Online video to overtake disc viewing this year
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Online video to overtake disc viewing this year

The new Apple TV's 1080p support may not quite match Blu-ray quality, but it may be good enough for most folks. Especially as online video will overtake DVD and Blu-ray disc viewing this year, according to a new study by industry analysts at iHS (

In 2012 Americans will pay to consume 3.4 billioni movies online, per the research group. This equates to over one billion movies per year than are consumed on DVD and Blu-ray combined. iHS says this "puts the final nail in the old idea that consumers won't accept premium content distributed online."

The principal driver of this surge in consumption was the growth in Netflix's digital subscribers, and the corresponding change in movie consumption towards something more TV-like along. Nevertheless the growth of online SVOD (streaming video on demand) does create some potential concerns going forward, notes iHS. As consumers are greeted with a deep catalogue of content to watch, there is a very real chance that they may not feel the need to maintain the same level of incremental spending on home entertainment.

However, Telecompetitor (, an telecom industry consulting company, saysAmericans watched only 1.4 billion movies from online sources last year. Online consumption will have to increase by more than 135% to reach iHS' goal, notes the "IDG News Service."

But don't count the physical disc out just yet. As IDG notes, as of last fall, Blu-ray sales were still growing. But with online viewing growing faster, those rumors of an "iTV" and an iMac/television combo seem more likely every day.

-- Dennis Sellers

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