MUMBAI: The Gen-X home video viewing formats – Blu-Ray and HD (high definition) DVDs are stirring up quite a storm in
In the ongoing clash between the two formats, Warner Bros. recently switched gears from HD to Blu-Ray technology, thus implicating that Warnerâ€™s home video collection will now be available on VCD, DVD and Blu-Ray discs.
Along with Warner, other studios such as Sony Pictures, Fox, Disney and Lionsgate are also supporting the Blu-Ray format, which then leaves only
The most evident differences between the two formats are that Blu-Ray provides a storage space of 50 GB and an HD DVD provides 30 GB. This makes the quality of a Blu-Ray disc better than that of HD. Secondly HD DVD is available at lower price points.
Blu-Ray and HD market for Hollywood movies in India
While some Hollywood films in Blu-Ray are being sold in
This makes Sony is the only company in
Planet M general manager merchandising Navin Savla says, â€œWe take approximately 100 copies from Sony and the sales are limited to one unit per store. The response is not encouraging mainly because the prices are too high. If the movies are made available for approximately Rs 800, then chances are this market may grow.â€
At present, Sony has priced
Blu-Ray and HD market for Bollywood movies in India
Currently no Bollywood movie is available on either Blu-Ray or HD format. But January end or beginning of February will mark Eros Internationalâ€™s entry, with the launch of Heyy Babyy on Blu-Ray format.
Erosâ€™ assistant vice president home entertainment Girish Kumar says, â€œHeyy Babyy will be our first title to roll out on Blu-Ray. We are planning to launch approximately 500 units in
This means that the units of Bollywoodâ€™s first Blu-Ray movie in
When Businessofcinema.com queried Planet Mâ€™s Savla on whether they were open to stocking Blu-Ray format Bollywood movies in their stores despite a poor initial response, he says, â€œWe have to sell anything that is supposed to be sold. But the return on investments is very low.â€
Gradual adapters/importers of Blu-Ray and HD technology
Currently, Sony is the only supplier of this next-generation home video technology. Very soon Eros International will follow suit. So Blu-Ray has already sown seeds in
Companies like Saregama, Excel and BIG Music and Home Entertainment, which have home video distribution licenses of
Saregama and Excel will start importing the Blu-Ray discs and HD DVDs this year, but BIG Music and Home Entertainment and Moser Baer are still resistant to the new format.
Excel Home Entertainment managing director Muslim Kapasi opines, “Blu-Ray is winning the war and HD will ultimately die. Both formats cannot co-exist for home viewing.” Excel has home video licenses for Fox and Disney. Continued… < Page Break >
Resistance to change
BIG Music and Home Entertainment CEO Kulmeet Makkar says that the company has no immediate plans to either import or put its own movies on the new formats. Makkar reasons, â€œWe have the license from Universal, which supports HD technology. Since HD players are not even available in
He further adds, â€œAlthough HD is more affordable, Blu-Ray is more technically sound. But BIG does still does not find it viable to release local content on Blu-Ray.â€
Optical disc giant Moser Baer, which has created a stir the home video market by its low priced VCDs and DVDs, does not support these technologies. Moser Baer Entertainment CEO Harish Dayani says, “Blu-Ray will not work in
Moser Baer has its own manufacturing plants and technology to produce VCDs and DVDs and it is working diligently at expanding the home video market with this technology itself.
The DVD market itself is in a nascent stage in
When queried about the potential growth in this format market Muthuram says, “It is too early to predict growth. Only when the local language movies release in this format, will the market grow.”
Companies like LG and Samsung have released players for the new technology but they are priced high with an HD player costing as much as $299 (Rs 11,661), Blu-Ray player $399 (Rs 15,561) and a Dual player (that plays HD as well as Blu-Ray) $799 (Rs 31,161). These price points are way too high by all standards for mass acceptance in the Indian market.
Currently, there is no clarity on the growth on Blu-Ray in