Scenarist Says Packaged Media is Far from Dead

Scenarist is a company that develops packaged media authoring tools to help with the authoring, replication and distribution of DVDs, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. At NAB 2018, they told us that DVDF and Blu-ray disc sales are actually stable, not declining as many have reported. This is the information they are hearing form the studios and authoring facilities they interact with.

In fact, they say DVDs are on a bit of a comeback – so much so, that they recently upgrade their DVD authoring tool set to streamline the process due to customer demand. DVDs are very inexpensive to produce and every household probably has three or more players if they think about it (players, PCs, consoles, in car, etc.). Box sets of content from OTT services have become quite popular as DVD or Blu-ray options, according to the company.

Sales of Ultra HD Blu-ray players should reach an installed base of 4.5M units by the end of 2018. If you compare this to the second year in the DVD player roll out, Ultra HD Blu-ray is ahead of the curve. Six out of every ten TVs are now bundled with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and sales of Blu-ray titles should reach 15.3M units in 2018. In Japan, Blu-ray recordable devices are very popular.


Scenarist is also enthusiastic about authoring of Blu-ray titles using Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata. Both profiles have been approved by the Blu-ray Disc Association and Scenarist tools now support authoring of both formats.

At NAB, Scenarist was there to proclaim that the HDR10+ authoring capabilities are now in place. Mastering tools like Transkoder from ColorFront can create the HDR10+ metadata and encapsulate it in a JSON file. The Ateme’s TITAN encoder can now accept the JSON file and embed the metadata in the HEVC encode for the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. Authoring tools for the disc are now in place at Deluxe as well. Senarist expect studios like Warner Bros to encode their library of 75 HDR titles in HDR10+ soon and some of these will also be distributed as HDR10+ Ultra HD Blu-ray discs too. – CC

Analyst Comment

I recently commented that I was surprised that the sales of Blu-ray players was falling away rapidly. However, UltraHD Blu-ray is growing and DVD may well be stable. It looks like a classic case of the ‘be good or be cheap, but don’t get stuck in the middle’ effect. I recently bought a box set from Amazon Prime, which cost the same as the series in DVD, now I look. I think I probably would have chosen the DVD if I had spotted that it was the same price. (BR)