Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

And….Action! Aussies shoot it out on Blu-Ray

This contribution has been submitted to Webdiary by a student in the Online Journalism unit for the Masters in Media Practice and Masters in Publishing courses at The University of Sydney as part of the unit's assessment. The topics covered in the pieces awaiting publication are interesting – and diverse. We hope that Webdiarists will enjoy reading them, as well as giving these aspiring journalists plenty of constructive commentary.

And….Action!  Aussies shoot it out on Blu-Ray
by Michelle Evans

During the infancy of Blu-ray it seems that we Aussies are enjoying a little gun-toting violence and Armageddon to feed the hunger of our new high definition plasmas and LCD televisions.  Recent GFK results show that an explosive 40% of Blu-ray discs sold in Australia during the last year were action based. 

The energetic angst of films such as Die Hard, Casino Royale, and Pirates of the Caribbean appealed to early adapters of the new format, selling a total of 114,000 of the 285,000 Blu-ray units sold in the last year. 

The special effects and hard-edged action sequences of action films are the driving factor in these figures.  They are the ideal test subject to trial and judge the very thing that movie studios are hoping will entice us to re-fuel our home entertainment collection with a bang, literally. 

“The special effects are definitely the major player in this appeal,” says Lance Grainger, Blu-ray Product Manager for 20th Century Fox.  “People who love these types of movies want the full experience.”

The appeal of Blu-ray itself lies not only in its superior picture quality but also in its added features.  Each disc can hold up to 5 times more material than a DVD, and will become increasingly more interactive in the future with the introduction of java games, and BD-Live which will soon allow you to access the internet directly via your player . 

“Watching a film on Blu-ray that you have seen a dozen times on DVD is a whole new experience,” says Michael, 31, who recently became a proud owner of Blu-ray player. “The images on screen are so clear that you notice things you’ve never seen before.”

So Australia, are we ready to turn our DVDs into drink coasters in the same fashion that we churned out our VHS into landfill? Maybe not yet, but this is the super-hero quest for home entertainment companies to battle.

Over 209,000 Blu-ray players sold Australia wide last year.  This is thanks largely to the debut of Sony Playstation 3 and the demise of Blu-ray’s competition in HD DVD.  This year however, Sony Australia have decidedly ramped it up a notch by offering promotions where free playstations are given out to consumers with the purchase of LCD TVs. This combined with influx of high definition TVs sold in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics, means that there are more Blu-ray players and compatible HD TVs than ever before.  Plant the seed, watch the minority grow.

By 2010 GFK predict that Blu-ray disc sales will top more than 7 million here in Australia. This may seem like peanuts compared to the 80 million DVDs sold in Australia this year; however we are currently in the third act of the DVD lifecycle. The DVD peak has been reached, and like the dinosaurs, all good things must come to an end to pave the way for new life. Just in this case, it will be Blu and in high definition 1080p.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Content is king!

Michelle, I think you are right with the comment that the movie studios are testing the water with those special effect action movies to show off their specs.  The increase for action movies is therefore driven by content suppliers instead of demand from the audience. Another reason for the strong demand for action movies is the current characteristic of the player audience. The ‘success’ of the Blu-ray is mainly driven by the aggressive roll out of the subsidized Playstation 3, which shifts the demand more toward action than to latest episodes of Desperate Housewives. However, you can roll out players for almost nothing, you still need content to create sustainable demand for blu-ray.  Content has always been the success factor in battles between big electronic companies VHS won its battle over Betamax (the superior system in technical terms), because VHS allowed movie studios to release adult movies on its platform.  I, as one of the first Blu-ray owners in Australia, find that there is still a limited supply of blu-ray disc in video stores.  The movie studios should therefore increase their efforts to make more titles available, because otherwise it will be swollen by the new standard: the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD)

In the land fill - not quite

Michelle, for a start much of that technology is double dutch to the older generation and it is that generation which is growing rapidly.

Now I am not against advances in technology but I still have one foot firmly planted in the VHS era (yes we still use our player and still record shows onto tape from live TV) and the other foot in the DVD era. We are not likely to move away from DVD's while they are available - the images are fine, the sound is fine and once watched are usually put away until sufficicent time has elapsed to allow them to be replayed on a wet winter's night.

I have yet to master the zapper that works the DVD player, but can manage the VHS player quite well.

So I for one will leave all this new stuff to you young ones. I simply have no need of it and I doubt many of the older generation will rush to embrace it.

Even with the mobile phone, I use no other function other than phoning. I never access messages on it, nor text on it (don't know how anyway), never use the email function, or the camera function. Too lazy to go and buy a magnifying glass to read the instructions booklet, yes you need one - the print is so small it is ridiculous. So spare me from technology one does not really need.

As for watching the news on one's watch. Enuff I say.

But maybe I will buy an ipod one day - not that I would know one if I saw one. But the kids tell me you can put all your CDs on to. Then again, I think not. Nothing is more irritating than trying to ask directions of a kid with an ear plug in. But if Blu-ray is the way of the future, go for it kids. It is your world too.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 18 hours ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 19 hours ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 19 hours ago
Justin Obodie: Bye bye - and thanks for all them fishies in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 19 hours ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 2 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 6 days ago