDisc was. Basically, the lowest MSRP you would see on a Blu-Ray player this year is $299, and then $199 by 2010; far too long for Blu-Ray players to reach mass-market prices.

Further more, the forthcoming arrival of SpursEngine powered Super Upconverting DVD players that create 960p native outputs out of ordinary DVD using Super Resolution technique(made possible by massive computational power of SpursEngine) would further deter average consumers from adopting Blu-Ray. Afterall, why pay 50% more on discs when Super Upconversion would provide nearly identical picture quality to 95% of consumers?

Chloe Rodriguez

March 31, 2008 01:51 PM

The more the PS3 grows in popularity, the more Blu Ray will pigeon hole itself into PS3 DVD. Mind you, Playstation Portable proprietary movies failed. What kinds of movies will the Playstation 4 play?

I am not sold that Blu Ray is a mainstream format or good for consumers. All Sony proprietary stuff is unnecesarily expensive. Compare SD card prices to Sony memory stick. Or CD costs to Sony Mini Disk costs. Or what used to be HD DVD costs to Blu ray. Sony is more expensive every time.

z

March 31, 2008 01:54 PM

Because 960p is not as close as you think

Harvey

March 31, 2008 01:58 PM

Look the HD-DVD fanboys haven't given up yet. Toshitba's up-conversion is a joke.

Joe

March 31, 2008 02:29 PM

I have and HD-DVD player and a 1080P HDTV...and I can see the difference between real HD content and unconverted content. However your average Joe will not care and would not tell the difference. The other day I had family over and they all thought my regular Dodge Ball DVD looked fantastic on my TV, we had just watched 300 in HD and none of them could tell the difference.

So I think you are wrong when you say the up-conversion is a joke. The majority of "standard consumers" (who are not early adopters) will not see a huge difference in their current DVD library that is unconverted and compared to real HD content on any type of media (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray).

I myself will still probably buy a cheap PS3 specifically for because it’s a very good priced Blu-Ray player that is profile 2.0 compliant. I have an Xbox 360 for playing games…

cesar ruiz

March 31, 2008 02:36 PM

Well with the new update from the playstation network adding BD-live, it offers a new reason on why to get a PS3 as not only a gaming console, but as a media center instead. BD-live allows upcoming Blu-ray movies to access the internet while playing the film for additional content.

Old School HDTV Owner

March 31, 2008 03:01 PM

There is a lot of assumption that the barriers to BlueRay taking off are now gone. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

It assumes that most people have an HDTV with an HDMI input... which is required to enjoy the better picture.

Remember, there is a whole generation of HDTV's that are still using component input and won't display the high definition picture. The movie guys won that battle and made sure that standard stuck.

Strangely enough, that standard is what is going to keep me from purchasing a blue ray player of any time for a good long time.

I'm not going to replace my high quality, 57" HDTV just because it doesn't have an HDMI input.

I don't have an HDTV

March 31, 2008 03:39 PM

> Look the HD-DVD fanboys haven't given up yet. Toshitba's up-conversion is a joke.

No, Super Upconversion is real, this is same tech used by NASA and CIA on low-resolution still photos for decades. It is just that Toshiba's now using it on consumer electronics video product instead.

Super Upconversion works by computationally fusing 9 frames to produce single native 960p output frame. The output is native 960p by all purpose. This is no ordinary upconversion and the output is impressive and true HD looking.

mike

March 31, 2008 04:24 PM

Well, the first hdtvs were 720p, now they're 1080p. Doing the simple math gives you 360p. So these differed 360p. Although noticeable in difference, if you're talking about 1080 compared to 960, which is 2/3 better than 720p...I think you understand. I gotta agree with the other guy, Blu-ray is going to be something like a Laser disc.

Vitaliano Jimenez

March 31, 2008 04:30 PM

1080 vs. 960???

you girls can stick with 2nd best!

only the best will do for me.

adrian

March 31, 2008 04:39 PM

upscaling what the ???? why bother when you can get the ps3, if you have a native output resolution of 920p then what tv will you output it to? as for downloads the vast majority of people want is a device you just turn on and it works (any comment from the xbox fanboys) people do not on the whole want or can sort out the problems of setting up a pc for use in the living room and the so called xbox hd download is just that SO CALLED HD. I can wach perfectly acceptbe upscaled dvd on my ps3 and better quality blu ray as well(and yes i can see the difference the same way i can hear the difference between cd and mp3 even though i do use a mp3 player for portable convinience i will still pop i a cd at home) so get over your small minded views and accept that a new better format has arrived andat least you dont have to chuch out your old films unlike vhs to dvd (and dvd still won)

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March 31, 2008 05:06 PM

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I don't have an HDTV

March 31, 2008 06:30 PM

> why bother when you can get the ps3

$400 is still expensive for a movie player. Super Upconversion DVD players will hit the market below $199.

