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As far as I can see the technological benefit of Blu ray is not large enough to convince the masses to move their existing collection to the new format, especially when increasing broad band speeds are enabling faster and easier movie downloads, and simpler home networking solutions are becoming available.
However she is convinced that blu ray is the big thing and that it is already so popular that every home will soon have one.
So I thought I would ask here, is Blu ray the next big tech advancement, or just a blip on the way towards a full "itunes movie service"
I don't have any facts. I know this though - Any technological advancement that improves the quality of user experience is bound to have longevity.. at least until it gets upgraded or replaced by something better.
Wyweb do you think blu ray is enough of an improvement to encourage Joe blogs to upgrade? When you take into account how many people now have HD tv's but don't use that functionality on it, is the extra clarity from Blu ray really that good? What about those who would need a new TV and new DVD player to appreciate it, that's a pretty large investment for someone who just wants to be able to watch a film from Blockbuster when it's released?
You can't say the same of DVD to Blue Ray. The quality difference for the average user is relatively small, but the cost of a Blue Ray player is way over-priced for the masses to take it up. Players will have to come down in price to DVD player prices, which hit about $20 in the supermarkets at one stage.
Also, I don't want a Blu Ray player, I want a recorder, so I can archive my home videos. Otherwise, I might as well stick with my DVD recorder, which provides 1080P upscaling (not Blu Ray standard, but good enough for me).
In addition, as Yoshimi points out, the possibility of direct downloads from providers is not that far away. In fact, you can already do it if you're an early adopter.
Finally, HDDs are so cheap, simply downloading onto the drive will solve most users needs.
In summary, I think it will run out of steam, unless they drop the price significantly. In any event, I think it'll also fail to get the mass uptake of DVD, before direct downloads take over.
DVD offered high-quality video that you just could not get any other way. Broadcast quality did not come close. Not so for BR. HD is available from FreeSat and SkyHD in the UK, so BR is purely platform rather than a solution.
I could get a PC to deliver HD output to my TV, for less than a BlueRay player. And once the Studios get their act together (along with ISPs for bandwidth), it will be a straight comparison of cost and convenience. I see it breaking down as follows:
Online: Click "Download"
BR: Go to shop, buy, come home. OR Order, wait, wait, receive
Online: Click "Play"
BR: Find disc, load, play
Online: PC (often no additional cost)
BR: Player (similar price to new PC)
Online: Film Value
BR: Film Value plus distribution cost plus Codec licences
Overall, BR does not fare well.
The installed base: PS3's that are actually used as both a gaming machine and a standalone player are IMHO kinda rare:
- first of all they cannot be made region free (AFAIK), so anybody with a decent collection of DVDs is going to have to keep his region-free player around (Actually I keep my HD-DVD player for that :-( ) This isn't an issue in region 1 countries, but the rest of the world will take it into account.
- Most people very interested in games aren;t that likely to buy more expensive versions of movies to add to their collection
- Most people very interested in movies and having a collection aren;t that likely to buy games
For me: I stopped buying stuff that's available on BR in the US, I only buy BR in the EU, and well I continue to buy things available on DVD only in both the US and in Europe.
High speed downloads:
I do have access to an on-demand cable solution for getting recent movies. While it works and has somewhat decent quality, but I just fidn it not enough fun.
If they'd have *all* content in HD at a high speed affordable, with the ability to keep it and no DRM: maybe. But those in control of distribution still don't think global at all. At least HD-DVD had that right.
A premium movie channel backed by a trio of studios is expected to debut as an on-demand Web site months before its traditional TV launch.
The consortium of MGM, Paramount Pictures, and Lions Gate announced Tuesday at the NATPE television conference in Las Vegas that the channel will be called Epix (pronounced like the plural of epic) and feature more than 15,000 movies from the three studios. The new channel is expected to launch as a subscription-only Web site in May that will stream its content on the Internet--five months before its planned TV launch in October.
Nail being produced for use in coffin. ;)
What's funny about me is that I don't like physical media but I can't bear to see paper books go away. I can't get into the Amazon Kindles of the world... Hypocritical I suppose.