×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why HD-DVD and Blu-ray Are DOA

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that-was-quick dept.

289

mikesd81 writes "Slate has up an article on why both new DVD formats are effectively dead on arrival. Article author Sean Cooper cites internet movie and cable on demand services, the price of new hardware, and the inexpensive cost of newer hard drives as the reasons behind his argument. The article goes on to say buying movies online isn't there yet. Titles in standard-def are few, in hi-def fewer still. With five times the visual information of a standard-def flick, an HD download of The Matrix, were it even available, could take all day over the average broadband connection. But consumers are demanding change, and change will happen fast." From the article: "On iTunes an album costs about 10 bucks--as much as $8 less than some CD retailers charge, partially because of the reduced cost of getting music to buyers online. Look for the same savings when it comes to downloading movies. And then there's the fact that hard-disk storage capacities are pushing ever upward while size and price drop. In a few years, you'll buy every episode of The West Wing on a drive the size of a deck of cards rather than on 45 DVDs in a box the size of your microwave oven." Phil Harrison is already saying the PlayStation 4 won't use discs.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

289 comments

His prediction is 5 years too early (4, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874240)

I don't see his logic. Americans might demand faster connections and more storage space, but they're not going to get it before the Blu Ray and HD DVD player become mainstream. It's a matter of timing - there's no way the cable and phone companies are going to upgrade everyone from 1.5Mbps (an average connection speed now) to 100Mbps (the minimum required to download a 10-15GB Hi Def movie in under an hour) before the HD players become popular.

No matter how much people might ask for it, there's no way it could possibly happen fast enough. If he was arguing that this next generation of video players will be the last to use physical media, he would have a decent argument, but it will easily take at least 5 years to upgrade our telecommunications infrastructure to the point needed to quickly deliver HD content.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (3, Informative)

DocBoss (956304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874376)

Well according to this link we will start seeing 100 mbps downloads much sooner than that.
http://www.isp-planet.com/cplanet/tech/2006/prime_ letter_060703.html [isp-planet.com]

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (3, Insightful)

pudro (983817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875382)

That would be awesome, but it doesn't change the fact that most people (outside of /.) will still prefer discs to whatever horribly DRMed form of downloadable content that the movie industry decides to use. As long as they can take that BD into the next room or to a friends, thats what they will want to do. If they can't do that, then they would rather just have DVDs. Most people don't want their computer right by their TV, or to have to run cables between rooms from one to the other. And by the way, decent (though maybe not "average") connections of 3-4 Mb/s are good enough for most "rental" scenarios. You just have to decide what to watch the day before and download it overnight. The only problem is with same day decisions to download a movie.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874396)

there's no way the cable and phone companies are going to upgrade everyone from 1.5Mbps (an average connection speed now) to 100Mbps (the minimum required to download a 10-15GB Hi Def movie in under an hour) before the HD players become popular.

And they're certainly not going to do it unless they're allowed to charge both the user and Apple's store for the same bandwidth. And the movie producer and director. And the lead actors and actresses. And I hear they even want to charge the janitors as well, ever since the janitors started making movies about how they get paid from movie sales.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (3, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874398)

YEs but you also have the fact that people are also not willing to upgrade their TVs, DVD collections, and anything else they need to either.

People tried to upgrade CDs (remember audio DVDs and Minidisk) The market said screw you and jumped to MP3 around 10 years later. I suspect the same will happen

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (5, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874592)

Yeah, the only way to succeed is to make something that seems better than DVD's - the reason I dropped my VHS collection for DVD's was the storage space. The reason people drop CD's for mp3's isn't quality, but ease of use. Blu-ray and HD-DVD has afaik nothing that gives the user any advantage - either in terms of usage or storage. They are doomed...

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (0)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874818)

If someone came out with a way to perfectly compress a HD quality movie into 10MB the way mp3s squeezed a 70MB wav file into 5MB, the industry will change overnight.

Um, somebody did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875080)

If someone came out with a way to perfectly compress a HD quality movie into 10MB the way mp3s squeezed a 70MB wav file into 5MB, the industry will change overnight.


Not 10 MB, not perfect (btw mp3's are 'lossy', not perfect). DVD's HD-DVD's [wikipedia.org]and Blue-Ray [wikipedia.org] use compression (as do DVD's).

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (3, Insightful)

kefler (938387) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875386)

I disagree. I thought the same thing when I saw MP3's for the first time in 1995, using a player on my Pentium 90. I assumed that the whole record industry would shift to that overnight, but of course we all know how that went.. Even 4-5 years after Mp3 was generally available we had Napster come out and make MP3's accessible to all. The industry killed that and it took nearly ANOTHER 5 years for digital music distribution to gain traction.. Overnight? no way.. This prediction is totally wrong about on demand movies, precisely because the industry WON'T change overnight.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874422)

Just as an aside, if you discount dialup, the average downstream speed is WAY higher than 1.5Mbps. The slowest cable modem services are around 768kbps (not even sure if any of those are still active) and everyone and their mother that's using DOCSIS seems to give you at least 4Mbps now, typically 5Mbps. Satellite is from about 512kbps up to about 1.5Mbps (peak.) DSL is frequently 3Mbps (or more!) now and is pretty much always at least 1Mbps.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (4, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874600)

Slowest around here is 320kbps. Midrange is 3.0mbps/320kbps. Max is 5.0mbps/768kbps. Max is about 70$ a month. Midrange: 40$. Slowest: 30$.

Maybe in urban or suburban areas you're right, but most of the country (area) isn't urban or suburban. Population wise, you'd probably have a majority in those areas, but my guess is you'd still have a sizeable percent who aren't in those areas and don't have those options. DSL is pretty much the same around here, with lowest being 768kbps and highest being 5.0mbps max, but they don't reach that for anywhere except maybe the house directly next door to the switching station. Wi-Max isn't available, and as the area is beset by mountains and valleys, I'm not sure how well it would work to put in any towers. Not having any cell phone service depending on which hill you're on or dell you're in doesn't help.

I wouldn't find it to be much of a stretch that 1.5mbps is the average. Not everyone thinks they need the super fast speeds. Some just check email or sit on IM. I know so many families with the 320kbps/320kbps connection and it truly boggles my mind. But not everyone is willing to spend 70$ on internet on top of the rest of the TV costs and phone costs.

