'Slow adoption' for PC Blu-ray

Although sales of consumer Blu-ray players have risen, most PC users will wait a long time before they order computers with Blu-ray drives, according to analyst firm iSuppli.

By 2013, Blu-ray drives will be found in only 16.3 per cent of PCs shipped, up from 3.6 per cent in 2009.

“BDs won’t be replacing DVDs as the primary optical drive in PC systems through at least the year 2013,” said Michael Yang, senior analyst for storage and mobile memory at iSuppli. “They eventually will find success, but during the next five years, that success will be limited in the PC segment.”

According to Yang, the two main reasons hampering the adoption of Blu-ray drives in PCs include cost, as well as the lack of a library of movies to justify the need for consumers to move to a different drive in their PCs.

Cost, Yang said, is the primary impediment. Given the high price of the product, consumers are unwilling to pay the extra money in order to obtain a high-definition drive. “The cost issue is amplified by the fact that the library of content is so small that there really isn’t a reason for users to switch at the moment,” Yang added. And while this is changing and studios are rolling out more Blu-ray content every week, there remains a long way to go.
A further factoris the difficulty of supplanting an incumbent storage medium in PCs: currently the DVD-RW drive. From a historical perspective, each of the successful storage media in PCs has gained popularity only when content became available and when consumers actually understood that what they were getting was easy to use and worth the cost.

Such a pivotal moment, Yang said, has not yet arrived for the Blu-ray drive. “It’s undeniable that Blu-ray delivers a higher-definition picture, better sound quality and larger storage space for home entertainment,” he remarked. “However, these benefits may have little or no value when viewing the content on a smaller desktop or laptop PC screen and using poor speakers.”

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