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Worldwide pre-recorded Blu-ray video disc production is on track to exceed 400 million units in 2010, an increase of nearly 60% compared with 2009, according to a new research report from Futuresource Consulting. Moving forward the research firm expects to see continued expansion in BD video production volumes and annual global output is projected to reach two billion discs by 2014. With PS3 titles, BD production volumes will get even higher.

“As a result of this output expansion, BD capacity utilisation will hit nearly 80% in the U.S. during Q4 of this year and 75% in Europe. This is about as high as it can comfortably get, and given the continued market expansion expected over the next few years, which is being driven by growing player ownership and falling disc prices, the industry will need to invest further in 2011 to prevent peak quarter disc shortages,” said Michael Boreham, senior consultant disc manufacturing and storage media at Futuresource.

Production quantities are boosted by the continued pipeline fill and infrastructure requirements. Studios remain committed to maintaining inventory levels to ensure demand can be met in a growing market and retailers are keen to maintain a good level of copy depth in store, to strongly promote BD and eliminate out-of-stocks and lost sales.

The firm claims that the market of Blu-ray 3D (BD 3D) will only start its significant growth sometimes in 2012. The consultants indicate that bundled movies that are sold with stereo-3D TVs or shutter glasses are already boosting demand towards the S3D technology.

“Bundling discs with hardware is also a factor, and the launch of 3D BD titles has added extra importance to this. As 3D is ideally suited to the BD delivery platform, this is clearly a long-term opportunity for the industry to further sustain consumer interest in packaged entertainment media. From 2012 we are going to see very strong demand for 3D content, which will fuel additional growth. A number of bundled exclusives are already boosting demand from this sector, such as ‘Avatar’ with Panasonic displays or ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ with Samsung displays,” said Fiona Hoy, market analyst at Futuresource.

Tags: Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Stereo 3D

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