So, that turned out to be exceedingly tangential. My bad.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875380)

You're right on this. I currently use high-speed light. Which is cable internet that has a speed cap on it. You pay less per month this way, and still get pretty fast internet as long as you're not trying to download movies (meaning divx/dvd, you can still stream apple trailers). It kind of sucks when I want to download a new Linux Distro, but other than that the speed is tollerable. I don't want to pay $50 a month for internet, so this is next best option to dial-up. I know a lot of people who use this.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (4, Informative)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874616)

Satellite is completely useless for downloading. Every satellite provider has an "fair access policy" that will kick your connect to dial up speeds if you go over a certain quota. The quotas are very low, even on the most expensive plans. I was looking into that for a client. After googling for a day, I was unable to find a single review that wasn't negative.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875602)

My DSL is 768k. I could get faster, but $15/month is just too nice a price and most of the time the speed is good enough.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874472)

His prediction is 5 years too early

Not really. iTunes television is taking off now. The technology may not have fully emerged yet, but it is being adopted by the public at an incredible rate. (I actually submitted a story about how "The Office" was saved from cancellation by the iTunes sales. Predictably, it was rejected.) Apples does not provide exact numbers on their TV and movie sales, but it's a pretty good bet that iTunes growth is outpacing Bluray and HDDVD adoption. Given that it took about 5 years for DVDs to replace VHS tapes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if online downloads end up being the unexpected competitor in this round.

I don't see anybody "demanding" faster connections (4, Insightful)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874484)

The phone and cable companies have been dragging their feet with regard to internet service which makes sense. They don't want phat pipes before they are allowed to charge both sides of the pipe. See their arguments against net neutrality for more.

Is there any consumer backlash?

No. Think back to when Coca-Cola changed the formula for Coke. People took to the streets and it hit ALL of the major news media in the US.

People don't care. I think they don't care because what they have is fast enough. It's the same with DVD and Hi-Def. I already have movies in DVD format. I have seen one of my favorites, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in Hi-Def this summer and compared it, on the same television, to my DVD copy. Net result, I LOVED the Hi-Def image but I'm not going to buy the movie again in Hi-Def for the simple reason that there is no compelling reason to buy it in a lesser format.

What I mean by lesser format is DRM.

Re:I don't see anybody "demanding" faster connecti (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875262)

I'm all with ya on the "down with DRM", but you can't take a DRM high-ground whilst proclaiming the superiority of your DVD copy: DVD's have DRM too. Maybe not as strong as the new formats, but it's still present.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874598)

I don't see his logic. Americans might demand faster connections and more storage space, but they're not going to get it before the Blu Ray and HD DVD player become mainstream.

Look at ti this way. HD-DVD and Blu-ray provide more space for higher definition video and a few other features. Internet download movies currently provide convenience of acquisition and storage and potentially lower prices. The market is demanding the latter more than the former. Faster connections are becoming much more common, more in other countries than the US, but the trend is clear. I think this will lead to movies via download gaining more acceptance than movies via new disk formats. Really, not that many people are willing to invest so much for such a minor improvement in video quality, but they are wiling to invest in not having to go anywhere or swap out disks.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874736)

I do not think video on demand will hit it big anytime soon. By the same token I do not think HD-DVD or Blue ray will take off. At least not like DVD did. With the majority of people still not owning an HDTV hi-def formats do not have the market base DVD did. It could be years before the market expands enough for significant HD-DVD/Blueray penetration. Furthermore HD-DVD/Blueray only offer a picture quality advantage over DVD. DVD killed VHS because of many reasons. 1) It was cheaper to produce. 2) It was Digital, so it did not degrade when playing. 3) You did not have to rewind. 4) You can skip to any part of the movie. 5) It is far more durable. 6) There was extra storage HD-DVD and Blueray only have #6. Many consumers may not see the need to upgrade even if they have an HDTV. For them DVD is good enough. Its cheap, easy to find, and does what they need. In a few years, when HDTV has reached sufficient penetration, who knows what new format may be on the horizon. Advances in CPU power and data compression might make both formats obsolete before they reach the mass market. They may very well be religated to a bridging format like laserdisk and VCD.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (1)

Digz (90264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875120)

My cable company just sent me a letter telling me that my broadband is being upgraded to 10Mb in the immediate future - with no additional cost. It may not be as far away as you think.

Re:His prediction is 5 years too early (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875524)

It's a matter of timing - there's no way the cable and phone companies are going to upgrade everyone from 1.5Mbps (an average connection speed now) to 100Mbps (the minimum required to download a 10-15GB Hi Def movie in under an hour) before the HD players become popular.

Why do you need 100Mb/s? For reference, the speed of HD-DVDs and BluRay is 30Mb/s. Once you pass this, you can watch a HD movie as easily from somewhere on the Internet as locally. In the UK, cheap home Internet connections are 4-8Mb/s and have been doubling in speed every year for a while. That means they should pass 30Mb/s in 2-3 years.

DVDs took between 3 and 6 years to become established, and they had a lot of advantages that BD/HD-DVD don't over the previous format:

  • Better picture quality on existing TVs (very important; you didn't need a new TV to enjoy DVD).
  • Much better sound quality (even without going to 5.1).
  • No need to rewind.
  • Smaller form factor (less storage space required).
  • No deterioration as a result of playing.
The new generation give better picture quality (if you buy a new TV) and better sound (if you buy a new sound system). Streamed video also has the advantage that it is completely on-demand. It's possible to offer a service that gives users the option of watching any film or TV show whenever they want to. Hard disk capacity isn't an issue as long as you have a big enough buffer; I don't need to keep copies of films I might watch again in a year because I can just download them again if I want to. Unlike music, very few people watch a film more than 2-3 times, and for a lot of films not even more than once so not having to store them at all is an advantage (why do you think DVD rental by post is so popular?)

Umm (5, Funny)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874292)

In a few years, you'll buy every episode of The West Wing..

Oh God...make it stop...

Re:Umm (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874562)

In a few years, you'll buy every episode of The West Wing..
Oh God...make it stop...
Look at it this way. By then the scenes will be so bloody dark you won't be able to watch it any way.

Vongo (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874350)

The article goes on to say buying movies online isn't there yet.
I whole heartedly agree with that.

