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Blu-ray chairman disagrees with Apple chief's assessment of format - Page 3

post #81 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

Well you can enjoy waiting a minute for the disc to load, I mean, for the disc to make sure you haven't "modified" your BD player, or update the firmware on your player to pointlessly patch the keys on it or be able to play the latest BS Java protection, or be forced to watch all the promos.

The rest of us will open up a file and be on our way

I like that and in fact, I have ripped my dvd's for personal use and encoded them with Handbrake: double-click and I'm away.

I was referring to the legitimacy of the Pirate Bay. With more and more people exploring this avenue of obtaining their entertainment, the people who believe in actually paying for it will have to pay more. That sucks.

And taking things to extremes, if *all* people start downloading movies from the Pirate Bay and other leech sites, there will be no reason for movie makers to invest their money in making said movies.
post #82 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Blu-ray releases sales figures; iTunes movie sales are so poor Apple won't release them. Needless to say, iTunes movie sales don't even come close to blu-ray sales, which is what makes Steve's comments all the more absurd. 40% of Avatar's physical media sales were on blu-ray. I didn't hear Apple crowing about how many copies they sold.

Currently the only way to distribute a 3D movie is BluRay. I think that helps explain the 40% BD share for Avatar.

As the movie and TV industries move forward with 3D, iTunes is stuck at sub-par, pseudo-720p and really cannot go forward unless and until Apple, the internet backbone, local ISPs and that last mile into our homes can cope with 100 million people wanting to stream 1080 3D at the same time. I think we're going to be waiting at least another decade before the infrastructure meets those requirements and who knows what amazing new bandwidth demanding technology will have been developed by then.
post #83 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Currently the only way to distribute a 3D movie is BluRay. I think that helps explain the 40% BD share for Avatar.

As the movie and TV industries move forward with 3D, iTunes is stuck at sub-par, pseudo-720p and really cannot go forward unless and until Apple, the internet backbone, local ISPs and that last mile into our homes can cope with 100 million people wanting to stream 1080 3D at the same time. I think we're going to be waiting at least another decade before the infrastructure meets those requirements and who knows what amazing new bandwidth demanding technology will have been developed by then.

Please get your facts straight before you post. The Avatar BD is 2D, and the special edition BD released later this year will also be 2D. Avatar in 3D on BD won't arrive until next year.
post #84 of 219
Maybe Steve is right that 720p downloads will be quickly, widely adopted. But I think it depends on how many people have actually seen a Blu Ray in person. Because I have to say they look incredible.

And it's not the 1080p that does it, it's the additional bitrate.

I recently ripped all my DVDs to my HD. I had resisted doing it for years, because I didn't want the (slight) loss of quality that comes with re-encoding. And you really have to re-encode, because MPEG2 files are just too big. But it occurred to me - "So what?" - DVDs are low quality to begin with by today's standards.

The point is, I think that people's (not just me) expectation of video quality have gone up in recent years, after being static for the longest time. And it is not really Blu Ray that has done it, but HDTV. And so people expect their movies they buy to be at least as good as TV.
post #85 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Excuse me but you seem to be the idiot. You apparently know nothing about Apple or else you wouldn't have made such a stupid statement. Apple is famous for NOT raising prices while at the same time improving the features and functions of the newest model (faster processors, more memory, speedier graphics, higher resolution screens) WITHOUT raising the price = providing even greater value! The other key factor about blu-ray is that the movies sold on these disks are ridiculously expensive! A ripoff by the studios. The benefit of watching blu-ray content on a smaller computer screen is minimal and not even worth arguing about. Its a large screen format.

Maybe in the US. Here in the UK Apple hikes it's prices a lot. Check the price of a top end iMac here vs in the US. When you stop laughing tell me what you think.

And as for BD prices, you get what you pay for. DVDs look like crap. BDs look amazing. Simple as that really.
post #86 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

Well you can enjoy waiting a minute for the disc to load, I mean, for the disc to make sure you haven't "modified" your BD player, or update the firmware on your player to pointlessly patch the keys on it or be able to play the latest BS Java protection, or be forced to watch all the promos.

The rest of us will open up a file and be on our way

That's hilarious. Have you ever seen a Blu-Ray movie? A minute (perhaps on older players, not on a PS3) wait for the menu to pop up is a small, small price to pay for 45mbit 1080p video with lossless audio.

