How are Blurays going where you are?

PeterWright wrote on 8/3/2014, 8:14 AM
A few weeks ago I shot a stage musical, using 7 cameras, with 6 fixed and me operating the close-up cam (a lot cheaper than 7 camera operators!)

The show was Disney Beauty and the Beast, and the company had a licence from Disney to record the show for cast and crew only. This included quite a few "young" people, and I was a little surprised when the final tally was 66 DVDs and 8 Blu-rays.

I expected far more Blu-rays. How does your experience compare?

One factor I think is that whenever I tell people about Blu-rays, they are almost always surprised to hear that Blu-ray players, costing less than $100, will also play DVDs and CDs. They didn't know this! Whoever was responsible for launching or publicising the product seems to have missed out this fact!


JohnnyRoy wrote on 8/3/2014, 8:37 AM
There answer to "where you are?" would probably be more relevant if you actually told us "where you are!" lol

I'm in the Northeast US just north of NYC and Blu-ray never caught on here with my clients. Like you I shoot a lot of stage shows and live performances and I would get orders for 100 DVD's and 2 or 3 Blu-rays. Nobody wants them, nobody cares. My wife doesn't buy them because you can't play them in the car like DVD's. I don't buy them because I don't care to wait a 20 minutes before my movie actually starts to play. I have never seen a box that boots slower or takes more time to execute a click than a Blu-ray player and I've had several. They are slow, they constantly need updates, you buy new movies and it needs updates in order to play, it's just a total mess (note: my blu-ray player is not connected to the Internet because it only has an ethernet connection and I don't have a router next to my TV so I have to download updates to CD and then boot the player with the CD to update the firmware!).

The quick DVD experience for me is far superior to the bloated Blu-ray experience and we just stopped buying them. And the players aren't that great a playing DVD's either. I just delivered a 50th anniversary photo montage DVD to a client and the music would skip on my Blu-ray player. I tried it in several of the DVD players in my house and it was fine. Since I knew this couple didn't have a Blu-ray player I didn't even try to figure out why and they never complained. IMHO, Blu-ray is a great idea that was executed poorly.

ushere wrote on 8/3/2014, 8:42 AM
i haven't produced a dvd in 5 years, nor have i ever been asked for blu-ray - however, all my clients expect hd mp4 in one form or another (ie. 720p for net, 1080p for usb).

rural australia.
vtxrocketeer wrote on 8/3/2014, 9:45 AM
Peter, I work in the affluent and technology-forward areas of Washington D.C. I mainly produce stage productions, such as choral and orchestral concerts. I never sell more than about 30% Blu-rays, based on the total number of discs sold. I charge a small premium for Blu-ray.

I sell regularly to one customer who always buys DVD but whose husband has a high end entertainment system perfected for Blu-ray. Why?

Some of my customers are schools chockablock with iPads and laptops for their students, but don't have the means to play Blu-ray. Why?

I think many just don't care, can't perceive a difference, or maybe are unaware that they can actually enjoy Blu-ray. Clearly cost is not an issue in my area. i personally have a high end Oppo player, so I have none of the horrors posted by JohnnyRoy.

I'd be very happy to get rid of DVD so I could produce just one type of disc. For now, however, DVD is the money-maker.
videoITguy wrote on 8/3/2014, 9:54 AM
There is really no need to produce DVD output anymore, because your creative sources are all HD or better and the output can be truly mastered well with products like VegasPro to create a much better output media.

Most customers today play their optical discs in Blu-ray compatible players, because even the DVD play can look better -why not just give them the Blu-ray. Most new purchases today are of Blu-ray set-top players because they are so cheap.

Most commercial movie purchases by the "concerned and discriminating" customer is Blu-ray release from the likes of Amazon or Target.

I do think that the producers who are looking to record common events like softball tournaments, or children's recitals, are facing an uphill battle - because their audience is not discriminating. They see the output of a standard DVD as good enough and if you face not being able to convince them otherwise, well you are stuck.
malowz wrote on 8/3/2014, 10:06 AM
in brazil,as usual, everything is delayed. im making blu-ray for about 6 months, and now they are getting the market (in my area at least)

im delivering in BluRay+DVD for now. no one ask for files or thumbdrives.
tim-evans wrote on 8/3/2014, 10:24 AM
I gave up even doing a Blu-ray version. The majority of folk are not like us who are trying to eke out a little more visual quality.... worrying ourselves about the difference between ac3 and PCM audio, 16 bit or 24 bit etc,,,

Yes, they can TELL the difference but they do not seem to CARE too much about the difference.

