Bollywood Shows on Blu-ray
The Indian film marketplace, loosely called Bollywood, is now willing to embrace technology – slowly but surely. Close on the heels of some leading Hollywood studios like Sony Pictures, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, and Warner Bros, the lesser-known Eros International that focuses on Indian content has decided to distribute movies on Blu-ray high-definition discs. Its first film on Blu-ray format: Heyy Babyy. Don’t scratch your scalp; it’s a Yankee name for an Indian flick. Another recent release, Om Shanti Om, will also go the Blu-ray way. More local entertainment companies are likely to follow suit.

Blu-ray is one of the two prevailing high-definition information storage formats. The other one is HD DVD, which is mainly supported by Toshiba. But, of late, Toshiba and a few others have shown reluctance to favour the latter format. It’s thus assumed that Blu-ray will hold a near monopoly for high-definition data storage applications.

But what Blu-ray means to a consumer? Without going into the tech nitty-gritty, I’d say that a Blu-ray disc will let you store 50 GB content that is nearly six times more than your traditional DVD.

With over 500 titles on Blu-ray, U.S.A. leads the market for this format. India apparently holds a similar potential, as it has a big movie market producing nearly 1,000 films a year. However, for want of production quality, most of them won’t deserve Blu-ray storage treatment that is more suitable for quality productions. Estimates suggest that average production cost for an Indian movie is just $2 million as compared to $50 million spent on a Hollywood one.

The price-sensitive Indian consumers will not be quite willing to buy expensive Blu-ray players and discs. So the Blu-ray takeoff in India will be slow, terribly slow. Obviously, when Indian entertainment companies are planning to adopt Blu-ray disc distribution models, initially their eyes must be on diaspora – deep-pocketed Indians settled abroad. Will there be enough takers? Can’t say.

For the time being, let’s keep watching while the Blu-ray show is on.

Now, My Techbox asks:
Will storage format or content be the king?
Related Article: Pass on the popcorn


About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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