Throughout the recession of 2009, one of the few bright spots in the industry burned with the glow of a blue laser: Blu-ray players. Spreading beyond the base of the PlayStation 3, sales of standalone Blu-ray players increased 59 percent in 2009 and have grown 85 percent in 2010 through October, according to NPD's Retail Tracking Service.
In its early days, Blu-ray and HD DVD fought for the legacy of the DVD, one of the most successful consumer electronics products ever launched. Indeed, this year, the Blu-ray Disc format made substantial inroads against the DVD juggernaut that hindered its progress, even after its victory over HD DVD.
According to NPD's Household Penetration Study, 81 percent of U.S. homes had a DVD player in 2010, down from 87 percent in 2009.
Blu-ray is also a stronger format thanks to its competitive origins. Answering the mandated connectivity of its rival, HD DVD, the Blu-ray Disc Association developed BD-Live. It was originally conceived as a way to bring online extras to the disc-playing experience, but manufacturers have leaped on it to make Blu-ray the first affordable media technology beyond video games to bring the promise of Internet connectivity to the living room. … Read more