Plus DVDs are 50% cheaper than Blu-Ray discs on average.

> if you have a native output resolution of 920p then what tv will you output it to?

Upconverted to 1080p or displayed as 960p with 80 pixel bars top and bottom.

> I can wach perfectly acceptbe upscaled dvd on my ps3 and better quality blu ray as well

Forthcoming Super Upconversion players aren't upconversion players; they are technically Super Resolution players that are computationally generating native 960p frames by fusing 9 reference frames.

The output of super upconversion aren't comparable to upconversion, it's almost Blu-Ray quality quality if the source DVD material is properly encoded.

Seeing is believing with super upconversion.

Super Upconversion Demo :

http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/av/docs/20071002/ceat3_07.jpg
http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/av/docs/20080114/dg96_14.jpg

emm7th

April 1, 2008 02:54 AM

If Super Upconversion really works, then future Blu-ray players will have no problem upconverting HD to 2160p (or 4K). Then back to square one again, 2160p vs 960p??? "super-upconverted" SD or "super-upconverted" HD??? Oh, come on!

Ghost

April 1, 2008 03:01 AM

Upscaling is never close to Blu ray quality. On the TV's starting from 1024x768(standart 42" plasma matrix resolution) you can see what is Blu ray and what is dvd (even upscaled with windvd's all2hd).
The problem is that upscaling just makes picture look sharper, not more detailed. You can just download some mkv rips and compare it to dvd. And even 4.5Gb mkv rips dont satisfy because of color decoding. The smartest move will be buying new releases only on blu ray and making new collection of old movies when blu ray becomes chipper.

I don't have an HDTV

April 1, 2008 09:59 AM

> If Super Upconversion really works

It works.

> then future Blu-ray players will have no problem upconverting HD to 2160p (or 4K).

Human eyeballs cannot tell them apart and only Arabic oild sheiks can afford 2160p displays.

> Upscaling is never close to Blu ray quality.

Super Upconversion isn't upscaling.

> On the TV's starting from 1024x768(standart 42" plasma matrix resolution) you can see what is Blu ray and what is dvd (even upscaled with windvd's all2hd).

But not from super upconverted DVD.

> The problem is that upscaling just makes picture look sharper, not more detailed.

Super Upconversion injects details grabbed from other frames(4 forward and 4 backward frames). That's how Super Upconverted videos look HD.


> You can just download some mkv rips and compare it to dvd. And even 4.5Gb mkv rips dont satisfy because of color decoding. The smartest move will be buying new releases only on blu ray and making new collection of old movies when blu ray becomes chipper.

Or skip Blu-Ray and super upconvert all your DVD collections.

Get Real

April 1, 2008 05:43 PM

I don't have an HDTV,

Welcome to Best Buy, here is this nice 1080P LCD display. Oh yes, you'll need this 960P super resolution DVD player, it's almost as good as a Blu-ray player. I suppose you would by a Ferrari and only drive it at 55 MPH because gas is too expensive too.

Royal Casino

April 13, 2008 01:55 AM

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ET

May 11, 2008 06:10 PM

So all I have heard about so far is picture quality. These super upconverting machines can't do anything for the inablity of DVD to store high bitrates of audio. If anyone has heard what a Blu-ray disc is capable of then they wouldn't have a case. It may cost more, but it does so because it is BETTER. Take a listen then come back and apologize.

terry

July 20, 2008 02:47 AM

I have a PS3 hooked up to a new LG Plasma 50pg20
It's max output res is 960p.
I am asuming 720P is the most I will get playiny a blueray movie as the TV is not 1080p.
My experience so far is:
Blueray is fantastic on this LG TV. I have looked at the 1080p set at the store and I cannot see any improvement over the LG model I have. The LCD tvs do not look as good to my eyes as the Plasmas.
PS3 games look fantastic as well.
My PS2 games look much better on this set than they did on my 51inch Toshiba rear projection crt as well.
DVD's look much better on the new TV as well although surely not Blueray quality.
The Blueray movies keep blowing my whole family away every time we watch one. We all see things we missed before.
Also the free Over the air HD tv channels look fantastic as well and I am just using powered rabbit ears.
In conclusion PS3, dvd upconversion and DTV looked pretty good on my 51inch CRT rear projection TV but quality took a vast jump forward with the 720p Plasma tv.
The PS3 is just cool and worth every penny in my opinion...Blueray, games, wireless internet on your TV!, free online gaming, PSP connection, much more bang for the buck than a stand alone player of any kind. I actually sold my Xbox 360.
I am no Sony fan but the PS3 I like a lot.

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No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.

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