Disclaimer: I haven't tried online videos through iTunes or any other service but I am a user of Netflix.

I was watching TV the other day and saw a commercial for Vongo [vongo.com]. It almost seemed too good to be true. And it was.

The commercial lead me to believe that I was going to open an account on a site and that I would be able to pay $10/month and download any movie I wanted to my hard drive. What a naïve idiot I was.

The problems I had with Vongo:
  • They needed my e-mail address just so I could download the client. So even if I didn't like it or join their service, they still had contact info.
  • You'll notice their site is in complete Flash--so is their client. And, much to my chagrin, all the movies are viewed through Flash & it's required. I had problems accessing the site with mozilla.
  • Not only are the files encrypted (this was expected) but they're of Flash quality meaning that they're bulky and low quality.
  • You don't get any movie you want, you get to pick from a selected list. But be careful, only some of those titles are free.
  • Of those select titles, the only one I wanted to see was The Devil & Danial Johnston. But when I wanted to download it, Vongo wanted $4 USD for it.
  • Two hours later, after D&DJ was finally on my laptop, I tried to watch it only to have a warning pop up informing me that once I started playing it, I had 24 hours to watch it before it deleted itself.
I could continue bitching but I think you get the idea. I was dissatisfied with Vongo & and heavily recommend everyone to stay away from it. The fact that I have to read the fine print in order to understand how their service works should have been a big warning sign. But in my opinion, the free 14 day trial isn't even worth it.

Oh, and one more thing, there was a freaking client application that was set to default start when Windows starts as a service on my laptop. Annoying and invasive.

Micro-microwave ovens? (3, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874352)

"In a few years, you'll buy every episode of The West Wing on a drive the size of a deck of cards rather than on 45 DVDs in a box the size of your microwave oven."
Where can one find these microwave ovens that are only 3" x 7.5" x 11" (the dimensions of The West Wing complete series boxset)?

Re:Micro-microwave ovens? (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874582)

How about the fact that I can deliver you the same full set of DVD's on a laptop hard drive SMALLER than a deck of cards right now and have room left over for a few other feature movies

Mpeg4/Xvid/Divx can do it now. You cant buy it legitimate because those formats don't have 600 pounds of DRM encryption on them but the technology is here right now and better than what he "envisions" maybe he should get out and actually look at what people are doing right now.

Cripes I have well over 300 movies in DVD quality and 10 full TV series on my Media portal box right now (Yes series the size of Babylon5 and the Simpsons) and still have room for way more.

His tommorow was here yesterday... it's the idiots at the movie companies and record companies that are keeping out of the hands of joe sixpack.

OT: Your sig (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875208)

Tired of waiting for working video editing in linux.....

Wholly crap me too... Right now it's the biggest bug in my ass any why I'm starting to dislike Linux...

Re:Micro-microwave ovens? (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875346)

Oh, getting a small microwave oven is easy. The only question is, what do you put in it?

Portability (1)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874362)

One word for this guy: Portability

Re: Portability (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874432)

One word for this guy: Portability

"Why would I want to drink my videos?"

"That's potability, Caboose!"

Re:Portability (1)

DocBoss (956304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874462)

Well by then we will have huge flash sticks that can carry all that data. Much easier to carry around a complete TV serries on a keychain than lug around the boxset.

Look at previous trends... (1, Insightful)

linuxg0d (913436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874380)

I think this is rubbish.

Personally, I used to work in a video store when DVD hit the shelves. What did my bosses say, "Who is going to move to this? VHS is where it's at."

Were they wrong? I would definately re-affirm that yes, they were oh-so-wrong.

Anyone who believes that new formats aren't going to fly are crazy being as they haven't studied previous market trends, have they? I mean, everyone jumps on everything, DOA or not. It's more of a relevance issue. Will they be DOA? Maybe, will they sell and sell and sell? Yes.

How many people here believed the PSP movies wouldn't fly? Funny, now every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be buying in.

We're not talking Laser Disc here... we're talking mainstream media here people.

Picture Tube -> LCD -> Plasma...

Man, that said, and HD TV's becoming crazily affordable, why would an HD format be considered DOA?

Uninformed opinion, in my uninformed opinion.

Re:Look at previous trends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874490)

wow! are you stupid or what?

Re:Look at previous trends... (1)

vapspwi (634069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874730)

What sort of video store bosses were predicting VHS over DVD? Smaller, no rewinding, better picture quality, won't degrade under normal use...yeah, VHS had a chance...

(Aren't PSP movies pretty much dead at this point?)

I wouldn't go so far as to say that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are DOA, but they definitely have some things to overcome. The benefits of DVD over VHS were fairly obvious and easy to take advantage of. The benefits of the new formats (which still look, media-wise, just like a DVD) are a little more esoteric (and mostly of interest to "videophiles"), and require a lot more hardware (expensive player, fancy new TV - and the world of HDTV resolutions and display technologies is still incomprehensible to 75% of the world) to take advantage of.

JRjr

Re:Look at previous trends... (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874810)

so how many DVD-audios, and SCD's do you have? How about Minidisc's?

what don't you remember those formats. Of them all the only good one was minidisc, but since Sony did weird shit with formatting on them they never took off.

Not every new format gains acceptance, even good ones. I guess you never studied history or reality.

Re:Look at previous trends... (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875608)

so how many DVD-audios, and SCD's do you have? How about Minidisc's?

what don't you remember those formats. Of them all the only good one was minidisc, but since Sony did weird shit with formatting on them they never took off.

Not every new format gains acceptance, even good ones. I guess you never studied history or reality.


There's just so much wrong with this post, it's hard to know where to start.

First of all, let's get the grammar Nazi stuff out of the way. Plurals are not made in English by simply adding 's to any word you feel like. In fact, ZERO English plurals are made in this way.

It's SACD, not SCD.

I have no idea what you think the problem with minidisc was, but it sure wasn't formatting. Minidisc was meant to replace audio cassettes and nothing more. It was never, ever intended to replace audio CDs. Their small space (remember, minidiscs pre-date MP3 players) was, at the beginning, a selling point. At first, minidiscs only stored data in ATRAC format, which limited their storage capacity to something similar to CD-Rs. I have some 74 and some 80 minute minidiscs. Minidisc never took off because Sony didn't explain very well that it wasn't supposed to replace audio CDs.

