Looking at the (NetFlix and Amazon) numbers: Why Blu-Ray is losing?

If you’re thinking about Blu-Ray (BD) vs. HD-DVD this holiday season, something to consider- Blu-Ray isn’t just suffering from PS3 backlash, the average BD player on Amazon.com is 41% more expensive than HD DVD. This weekend, I took a look at baseline costs on Amazon and determined you can buy the average BD player and zero movies, or get an HD DVD player and over four and a half years of NetFlix HD rentals at the same price. Even comparing cheapest models, you can rent nearly two years of HD DVD movie rentals from NetFlix before reaching the purchase price of the cheapest Blu-Ray player.

Note this is at the lowest tier of NetFlix so there’s an assumption you’re only renting about 2 movies per month, but still, NetFlix is a great way to sidestep the whole HD format lock-in issue- I never buy an HD disc unless I expect to watch it semi-monthly for the next five years. With NetFlix even at its lowest tier, you get the flexibility of watching movies in BD or HD DVD formats, effectively dropping the price of adoption to the cost of the player (because you’re going to rent movies, aren’t you?) <g>.

Update: Note I’ve intentionally left out the PS3 and Xbox 360 from this list. There’s an impedance mis-match in terms of adoption and cost associated with the two- do you count the overall price, or just the price of the drive (in which Xbox 360 would win hands-down at under $300).

The last point to make is about availability of content and there, your mileage may vary, though studios are doing more dual-releases now.

3 responses to “Looking at the (NetFlix and Amazon) numbers: Why Blu-Ray is losing?”

  1. good analysis there, and at the right time for everyone’s holiday purchasing.
    manual trackback: http://steven.vorefamily.net/2006/12/cost-of-viewing.html

  2. not a great analysis in my opinion..

    most frugal consumers wont buy those stand-alone bd players, when a relatively inexpensive option is available (the ps3). Also, what good is the HD-DVD drive for the 360 without a 360? of course you have to incorporate the cost when doing any compariosn. Leaving out the cost of the 360 system itself is deceptive.

    the real deal here is:

    ps3 (bd drive built ind): 599.99 or $499.99
    360 (399.99) + external hd-dvd drive (199.99) = $599.98

    in other words, they are about the same, unless you pick up the ‘light’ version of the ps3, and then it becomes a considerably cheaper option than a 360 with the HD drive.

    if you wanted to choose a high def player based on those two options, it’d obviously be a ps3. Also, nobody is going to choose an $800 dollar bd player when a $600 player is an option. Anyone who has done their research knows the ps3 is the better deal. Better than competitive bd players, and better than the 360 option for HD playback.

  3. PS3 w/o an HDMI port? That’s the big selling point no?