Is this the end of physical media?
Korean company Samsung has just announced that it will be ceasing the production of Blu-ray players – at least in the United States. This may be due to the fact that streaming media along with the lower cost of internet connections is making users move to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime as opposed to buying physical media.
Samsung’s current 4K Blu-ray player was released in 2017. Even when CES 2019 happened last month, there was noticeably no showcase of any new players. Instead, new TVs with built-in services like iTunes were announced.
Home theater users would obviously prefer the physical medium, but not everyone, of course, can afford thousands of dirhams to purchase receivers, speakers and players. This is why the popularity of streaming services is on the rise. With Netflix, you can pay a subscription and stream as many movies and TV shows as you want, and you can watch it on a TV, phone, tablet, computer – wherever, whenever.
The news follows Oppo’s announcement that it will bow out of the Blu-ray player market last year.
While it may look like the fate of Blu-ray is uncertain, global adoption for the medium is just starting to soar especially with the lower cost of players and TVs that support it. Also note that other countries don’t have a faster connection and bigger bandwidth to accommodate a decent streaming service, hence physical media is still the best option.