Although Blu-ray player adoption rates aren't nearly as high as Sony would like and the format only won the high-def war a few weeks ago, speculation abounds over the future success of the format. Will it be the winner DVD was or will it enter the pantheon of long-forgotten formats? One company thinks its internet connectivity holds the key.

According to Multimedia Intelligence, a market research firm, Blu-ray players will be the most popular internet-enabled devices in the world by 2012. The report concludes that Blu-ray's victory over HD DVD was a huge event for Sony and will surely drive a significant amount of player sales its way.


Thanks to HD DVD

"The end of the format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD promises to accelerate shipment volume of Blu-Ray DVD equipment," according to Mark Kirstein, President of MultiMedia Intelligence. "As a result, Blu-Ray DVD equipment could become the largest volume segment of IP-Enabled Consumer devices even sooner than 2012."

According to the report, the total number of Internet-enabled devices shipped in 2007 was approximately 64 million. But due to the expected future popularity of the players, the firm believes 50 million internet-enabled Blu-ray players will ship in 2012, making it the largest IP device on the market.

Of course, some have said that Multimedia Intelligence's study fails to consider the impact of digital downloads and undermines the significance of the battle Blu-ray must still wage to stay relevant, but in the end, no one knows yet what the future will hold for the high-def format.