The boss of media streaming specialist Roku thinks that the Blu-ray Disc format will peak in the next year or two and that film fans will increasingly move over to a non-physical digital format for watching their content.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood gave a keynote speech at a San Francisco event called the TV of Tomorrow. “Will people use Blu-ray players in four years? I don’t think so,” he said.
According to GigaOM, Wood went on to suggest that the streaming performance on Blu-ray players does not compare to the experience on a dedicated set-top-box like the Roku. You can file that under: Well he would say that, wouldn’t he.
However, the report also says that Wood has not ruled out the possibility of a hybrid Blu-ray/Roku box as a crossover type of product in the mean time.
The article adds that Wood used his speech to present his view of the future of connected TVs, admitting that currently, most streaming happens on gaming consoles. Despite that, the chances for growth in this area may be limited. “New customers don’t go out and buy game consoles to stream video,” he said.
In the future the emphasis is likely to shift to streaming media players, such as the Roku, and Smart TVs. “Our goal is to be the dominant platform in those two segments,” said Wood.
Later this year the company plans to launch the Streaming Stick, which will build Roku box-like features into a smaller dongle for ‘non-smart’ TVs that have an MHL-enabled HDMI port.
Roku reportedly made $100 million in sales last year, the number of devices sold tripled year-on-year and its product launched in the UK; but, as GigaOM points out, Wood didn’t mention that the company missed its projected sales target by 500,000 units.
Star Wars Blu-ray Disc packaging © Lucasfilm Ltd/20th Century Fox