Maybe there are a few thoughts in their minds about compatibility. DVD is universal, Blu-ray is not.
John222 wrote on 8/3/2014, 10:37 AM
I recently did a High School musical as a charity project. Out of 70 media orders, only three were Blu-ray. I even sweetened the pie by doing a bundle. For $15, you get a Blu-ray and DVD. Otherwise a DVD was $10. I ended up just giving the Blu-rays to the musical leads for free.
John222 wrote on 8/3/2014, 10:41 AM
Anybody who remembers the VHS vs. Beta war will recall VHS won because you could get more time on a tape. The quality was crap, as it's best it was laughable compared to Beta. But people wanted to get their whole week of soaps on one tape.

In my case I don some charity musicals. People like DVD's because they are easy to copy and they don't care about picture quality that much.
rraud wrote on 8/3/2014, 12:40 PM
Same in the music industry.. folks are happy with low-res MP3s and other lossy file ty
MarkHolmes wrote on 8/3/2014, 1:38 PM
I recently did a children's stage show in an affluent area and offered DVD, BluRay or 1080p media files on USB thumb drives. I got orders for 35 USB drives and 2 BluRays - no DVDs whatsoever. With 8GB drives running around $5, it was easy to build the cost into the delivery - more expensive than DVD, but 'quicker and easier.
winrockpost wrote on 8/3/2014, 3:32 PM
bought a bluray burner 4 years ago or so,, have never once used it..still have the sealed disc that came with it.....come to think of it,,,its still in my old edit computer. mp4 hd on usb drives our main delivery .
Spectralis wrote on 8/3/2014, 4:05 PM
Here in the UK, Bluray media is more expensive than DVD. The players were more expensive for a long time and the the films still are so no one I know is interested in paying more than the cost of DVD. Films can be streamed easily now and most people only want to see them once unless it's a classic which most new releases aren't so that's another nail in the Bluray coffin. The greedy media companies thought they were onto a new format winner with Bluray but hadn't counted on the internet. Also the name is longer and more confusing to spell than DVD so that didn't help either.
riredale wrote on 8/4/2014, 11:00 AM
For those of you delivering on USB sticks, how do you do it? Attach the stick to a large piece of cardboard containing the graphics (spiffy title, table of contents, miscellaneous stuff)? Or just write teeny-tiny on the USB stick itself?

And if the product is supposed to be a keepsake, how would just handing someone a tiny USB stick qualify? I can see storing a DVD on a shelf, but a USB stick?

Not trying to be sarcastic here, just attempting to understand if this is a potential new delivery medium for me and how I'd do it.
rmack350 wrote on 8/4/2014, 11:41 AM
I think you're just running into a natural phenomenon. Your sample of 66/8 says 88% of your sample group already had DVD players and didn't yet need to replace them with new units. The other 12% were probably early adopters either because they wanted the new technology or because they had been early DVD adopters and their players reached their end of life earlier than the other 88%.

Given time, their DVD players will age out and they'll pretty much only have Bluray as a replacement choice if they want a shiny-disk player. That could take a while and there's no guarantee that people will want the extra box when they could just stream most of their movies.
john_dennis wrote on 8/4/2014, 12:33 PM
"Also the name is longer and more confusing to spell than DVD so that didn't help either."

In deed, it is. It's italicized and hyphenated. Blu-ray

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RalphM wrote on 8/4/2014, 12:53 PM
When the consumer is the parent of the talent, compatibility is key. If I send a Blu-ray to grandma and she has only a DVD player, then it might as well be a coaster.

A well made, up-rezzed DVD in a Blu-ray player looks pretty good until you get to a really large screen size. Older people don't see as well, and younger people are used to watching on a 5 to 7 inch screen, so pristine quality is not an issue for those groups.

DVD's were a huge jump from VHS quality; Blu-ray, not so much. 4K screens may make a difference in demand for Blu-ray discs.
winrockpost wrote on 8/4/2014, 12:58 PM

..........And if the product is supposed to be a keepsake, how would just handing someone a tiny USB stick qualify? I can see storing a DVD on a shelf, but a USB stick?

We order them with the companies custom logo, if its a large order we will have the media loaded by the same place we order them, lots of computers don't even come with a dvd player anymore, and most tvs come with a usb,,, for us. Our customers prefer and request it over a dvd.
videoITguy wrote on 8/4/2014, 1:25 PM
Do you all recall this thread?

As for this packaging issue for USB sticks - this is NOT a trivial issue. To get the marketing form factor that optical disks ( including mini-disk form) have traditionally kept on the shelf - you really have to jump thru some hoops to make it work. You need a package large enough to get illustration and at least 9 point font text in informational paragraphs, not too mention eye catching headlines.

