1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is time running out for Blu-Ray?

Discussion in 'Blu-Ray Hardware' started by Chris Blount, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    21,609
    380
    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    Progress is a funny thing.

    I am reminded of the snowstorms that take out power for a week and things grind to a halt in some towns. People will buy up a month's worth of milk/bread/water/toilet paper for a 3 day snow-in... and panic ensues if their power is out more than 24 hours.

    And yet... less than a generation ago this would have been a minor convenience. Two generations ago and people didn't even have power to lose.

    So... with each advance comes new problems.

    Digital downloads can't be stored on a shelf on top of your subwoofer. They also need to be backed-up if you want to keep them. Downloads are also quite slow OR at much lower quality until 30Gbps broadband becomes more available to us all... and then ISPs will lower bandwidth caps and raise prices to compensate for that extra speed.

    I just don't see all progress as progress. Change for the sake of change also might not be progress after all.
     
  2. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    4,343
    57
    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    I was there when microwaves were introduced. The only barriers there were cost (early ones cost $400+ in 1975 dollars) and knowledge (you can't cook a hot dog in 20 seconds! Oh - you *can*?). You didn't need to know much to operate them.

    VCRs are an interesting case. Same barriers but once they were overcome, the technical barriers to programming the clock and the then-manual tuners became a source of material for late-night comedians. Studies were even done to find out how many people had VCRs that were flashing "12:00" and there were a LOT.

    Dial-up internet started happening in the 1990s. Not many people could handle loading a stack and dialing and keeping one's modem parameters in tune with the settings on the serial port at the time. Now, when Windows 95 had it built-in and modems went to USB, you overcame a lot of that.

    Likewise, there are going to have to be technologies introduced that erase the number of visible layers of things that can go wrong before streaming video really takes off. The way I see it, here are the things that have to happen:

    - The device has to be a 'toaster'. It has to "just work". And it has to have a very friendly interface.

    - All ISPs are going to have to upgrade their networks. AFAIK, only Verizon is building for the future. When I had Fios installed, the guy told me that, even with TV, they weren't even using a quarter of the bandwidth available to the house.

    - Price. $50/mo for just the internet is going to have to come down. (My fiber runs $49.95/mo)

    - ISPs will also have to get rid of the idea that they can/should put caps on service. This harkens back to when people wanted to, in the lingo of the day, "put tollbooths on the information superhighway" with their by-the-byte billing. That idea flew like a dead goose and stunk like one as well.
     
  3. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

    4,632
    0
    Sep 27, 2006
    I cannot believe this thread is still open. Blu-ray is not dead. Downloading may be the future. However, it's 10+ years away. Sure downloading is possible; however we're putting the horse ahead of the carriage. The question shouldn't be "will downloading kill Blu-ray"? The question should be "when will we ALL have sufficient download speeds capable of downloading 1GB+ movies"? The movie companies will not drop Blu-ray for downloading anytime soon. For example, how productive would it be for Universal to ship Blu-ray discs out by bicycle? Not too productive. Right now, downloading is the bicycle; Blu-ray is the Ferrari. Money rules!
     
  4. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

    953
    0
    Aug 28, 2007
    Ha ha!
    I guess that depends on whether or not you have access to the Autobahn or a trail behind your house. :lol:
    Me, "I've got an Interstate running through my front yard", so I've got little use for the blu-ray bicycle. I need that Ferrari, and that's a fat pipe and some nifty tools to get to the good stuff ;) Ain't that America!
     
  5. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    Again, Mr. Fowler, I ask if that "Interstate" runs through the legal, or illegal, part of town. I submit that if you're getting all this content illegally that your argument is both ethically questionable and untenable for the long term.
     
  6. puckhead

    puckhead Legend

    115
    1
    Sep 21, 2007
    While I am of the belief that downloads and physical media will exist together for ~10 more years, I will add that Blu-ray players are not quite at the "just works" phase for those not so technically inclined. HDMI handshakes, firmware updates, lossless audio formats, 24p modes, etc are just a few of the hurdles that come with the enjoyment of being Blu. Perhaps these features are not such a huge issue for DBSTalkers, but the average consumer may be thrown for a loop.

    As recently as this Christmas I was showing off the miracle of component versus composite cable to my family members with SD DVD players and newly purchased HDTVs.

    I forget where I read it, but someone described Blu-ray as "training wheels" for digital downloads. :lol:
     
  7. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    32,456
    258
    Jul 28, 2004
    I have 2 BD units - they just work (and have since day one).

    I have 4 nearby friends who have Blu Ray units - they just work (without issues).

    Never heard of any of these units with a single HDMI issue - and all have had routine firmware updates, and lossless is working perfectly. This includes units ranging from price tags from $128 to $699.

    So hurdles? Hardly.

    Obviously "someone" has never been on a bike before, let alone ever used Blu Ray. :rolleyes:

    As for the digital downloads....that's currently the kind technology that has shown some of the most inconsistent performance and unpredictable results.

    It would appear that last quote should be the other way around.
     
