In a growing era of digital media readily available on streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, HiDIVE, VRV, Crunchyroll, Netflix, and probably a thousand others that I glossed over, physical media is becoming less and less in demand. Sure, there are those purists out there who live and die by physical media (me being one of them) but the reality is that we are heading towards an all-digital future. As the internet gets faster, storage gets cheaper, and quality gets better, it’s an inevitability.
Samsung stated on Friday that due to lackluster Blu-ray sales, it sees the writing on the wall and ceases production on their line of Blu-ray players here in the U.S. Samsung last introduced a 4K Blu-ray player back in 2017 but released no new models last year and any models they planned for 2019 have been scrapped.
Samsung isn’t the first company to do this; however. OPPO Digital made a similar announcement in April 2018 that they would slow down and halt production of new products as well. As digital sales continue to outperform physical media, this should be the beginning of the trend where DVDs and Blu-rays go the way of Betamax and VHS.
Just goes to show that times are changing and digital is pretty much bullying optical media. It’s easier to deal with, takes up physical space, and provides instant gratification. Now that Samsung has thrown in the towel, it kind of makes you wonder what company is going to follow suit.
Though, I won’t worry about the status of Blu-ray just yet. The market is still viable and while everyone is screaming digital from the top of their lungs, there’s still a quality issue to deal with. Digital simply can’t match most HD and UltraHD physical formats, at least not yet. We’re talking lots of bandwidth and at in the West, we deal with broadband caps on a constant basis. However, I doubt this going to be true in the near future.
Ain’t technology progress just grand?