Sony in the blu as HD demand proves healthy

18 Apr 2008

There are now over 340,000 high-definition-(HD) ready flat screen TV sets in Ireland, according to Sony Ireland general manager, Sushil Teji, which he said makes the country a potentially lucrative market for the company’s Blu-ray technologies.

Speaking at the launch of Sony’s latest Blu-ray devices in Dublin yesterday, Teji said that in addition to early adopters of Blu-ray players, over 110,000 Sony PlayStation 3 games consoles have been sold in Ireland to date which come with Blu-ray capabilities.

In a confrontation akin to the Betamax versus VHS war of the Eighties, which Sony lost, the company emerged victorious last month over rival Toshiba when Time Warner decamped to support Sony’s Blu-ray HD DVD standard over Toshiba’s HD DVD standard.

Blu-ray discs hold more data than traditional DVDs, with a single-layer disc being capable of holding up to 25GB of data and a double-layer disc capable of holding up to 50GB of data. This compares to the storage ability of 10 recordable DVDs.

Some 170 major entertainment and technology firms now support the Blu-ray standard, including Disney, Fox, Philips, Pioneer, Warner Brothers and Paramount.

Sony said from 1 May, its BDP-S300 Blu-ray player will drop in price from €499 to €399. A higher-end BDP-S500 model will retail for €899.

“With over 110,000 homes already served with Blu-ray, Ireland will see this number increase steadily as Blu-Ray is driven out to be included in laptop and desktop computers,” Teji said.

He added that he was nonchalant about the potential threat of broadband-based video downloads to the Blu-ray standard. “Downloading is not the end of the disc format. There are areas of Ireland where you can’t get broadband and in the places you can, the quality just isn’t good enough.

“The Blu-ray format is here to stay for some time,” Teji concluded.

By John Kennedy