Blu-ray Disc Players: Spoiler Device This Holiday Season

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
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Connected televisions may be the top-selling device by volume this holiday season to incorporate over-the-top (OTT) video capabilities, but by the end of 2011 Blu-ray Disc players will firmly overtake other devices to take second place, believes IMS Research.

As OTT capabilities have now become standard on virtually all players in North America, a combination of affordable pricing and perceived value as a multi-purpose device will help grow Blu-ray player demand this holiday. While other devices arguably receive more attention as OTT devices, the low end Blu-ray Disc player will be second only to connected TVs in seeding OTT video hardware penetration into households through 2014.

Though 3D functionality is still struggling to gain traction with consumers as a must-have feature on Blu-ray Disc players, many North American consumers readily recognize the value of OTT video capabilities, particularly Netflix. Now that these capabilities can be found on entry level players, they are expected to stimulate total Blu-ray player shipments more effectively than the inclusion of 3D capabilities.

Acoording to the IMS Research report, “Over-the-Top Video: Hardware and Connectivity,” shipments of high-definition game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are expected to be surpassed for the first time by Blu-ray Disc players in 2011. Shipments of standalone devices such as Apple TV, Roku, and others are expected to remain substantially lower than both platforms. IMS Research forecasts yearly Blu-ray Disc player shipments to reach nearly 60 million units worldwide in 2014.

According to Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst at IMS Research, “With brand name wireless-enabled Blu-ray Disc players expected to dip below $100 this holiday, Blu-ray Disc players will occupy a unique position – for streaming media fans, they are considerably less than a high-definition game console, and roughly the same price as standalone streaming options such as Apple TV. Blu-ray Disc players are poised to be the one platform that inexpensively bridges the transition from physical to streaming media for the consumer–allowing the flexibility to choose the playback option that best fits the circumstances.”