Well, thanks for the feedback.
Now, some points:
1.HTPC is a very fast growing segment of the entire PC market.
Perhaps... but most people do not have an internet connection near fast enough to handle the necessary bandwidth for HD... and many still do not have enough to handle high-quality SD. Also, computer screens are much smaller than average TV screens and lots of people find the larger screens a more enjoyable experience.
2.Computers with the 7.1 surround and streaming video were available at least 3 years ago.
When I bought my 5.1 surround receiver there were 6.1 already in existence... and 7.1 was right on the horizon. That said, there are only a handful of 6.1 movies in existence right now, with most being 5.1 or less. I'm also not convinced that anything above 6.1 adds meaningful to the sound experience.
4.You don’t need the whole 50GB to store one HD movie.
5GB usually enough to provide the picture quality comparable to the current satellite HD videostream.
MPEG2 HD is prime at 19.2 MBps... we typically see from 9-14 Mbps depending on the channel for HD via satellite. At those rates 10GB per hour is typical for a movie.. so a typical movie should be around 15-20GB give or take.
MPEG4 HD requires less bandwidth... but is still in the neighborhood of 6GB per hour... so you'd be talking 9-12GB or so for a comparable MPEG4 movie.
So you are correct that 50GB is not required for the typical movie... but more than 5GB is required for optimum quality. Again, if only watching on a 22" computer monitor or smaller, this may not matter.. but for most consumers the larger TV screen is a more enjoyable experience and the smaller file size definately shows the lack of quality at the file size you are talking about.
5.Finally, there is no need to keep all your movies locally, you can always download it from the central repository as long as you hold a legally purchased license. I understand, it’s going to take a while to adopt new technology, but it’s just our so called “not so distant future”. It won’t replace HD/BR DVDs completely, just make them a niche product for the undeveloped countries.
The entire internet would need to be upgraded/overhauled to make this happen... and while it may happen in the future, it will be a while in coming. Consider that I have a 6Mbps connection DSL but many Web sites I connect to cannot sustain that entire bandwidth just to me because their connection is not fast enough and/or they have to serve multiple customers simultaneously.
Some FiOs folks are getting 20-30+ Mbps download capacity... but almost no Web sites they can connect to at anywhere near that rate.
The infrastructure of the internet at all points would have to go through pretty much entire replacement to make this viable. Consider the recent Simpsons movie promos, and they ran a commercial where you could go to a Web site and "simpsonize" a picture of yourself as a cartoon character. The first time that commercial ran, if you tried to go to the Web site... most folks got a timeout error because the server was overloaded.
Too many weaknesses at this point to provide IPTV and HTPC kind of scenarios on a broad scale, and too expensive to upgrade overnight.