Blu-ray Disc technology will receive an Emmy award at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the format's backers announced yesterday.
Panasonic, Royal Philips, Sony, and TDK will accept the 62nd Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the same organization that gives out awards for television shows and actors. Blu-ray joins a long list of Emmy winners that include consumer camcorders, the DVD, and many others.
"Sony began development of blue-laser optical technology in the late 1990s, realized the world's first high-definition recording on 20GB optical media by using blue-violet laser, and has contributed greatly to the continuous development of the Blu-ray Disc format," Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager of the company's home entertainment development division, said in a statement.
The company wasn't alone. Sony was joined by Philips and Panasonic in 1997 to work on the format. In 2002, the companies, along with TDK and others, started the Blu-ray Disc Founders, and by 2004, the Blu-ray Disc Association was born.
In 2006, Blu-ray finally launched. And over the past four years, more than 1.4 billion Blu-ray prerecorded discs and 188 million recordable/rewritable Blu-ray discs have been produced, the companies said. Vendors have shipped 50 million Blu-ray players and recorders, 41 million PlayStation 3 units, and more than 25 million Blu-ray readers and writers.
But it hasn't been all success.
Although Blu-ray technology provides several advantages over DVD, including higher quality video and more storage capacity, the format is having some trouble supplanting its predecessor. Most consumers still go to the store and find a healthy supply of DVDs on store shelves sitting next to Blu-ray discs.
Aside from that, Blu-ray is feeling pressure from streaming services companies like Netflix and Apple. Streaming is so popular today that Netflix's streaming service accounts for 20 percent of all fixed network downstream traffic during peak hours in the U.S.
But Blu-ray has weathered a storm before. The format took on HD DVD for prominence in the HD market and eventually prevailed in 2008.