Blu-ray format facing uncertain future

January 14, 2009

LAS VEGAS (UPI) -- Despite an upsurge in U.S. sales last year, Blu-ray discs and players will likely be seen as obsolete within the next few years, an analyst says.

Enderle Group principal analyst Rob Enderle said while U.S. Blu-ray disc sales exceeded 24 million in 2008 compared with a mere 5.67 million a year earlier, the home entertainment items remain a "high end" item, The Times of London reported Saturday.

"Blu-ray is going to play a transition 'between' role -- it can sustain the high end of the market but as soon as the flip comes to downloads or streaming -- and I think that will be in the next couple of years -- then it will not make any further progress," Enderle said. "I am not convinced Blu-ray will ever go mainstream."

The Times said Blu-ray Disc Association Chairman Andy Powers announced at a recent news conference that as of 2008, more than 1,100 different movie titles were available in Blu-ray format.

Of those films, "The Dark Knight" has earned the title of the first Blu-ray disc to sell more than 1 million copies, Powers said.

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