Market Watch

Increase in Interoperable Blu-ray Players



The number of Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified Blu-ray Disc (BD) players nearly doubled in the first half of 2010, according to the group. The group's 245 members, which include consumer electronics (CE), computer and mobile device manufacturers alongside component and software developers, now produce 105 DLNA certified BD enabled devices. The DLNA seeks to promote interoperability between CE devices through establishing industry standards.

Analysis
The increase in the number of BD playback devices from a broader spectrum of CE manufacturers is a clear indicator that the BD hardware market has matured beyond the immediate core of BD supporting manufacturers. The introduction of a greater number of machines from less well known producers, competing on price rather than branding, is a necessary step if BD is to grow past its current higher-end consumer niche. Indeed, such a trend was the hallmark of the expansion of DVD into mass market availability. The figure also indicates a greater recognition on the part of hardware manufacturers that BD-enabled devices need to offer more than simple BD playback. These interoperable BD devices act as entertainment hubs as well as being BD players, compensating for the format's notable absence of a compelling and consistent point of difference to its immediate predecessor.

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