Wal-Mart is trying out the InstaWatch platform, which will enable customers who buy a Blu-ray disc or DVD to access a digital copy of the video on Vudu.com after scanning a receipt with a SavingsCatcher application on a mobile phone.
Andy Parsons, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association, remarked that sales of Blu-ray players are insufficient to warrant price drops, despite recent reports to the contrary. Parsons urged Blu-ray manufacturers to promote more consumer awareness to better compete against DVDs and movie downloads.
According to a study from ABI Research, only 23% of consumers surveyed planned to buy a Blu-ray player in 2009. While 50% of the respondents said the Blu-ray quality was much better than DVD, the price point for Blu-ray players remained a hindrance to adoption.
Best Buy and Netflix have announced that they stand with Blu-ray. Best Buy will promote Sony's Blu-ray format in store displays beginning in March, but it plans to continue to carry Toshiba Corp.'s HD DVD products for customers who prefer it; Netflix will carry only Blu-ray DVDs.
Pioneer's new BDC-2202 Blu-ray drive lets PC users add Blu-ray capabilities to their systems for $300. The device, which is scheduled for a June release, also includes software that can record video from camcorders directly to DVD or Blu-ray discs.