German Blu-ray boom set to continue in 2011

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2010 was a great year for German Blu-ray fans.

TV broadcasters switched to HD, the 3D home theatre revolution began, and Blu-ray Discs continued to surge forward, with new figures showing that 12 million Blu-ray Discs were sold last year – almost double the previous year’s figure.

The country is certainly embracing the advances in 3D home theatre too. German consumers bought 178,000 3D TVs from summer 2010 until the end of the year. This year that is set to increase as movies like Pirates of the Caribbean IV, Animals United and Gulliver’s Travels all make their Blu-ray 3D debut.

EITO (the European Information Technology Observatory) expects a record 9.8 million HD flat screen TVs to be sold in Germany this year, with many expected to opt for a 3D ready model when upgrading from their old set. 3D Blu-ray player sales are also set to grow. Last year half of the players were 3D-ready and this year that figure has already risen to 80%.

For more information on the German market, visit www.bluraydisc.de.

Blu-ray shines in Germany

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New figures from the German division of GfK have shown that Blu-ray has had another successful year in the region.

According to Gfk, every tenth disc sold in Germany in the first half of 2010 was a Blu-ray Disc. Compared to the same period in 2009, this represents year-on-year growth of 127%.

3D home entertainment has also taken off since being the main attraction at this year’s IFA exhibition. 53,000 3DTVs were sold in Germany by the end of September, with GfK forecasting total sales of 150,000 by the end of the year. The market is expected to grow further in 2011 as more Blu-ray 3D movies become available.

“We expect to achieve double-digit million sales by the end of this year, doubling the 6.2 million BDs sold in 2009. We also expect sales of standalone BD players to be greater than one million,” said Kai Uwe Marner, chairman of the Blu-ray Group Germany. “It will be very exciting to see how the market will further grow next year, especially in regard to Blu-ray 3D.”

The German language press release can be read here.

Blu-ray Group Germany announces new chairman

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Kai Uwe MarnerKai Uwe Marner has become the new chairman of the Blu-ray Group Germany, taking over from Thilo Röhrig. Röhrig, who held the role of chairman since the group’s formation in 2007, oversaw Blu-ray Disc’s success over the competing format HD DVD.

“Blu-ray has gained real fans in the home cinema sector and has become well known in general. But a lot of people still do not know about all advantages of the technology”, says Marner. “Education and information remain the central tasks of the Blu-ray Group Germany.” With home entertainment in 3D and growing professional usage of the format using BDXL, further challenges are waiting. “The standard’s constant development opens up quite new perspectives – on the market and regarding consumer education. I am looking forward to the upcoming tasks as chairman, because the technology’s potential has still not been exhausted.”

Marner answers more questions about the current market development below.

What are the current sales figures of BD software and hardware?
The consumer can now choose between over 2,000 different Blu-ray titles in Germany. In the first half of the year about five million BDs were sold in Germany (source: GfK) and at the end of 2010 we are expecting overall BD sales to hit an eight-figure number. The hardware market is developing equally well. We are expecting an increase in sales of 170 percent this year.

3D is the main topic at IFA 2010. Does 3D home entertainment have the potential to strengthen the Blu-ray market or is it just a temporary trend?  
3D home entertainment is directly connected to the Blu-ray technology. At the moment only Blu-ray Disc offers enough space to deliver 3D content in HD quality to the consumers’ living rooms. It is a revolutionary extension of the technology.

The first sales figures and surveys show a very high consumer interest. Since March already 40,000 3D TVs were sold (source: BITKOM) in Germany and we expect a six-digit sale by the end of the year. According to an up to date survey by BITKOM, a further 16 million German customers are planning to buy a 3D TV.

Prices for Blu-ray 3D players are already affordable, starting at a point less than 250 Euros. Furthermore the players are downwardly compatible, so they also playback CDs, DVDs or 2D Blu-ray Discs. Blu-ray 3D Discs also often contain a 2D version of the film and can be read by a 2D Blu-ray player too. That is why we are convinced that the 3D technology will become a long-term trend.

