Originally Posted by GMancusa
Back to the OP's question, imho, I think it's here to stay for quite some time but will eventually get relegated to a more niche market. Those of us who went through the Laserdisc era, I believe, would agree. Laser disc sales are no where near BD sales and the Criterion collection Laserdiscs were even more niche. Sales of both were enough, however, for the studio's and Criterion to maintain a production line. Criterion had the additional costs of all the enhancements they applied to the source material they were provided.
Ah, good old Laserdisc. We had a laserdisc player in my science class in the early 90s. It was the only time I ever actually saw one in use. I'm surprised they never caught on, but then if you look at their prices, especially at that point in time, I can see why. But what truly amazes me is that Pioneer continued to make LD players until 2009. Then again, I believe the last VCR makers only ceased production in 2016, which is pretty amazing.
If you think back to the jump from VHS to DVD, it was a very, very big deal. Not just picture quality, but the ability to play a movie over and over without deterioration. Jumping to scenes. No rewinding. Special features and commentaries. It might not seem like much now, but buying DVDs during those early years was very exciting in the late 90s.
I remember, after the dust settled on the HD-DVD vs BD format war, it still took many years for people to adopt BD. Some people simply never did - including a couple of friends of mine who said they'd be damned if they were going to rebuy their entire DVD collection again. Despite this, the jump in picture quality from SD to HD was very noticeable - far more noticeable than the jump from 1080p to 4K HDR, in my opinion.
My girlfriend, for example, fails to appreciate the differences between 1080p and HDR - nor does she really seem to notice any difference at all. While I disagree, I fear that the improvements just aren't as dramatic as previous format transitions - which combined with streaming's popularity, will make for a very small market - similar to SACDs.
However, as others have pointed out, I'm very happy to see a wide selection of UHD movie available at Best Buy. My local Walmarts have a decent selection as well, which is a good sign that us physical media lovers won't have much to worry about. At least not right now.
On a side note, I really wish Netflix (the disc branch - not the streaming branch) would adopt UHD discs, but I don't see that happening. Although the disc subscriptions are still profitable, it's not nearly as heavily supported as it once was. What's funny is that some people don't even know that Netflix was originally built on a disc subscription format. I work with a family and I had a Netflix disc with me that I was taking with me to a friend's house and the lady wondered what it was and had absolutely no idea that such a service even existed. She thought it has always been streaming only. Nevertheless, I've kept both services and will continue to do until Netflix pulls the plug on it.