Blu-ray is a dead end tech. Demand drives down price for tech which has happened a little for BR but not enough to sell at great quantities anywhere near the DVD market. BR players are still more cost than consumers want to pay. Blank BR media costs more than consumers want to pay. The best BR players are entirely different devices as well, multi players, gaming and more.
You are in the minority with a 65" plasma (yes the largest available) and a Blu-Ray player.
Add up the total AppeTV, Roku, Boxee, Wii, PS3 and app enabled tvs all together, along with all the Android phones, iPhones, ipads and more. All of these can stream content, HD from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu. Much of this may be US based but will carry to other countries soon because it makes money. These streaming services are cheap, $8 a month vs much higher cable tv prices. People are beginning to dump cable tv services. Why be locked into a BR player when you can watch content on many devices, mobile or not.
Consumers want content now, and on whatever device. BR is simply not that desirable to the masses. It's locked to sitting in front of a TV only, whereas streaming is anywhere and anytime. Also most consumers don't care if it's 720p or 1080p. Honestly they both look great on my 42" plasma. More than good enough.
It's widely known that Sony's PlayStation 3 secured the demise of HD-DVD and the monopoly of Blu-ray. But at the same time, other tech has increased at such a fast pace that streaming became reality and only gets better. Video-philes are the market for Blu-ray, those that sit in front of big TVs with not much else to do regularly. I can take my daughter to dance and stream an HD TV show or movie, paltry 720p ;-), to an iPad while I wait. I don't care if it's 1080p, same as the overwhelming majority of consumers don't.
Verizon FiOS broadband will be upped to 150Mbps in the US next year for select areas and grow from there. Other providers will follow. Wired and wireless broadband will have more money and tech poured into them that anything BR. In a short time, years not decades, incredibly fast broadband will be the norm in most developed countries with consumer demand.
But in all fairness, I ran across this today and I think it is a wise statement, most technology runs parallel for along time before something simply goes out of fad: link
I can't really disagree with much you say. The average person who may not be an amateur photographer wouldn't even know what 720p means, and the differences between 720p and 1080i are probably insignificant.
Screen size plays a huge role here. I remember well when the HD spec was first discussed in America. Those were the days when large screen LCDs and Plasmas were not available at an affordable price. The point was made repeatedly by those arguing for the HD resolution limit to be 720p, that the advantages of 1080p would not be appreciated on a small screen without the viewer sitting far closer to the screen than most people wish to sit when viewing TV.
The 'average' person has never fully appreciated the finer points of photographic image quality. It's only people who are a little bit obsessed with image quality, like most readers of LL and similar forums, who are concerned about such matters.
I concede the point completely that other forms of storage, other than BR, are now much more affordable. I recall that I paid about A$450 for my first WD-Passport 1TB external hard drive which fits in a shirt pocket. I recently saw them reduced to A$149, probably because they are USB 2.0 devices and USB 3.0 is the new standard. I bought a couple more.
However, even though that price is amazing for 1TB of storage, it's still not cheaper than 1TB of DVD storage, but a lot more convenient of course.
The economics of pricing seems generally rather obscure to me. I had hoped that BR would make the DVD obsolete, or a legacy medium. A blu-ray disc, dual layer on both sides, has the potential to store 200GB of data. I don't understand why every new computer sold does not come with a Blu-ray burner as standard, apart from that obvious explanation that the average consumer doesn't place much value on high picture quality.
By the way, the 65" plasma TV I bought a year ago has since dropped in value quite considerably. I could buy it today for a couple of thousand less. Perhaps the high price of large screens is inhibiting the popularity of Blu-ray.
I have to say, this large screen plasma is superb for slide shows of my images downsampled to 6MB in 8 bit, then jpeg compressed to 2-3MB. I get superb detail and resolution from a 'normal' TV viewing distance.