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DVD rapidly turning to BD in both soft and hardware. Pushed by anime fans

6, 20. 2008

   The sales share of Blu-ray Disc (BD) recorders on the DVD recorder market has exceeded 30%. The rentals of BD software are also brisk, indicating that the DVD is rapidly turning to BD for both soft and hardware. "We are under the impression that the change to BD is taking place at much faster rate than it was when the VHS changed to DVD," says an official at the company in the industry. Some say that anime fans who are after high-quality videos are behind the fast change to BD.

BD recorders also main merchandise for Olympics-stimulated market

   GfK Japan, which is conducting research on the sales of mass home appliance shops, says that BD recorders are also likely to become main goods in addition to thin-screen TV's for sales to be pushed up by the summer Olympics. The company said that the line up of popular version of BD recorders has been completed as seen by the fact that 31% of the recorders are now being sold at prices cheaper than 100,000 yen each.

   A survey conducted by the company shows that the sales share of BD recorders rose sharply after Toshiba declared its withdrawal from HD DVD business in February 2008, reaching 32.36% of the total DVD-recorder sales as of May 2008. This shows that BD recorders are rapidly popularized now.

   A person in charge of the BD authoring at the public relations department of Sony PLC told J-CAST News:

   The firms that have contents for the software are switching over to BD. Notably the contents for anime are showing strong move. As it was shown when VHS changed to DVD, anime contents seem to be the prime mover for the change to BD. Anime lovers have sharp sense, and they are keen on the new format.

   In Japan at present, the "western movies" provided by Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox and "anime" offered by such companies as Bandai are the major contents for the BD software. The anime fans seem to be particular about the quality of the pictures, and they seem to be the ones who are behind the rapid change to BD. The person in charge of Sony PLC public relations says he is impressed by the fast start of the move toward BD, and he added:

"I have a feeling the change to BD is taking place faster than expected.BD gives the most beautiful picture that can be seen at home. Thanks to the coming of the terrestrial digital broadcasting and high definition visions, (the quality of the BD pictures) can easily be recognized."

BD rentals also going well

   Bandai Visual began selling the Gundam series on the BD in February 2008. According to the company, 13,000 copies of the "Mobile Suit Gundam, Char's Counterattack" have already been shipped out despite the fact that the story is old. More copies are likely to be shipped out, the company said. In March, the company started selling the ".hack//G.U. TRILOGY" on both the BD and the DVD simultaneously, and more than 10,000 copies on the BD have been sold. "The popularization of BD seems to progressing at a considerably fast speed," the company said.

   "The animation fans seem to be those who are keen not only on the contents of the stories but also on the quality of the pictures and sound. Also, because of TV broadcasting of high definition pictures, the quality of the pictures sent through the terrestrial digital broadcasting is getting better than that of the DVD. As the screens of the TV monitors for home uses are becoming larger, the users who are used to high picture and sound qualities have high expectations (for BD)," said a person in charge of the public relations at the company.

   The rental business of BD software discs is also making a fast progress. The rental companies Tsutaya and Geo began the business on March 17 and April 12, 2008, respectively. According to a survey conducted between December 2007 and February 2008 by "Blu-ray rental researchh group" formed jointly by rental companies and software and machine makers to cooperate for the popularization of BD, 32% of the people who frequent the rental shops said they expected the shops would deal with BD software discs in the future. They also expressed their hope that there would be increased number of titles. Some of them commented that BD gives pictures of high quality. In fact, a person in charge of Geo said, BD software discs are highly praised at the rental shops.

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