Turns out that those commercial packages offered to get the shelf presence of a DVD with a USB stick are larger and bulkier than the USB product per se and even larger than the DVD factor. They look ugly , they are not efficient and they are strange to almost every audience factor you can research.

Currently USB delivery serves a disposable media market - where the client cares little about quality, delivery method, or longevity of the format. Yes it fits the disposable mentality and young people who have a hundred other things to do.
IT does NOT compete with mature markets where optical disk rules king.

Consider that a well produced Blu-ray with BD-ROM content is the most efficient high quality form for information storage as well as delivery for long-term. This will be true even when 4k production workflows are brought in to authoring discs.
John_Cline wrote on 8/4/2014, 5:23 PM
Following the logic espoused by a number of people on this thread, I guess Ferrari should just stop making cars because their market is so tiny. General Motors sells a heck of a lot more Chevrolet Sparks than they do Cadillac Escalades.

Sure, the market for Blu-ray discs is going to be smaller than DVDs, and in the case of selling discs of Johnny's performance in the school play, people are probably going to buy more DVDs so they can show the disc to grandma and friends. As far as Blu-ray discs are concerned, sitting around and waiting for someone to ask for them seems rather passive to me, perhaps actively marketing them makes more business sense. Regardless, the market for Blu-ray is always going to be smaller than DVD. There was a time when selling DVDs was considered a niche upscale market when most people only had VHS video players.
GeeBax wrote on 8/4/2014, 5:35 PM
[I]Consider that a well produced Blu-ray with BD-ROM content is the most efficient high quality form for information storage as well as delivery for long-term. This will be true even when 4k production workflows are brought in to authoring discs.[/I]

Except that, as has been pointed out in other threads, Blu-Ray players are not being taken up in many places, particularly outside of the USA.

Virtually every new TV receiver will have a USB port as standard, but does not have any form of disc player unless the owner goes out and gets one, and that is becoming less likely. Recent visits to my local retailer shows a smaller selection of players being sold at lower prices, a sure sign of a product that has reached end of life.

I would also question your assertion that BD will cope with 4K. The disc technology is probably close to its maximum storage density, such that you won't be able to get much in the way of decent 4K material on it, whereas the USB stick still has ample room for expansion.
videoITguy wrote on 8/4/2014, 5:48 PM
Blu-ray may not be outside of the USA - but remember the USA is the predominant market for the technical edge and massive leader in electronic appliance/gadget import. Blu-ray is reaching greater penetration in the USA each and every minute of the day.

There is a huge misunderstanding about what 4k production might mean to the home entertainment ( hey, that is the USA, my friend). Generally the Blu-ray player of today's sales is constructed to pass 4k signal to the box they are connected to. So this means that 4k is a contributor to better quality production in mastering a Blu-ray release, also 4k will be in a companion 4k media player component of the Blu-ray appliance. The only thing now to complete is the licensing requirements to make it happen on bendable large home entertainment screens.
richard-amirault wrote on 8/4/2014, 6:02 PM
" ... Blu-ray players, costing less than $100, will also play DVDs and CDs."

I suspect that while the above is true .. they don't play VCD's (at least my Samsung does not)

While I don't make new VCDs any more .. I do have quite a lot from years ago.
John_Cline wrote on 8/4/2014, 6:24 PM
In the U.S., Blu-ray movie sales are roughly comparable with DVD sales in terms of numbers sold. The Disney film, Frozen, was released on March 14th, 2014 and has already sold 6,402,691 Blu-ray copies and 7,237,894 DVD copies. In terms of revenue, domestic DVD sales of Frozen have been $110,559,981, domestic Blu-ray sales = $132,023,850. Someone is buying Blu-ray discs!
videoITguy wrote on 8/4/2014, 6:41 PM
I suspect Amazon is in fact the world leading marketeer for Blu-ray disc. Several years ago Amazon understood the market the way that mass commodity sellers like Target of Dayton Hudson Corporation was going - selling massive amounts of Blu-ray release at low-cost.

Here is what Amazon business plan reviewed and decided. 1) The glory days of DVD were long dead - just much like the drop-off of the VHS tape market - maybe not as steep in decline but still noticeable.
2) New releases were going to do well in Blu-ray promotions with companion download electronic file release and free DVD low-res copies in the same jacket.
3) Blu-ray would be the predominant form of optical disc release for new titles
4) DVD release would be pushed further back to ultra-compressed B-movie second releases and special categories - such as Rocky Horror Picture Show for a defined audience following. DVD was a commodity at this point and most would eventually go to the 1.99 table in throw away environments like Walgreen's Drugstore, or Big Lots department stores.
5) Blu-ray would gradually inherit the ultimate entertainment territories of large screen play and new production systems like 4k authoring.