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Is time running out for Blu-Ray?


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148 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

Yeah I know, this subject has been beat to death already but I figure, why not. :)

There have been some stories floating around the net this morning about how Blu-Ray's life clock is ticking very fast. I have always felt that Blu-Ray will never become a mainstream format. As a matter of fact, Blu-Ray will probably be a couple of ticks in the evolution of home entertainment.

I foresee a move from DVD directly to digital downloads skipping Blu-Ray all together. The reason? As each month goes by, online content streamers are getting better at what they do. I was watching a movie via Netflix the other day in HD. It was blown up on a 106” projection screen. While it did not look or sound as good as Blu-Ray, it looked very good. If I had a choice between purchasing it on Blu-Ray for $20-$30 or picking up the remote and streaming it on demand in HD, I would seriously consider the latter…and I am what you would consider a “home theater nut”. You can pretty much figure what the average Joe will do with a remote and a 42” LCD. They probably would not be able to tell the difference between Blu-Ray and a HD download. It’s simply getting way too easy to view HD online content. Even the satellite companies are jumping in with 1080P downloads.

I’m really not trying to blow smoke at the Blu-Ray chearleaders. I own a PS3 myself with 50 or so Blu-Ray movies, but I think I can accurately predict that Blu-Ray will be like the laserdisc. It will be around for a while and audio/videophiles will build their collections but lets face it, the writing is already on the wall. It’s a transitional format that won’t be around to see 2015. As online content gets better and more people get fast internet connections, hard media will be a thing of the past. When sitting down to watch a movie in the evening, more and more I find myself checking my Netflix box and Apple TV before looking at my DVD collection. Granted, online downloads do not offer attractive titles (although Apple is getting some good stuff on Apple TV), it’s only a matter of time before that changes.

The bright spot is that at least our Blu-Ray collections won’t deteriorate. They will still look fantastic years from now assuming you can still find a player to play them. :)

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#2 OFFLINE   space86

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:29 PM

Online is the future that is a good thing.

#3 OFFLINE   roadrunner1782

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:40 PM

I personally like physical media myself, but that's just me! Although with my ipod, cd's have quickly become a thing of the past for me. I still worry about the ipod crashing (not that I've heard of one doing so) and I lose everything with the exception of the cd's I have that were transferred to the ipod! Either way I still like going to a store and purchasing an actual blu-ray to bring home and watch! I just wish they would lower the prices of them, $30 for a movie is just insane!!:nono2:

#4 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:53 PM

I like to own my media.. preferably on hard media.. I'd hate to have my movie collection wiped out by a drive failure..
That said, I still don't own a booray.. And I expect sony to kill it with bad pricing/buisness practices...

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#5 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:57 PM

If the ISP's get their way and implement download caps and extra charges when you exceed that amount that would put a big crimp in downloads.

IMHO I see BD and downloads coexisting, BD isn't going away. There are too many places where high speed internet connects aren't available yet or if they are aren't fast enough to make downloading of HD content 'user friendly' since it would take too long.

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#6 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:18 PM

I like to own my media.. preferably on hard media.. I'd hate to have my movie collection wiped out by a drive failure..
That said, I still don't own a booray.. And I expect sony to kill it with bad pricing/buisness practices...

I agree 100%. I like have the disc.

If the ISP's get their way and implement download caps and extra charges when you exceed that amount that would put a big crimp in downloads.

IMHO I see BD and downloads coexisting, BD isn't going away. There are too many places where high speed internet connects aren't available yet or if they are aren't fast enough to make downloading of HD content 'user friendly' since it would take too long.

I think this will be a big deal.

Internet caps will continue to become more common. I see this severly limiting the amount of movies someone can download.

I think the method/infrastructure for delivering broadband needs updating before delivering movies over the net becomes mainstream.

IMHO...:grin:

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#7 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:29 PM

Internet caps will continue to become more common. I see this severly limiting the amount of movies someone can download.

I think the method/infrastructure for delivering broadband needs updating before delivering movies over the net becomes mainstream.

IMHO...:grin:

Mike


Yes I think this will be the saving grace for BR. Conspiracy theory: Sony buys a bunch of ISPs and slaps caps on all of them to boost Blu Ray player sales. :eek2: :lol:

#8 OFFLINE   Koz

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

As long as there are people who keep money under their mattress because they don't trust banks, there will be a need for physical media.
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#9 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:46 PM

I have a Blu-ray rental subscription with Netflix. Currently a singld disk at a time rental, so only $8.95 a month. Better than streaming video, but the downside is that Netflix catalog is kinda sparse.

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#10 OFFLINE   phat78boy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:55 PM

I agree, hard media is nearing the end of its lifecycle. There will be always be a niche for it, but its mainstream adoption is on the down side.

As for the concerns with a HDD failure or virus, since when did people stop backing up their files? If you are properly backed up, digital is much safer then having a hard copy.

#11 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:08 PM

As for the concerns with a HDD failure or virus, since when did people stop backing up their files? If you are properly backed up, digital is much safer then having a hard copy.

This is something I was going to mention earlier. What do people consider "hard media"? A hard drive is hard media is it not? I find it much easier to make a backup of a hard drive than a DVD.

#12 OFFLINE   HDJulie

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:09 PM

I would think that digital media (drives) is more susceptible to failure than hard media. I know this from personal experience with hurricane Katrina. We lost everything to 18 feet of salt water but were able to recover some of our data that we had backed up to DVD's. Obviously, our hard drives were damaged beyond any readability. While flooding is not common, the same could happen in a fire, tornado, or from something as simple as electrical surge to the components.

I've started thinking about using an online backup system but our crappy satellite access prohibits that.