As far as DVD-Audio and SACD discs go, you do have a point. Both are great formats. However, Sony botched SACD by failing to make hybrid discs which would play in regular CD audio players. In fact, they at one time insisted that such discs couldn't be made, while classical music and jazz labels were actually producing hybrid discs with no problems. DVD-Audio isn't compatible with CD audio players, although the Dolby tracks can be ripped and converted to CD audio pretty easily. In fact, yesterday I listened on my way to work to an audio CD I made from a DVD-Audio of Nena (remember "99 Luftballons"?) in concert that I picked up in Germany. SACD is still alive in Europe for pop music, although it's pretty much dead for that in the USA. DVD-Audio and SACD both survive for classical labels in the USA. Next Tuesday, the Beatles are relasing a limited edition of their _Love_ soundtrack with an audio CD and a DVD-Audio disc and the Doors are also releasing a box set with a bunch of DVD-Audio discs, so both formats are still alive.

How soon they forget. (5, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874402)

an HD download of The Matrix, were it even available, could take all day over the average broadband connection.
Doesn't anyone else remember marking a slew of downloads from a BBS, FTP, Usenet, or even the old Napster back in the day? You'd start your dialup modem chugging away and go off to school, work, or sleep while it ran. Same crap, different scale.

Re:How soon they forget. (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874566)

Doesn't anyone else remember marking a slew of downloads from a BBS, FTP, Usenet, or even the old Napster back in the day? You'd start your dialup modem chugging away and go off to school, work, or sleep while it ran. Same crap, different scale.
Not only do I remember that but I still use BitTorrent in the same fashion. I don't gobble up bandwidth and I'm fine with getting a fairly high quality video of unlicensed anime in about a day or two. It's kind of the same crap except it's much nicer to the rest of the internet community in how big a bandwidth hog I am.

Re:How soon they forget. (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874828)

A lot of people have long forgotten the days when it took 6 hours worth of time to download a 5mb shareware game. Even more were never there, and have no conception that these things could take time.

Go out and ask someone what they would think if to use the internet they had to tie up their phone line. You'd be surprised the kind of responses you'd get.

Re:How soon they forget. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875010)

Same crap, different scale.

a very different scale, when you begin talking about 18 to 50 GB per disk.

and a very different market. the trend in HDTV sales is to very large screen projection and theatrical digital sound even at entry level.

Re:How soon they forget. (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875438)

For a small number of people. We're not talking niche markets here. We're talking mainstream. When you make it effortless and require no technical understanding, then it might be accepted by the mainstream. I'm technical, but I can't be arsed to go through the effort it takes to get movie downloads on to my TV in the living room. Setting it up is one thing. Finding the media is another - I've stopped downloading music because it's generally too crap or too much effort for me. Oh, and I'm not giving iTunes my money either as it doesn't work with my portable device. I've got better things to do with my life these days.

Milton Friedman dead at 94 (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874418)

Just heard the news on talk radio. Milton Friedman has died. There were no further details. Regardless of whether you agreed with his politics, there is no denying his contribution to the national debt via his knee-jerk defense of all conservative spending.

HDs vs Optical Disks (1, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874454)

Hard Drives have moving parts
Optical Disks don't
Which is more reliable?

That said, the summary is a bit misleading.
Here's the full quote:

"In a few years, you'll buy every episode of The West Wing on a drive the size of a deck of cards rather than on 45 DVDs in a box the size of your microwave oven. If you think that sounds far-fetched, consider that shortly after releasing a comprehensive, eight-DVD New Yorker collection (since updated to nine discs), the magazine released the same collection on an (admittedly expensive) iPod-sized hard drive. Which would you rather have, especially once the price of hard drives sinks even lower?"

By "admittedly expensive" they mean $299 for an 80GB drive + all the New Yorker issues... compared to $59.99 for 9 DVDs. I could buy the DVDs, buy a portable hard drive and still have ~$150 to spare.

Why would content providers ever bring the price of a HD based product anywhere close to that of a comparable bundle of optical discs? My answer: They wouldn't. It'll always be a premium product, even as the prices of HD-DVD/BlueRay & HDs drop.

Re:HDs vs Optical Disks (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874624)

Hard drives are hermetically sealed.
Optical discs get chewed on by pets and children, and left out on scratchy coffeetables.

I have a whole bag of unreadable otical discs. Still looking for a way to recycle them.

Re:HDs vs Optical Disks (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875000)

I could buy the DVDs, buy a portable hard drive and still have ~$150 to spare.

I've considered retrofitting a DVD player whose drive failed with a removable hard drive bay, formatted to look like a very high capacity DVD, containing ripped tracks from an entire series accessible through remastered menus.

Are there any rippers that can deconstruct a DVD into a DVD Studio Pro project file and assets?

Re:HDs vs Optical Disks (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875020)

Hard Drives have moving parts
Optical Disks don't
Which is more reliable?

well the disk itself has fewer moving parts, but surprisingly, hard drives are more reliable. But I don't think HDDs or optical disks are the future of transportable storage.

It's only a matter of time before someone figures out how to manufacture USB stick with permanent contents for cheaper than flash memory. I mean, if you don't need to be able to change the contents ever, that's gotta significantly reduce the number of transistors required. It would probably only work for very large runs, but printed CDs have a similar scale problem and they've worked out pretty well.

Anyway, by having a standardized, serial interface, (and perhaps equally importantly, an existing standard...) the storage capacity would be forever decoupled from the storage medium. One player would work for any sized movie you cared to watch until the sheer quantity of data becomes too much for it.

I call bullshit (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874466)

On iTunes an album costs about 10 bucks--as much as $8 less than some CD retailers charge, partially because of the reduced cost of getting music to buyers online.

How about it's cheaper because the quality is less than 1/10 of that of a CD, let alone a SACD or DVDA?

Re:I call bullshit (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874724)

How about it's cheaper because the quality is less than 1/10 of that of a CD, let alone a SACD or DVDA?