Compare to a 5mbit 720p DD5.1 iTunes download. See the difference? I know I do.
post #87 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I can't believe this is still the case. As for licensing, build it into the cost of an add-on BR option and let customers make the decision.

It would be one thing if most Macs didn't already have an optical drive of some sort, and Apple was hesitant to add something entirely new. But instead they added a SD card slot into the latest Mini while still including the standard DVD drive. Just add it as an option and see if customers are willing to pay for the upgrade. There's almost no risk for Apple to do so (especially on the already-expensive Mac Pro, which offers a second optical drive and other esoteric options such as a fibre-channel card!)

I think it is more complicated than just swapping one drive out for another. Sure on my old Macs I used to swap a CD-ROM drive for a DVD-ROM or SuperDrive in 2 minutes, start to finish (whether IDE or SCSI).

But I think the "bag of hurt" is all to do with securing the computer's graphics/video system, isn't it? Don't MS and PC makers have to get some kind of DRM on to their graphics channel and ports, so that BlueRay content can't be recorded anywhere within or outside the computer -- BlueRay content is allowed to be watched on a supported monitor only?

If this is the case, then that tech has to go into ALL Macs, not just the ones for people who opt for the BlueRay drive. And that adds cost to all Macs.
post #88 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Maybe in the US. Here in the UK Apple hikes it's prices a lot. Check the price of a top end iMac here vs in the US. When you stop laughing tell me what you think.

And as for BD prices, you get what you pay for. DVDs look like crap. BDs look amazing. Simple as that really.

The apparent hike in price really isn't that big of a deal -- and I speak as a dual national who lives in Europe...

The UK quoted price does include VAT of at least 17 percent (19.5 here in Netherlands); the USA quoted price does not include sales tax, so add 6-9+ percent to US prices, depending on State. That brings the prices much closer together than at first glance. The US does not have a VAT.

Add fluctuating currencies, and that accounts for some more difference. I cross-check prices a lot using real-time currency rate comparisons, and in real terms it goes up and down. Depends what currency is up or down. Sometimes the UK price is 150 dollars less than the Euro price, sometimes the other way round.

Yes, you could probably save 100 or 150 dollars per 1000 on a large item at any given moment by buying in the US (40 - 90 Pounds depending on the exchange rate on the day), but it's not a ridiculous difference, because most electronics are cheaper in the States. It just costs more to do business in Europe than in the States -- higher rent, more taxes, lower volumes, etc. So, I do not think it is simply a case that "in the UK Apple hikes it's prices a lot". I think they are being as fair as they can be.

My dad's picking up an iPad for me in the States (not available in NL yet); sure I save a little, but I thought I was saving more until he told me about the sales tax -- and I have to wait a few weeks before I meet up with him in UK and see it, meantime he's playing with it! (if someone picks one up in the States for you, they should unbox it and use it a little before bringing it over).
post #89 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

Bluray is good for one thing and one thing only: 1080p MKV rips. No DRM, no BS on cutting down the audio or bit rate or resolution, just h.264 HQ rips.

Long live Thepiratebay.org!

Nice to see the advocacy of theft. Can we get that in writing?? The MPAA might be interested in your statements. BTW, I am joking but not.
post #90 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

If this is the case, then that tech has to go into ALL Macs, not just the ones for people who opt for the BlueRay drive. And that adds cost to all Macs.

People have already mentioned that if you attach a USB blu-ray drive and boot you Mac to Windows you can watch blu-ray movies, so all this technology must already exist in the Macs.
post #91 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Check AI front page first. It was the first story today.

Oops, I missed that.

On Blu-Ray, it'd be nice if Aple gave its customers the choice to have or not have Blu-Ray in their Macs. This isn't the same as the Flash debate at all. The new Mac Mini should have been given a Blu Ray choice... it would have made it a very tempting machine even for people who wouldn't normally buy a Mac.

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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

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post #92 of 219
Lack of Blu-ray hasn't stopped anyone from buying a Mac or any other computer.

The minority of computers are sold with Blu-ray drives. No software comes on it, and there's no cost advantage to burning Blu-ray data discs. It's cheaper to just buy a large hard drive. It's probably still cheaper to just buy DVDs.

I have a 16 GB flash drive that can fit multiple HD titles, and I paid about $30 for it. I can play these videos on a PS3 or Xbox 360, or any computer. Why would I limit myself to only having Blu-ray compatibility when so many more devices are compatible with USB?