#13 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:22 PM

I expect that as soon as they get downloaded stuff realy running you will see the same kind of restrictions that PPV has today..
One of my major reasons for straight hard media is I own it forever..

If/when hard media dies you can expect to never own it again.. you will only be able to rent it :(

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#14 OFFLINE   txtommy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:30 PM

Until everyone has high speed internet access there will always be a need for DVD or Blu-ray or similar format. We have satellite internet and the Fair Access Policy prevents us from downloading movies or tv shows. The only other thing available would be dial-up and that would make for a slow movie.
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#15 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:43 PM

I'm not sure what any such speculaton would come from, as just last week, Blu Ray disk sales hit an all-time high of 16.8% of marketshare, and has been steadily growing now for months.

In addition, some of the newer titles have sold record numbers, including Dart Knight, which not only sold over 2 Million copies in Blu Ray the first 2 weeks, but also captured 36% of the marketshare (compared with standard DVDs).

Every major studio now issues most of their new releases in Blu Ray, as well as standard DVD format.

Add in that all of the major manufactures at the CES had new devices scheduled for release throughout 2009, and the library of Blu Ray movies available in 2009 is expected to go over 700, and it certainly looks more like its picking up steam, rather than dwindling.

I'm bullish (and I was not a Blu Ray fan a year ago, by the way).
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#16 OFFLINE   mmccaugh

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:53 PM

A lot if this hinges on if ISP's start implementing hard caps on monthly bandwidth utilization, with the easy availability of almost limitless high speed internet right now there is no reason to spend $30 on a movie.

However if prices come down on Blu-Ray discs, I can see them becoming more mainstream, also if bandwidth becomes more expensive to come by then the online services are going to become a lot less attractive.

For instance I downloaded The Dark Knight the other night to play on my X-Box, in HD the movie was over 6gb. I have seen proposed bandwidth caps from 5 - 40gb a month, so optimistically that 1 movie just used more than 15% of my allotment for the entire month.

Now the movie debate aside, I think Blu-Ray will stick around as a data storage format, as once media is more affordable, to me thats as simple as the transition from CD to DVD, optical storage is reliable for long term permanent backups and being able to fit more on a disc is a no brainer decision.

#17 OFFLINE   bleedgreenandgold

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:02 PM

Did anyone notice Vizio announced a blu-ray play at CES 2009? It will go for about 199. This price makes me finally want to switch over. Hopefully blu-ray dvd prices will drop!

#18 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:03 PM

It’s simply getting way too easy to view HD online content. Even the satellite companies are jumping in with 1080P downloads.

But I think I can accurately predict that Blu-Ray will be like the laserdisc. It will be around for a while and audio/videophiles will build their collections but lets face it, the writing is already on the wall. It’s a transitional format that won’t be around to see 2015. As online content gets better and more people get fast internet connections, hard media will be a thing of the past. When sitting down to watch a movie in the evening, more and more I find myself checking my Netflix box and Apple TV before looking at my DVD collection. Granted, online downloads do not offer attractive titles (although Apple is getting some good stuff on Apple TV), it’s only a matter of time before that changes.

The bright spot is that at least our Blu-Ray collections won’t deteriorate. They will still look fantastic years from now assuming you can still find a player to play them. :)


First off, Blu-Ray is no where near LaserDisc. I had LaserDisc for a number of years and its main issue beside size was availability. Blue Ray at this point does not have this problem

As for ease of downloading HD material online, I am a computer nut and sorry to say that I have not even jumped into that form of content delivery. I listen to a lot of podcasts and the twitter generation definitely feels this is they way things are going. Just listen to Buzz out load and that is all you hear about. That and how much Google and Mac suck.

I do believe that people will be buying less and renting more. I switched over about a year back of renting instead of buying DVDs. Reason was simple. I don't watch movies multiple times to justify the cost of a DVD over a monthly rental. When Netflix and BlockBuster made DVD deliver and Blue-Ray deliver easy I went to the mode of buy less rent more and I think that is one big reason why both DVD and Blu-Ray Sales were down last I checked.

Online definitely has the same appeal as the rental method I use, but with two fall negative. Picture Quality and choice. I am sure over time the choice issue will be fixed which leaves the PQ question. I am sure a lot of people will think they look the same and that is cool so I don't think PQ difference will gate the move. However, Peoples habits will and right now most people rent and find it very comfortable.

I will continue to see this trend happen. I would expect both Online and Rentals to continue to be strong and I think both formats will be around for a while. Blu-Ray is just starting to gets its steam and my guess is it has a decent amount of life in it depending if they can get Media and player cost down.

I don't see online taking over for a while, but I do see it growing. Physical media is not dead or even dying from what I can see.
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#19 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:15 PM

I would think that digital media (drives) is more susceptible to failure than hard media. I know this from personal experience with hurricane Katrina. We lost everything to 18 feet of salt water but were able to recover some of our data that we had backed up to DVD's. Obviously, our hard drives were damaged beyond any readability. While flooding is not common, the same could happen in a fire, tornado, or from something as simple as electrical surge to the components.

I've started thinking about using an online backup system but our crappy satellite access prohibits that.


Take a look at http://www.iosafe.com. $150 for a 500GB fire and waterproof hard drive.

#20 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:18 PM

Did anyone notice Vizio announced a blu-ray play at CES 2009? It will go for about 199. This price makes me finally want to switch over. Hopefully blu-ray dvd prices will drop!


You should be able to get a BD player under $199 right now. Costco had one for $170 during Christmas (Funai or similar brand). I bought a Panasonic BD-35 (a top rated model with BD-Live) at HH Gregg for $199. I figure prices will continue to drop as new models are introduced. I'll bet we see sub $100 players by Christmas 2009.




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