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Samsung: Blu-ray Has Five Years Left, OLED the Next Big Thing

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 22 comments

Since the launch of the format, Samsung has been one of the pioneers of Blu-ray Disc player hardware. But oddly enough, the company believes that Blu-ray Disc will have a much shorter life span than DVD.

Despite having been mostly on the winning side of the high-definition format war, Samsung believes that Blu-ray Disc will only have about five years left in it.

"I think it [Blu-ray] has 5 years left, I certainly wouldn’t give it 10," said Andy Griffiths, director of consumer electronics at Samsung UK, to Pocket-lint.

At the current moment, though, Blu-ray Disc sales are brisk for the Korean electronics manufacturer. "It’s going to be huge," said Griffiths. "We are heavily back-ordered at the moment."

Strangely, Samsung believes that the next big thing after Blu-ray Disc for the company won’t be another media format, but rather a new generation of television technology – specifically OLED displays.

Samsung claims that its OLED technology is ready, but is being held back from market due to high manufacturing costs. "We will launch the OLED technology when it’s at a price that will be appealing to the consumer, unfortunately that’s not yet," explained Griffiths, adding that 2010 might be the year OLED starts hitting mainstream. "It’s gonna be big, but at the moment it’s a great story, not commercial, product."

While there is little debate that OLED is an exciting avenue for the future of displays, it does seem a little odd that Samsung is putting its faith in a display technology, while showing pessimism for a media format that could provide content for such OLED products.

Regardless, five years is a ways off for Samsung’s product cycle, and in the meantime it will focus on selling more Blu-ray Disc players and rolling out LED backlit LCDs.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2008 7:02 PM
    they are probably thinking that there will be no need for this kind of phsicall devices. if there will be the posibility to rent movies direct from an online media center where's the need for blue-ray discs or any other kind. 5 years might be to short for stuff like this to become main stream, but I see it happening in 10 years.
  • -1 Hide
    bdollar , September 3, 2008 7:05 PM
    i agree that is probably what they are thinking but it would have been nice if the article said it. I have never read an article where they say something has a limited amount of time left without talking about what will take its place. odd.
  • 0 Hide
    maximiza , September 3, 2008 7:39 PM
    I don't belive it. You can't trade, lend to a friend, or resale downloads. The download business model is a suckers deal. You can still sell old vinyl LP's for cash but with downloads you will need a 10 terabyte media server in your house with a 10 jigawatt room cooler so all you storage ram wont overheat.
  • 0 Hide
    jwclark , September 3, 2008 8:07 PM
    Who said anything about storing everything at home? Comcast already offers movies on Demand. That's not the same as owning a movie, but it's really only a step away. Granted there are problems with the idea but nothing 5-10 years can't fix. It could also fit in with the idea of cloud computing. You can watch any of the movies that you 'own' on any computer or TV.
  • 0 Hide
    NAXDON , September 3, 2008 8:13 PM
    The next big thing: Digital media. Not blu-ray. So that could be understandable why he is saying 5 more years for the blu-ray medium. But for now, thats just a prediction.
  • 2 Hide
    shakumdown , September 3, 2008 8:29 PM
    This article appears to be written with a different title in mind, such as "Samsung: Blu-ray will be prime revenue generator for the next Five Years, but OLED will be the Next Big Thing!"

    Also, 10 terabyte media servers in homes are not uncommon, I currently have a 12 terabyte media server in my garage...

    PS. DVD, CD, & Blu-ray are all Digital media, they are disc versions of portable media storage, where as flash memory are more compact versions of portable storage for digital content.
  • 1 Hide
    grieve , September 3, 2008 8:31 PM
    5 years is unrealistic…

    How many people still own a VHS? Almost everyone I know has a VHS and a DVD player or combo… I personally have a blue ray (ps3) but don’t buy disks as they are too pricey, im still a normal DVD guy.

    I honestly even wonder if blue-ray will take over for DVD… everyone seems to have a large collection of DVD’s and lets face it there not going to break anytime soon.

    I do think one day universal and whoever else will say “ok, no more disks… everything is pay per view downloads” but we will still find a way to burn them to a removable media of some sort (blue ray).
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , September 3, 2008 9:25 PM
    Considering how sophisticated Korea's Internet Infrastructure is, I can see why they would imagine Blu-Ray to go obsolete, and all discs for that matter. With fast internet speeds there is little need for them.
  • 1 Hide
    Pei-chen , September 3, 2008 10:29 PM
    jwclarkWho said anything about storing everything at home? Comcasthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast already offers movies on Demand. That's not the same as owning a movie, but it's really only a step away. Granted there are problems with the idea but nothing 5-10 years can't fix. It could also fit in with the idea of cloud computing. You can watch any of the movies that you 'own' on any computer or TV.

    Does it count towards the 250GB monthly cap?
  • 0 Hide
    Nik_I , September 3, 2008 10:45 PM
    i think that it's not specifically blu-ray that's going to die in 5 years, but more likely optical discs altogether. they seem to have somewhat lost their purpose.
  • 0 Hide
    Heyyou27 , September 3, 2008 10:59 PM
    Time Warner has offered video on demand for years, but they're constantly adding and removing content, so any movie or show you see on demand now will most likely be gone within a month or so.
  • 1 Hide
    joex444 , September 3, 2008 11:07 PM
    @NAXDON

    Are you arguing that Blu Ray is not digital media? I would say that blu ray is an optical media containing digital versions of movies (which are commonly filmed on actual film, an analog media). That is what VC1/H.264, Dolby, DTS are -- digital.

