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Disney: “Educating Consumers” Is Key To BD v. 1080p broadcasting

by User Not Found | Aug 29, 2008

A quick follow-up to my previous comments on 1080p broadcasting and its potential challenge to the Blu-ray Disc platform. I asked Disney’s EVP Gordon Ho, who leads the company’s BD initiative, how Disney could square the company’s claim that BD offered superior quality to any other platform when at the same time its partners, Dish and DirecTV, were marketing their new services as offering equivalent quality to BD. Ho was clearly anxious not to create a political incident with two of Disney’s major partners, and replied that the claims of BD quality by satellite providers were “a little misleading”. “1080p and 1080p are not the same,” he suggested, and that BD offers more. “In the end it’s all about educating the consumers.” In a public forum we would expect the reaction to be toned down somewhat, and these comments are relatively mild compared to the BDA’s assertion that satellite companies are being “irresponsible”. But Disney and the BDA are still some way short on the specifics of exactly why satellite and other service providers are not “technically capable” of matching BD quality. The BDA’s Frank Simonis noted that the satellite providers were using 15 Mbps for their 1080p programming, compared to BD’s potential of 48 Mbps (for video and audio). But bandwidth actually used on BD titles has been more in the region of 20Mbps, so there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in reality. The key point about all this is that, regardless of the technical specifics, many consumers are confused about HD in general, and there is a lot of work to be done to persuade them of the relative merits of different HD content platforms. The studios recognise this, and Warner in particular is working with retailers to increase in-store comparison demonstrations of BD and DVD. But the BDA collectively also needs to be careful that the Blu-ray label is not misused. There may be no near term commercial threat to BD from digital TV providers, but if the Blu-ray designation is used inappropriately it will only help to increase consumer confusion even further. Client Reading: Blu-ray Devices: Forecasting Sales and Ownership Add to Technorati Favorites
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