  8. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

    953
    0
    Aug 28, 2007
    Classic :lol::lol:
     
  9. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

    4,839
    3
    Aug 4, 2006
    Silence speaks volumes, Mr. Sweet.:)
     
  10. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    4,343
    57
    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Another problem with digital downloads. Who has "everything"? Youcan get some from Netflix, some from Hulu, there's also YouTube (sort of), a variety of network on-line sites, etc, etc, etc.

    For Blu-ray, in it's simplest form, you go to Best Buy. If you're a little more technically oriented, you can go to DeepDiscount or Amazon. At all three places, the availability works out to pretty much EVERYTHING that is put out.

    There's going to have to be a Meeting of The Minds - and a LOT of minds - for digital downloads to take over. One thing in it's favor is that the studios have LONG wanted a pay-per-view model and DD could do that, but I think that would doom any effort to failure.
     
  11. Hutchinshouse

    Hutchinshouse Hall Of Fame

    4,632
    0
    Sep 27, 2006
    Enough with the John Mellencamp references. I too have the option to download movies. However, I don't steal.
     
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    32,456
    258
    Jul 28, 2004
    A non-denial denial...:D
     
  13. puckhead

    puckhead Legend

    115
    1
    Sep 21, 2007
    I am pleased for you and your friends. Anecdotal evidence aside, I don't believe I'm stretching too much stating that some consumers may have issues as I described. Think of those "flashing 12:00" people from the VHS days.


    Here's (<LINK) where I read it.

    I honestly hope Blu-ray has a long future. I've enjoyed HD-DVD and Blu-Ray for about a year and a half and absolutely love it. I'm only pointing out that mainstream consumers may have a hard time with even the most streamlined interfaces, let alone something relatively complicated like blu-ray. It only takes a moment in the AVS Blu-ray section to discover that a significant number of people have had trouble. I am by no means sounding the downfall of Blu-ray.
     
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
    287
    Jun 18, 2006
    I do think Blu-Ray will hang around, and it will get even easier than DVD players. Sure, you can poke around with advanced settings all you want, but I doubt it will be long before all the HDMI and sound issues are dealt with, and then it will simply be a matter of plugging the Blu-Ray player into a TV or AVR and you're done.

    Another thing they're going to have to deal with... because we're still in the early phases of adoption, a lot of players need frequent updating. I expect this to be less frequent, and less of a concern over time.
     
  15. puckhead

    puckhead Legend

    115
    1
    Sep 21, 2007

    I completely agree. I was merely pointing out we have a little ways to go to get to the "just works" stage as you describe.
     
  16. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    32,456
    258
    Jul 28, 2004
    Agree with Stuart as well.

    From a mass market perspective....it "just works" 90% of the time, which is actually much better than VHS did for the first 3 years of its existence (or even standard DVD for that matter)...heck..there are still some folks out there who couldn't figure out how to get the flashing 12:00 off their VHS player front panel...:D

    Blu Ray is proving to be much more plug and play than that.
     
  17. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Icon DBSTalk Club

    971
    0
    Jan 19, 2007
    The...
    I know some of those people with the flashing clock issue!:)
     
  18. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    4,266
    1
    May 28, 2007
    I see no real differences here than with DVD. For example, many people bought DVD players and plugged the yellow, red and white cables into their TV's AUX input and were all set. Others used component video out to 480p capable TV's and digital out to surround sound processors, etc. BD is the same. Many people will simply plug the HDMI cable (or, some may even just use the yellow, red and white cables) into the TV. Others will worry about setting everything to 24fps and using the right digital audio decoders, etc.

    As for the software upgrade issues, guess what? We had those with DVD! I have an old Sony DVD player that refuses to play about half of all Disney DVD's. And it's not user upgradeable. At least with BD, they have given the consumer the ability to overcome these problems if or when they occur.

    And that goes right to my point - BD is really in the same "just works" category as DVD. It's the "techno geeks" that are going to obsess over the connections and settings.

    And you think digital downloads fall into the "just works" category? Unless you are talking about pirated content, the legally download-able videos are much more difficult for "mom and pop" to deal with than BD. I mean, how many average users have a PC that's capable of HDMI handshaking with their TV? In fact, just go look at some of the DIRECTV2PC issues on the forum and you'll quickly see how complex an issue it is to stream HD content from a PC.

    No, I say BD is ready for primetime plug-and-play. More so than digital downloads.
     
  19. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    4,343
    57
    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    If anything, digital downloads should make BR *better*. The competition (since BR was first embraced by techno-geek early adopters) should bring BR prices down and keep the content coming.
     
  20. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    32,456
    258
    Jul 28, 2004
    I've seen more Blu Ray movies discounted below the $17 price line in the past 30 days than at any time before....

    By this next holiday season, $10 - $14 Blu ray movies will be commonplace.

    In addition, there are now over 35 Blu Ray dedicated players out there, either on retailers' shelves or else showing up within the next 30-60 days. Many of these are/will be selling for sub $250.

    Despte a bad economy, which is impacting anything and everything being sold on the market....there continues to be increased traction and revenue from Blu Ray each month....
     

Share This Page