Pundits Continue to Predict Blu-ray's Demise

Bob Preston
LOS ANGELES — A prominent online pundit is predicting the end of Blu-ray, but adult industry professionals don't see the next-gen format going anywhere just yet.

Devin Coldewey of CrunchGear.com predicted the demise of Blu-ray based on several reasons, chief among them the advent of easy and quick digital downloads and the prohibitively high prices associated with Blu-ray technology.

When it comes to digital downloads, Coldewey conceded that technology still has to catch up to the demand, but he maintained that it will.

"It’s not a question of if but when," he said. "That lends a certain doomed air to the whole Blu-ray setup; it’s like buying a ticket for a ship that everyone knows is sinking, but no one knows how fast. Sure, a lot of people have crappy connections now and streaming video isn’t as high quality by a good measure, but that gap is constantly narrowing and it’s not all going to be streaming anyway. A high-def movie with perfectly good compression takes up perhaps 10 GB. That means you can fit 50 on a $100 hard drive. That sort of proposition is finding more and more willing participants."

Coldewey also dismissed arguments regarding the dropping price of Blu-ray players and the supposed popularity of Sony's PlayStation 3 console.

But an informal survey of adult industry professionals suggested that physical formats like Blu-ray have a home in adult for now.

"People still like to touch their media," said Farley Cahen, vice president of New Media for Digital Playground. Cahen told XBIZ that because most consumers still lack the computing — and storage — to deliver high-definition digital downloads to their TV screens, formats like Blu-ray will continue to survive. Cahen added that couples in particular enjoy DVDs and Blu-ray disks because they're easy to enjoy together.

Elliot James of the Score Group told XBIZ that the existence of the occasional Luddite will keep Blu-rays in business, too.

"I think there'll always be a market for guys who just like putting in a disk and watching a movie," he said, noting the initial success of his company's new Blu-ray title "Busty Riding Academy." "A lot of guys don't like the whole computer thing."

Digital Playground's Cahen also said that he could imagine a future where consumers could quickly and easily download high-definition content directly to a storage box on their TVs, but he added that such a future isn't here just yet.

Matrix Content's Stephen Bugbee agreed.

"I'm not sure about [Blu-ray's] demise," he told XBIZ. "It won the first battle, and the war is far from over. I think it will hang around for a while as we are not quite ready for a download, set-top box or a streaming revolution."