According to this report in USA Today, Blu-ray sales are growing while DVD sales are dropping: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-01-10/blu-ray-sales-2011/52473310/1.
I think that the demand (or lack thereof) that you experience for Blu-ray disk depends on several things: (1)_ Whether your clients are watching 1080p HD on a large screen or not; (2) The speed of the broadband connection that your clients have with clients having high-speed connections more likely to stream than those with low speed connections; (3) The availability of 1080p content by sttreaming. Here in the U.S. there are very few sources for streaming 1080p content and they demand very fast connections.
In my mind, there is no question that the image quality of Blu-ray media is clearly superior to that provided by streaming. However, I watch most video on a 100 in. wide screen using a Sony VPL-VW90ES projector.
Finally, I would add that Apple has made the creation of Blu-ray content difficult on Mac computers by failing to support Blu-ray even in the OS. Yes, there are third party vendors (Adobe, Roxio, etc.), but Blu-ray is still very much an "add on" to a Mac computer whereas on Windows Blu-ray is quite often included in a good desktop computer. Thus, if you ask a PC user vs. a Mac user a question about demand for Blu-ray, you are quite likely to get very different answers.
I didn't check out the article and probably won't. Those kinds of statistics are too easily manipulated by marketers and papers like USA Today just gobble them up without any due diligence.
The answer to the question lies with your customers. If they ask for it, of if they plan on distributing in HD, then you have to go to Bluray. But like we have found with all other media, it's temporary.
Blu-Ray authoring is a world apart from burning a blu-ray disk for your neighbor. It is an order of magnitude (or two) more complex than DVD authoring. It has not caught on with small volume production because the licensing and technical issues are a PITA.
I live in a relatively rural place where high speed streaming is not really an option (old copper wire and slow ISPs). Still, the local video stores do not carry B-R discs and of my acquaintances in the visual world, only one has a B-R player. (I suspect it is because their couch is 5' from the TV!)
I have a 5 year old DVD player that does hardware up-conversion to HD and it looks amazingly good. Do I need to see every pore, every skin flaw on the lead actor's face to enjoy the movie? No, I don't. And, the fact of the matter is, most people don't want to. They want a good story. In the absence of a story, I guess the producers have to sell the technology. Or, reissue the same old movies in a new format. (Kind of reminds one of Zero Mostel in the "Producers" - something like selling 500% of the play ...)
Just export seperate files from Final Cut through compressor and use Adobe Audition to do the authoring for BR. They have lots of templates you can download to get your feet wet. It's a quirky program but it takes a week to get from basic to intermediate and then you'll be good for most everyday use.
And I like the extra detail of BR. Kills DVD, upscaled or no. I have no intentions of going back and am waiting paitently for Apple to give me AppleTV at 1080p.
If I'm watching a sports event (hockey, tennis, golf, etc) and the camera is giving me the long view and there is a lot of very small detail, 1080 video may make sense. For standard movies, no. When I start noticing how bad the makeup is on the actor or how fake the props look, additional detail does not "enhance" the viewing experience.
But, this thread is really about small (niche) video production, not Hollywood or wide distribution independent video. If we get right down to home video. HD (720 or 1080) only goes to confirm most people have no clue how to use a camera. But, we knew that even back in the days of VHS.
... is the future in downloading?
"The Future" Is a relative term.
Obviously downloads will be the most attractive option once broadband is ubiquitous, affordable and much much faster. But as TomWheel and StudioX have pointed out that's not a reality at the present time and probably won't be for years to come. And 720 also seems to be the top end for the time being.
And even if a client is tooled up to deal with streaming or online delivery do I really want to be spending my time and bandwidth compressing AND up loading for hours or days. Nope.
So, yea, As things stand right now I think Blu-Ray is a perfectly viable option for delivering content. I don't know why anyone shooting 1080 would want to do otherwise. Vimeo is ok for short stuff that will be viewed on an iPad.
Whenever I'm forced to author DVD from my 1080 footage I feel like I'm going to throw up.
I'm still using the previous version of Compressor to author BD. And as far as I can see there are just a few minor tweaks that Apple could make that would satisfy the vast majority of folks wishing to author BD. Get rid of the numeric duration from the tittles, the ability to arrange chapter tittles graphically, export chapters directly from fcpX… etc.
But media content delivery is only one issue. My bigger beef is that Apple is abandoning optical media for software delivery and forcing the user base to download everything including OS and large "pro" apps that should be available on fixed media.
Thanks for the really interesting replies. They certainly give food for thought.
However, what I was looking for was not whether Blu Ray is a viable format, I meant are people buying Blu Ray?
Is the demand there - and is it likely to be there for at least a couple of years.
Our DVDs are about sheepdogs (herding dogs) and how to train them. Most of the people who buy them are country folk who (I imagine) are not the most tech-savvy.
We get lots of requests for new DVDs - but we've never had an enquiry about Blu Ray.
I spoke to the boss of a company (the company name is Blu Ray) who did some DVD replication for us recently, and he said my enquiry was the second he'd had in about six months!
The viability of Blu-ray is determined by it's commercial success. If not enough people are buying, it will cease to exist.
The answer to your question is in your last post:
We get lots of requests for new DVDs - but we've never had an enquiry about Blu Ray.
That being said, if you can enter the Blu-ray arena at a minimal cost, then why not offer it?
I think the demand for Blu-ray is there if you tell your clients that you offer it. Blu-ray burners are cheap at $120.00. The Blu-ray disks are a bit more than DVD's. But buy them in bulk. Charge more for a Blu-ray project. You can get Adobe Production Premium for 50% off right now, which has Encore, for building Blu-ray menus, and burning.
"and use Adobe Audition to do the authoring for BR"… chirple, I'm sure you ment to say, Encore.
Steve Connor1 wrote:
We are finding that about 10% of sales are now Blu-ray.
Thanks Steve . . .
10% and growing?
Is that numbers or value?
(They look really interesting - I might buy one or two myself).
You can get Adobe Production Premium for 50% off right now, which has Encore, for building Blu-ray menus, and burning.
Thanks Dirk, but even if Adobe will let me download Production Premium from their US site (and I'm not sure they will) it's still a lot of money to spend on an experiment. ($799 - over 500 GBP).
Unfortunately many clients do not know that to project or view their vidoes in HD it has to be Blu-Ray and everytihng else compatible. The fault is our in that we don't educate our clients enough. We are always explining this to clients and many have purchased BR decks and are very pleased with "seeing" their Projects look so good for the firts time and everytime. BTW, Br players are cheap now, as low as $79!!
Is the demand there...
...Our DVDs are about sheepdogs (herding dogs) and how to train them. Most of the people who buy them are country folk who (I imagine) are not the most tech-savvy.
I don't think you need to worry about Blu-ray OR downloads in that type of a market. If you're shooting 720 or HDV then don't even waste your time thinking about it. It sounds like your client base has set the bar.
But you can buy a BD burner for less thn $200. You can use Compressor (or Toast) to burn really basic discs. It couldn't hurt to print a few just to get your feet wet. Then you can offer it as an option. It's no harder than making DVDs and it looks Soooo much better.
If you have clients that spent the money on a flat panel TV 32" or bigger, TELL them to spend a hundred bucks on a BD player. Sometime people won't know what they're missing till they can see it.