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Blu-ray market share on the decline?

Blu-ray players may have fallen to the $200 mark, but according to new sales numbers from Nielsen VideoScan, its market share in the video disc market has slumped in the past week.

Blu-ray players may have fallen below the $200 mark, but according to new numbers from Nielsen VideoScan, Blu-ray's market share in the video disc market has slumped in the past week. While Nielsen releases its numbers on a week-by-week basis, and a one-week decline isn't a huge deal, this could indicate a rough holiday season for Sony's hi-def format.

If you've been keeping up with us, you already know that this comes as no surprise. Except for home theater enthusiasts, most buyers are fine with the video quality (and affordability) of DVD. Factor in the floundering economy, the high cost to adopt the technology, and the number of alternatives to view video content via rental models, video-on-demand, and the Internet, and the numbers make sense.

Nielsen VideoScan's numbers show a drop to an 8 percent of the overall market--DVDs making up the other 92 percent of the market share.

Blockbuster's CFO, Thomas Casey, seems to agree with the adoption rate, saying his company "doesn't think [Blu-ray] is going to be nearly like DVD replacing VHS, and in this economy people will be slow to change out their libraries," according to an article in Home Media Magazine via TVPredictions.com

Yes, sometimes good deals can be had, including some $10 bargain discs, and at least once source predicts $10 Blu-ray titles this holiday season, but we doubt they'll be a big factor in spurring people to go Blu. What would really help is a Blu-ray player below $100, and we don't see that happening this year.

What do you think? While Blu-ray will probably never be adopted this year, is there still a future for it? Or is owning physical discs now passé--given rental services like Netflix or video downloads via devices like the Xbox 360, Apple TV, Vudu or Netflix Player by Roku--even if BD disc and player prices drop?