Samsung UK exec: Blu-ray's got five years to live

An official with one of the format's principal supporting companies gives it a rather short life span, saying another technology would replace it.

If Samsung UK consumer electronics chief Andy Griffiths is correct, the format would have spent only seven years as a commercially viable format. Compare this to DVD, which has been available to consumers for well over a decade.

The comments also seem to be a delayed echo of the sentiment Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed nine months ago, when he said his company would begin to transition its primarily physical media-based business to that of one that focuses on downloadable content.

He, like Griffiths, gave disc-based media about five years before it ceases to be the dominant method of delivery. Likewise, many content providers have already enacted a shift favoring pure data.

Griffiths seems to suggest that streaming media is likely set to usurp Blu-ray in the near future. He pointed to the fact that download services are gaining in popularity, and the company is instead focusing on televisions as its revenue driver.

Samsung is looking to OLED technology, which promises to bring extremely thin televisions which produce more accurate and true-to-life contrast and color. Right now manufacturing costs are preventing mass production.

No doubt, along with these televisions, the company is also improving the Internet connectivity functions. Thus, Samsung may be precipitating Blu-ray's decline unintentionally by enabling the technologies that many believe will be its downfall.

"In 2012 we will be in a true HD world. Everything from your television to your camcorder will be offering you pictures in high-definition, and we plan to offer you that HD world from all angles," he told UK technology publication Pocket-Lint.

Griffiths is by no means the first to suggest that the format may be crippled. Since Blu-ray "won" the format war following CES 2008, analysts have repeatedly said the battle with HD DVD may have permanent hurt the format.

With nearly two years of back and forth between the two sides, seemingly prolonged and antagonized by Microsoft, it may have given enough time for alternatives, such as streaming, to become viable.

In fact, some have suggest that one of Microsoft's reasons for supporting HD DVD was to prolong the battle while it developed streaming HD on its own.

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