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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Blu-ray Camp Believe Blu-ray and Digital Downloads Can Co-exist

Despite the global economic downturn, the Blu-ray Disc Association optimistic about the future of the Blu-ray disc format although it may have to co-exist with digital downloads.

In spite of the severe economic downturn, Blu-ray Disc hardware and software had a very robust Q4, which put an exclamation point on overall proliferation of the format in '08. The format has a strong showing at CES last month and the 3D was also a popular topic at the show.

"Regarding that, there is no formal 3D proposal within the Blu-ray Disc Association. We are aware that there are a number of 3D technologies out there at the moment and we are interested in studying the possibilities of joining together the best High Definition technology with 3D applications in order to create a superior consumer home theater experience.Obviously the consumer experience, compatibility and uniformity will be important considerations once we begin evaluating the various technologies available," said Victor Matsuda, the recently re-elected Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) Global Promotions Committee.

However, despite a strong showing at CES, the BDA still sees a number of challenges ahead before the format is fully integrated within the mainstream. "It?s definitely not job done!" said Victor Matsuda. "While we had a break-out year in '08, we definitely have to continue all efforts aimed at the continued proliferation of the format, especially during this economic environment. We also need special attention for the format's "enhanced" features, such as such as BD-Live and Digital Copy."

Matsuda also commented on the explosion of digital downloads, which has been a journalists'favorite stalking horse.

"Regarding digital downloads in particular, I think that our basic messaging "can co-exist!" is finally starting to catch on, but we will need to be persistent here."

"We need to continue to emphasise the possible co-existence of Blu-ray Disc and digital downloads within the same market ecosystem," he added.

So, the start of year report from the BDA is that everything is on course and healthy, but the BDA will not lose focus for even one minute in its aim of establishing Blu-ray Disc as the successor to DVD. And the BDA will continue its efforts with the most successful format introduction ever.

"Absolutely," affirmed Victor Matsuda. "While we had a break-out '08, the format definitely continues to evolve. Current work with BD-Live type of features, and the possibility of work with 3D in the format are only two examples."

"As the format and products proliferate, the BDA must also ensure that format compliance. With the success of last year, this function of the organization will be dealing with the current sharp spike in activity for a long time."

"Finally, the Promotions Committee's format promotion activities continue to be very important. We need to continue to drive home the point that, while there may be other products, Blu-ray is clearly the best high-def technology. The level of acceptance is different per region, and our efforts will also reflect that. I also expect that we will see new and compelling consumer benefits of BD-Live-type of efforts as well continued evolution of the format, and it is definitely our goal to aggressively promote these developments."


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