Which problems do you see for the Blu-ray 3D market at the moment?
The assortment of devices and content is still low, but that’s normal for any newly introduced technology. With the customers’ increasing demand the diversity will rise automatically. We are expecting a dozen 3D movies on BD in Germany by the end of the year.

Don’t you think the customers are maybe overstrained by this new innovation in the home entertainment sector?
No, I don’t think so. The success of 3D theatrical experience has helped to increase the awareness of 3D home entertainment. According to BITKOM almost one of three Germans is interested in three-dimensional movie experiences at home. Of course it is an important task of the Blu-ray Group Germany now to educate and inform the consumers about the advantages and specifics of the technology.

Blu-ray awareness increasing in Germany

The perception that Blu-ray is the new standard in home entertainment is spreading, with a new German survey finding that 91 per cent of video buyers understand Blu-ray to be the best way to bring high definition pictures to a home cinema.

The survey by GfK demonstrates that awareness of the Blu-ray format has spread beyond technology fans and into the mainstream. In addition, feedback from those who already have a BD player is extremely positive, with 98 per cent either satisfied or very satisfied with the experience. Of this group, 70 per cent want to solely or mainly buy Blu-ray Discs in the future. “The more that consumers know about Blu-ray, the more they cherish it,” said Thilo Röhrig, Chairman of the Blu-ray Group Germany.

To see full details of the research, click here for the press release.

Now is the perfect time for Blu-ray in Germany

Thilo Röhrig, chairman of the Blu-ray Group Germany, has used recent market statistics to underline why there has never been a better time for German consumers to make the jump to Blu-ray.

Hardware manufacturers sold four times as many Blu-ray Disc players in Germany in 2009 than they did in 2008, with Futuresource Consulting expecting further growth this year. Falling prices have also played a major role in the expansion of the market and the growth in the format’s popularity. “Blu-ray players and discs are so affordable now that the investment is worth it for anyone who enjoys movies,” said Röhrig. “With prices starting at €100, nobody need buy outdated technology anymore.”

Sales of discs have also increased as prices have fallen. According to BVV Medien, the average price of a Blu-ray Disc in Germany in 2009 was €19, 25 percent lower than the average in the previous year. “Demand for Blu-ray Discs reached a new dimension in 2009,” continues Röhrig. “6.2 million discs sold represents an increase of 274 percent compared to 2008.”

You can hear more from Thilo Röhrig in the German language press release.

Germany embraces Blu-ray

As was noted in last month’s Futuresource report, the German Blu-ray Disc market is among the strongest in Europe.

The Futuresource statistics have been backed up by market insight from the GfK Consumer Panel, which found that sales in the first three quarters were quadruple that of the same period in 2008. Part of that growth can be attributed to the wide range of BD players (now over 150 models) on the market.

With the Christmas period now underway, sales are predicted to rise further as retailers continue to push the format and prices of both players and discs fall. Festive promotions, including ones like this from supermarket chain ALDI, are increasingly offering Profile 2.0 players at prices close to €100, with many discs available for less than €15.

With HD TV broadcasts also set to increase in Germany in 2010, the success of high definition in the country looks assured.

Blu-ray Disc: Best choice for film and music enthusiasts

Research revealed by Munich-based msm-studios and the online platform www.bluray-disc.de shows that Blu-ray Disc outdoes the classic DVD when it comes to acoustic experiences – taking away the need to rely on different gadgets to experience the pure pleasure of the music.

The Pure Audio Blu-ray in 5.1 DTS-HD Master represents the future of music enjoyment. The system allows multi-channel sound, which turns a home cinema into an acoustic sensation.

The exceptional studio surround sound quality means Blu-ray Disc players are not only ideal for film and music enthusiasts but are the audio system of choice for consumers who don’t own surround sound systems.


Blu-ray Disc Reporter


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