You're thinking along the same lines as the HD-DVD and Blu-ray people. The fact is, most people don't notice or care about the minor difference in quality of the signal. I can't tell the difference between a FLAC and a 192 MP4 on my car stereo, especially with wind and road noise. Even on my fairly nice stereo setup, the difference between them is not a deal killer. If you're talking about my analog wireless, outdoor speakers by the hot tub, forget about it.

And while download bandwidth costs money, it is mostly the convenience that people want. They'd rather have it fast and now, even with some minimal DRM than wait to buy it in a store in person or even wait hours for a perfect quality download. The same is going to hold true for video.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

codifus (692621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874858)

The size of the downlaod is 1/10 of the size. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between AAC (MP3 on steroids) and the original CD music. CD

Re:I call bullshit (0, Troll)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875278)

You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between AAC (MP3 on steroids) and the original CD music.

yeah, if your playback hardware is a cheap MP3 player with cheap earbuds, or worse, played through an FM modulator into your car stereo, you can't tell much of a difference.

but if you have a decent stereo system, the difference is obvious.

2 1/2 hours (2, Informative)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874470)

With five times the visual information of a standard-def flick, an HD download of The Matrix, were it even available, could take all day over the average broadband connection.

A full length HD format movie would be around 5 Gigabytes, according to this article [yahoo.com]. So considering my download of the 1 Gigabyte Battlefield 2142 demo took about 30 minutes last night over my basic $34.95/month FiOS connection, that means it would just take about 2 1/2 hours to download a full length movie. Theoretically less than an hour with the faster service offerings. I really don't see the problem with that. Netflix takes a day or so to get your movie and it is very popular. I could see just leaving the computer on over night to get the download and watch the movie the next day. A torrent like download could even distribute the load.

The only thing holding back distribution over broadband Internet is the studios. If the studios allow distribution like this, then there is a big enough market out there to make this work.

Re:2 1/2 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874658)

A full length HD format movie would be around 5 Gigabytes

Think about that will you. A full HD movie on little more space that a cheap single layer DVDR? I don't think so somehow.

Re:2 1/2 hours (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875046)

Well, don't believe everything you read... Sounds like it is about 15 Gigs (they left off the 1) for a full length movie in HD, so that would be 7 1/2 hours with basic FiOS service and 2 1/2 hours with the 44.95/month FiOS service. Still less time than I sleep most nights. And still faster than Netflix.

And the Fiber is being rolled out now and is available in many communities, it is not just in some distant future. Where BlueRay and HD-DVD still require millions of households to buy a player which costs hundreds of dollars and buy discs that now cost $30 at bestbuy. I think "DOA" is a bit of a exaggeration, since the studios can control to some extent how much content is going to be made downloadable. But if Apple can pull of downloadable HD content with its iTV and Microsoft with its Xbox, then I don't see either BlueRay or HD DVD becoming a dominant format the way that DVDs have, more of a niche or in between technology.

Re:2 1/2 hours (2, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875188)

You can get 3 movies at a time with netflix, so that's 22.5 hours with basic, 7.5 hours with premium service. Still faster, but keep in mind you have to tie up your Internet connection for that long. Then you need 45 gigs free on a hdd. Then you need to connect the computer to the TV with an hdcp approved connection. If you don't have that, you need to burn it to an HDDVD. Then you need to log into netflix and reenable your account after you realize how much hassle it is to download and play HD content!

Re:2 1/2 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874720)

A full length HD format movie would be around 5 Gigabytes, according to this article.

That can't be correct, because normal, non-HD 2-hour feature DVDs are more than that.

Re:2 1/2 hours (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874774)

and at that speed, you could probably start watching the movie a few minutes after starting the download and watch it to the end without interruption. There's no need necessarily to let the *whole* movie download before you start, just enough that you won't end up paused half an hr in because you caught up to the download :-P

Re:2 1/2 hours (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874944)

A full length HD format movie would be around 5 Gigabytes

A current DVD holds over 7GB, but doesn't hold a sufficiently high quality HD movie to make people happy. Article or not, if we could have simply added a new decoder to existing hardware and been blessed with 1080p HD goodness, we would have done.

Re:2 1/2 hours (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875502)

Maybe he'a planning on taking the 15GB movie and running it through a 2:1 lossless compressor twice? Heck, with an 8 pass, you could get it down to 60MB, and...oh, right. ;-)

Re:2 1/2 hours (1)

D4rk Fx (862399) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875508)

You're lucky enough to be in an area that offers a Decent internet connection speed. I Pay $44.95 a month for 386k/386k (was 256/256 up until the start of this month.) The ISP is the only one I can get internet from anywhere close enough to home to matter. The fastest speed they offer is 704k/704k with a price tag of $104.95 a month. It's totally rediculous how expensive it is, for the speed of service offered.

consumers are demanding change? (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874480)

which customers? Most people I know are still watching a 30" (or less), 5 year old TV.
We are just now looking into an HDTV because the prices are coming down to a reasonable range...

Re:consumers are demanding change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874688)

which customers? Most people I know are still watching a 30" (or less), 5 year old TV.
We are just now looking into an HDTV because the prices are coming down to a reasonable range...


I watch over the air HD on my PC with this ATI tuner card [newegg.com].

So, HD on the computer is an option also, even if it is windowed it looks good. I also am starting to look at HD TVs, but it would be nice to have those movies available for download and be able to transfer then to my laptop or desktop, so that I could watch them wherever I happen to be goofing off.

Well I think they may be dead (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874502)

But just because they don't offer enough extra. I have an HDTV and really, it's amazing how good DVDs look on it. I have HD cable so I've seen full HD content. Is it better? Yes. Is it an amazing step up? Not so much. Regular DVD movies look pretty good. Well, that's really all that they have to offer.

When DVD came out, it's easy to see why it took over. Not only is the picture better, and even on low end TVs, but the sound is better and supported surround, you can seek instantly, quality doesn't degrade over time, there are extras, the disc is much smaller and so on. Basically DVDs provide a big upgrade to anyone. Even if you are watching an an old 20" TV, DVDs provide extras and a picture that doesn't get worse, in additon to a better picture quality to start with.

Well the HD formats offer none of that. They can, in theory, offer better sound, but only if you have a system capable of the new formats (and I've yet to see a compatible receiver) and only if the disc has it and many don't since Dolby Digital and DTS are the formats that are actually used in theatres. So really you are down to better picture, and only for those that own HD sets which is still a small number of people.