    Oh, and clearly from this article the implication was that OLED displays ship with all the movies built in.
  • 1 Hide
    biohazard420420 , September 4, 2008 12:46 AM
    I for one hope we never move away form some sort of physical media for movies, music I am a bit more abivilient about as most of my music is stored on my pc, I have 250 cd's in a binder but close to 5,000 cd's worth of music on my pc if not more which of course I can always burn to a cd. I like having a physical item for my movies so as has been said millions of times before you can lend them to a friend of family member or take with you on a trip (who actually watches whole movies on pmp's anyway) Something physical implies ownership more so to a person than a screen saying on you own this computer file but you can only do with it what we feel like letting you.
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 4, 2008 3:46 AM
    What kind of silly story is this what does OLED have to do with movies on media its just a display, if you read the article its like saying dvd's sales are going to die because lcd monitors are now out?.

    I think digital format will be the standard in 3 years HD streaming video and there are players out already that can do that.

    http://www.tvix.co.kr/Eng/products/HDM6500A.aspx
  • 0 Hide
    Neog2 , September 4, 2008 4:04 AM
    Holographic Storage Samsung knows that people will get highly
    pissed when they realize that they spent tons of money on the so
    called true Hi-Def 1080p tv's and 1600p 2560*1600 tv's will be
    out pretty soon. Some this year even. Then closely followed by
    2k tv's and hey alot of movies are filmed at 4k and there where
    a few 4k workable models at some shows this year.

    Blu-Ray is awesome but when those tv's come out. People will wont
    to watch something at that res. And even though blu-ray has a
    fair amount of storage space, it doesnt even compare to the
    storage compacties of Holographic Disks.
  • 0 Hide
    SuckRaven , September 4, 2008 7:17 AM
    I think a download model would eventually be feasible. Eventually, when everyone has a T1 or T3 connection in the home, or fiberoptic. More importantly however, I think once you "pay per view" for let's say a movie, you should be able to view that same movie again and again anytime you want, without having to re-pay for the same movie.

    If this causes a problem for the online movie rental provider or whichever ISP they partner with because you're using their bandwith for the "same content" then tough noogies. They need a different business model to address this type of redundancy, or else people will never truly want to adopt the streaming method and get away from owning physical media. I mean F*cking A!!! People just want to use the s*it that they have paid for in whatever way is pleasing to them. What if auto makers were to tell you when and where and how to use their vehicles because wait...wait...you don't really "own" anything, but instead are 'licensing' the use of the car from them. DRM on audio has already showed us painfully enough that it is a terrible idea to limit people in this manner, which is exactly why online music download stores are moving away from the DRM model, but it took way too long, and probably should never have been implemented in the first palce. (Now if only they would make songs available in an uncompressed format such as .wav, I may start using such a service. Good luck with that iTunes =)
    Of course, to throw a monkey wrench into the whole mess, friggin' Comshaft has to come along and cap data transfers to 250GB/month. Just think how fast even an average joe can exceed this limit when he starts streaming movies all the time, not to mention YouTube videos, torrents, other downloads/uploads etc. And the sad part about it is, it's highly likely that the other ISPs will follow suit and introduce some similarly lame-ass restrictions. But I digress...

    Bottom line is, if the consumer is happy, they have done something right, but how often does such a thing go over without a hitch?
  • 0 Hide
    Erdrick , September 4, 2008 10:30 AM
    Does anyone actually OWN a blu-ray player? Other than the PS3 of course...
  • 0 Hide
    silversound , September 4, 2008 6:13 PM
    I dunt get this guy, maybe just trying to advertise on the sales of Samsung LCD TV as demand is going down a bit. Whose going to buy OLED TV while they got LCD TV or PLASMA already? Does not make sense, the look and dimension of OLED TV almost the same as LCD.
    OLED TV probably be lighter, but upgrade from PLASMA is not worth it in the future while PLASMAS is not that heavy
  • 0 Hide
    SuckRaven , September 5, 2008 3:57 AM
    I think part of the problem too, is that as technological advances happen more and more rapidly, the useful life of perfectly nice, acceptable hardware gets less and less as new products are launched more frequently.

    Think of how long VHS was a standard before CD and then DVD came to replace it. By the same token, DVDs have been around seemingly for ever, but certainly not as long as VHS. The problem with blu-ray having any real staying power is that the rate of useful technological advances will supercede it's longevity rather quickly; faster than DVD replaced VHS for example. So in a couple of years 20 layer TB discs, or holographic storage may start making an appearance, cutting into blu-ray disc's permanence.

    Anyways, as scientific advancements breed a non-linear increase in product launches, each new generation of products will have a shorter useful lifespan before being replaced by something newer, and possibly better.

    To give another example, your old CRT TV may have served you well for 10-15 years, or if not one particular TV set, at least that type of technology; while by the time many households upgrade to LCD or Plasma today, it may already be yesterday's news with the advent of OLED.

    Then there's the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, that further shortens perfectly useful products' lifespan.

    Who knows...maybe this is exactly the reason that they "just don't build them like they used to"...as in why the hell would manufacturers actually use sturdy long-lasting components to make long-lasting products, when mob-mentality tells us to upgrade quicker and quicker every year.

    Damn...there would be one way of going green...make products that last for more than 2-3 years again...we'd save a ton on electronic waste. damn I love writing when slightly inebriated...k peeps. I'm outy...
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , September 5, 2008 5:05 PM
    Well there never will be fast internet connections to parsely populated areas. It's not economically wice solution. In many rular areas 300-400 MB is considered guite fast connection speed, but you really don't upload movies with it! In town and density populated areas there seems to be no speed limit, but that does not solve the problem.

    And I really want to "own" physical copy of those "movies" that I like, or CD for music or what ever. It may be so that blue ray will be replased with better media, but I don't think that we will be without some physical media in any time soon.
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