Despite some pessimistic forecasts, Blu-ray disc sales for the first quarter of 2009 are almost twice what they were in the same period of 2008 and some good sets coming later this year might mean the format could actually do well for the movie industry.
The Blu-ray market could be helped by the introduction of $99 players but it doesn’t appear disc prices, which still run about $10 or more over a standard DVD, are coming down any time soon.
Disney and other studios are actually looking to not recreate the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war and establish some standards for 3D home video now, before the technology goes mainstream. Hope this works out because by the time this becomes ready for the consumer market online viewing will be even easier.
Speaking of HD-DVD, those who put their money on that format and now wish they’d chosen differently can take advantage of a program being run by Warner Bros. that allows consumers to send in the cover art to any WB title bought on HDD and, for a small fee plus S&H, they’ll get the same movie on Blu-ray.
Studios and media companies (often the same thing) were dealt a blow when consumer advocates and some legislators succeeded in pushing back on their plans to impose broadband usage caps, something that would have significantly raised the price of downloading more than about one movie a month or really doing anything online after the 15th of the month. Doesn’t mean they won’t keep trying but for now their plans have been halted.
If you’re wondering why there’s such disparity between what’s available online via Netflix’s streaming service, what’s available to buy or rent through iTunes and all the other online outlets, Farhad Manjoo has the answer. But you probably won’t like it since it involves a system so convoluted only a lawyer could have conceived it.
Online documentary distribution site SnagFilms has signed a deal with a handful of film festivals to make a number of the films that have appeared at those fests available for viewing there, bringing those titles to a significantly larger audience than is able to attend the festivals.
Amazon’s HD video on demand service is now available for both Roku and TiVo HD boxes.