Originally Posted by markrubin
disagree: DVD has been around a long, long time and HD VOD still has a long way to go to be considered mainstream: BD audio and picture quality will trump any VOD for many years
I would not characterize the playback issues as pervasive: look for some new players to come to market soon that have most of these issues resolved
Eleven years is not a "long, long time" in the history of home entertainment media formats. Indeed, even DVD's predecessor format is still in widespread use. huge numbers of consumers are still on their first DVD player.
Eventually the market will begin to reject any format that requires them to buy new equipment, if the cycle of replacement continues to get shorter. They will feel that they're being exploited.
The attraction of HD VOD using the equipment they already have from their primary video provider can't be underestimated. HD via cable or satellite, coupled with their existing DVD players, will satisfy the vast majority of average people, IMO. There's a lot of no-extra-charge stuff, there's rental stuff they don't have to wait for or leave the house to get, and their regular DVDs mostly look pretty decent on their new 32" LCD TV.
It's certainly true that there are more consumers now who recognize and will pay for the benefits of packaged HD media, certainly more than there were during the equivalent era of Laserdisc vs VHS. Those larger numbers will result in higher sales numbers for BD, enough to sustain the format. And those are largely consumers who will be comfortable enough with doing firmware updates, dealing with system configuration issues, and the other ancillary hassles of the new format.
But DVD attained dominance while it was clearly superiior in every way -- including price and convenience, which are the two most significant market drivers -- to the format it replaced.
BD will never be able to make that claim. It will never be cheaper or more convenient (let alone "and") than DVD or VOD. It simply isn't as compelling as the transition to DVD was.
Personally, as a veteran of the Laserdisc era, I'm entirely comfortable with a niche format that has the obvious high-end benefits and still relatively low cost of Blu-ray. But I am concerned that sales remain healthy enough that the continuance of the format isn't threatened. For this to happen, the platform has to be functionally mature.