I just don't see there being the reason to upgrade. I'm not going to. Sure an HD picture is nice but really, I'm not unhappy with DVD. It looks good on my HD set. So I can easily see the formats failing for the same reason DVD-Audio failed: lack of interest. I mean DVD-A is better than CD in terms of quality. It's higher sample size and rate, as well as supporting surround sound. However do most people give a shit? No, not worth it to them. To the extent they replace CDs it's with MP3s which, while lower quality, are more convenient.

Re:Well I think they may be dead (1)

The UberDork (689979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874620)

Bingo!! I agree 100% ... Yes DVD killed VHS .... because it offered more then just the same in a pretty picture. One of the biggest additions is the "extras" that are jam packed on DVD's now .. behind the scenes, trailers etc. Go grab a DVD of an older movie, one that would have come out on VHS originally, say (one of my favs) Tank Girl .... and there's nothing for extras ... you really miss them. Now of enough earlier adopters get on board .. I'm sure we'll see neato things... maybe.. but it won't be mainstream until there is. Format is nice.. but CONTENT IS KING

Not all HD programming is real HD (2, Interesting)

DG (989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874868)

One of the things that surprised me when I upgraded to an HD connection was just how much "HD" content was really just upconverted "regular" video.

There is very little programming that is really honestly truly 720p/1080p - but the stuff that is, is spectacular.

I agree with you that a 480p DVD looks pretty damn good on an HD screen, but real shot-in-HD content is a whole lot better.

What I'm afraid of with Blu-Ray/HDVD is a similar problem - is the content actually generated in higher resolutions, or is it just a really good upconvert of lower-res source material?

DG

Re:Well I think they may be dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875338)

The reason you can't see a big difference is because you have HD Cable. HDTV over cable arrives seriously compressed. It is significantly lower quality than uncompressed. Most anyone will see the difference. If you have strong over the air signals where you live, get an antenna made for HD stations and tune in to an over the air HD signal (remember that it's at a different spot on the dial so to speak compared to the commensurate SD stations). Then compare that signal with a good HD show versus what you see on the same station on HD Cable and you will most likely be very surprised.

Nope. (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874542)

The Internet.
The xbox 360 has what, a 20GB HDD? so it will be able to hold...1 HD movie (at Bluray/HDDVD quality), maybe a 3 or 4 if it's compressed more? And as mentioned, it lasts 24 hours, then it's gone. So if something comes up and you can't finish your movie, too bad!

Cable on-demand.
Instead of paying 3 or 4 bucks for a movie rental, which would display at full 1080p resolution, you get a compressed version for ~85 bucks a month (per Comcast pricing). Oh, and you don't really know if the movie will be offered there. If it's not, you get to run to blockbuster and pay 4 bucks anyway!

New formats mean pricey hardware.
So people are willing to drop $3k on a new setup, and then pay an extra $85 for cable ($1000+ a year!), but they aren't willing to drop $350 (at current prices) to play movies? Really? I seem to recall DVD players catching on just fine at those prices.

The rise of the hard drive.
The 360, as noted above, could probably only hold maybe half a dozen movies at ok resolutions (for an HDTV). After that you have to delete movies to make room for new ones. My DVD rack currently holds 100 DVDs. I win. Maybe a HDD makes sense for large collections, but even then, it'd have to be a sizely hard drive to contain all the HD content. You're looking at $150 just for the drive itself!

Personally, this guy sounds like an idiot. Everything he's asking for is years down the road. How much has broadband evolved (as far as speed goes) in the US in the last few years? I had 3Mb connection 6 years ago. Today? 6Mb. Not moving too fast there. HDD prices aren't anywhere close enough to the price of a DVD to make it feasable. On-Demand has the best chance, but only assuming every studio signs on and makes their content available. But at that point, I would bet your cable bill just went up another 30 bucks.

The HDTV crowd will adopt, eventually. Those of us still enjoying our $200 27" tv probably won't, at least for a long time.

Music drove the broadband revolution (2, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874572)

It was Napster that really drove broadband adoption for the masses. The ability to download a song in minutes instead of an hour put DSL and cable in high demand.

Will HD video drive the next step and bring the US back into the lead for home internet access? IPTV and HD-on-demand will help drag broadband into the rural areas and increase connection speeds everywhere. Here's hoping he's right and the new HD discs are doomed to fail in favor of digital distribution.

TV is the limiting factor (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874584)

Why would you bother downloading a 15GB movie when a 3GB movie looks fine on your computer screen and most TV sets? Even most HDTVs won't benefit from the information stored in a 15GB movie. How many people actually have sound systems that support 5.1, let alone 7.1?

What I expect to see is tailored movie downloads that fit what presentation devices you have present. A simple web form can ask what type of: television, sound system, connection speed, timeframe desired, and storage desired that will select which of a few pre-encoded files you download. This way, I can download a very high quality movie (with a nice TV and sound system) while my mother can download closer to DVD format (older TV, lesser sound).

If you can only use 25% of the information, why download 100%?

Re:TV is the limiting factor (1)

Chode2235 (866375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875642)

Yeah I completely agree. I have a 50" DLP HDTV, but no 5.1 surround set. I would love to download the awesome picture, but let the huge 5.1 audio sit on the server while I download the 2.0 audio instead. I cant even watch a DVD with the 2.0 track as they dont include it.

Much depends (1)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874666)

HD download of The Matrix, were it even available, could take all day over the average broadband connection

Well, much depends on the codec you are using. I'm not an expert, but a properly coded film can be HD without taking such a lot of space as a HD-DVD or Blue-Ray. Think H.264, or even XVid. And surely better methods will appear. I'm waiting to see in bittorrent the first 4Gb xvid files compressed from a Blue-Ray or HD-DVD. I don't think it'll take too long, and I guess the quality will be much better than a normal DVD.

Blu-Ray is DOA, HD-DVD saved via Combo Discs (1)

Num6 (792641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874672)

The combo discs HD-DVD offers will make this format a winner. It's portable, it here now, it plays in existing equipment and it's semi future proof.

Not this again (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874696)

So I'm going to be able to download movies with my 2GB max usage per month am I? Let's see, I think it's around 700MB for the lowest quality movie isn't it? So I can get 2 movies each month, which won't even be in High Definition and feature no the deleted scenes / alternative endings. And since I don't even live in the US I'm not even going to be offered this service...

