Originally Posted by Parkettpolitur
1) It's terrible compared to 1080p, which is the current standard. I expect current-gen technology in a 2000-3000$ device.
2) Maybe not the day after, but shows and movies are being released in 1080p-quality all the time. It's called Blu-Ray and I'd like to take advantage of it.
3) I have neither the money nor the space for a home theater setup. I have never owned a television and likely never will. I have been watching all of my movies on my Mac for close to a decade now. Why should this change? Why should I invest thousands into a home theater system when my MBP would be able to play Blu-Rays just fine, if it had the necessary drive?
In fact, most everyone I know uses their laptop for movie-watching. I know exactly one person my age who owns an HDTV. We're all students, so we have little money and space and our laptops are our primary media hubs. And Blu-Ray offers a lot of benefits, the first and foremost being amazing image quality that cannot yet be reached by digital downloads.
4) The upcoming Vaio Z has a fullHD 13" display... But I'll admit that this is somewhat niche. What isn't niche, however, is FullHD on 15" displays. The 15" MBP has a pitifully low resolution compared to its similarly priced PC-brethren. 1080p video looks amazing on an HP Envy, for example, which also has a 15" display. I guess one of the problems here is that Apple still hasn't implemented full resolution independence in OS X. Anyway, I'm not just expecting Apple to slap a BR-drive into the MBP and call it a day. I obviously expect them to update the screens to current quality standards so that we will be able to really take advantage of Blu-Ray's capabilities.
BTW, even at the 13"-MBP's puny resolution one would discern a leap in quality from DVD to BR.
And why would the battery crap out playing BR any sooner than playing a DVD?
5) You know, I'm all for the death of optical media and the removal of disc drives from Macs, but it's just not happening yet, for the exact reasons I outlined in my previous post(s). Apple is not providing us with a suitable alternative. This is not like the iMac launch when they left out the Floppy drive and only offered a CD-drive. That was a radical move too, but it paid off because Apple offered the superior and more modern technology - the CD-drive - and customers realized that they didn't need the Floppy. In this case, Apple is selling Macs with obsolete media capabilities that no one really likes - people like myself who want to watch movies on their MBPs dislike the Superdrive because it doesn't play BR, others would like to get rid of the Superdrive too because they don't watch movies on their laptops anway. Nobody is happy with the current situation! If Apple is indeed serious about abandoning optical media, as you theorize, they should simply DO IT ALREADY and start offering laptops without these drives and start selling digital media at 1080p all over the world. That would be a believable strategy. Instead, they're still offering downloads at terrible quality and they're still including the obsolete technology in their Macs (Superdrive) and pretending that there's nothing better around. I'm fine with Apple not giving me everything I want, but if they decide to omit the current standard for optical media from their computers, they had better be ready and willing to provide an alternative. They're not.
6) As far as I know, BR sales aren't bad when compared to DVD sales at the same point in their respective life-cycles.
1) It's not nearly as good, but saying 720p is terrible compared to 1080p on a computer screen is still hyperbole, IMO. I like Blu-ray movies on a large HDTV with a great sound system, but I reserve that for a certain type of movie experience that can't be had on a laptop.
2) TV shows are released on disc after the season is over and often right before the next season starts. This means that it might be almost a year after the show being available on Hulu or iTS before it hits optical media. This goes back to convenience which will almost always trump quality.
3) If you want to want to watch on a PC then you can buy a drive, internal or externa, and play BR movies in Windows, which any Intel Mac can load.
4a) FullHD is just marketing. Soon 1080p will get pushed down to 720p's ranking that you call "terrible".
4b) The lack of RI in Mac OS X is a problem. Windows quasi-RI implementation, Windows Presentation Foundation, might be a stop gate but it works well. At this point I think Apple has to have RI set up in 10.7 or offer an intermediate system like MS.
4c) Blu-ray is more power hungry than DVD for several reasons. One, the blue laser is reading and pushing a lot more data than on DVD. Second, H.264 or VC-1 requires a lot more resources to decode than DVD's MPEG-2. But DVD isn't power friendly, either. If you're going to watch a movie on battery, it's better to copy to and play from disk so you don't have a spinning optical drive or the noise it can make.
4d) It's interesting you mention the HP Envy's display which doesn't have an optical drive in it. Apple isn't usually the first to market with trends but they are usually the first to embrace the trend completely which signifies that the industry will now be following suit.
5a) Sure they are, on many levels. When they finally remove optical drives from notebooks (desktops have the room and won't need to follow for sometime later) they can put the OS Restore Disc on cheap read-only NAND drive. SD card or USB flash drive, take your pick.
5b) Even slow NAND is much faster than optical media, and that doesn't include the low power, fast read write, size, and rewritability
of these drives. Plus, when you compare the cost of a Blu-ray drive that will fit in a MBP to the cost of an SD Card reader and SD card, it takes a lot SD-cards before that becomes a viable option for cost. It's not just the cost of NAND v. a plastic disc, you have to include the player. There has to be a reason they added SD cards so late in the game, I think the new future of SDXC and the dying future of optical media on PCs was the reason.
5c) For those that just have to have an optical drive there are plenty of external options to choose from.
6) Yes, the sales are bad. Nearly all computers come with DVD drives, with many vendors offer Blu-ray drives as an option, but very few customers are opting for them. It's a great tech for a home theater, but it's a godawful tech for a notebook. Personally, I hope that Apple does offer Blu-ray and AACS support in the OS for movie playback, but I don't see it happening.