Blu-ray to Become Red Hot?

Avatar is about to do for Blu-ray what it did for 3D while the plummeting prices of Blu-ray players is poised to make the HD format as affordable as DVD.

The biggest-grossing movie in history bows here on Blu-ray Wednesday amid reports it has become the fastest-selling Blu-ray disc ever and the top-selling Blu-ray of all time, having sold 2.7 million copies in HD over the first four days of its North American release.

Although DVD sales still outstripped the Blu-ray — four million — the home entertainment industry is confident the format will go mainstream. Early European sales justify this, with the movie selling 400,000 units on DVD and Blu-ray in France, which was a record launch, and topping German charts, while in NZ The Warehouse is picking it as the year’s biggest seller.

A special edition due in November, and the 3D version a few months later, will benefit from Blu-ray hardware prices rivaling that of popular DVD players. Leading the way will be Panasonic, which soon will launch a budget model for $299, one of three Blu-ray players it will market in NZ, along with two portable models, a Blu-ray recorder with a 500GB hard drive and a 3D Blu-ray player.

Meanwhile, CNET.com has just posted a review of the Avatar Blu-ray using a Samsung TV that converts 2D to 3D and concludes the pseudo technology “needs a lot more work”.

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