Fuck that, I'll just get a PS3 and be done with it.

I'LL GLADLY BUY THE CD!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874700)

I'll pony up the extra $8 just so I don't have to deal with the DRM. And Apple fanbois, don't bother telling me how great your company's DRM is. Its like a dictator bragging about the freedom he grants to his people.

Stated this for quite some time (1)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874744)

AVS forums regular till the fuck tards banned me. But said it on there for the past 500 days or so.

These formats are a step backwards more than anything. Physical Media Storage mediums offer very very little now a days.

Coming to blockbuster, USB Movies. Always in.

You take your USB Stick, walk to the BlockBuster kiosk and choose the movies you want and they will copy to your USB drive. This will encompass all formats, you will choose when you copy the movie over. A DRM will kill the movie in a week or so.

BluRay is the most laughable of all next gen media.

Prices fall (1)

VGR (467274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874750)

The "New formats mean pricey hardware" paragraph is ignoring history. New tech always starts out expensive and then comes down in price. I mean, come on, the first VHS VCRs were well over a thousand dollars.

Uh, it is available.. (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874786)

"With five times the visual information of a standard-def flick, an HD download of The Matrix, were it even available, could take all day over the average broadband connection."

First off, It is available though not legally(The.Matrix.1999.720p.HDTV.x264-THOR). Second off, thanks to the wonders of good video encoding its no larger than any other DVD - 4gigabytes. How long that takes is obviously a matter of what your connection is, but I see 6mbit as about the current standard for residential cable

According to the wonders of google math, (4 gigabytes) / (6 (megabits per second)) = 1.51703704 hours
More than reasonable. Even if you half the download speed for say a slow server or worse connection, we're still at 3hours. It's still not at "video on demand" speeds, but its quicker than netflix and if you plan ahead there would be no issue at all.

Waiting for better technology (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874792)

I'll wait for the day when you can buy the sum of Human Knowledge and Art on a Special Edition Crystal

And then I'll leech it off bittorrent.

Re:Waiting for better technology (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875510)

I'll wait for the day when you can buy the sum of Human Knowledge and Art on a Special Edition Crystal

Yeah, but you just know they'll release the "Super Deluxe Gold-Plated Crystal" version a week later, with all the extras and deleted scenes...

The original poster has a point, a good one (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874814)

While it may be difficult to figure out where the money will come from, or how the DRM will work, the average joe bloggs and jane bloggs is already using digital on demand products, some via cable, some via the Internet (youtube etc.) and they are getting used to it. This is a critical factor in how visual data will be and is being used. Remember VHS vs. Betamax? The fact that GooTube is soon to be up and running will ensure that _EVERYONE_ knows about video via the Internet. The next logical step to take, even for naive grandparents, is "how do I watch all my favorite episodes of program x on the Internet?" or how do I get television on my computer?

By the time they start asking those questions, all the arguing will be nearly done. When there is a proven market for a product or service, every large corp. worth anything will trip all over themselves to sell it to the public, and will do so no matter what DRM hurdles are in the way.

In the same way that YouTube and MySpace made headlines and garnered public attention, digital on-line on-demand video services will do the same.

PS4? Did we forget about Sony's Situation? (1)

AppreticeGuru (1024775) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874824)

PS4 won't use disks? That's very possible, considering that the PS3 release is resulting in massive losses for Sony, combined with the largest notebook battery recall in history (remember the exploding, melty laptop pictures?), loss of market share in their TV division and other electronics, who's to say Sony will even be AROUND for PS4? I'd be surprised if Sony doesn't bite the big one on this ps3 venture, seeing as they've put all their remaining eggs in this console basket.

Playstation 4? (1)

matchewg (669643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874990)

Phil Harrison is already saying the PlayStation 4 won't use discs Maybe if Sony still exists..

It's boring is the problem... (5, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875040)

...and not worth the effort. 720p this. 1080i that. LCD. Plasma. DLP. Which one looks better. Which one has video lag. Is there still burn in. Who wants to deal with that to buy a fricken' TV set? I'm a technophile, and I can't be bothered with it unless my old, venerable 36" Wega CRT dies tomorrow. I hear people who say things like "standard DVD isn't good enough for MEEEE!" and I ain't gettin' it. It's your own fault if you've trained yourself to see the tiniest video artifacts. You've become the typo Nazis of the video world. Ah, who cares...

Re:It's boring is the problem... (1)

vapspwi (634069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875154)

Your take is pretty much exactly the same as mine. I have a 36" Wega that I'm perfectly happy with. I wouldn't mind having an HDTV (though I don't currently have any HDTV source to drive it with), but after helping a friend select an HDTV (he ended up with a Sony SXRD), I realized that it's just too much of a hassle. All the resolutions, all the different display technologies (each with a complex set of pluses and minuses), and all the related problems and questions - it's ridiculous that buying a TV has gotten this complicated.

JRjr

Dolby true-hd/Dobly Digital + /Dts-hd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875142)

Try giving me Dolby true-hd/Dobly Digital + /Dts-hd in my HD downloads and we might be talking. Additionaly, has this man ever compared WMVHD to HD-DVD? Night and Day... nuff said

$1 is less than $8... (1)

787style (816008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875226)

CD and DVD manufacturing costs are considerably less than $8 (it's usually sub $1). The reason why it costs less is because you (the consumer) get less.

Thumb drives and Blockbuster (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875240)

What it will evolve to is Blockbuster simply copying a movie to a USB drive and lending you the drive. That way the store doesn't have to actually have any physical inventory at all. You bring the thumb drive home, play the movie - accounting for whatever DRM etc etc etc and then you bring the drive back to Blockbuster for wipe and a new movie. That way the bottleneck is eliminated.

Bandwidth (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875294)

Bandwidth is not here now for this, and if it does come, it's gonna be so expensive as to make us wish we could drive to the store and rent the DVD

right now I am sure most if not all of us home users already get gouged when we exceed our bandwidth limits, some even get the boot.

all this is going to do is xfer the $$ from the entertainment industry to the telecom industry, if we're lucky, us consumers won't pay more than triple what we pay now for better service.

and of course none of this will actually work cross platform. windows users get first, mac users maybe and those linux users? only if you have MSovell version.

