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Predictions for the New Year

7 Jan, 2007 By: Stephanie Prange

I'm going to look into my crystal ball and predict a few things for the new year. I think many market forces that folks were hoping would come to fruition in 2006 may actually reach a critical mass this year.

Still, if I'm wrong, please be kind when 2008 rolls around.

1. High-def disc sales will take off — finally — as players and HDTVs proliferate and the changeover to high-def broadcasts in 2009 draws closer.

2. Blu-ray will be the winner of the high-def war based on slow, but steady penetration of players, including Sony's PlayStation 3, and hardware from consumer electronics manufacturers Sony, Samsung, Pioneer and others.

3. DVD will continue to hold its own as consumers buy and rent a strong slate of hits. No longer hampered by the VHS demise, DVD will show itself to be a resilient video medium.

4.Digital delivery of movies will continue to be hyped, but actual profit for the studios will remain elusive.

5. The home entertainment movie business, in all its iterations — packaged media, HD media, cable VOD and digital delivery — will make for an increased pie for the studios.

6. Current fascination with home video on YouTube and MySpace will dwindle as folks realize that it's just “America's Funniest Home Videos” on the Internet.

I know it's a rosy outlook for the video market, but I've got a feeling that DVD will stay strong and the HD missteps of 2006 could fade as 2007's successes erase the memory of hardware and software delays in years past. One thing is for sure: There is no better way to see an HD movie than on a well-produced disc in 1080p on a 1080p player.

Here's hoping consumers who flocked to retailers this past holiday season to buy cheap HDTVs will see it the same way.

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