Blu-ray may have won the format war over HD-DVD, but how long will that victory last? According to Samsung UK director of consumer electronics Andy Griffiths, not as long as Sony may have been expecting. In a recent interview with site Pocket-Lint, Griffiths said, "I think it (Blu-ray) has 5 years left, I certainly wouldn't give it 10."
Instead, Griffiths sees direct digital distribution as the future of video formats, and with the growing popularity of streaming content and the popularity of distribution services such as Apple's iTunes store, it's not hard to imagine a completely digital future.
And what a digital future it will be. Digital distribution is cheaper, both to put out and for us as the consumers. And while there are risks involved with losing your movies if anything happens to your computer, there's still the option to back-up your digital films on a physical disc if you feel the need. But I think Griffiths is still being too optimistic for Blu-ray, because digital distribution is already here, and it's a constantly growing market. Given the still high cost of Blu-ray discs, I'd say two or three years is a more reasonable estimate before digital distribution swallows the disc market.