I personally think Blu-Ray will win, though. (2, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875378)

I can cite the following reasons:

1) It has far more movie studio support than HD-DVD. Particularly important is Disney's support, since Disney DVD's have always been very strong sellers to start with anyway. Can you imagine a Pixar movie released on Blu-Ray format? (big thumbs up)

2) The storage capacity is larger (50 GB versus 30 GB), which means you can put more extra features on a single Blu-Ray disc than an HD-DVD disc.

3) The arrival of Sony's PlayStation 3 means immediately the arrival of a large user base that can play Blu-Ray discs.

4) We're still a long way from offering HD-quality video downloads over the Internet. It would require huge increases in download speeds, maybe as high as 50 megabits per second at bare minimum (the number of broadband Internet home users with anything over 10 mbps download speeds is still very small even in Europe and Asia).

Yes, prices are high now, but I expect prices to drop rapidly during the course of 2007. Good quality standalone Blu-Ray players will probably cost around US$450 by the end of 2007, in my humble opinion.

The future is here!!! (1)

SeePage87 (923251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875392)

I already own all the seasons of the West Wing on a hard drive the size of a deck of cards (read ipod).

Physicla Media? (1)

CodemasterMM (943136) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875414)

I do agree that HD-DVD and BluRay are definately DOA. I do not think anyone wants to readily re-purchase their entire DVD collection just to have higher quality (most people don't have HD TVs yet, even).

And to the point of downloading music/movies/etc. instead of physically owning them, I actually prefer to have the physical medium - sort of a collector's thing. I enjoy holding the disk and being able to look at the art on the box/case instead of looking at images online. I am not sure if I am alone on this, but basically when I buy something I like having it physically, so I can't be ripped off later after I reformat or such.

Use netflix and it doesn't matter (1)

chipace (671930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875464)

If you don't buy the media, then you reduce your loss if one format "wins" over another. Also, by the time one format "wins", the players should be much cheaper.

Netflix charges the same price for DVDs, HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray... so if you want HD content, just buy a player and get going.

The worst case is you have to buy a new player when the content runs-out (a 50% chance).

Personally, I want a PS3... and if Blu-ray dies, I still get to use it for games.

3-5 years before either format catches on (5, Insightful)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875584)

Both Blue Ray and HD-DVD have a lot going against them. Both formats are brand new to the consumer market. In quick summary, most people are going to wait 3-5 years before adopting either of these formats, if they take off. Buying one today means either you've got a lot of money to burn (paypal@dave-gallagher.net [mailto] please), or you're easily influenced by marketing.

Let's look at the history [wikipedia.org] of DVD's:

  • DVD's were first starting to be sold in early 1997.
  • By 1999, DVD players were around $300 each. DVD sales were tiny compared to VHS.
  • DVD's and players increased on popularity by 2001, aided by the PlayStation 2 having a DVD-player built into it (at the time, a PS2 wasn't much more money than a sole DVD player). The format was being adopted rapidly by this point.
  • By 2002-2003, DVD's finally had surpassed VHS sales, 5-6 years after they first came out.
  • Now, in late 2006, it's tough to find a home that doesn't own a DVD player. Also:
    • You can buy DVD movies everywhere.
    • You can rent DVD movies everywhere (Netflix, BlockBuster, etc)
    • There are tens of thousands of titles available for DVD, including a vast array of Movies (previously available on VHS), and TV shows (many never available before on VHS).
    • DVD players can be bought for $50 or less. Almost all computers have one built in.
    • DVD movies can be had for $2 - $20. Some series and combo's cost more, obviously.

Other notable mentions during this time period:

  • VHS degraded over time. DVD's don't (when stored right).
  • VHS has a much worse picture quality than DVD did.
  • Nearly everyone already owned a TV which would benefit from upgrading from VHS to DVD.
  • DVD's sounded much better. Some people bought high-end stereo systems, but most still use the speakers in their TV.

This took from 1997 to 2006 to accomplish. It's almost a ten-year old format. To say either Blue Ray or HD-DVD will take off in a short period of time (1-2 years) is blasphemy. It'll take at least 3, but probably around 5 years, before either format becomes mainstream. IF either format survives, that is.

Things going against Blue Ray & HD-DVD:

  • Extremely limited selection of titles. Think hundreds of them (if not only a hundred), vs. tens of thousands for DVD.
  • No rental outlets carry them yet.
  • Movie Players cost much more money than DVD players. $500+ if you buy a PS3, or Xbox 360 Core w/HD-DVD add-on.
  • These movies are priced more. The cheapest I've seen are around $25 each.
  • Most people don't own a TV that will benefit from the higher resolution of these types of media.
    • ...unlike upgrading from VHS to DVD, where everyone experienced an increase in picture quality.
  • High-end audio equipment is needed for many to take advantage of the new features to these discs. Again, most people don't have this.
  • Everyone just through out their VHS tapes and replaced them with DVD's. They may buy new movies on HD-DVD/Blue Ray, but good luck convincing them to re-buy Terminator 2 for the 3rd time.

By the time it takes for Blue Ray/HD-DVD to catch on (3-5 years), if they catch on, there will be:

  • Xbox 1080
  • PlayStation 4
  • On-Demand HD Movies, over the net, delivered to your TiVo, Xbox 360, Apple iTV, whatever.
  • On-Demand HD Movies, through your TV provider.

Neither format is proven (asides from looking and sounding good, with the right equipment), and the VAST majority of consumers won't see a benefit from either of them today. What has to happen for consumers to benefit is:

  • 1920x1080 P HDTV's have to come down in price, to the $200 Wal-Mart special range.
  • The players have to be had for $100 or less.
  • There needs to be thousands of more movies available than there currently are.
  • Consumers don't want to pick the Beta out of the two, so one format will have to be the obvious winner.
  • Movies must be available in local rental shops, and on places like Netflix.
  • You should be able to buy the movies anywhere.
  • The movies will have to be cheaper.

-Dave

only technophiles are demanding change (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875626)

"But consumers are demanding change, and change will happen fast."

I disagree on both counts.

Customers (on the whole) are content with the quality and convenience of the DVD distribution model, and will be for another couple technological generations at least.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...