People don't even realize that they can burn Blu-ray discs. People don't burn discs anymore, period, and if they do, they are probably burning DVDs. I just don't see it happening, it takes a large amount of time to burn a DVD and most people I know have no clue how to do it.

Everyone is using an iPod for music, and online on-demand rentals, or Netflix/Redbox for their media needs. The average joe will soon discover the merits of flash media. There is no place for burning media in this day and age.

My Macbook might as well not have a disc drive because I never use it (Please Apple, can I have a proper netbook? How about a higher quality netbook for around $600? Surely you can manage a huge margin at that price.)
post #93 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

The apparent hike in price really isn't that big of a deal -- and I speak as a dual national who lives in Europe...

The UK quoted price does include VAT of at least 17 percent (19.5 here in Netherlands); the USA quoted price does not include sales tax, so add 6-9+ percent to US prices, depending on State. That brings the prices much closer together than at first glance. The US does not have a VAT.

Add fluctuating currencies, and that accounts for some more difference. I cross-check prices a lot using real-time currency rate comparisons, and in real terms it goes up and down. Depends what currency is up or down. Sometimes the UK price is 150 dollars less than the Euro price, sometimes the other way round.

Yes, you could probably save 100 or 150 dollars per 1000 on a large item at any given moment by buying in the US (40 - 90 Pounds depending on the exchange rate on the day), but it's not a ridiculous difference, because most electronics are cheaper in the States. It just costs more to do business in Europe than in the States -- higher rent, more taxes, lower volumes, etc. So, I do not think it is simply a case that "in the UK Apple hikes it's prices a lot". I think they are being as fair as they can be.

My dad's picking up an iPad for me in the States (not available in NL yet); sure I save a little, but I thought I was saving more until he told me about the sales tax -- and I have to wait a few weeks before I meet up with him in UK and see it, meantime he's playing with it! (if someone picks one up in the States for you, they should unbox it and use it a little before bringing it over).

Not sure how you have reached that conclusion, but in my experience the difference in price between US and UK is far more than 17.5%.

A few examples:

iPad 16gb - $499 US / £429 UK ($648) US inc 17.5% $586
iMac 27" quad - $1999 US / £1634 UK ($2468) US inc 17.5% ($2348)
Mac Mini - $699 US / £649 UK ($980) US inc 17.5% ($821)

Some pretty healthy margins on those UK inflated prices. Apple are being far from fair, - they're simply ripping UK (and I can imagine all EU) customers off.
post #94 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

Lack of Blu-ray hasn't stopped anyone from buying a Mac or any other computer.

Speak for yourself. The lack of BD in Macs is why I still use a desktop Win 7 PC.
post #95 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

That's hilarious. Have you ever seen a Blu-Ray movie? A minute (perhaps on older players, not on a PS3) wait for the menu to pop up is a small, small price to pay for 45mbit 1080p video with lossless audio.

Compare to a 5mbit 720p DD5.1 iTunes download. See the difference? I know I do.

I think you're overestimating the average consumer. I have Blu-Ray and while it's better than the average DVD (especially with upsampling), it's not like watching Hi-Def compared to 1960s Black and White. It's a very subtle difference - and if the movie's any good, you'll be watching the movie rather than examining pixels.

That's the problem we're at with BD (and computers, and audio, and so on). In the past, purchases were driven by the new product being such an overwhelming improvement over the previous version that there was a huge incentive to go out and buy. If you're watching VHS which is a 50 on a scale of 1 to 100 and DVD is a 90, you'll buy. If you have a DVD at 90 and BD comes out at 98, it's not as big a driving force.

{The same thing is true of computers. My newest computer is 3 years old - and I have no desire to upgrade it. It's plenty fast for what I do. In the past, I was ready for a new one after about 2 years - and almost always upgraded by year 3. Technology has improved to the point that it exceeds the average user's needs by a large enough margin that there's no more automatic upgrade cycle the way there was in the past}

That's not to say that people won't buy BD, but that there's less built in pressure to do so. Classic case where price is going to have a huge impact. If Blu-Ray discs were the same price as DVD, I'd switch over. Since BD is twice as much some times, I don't buy as many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The minority of computers are sold with Blu-ray drives. No software comes on it, and there's no cost advantage to burning Blu-ray data discs. It's cheaper to just buy a large hard drive. It's probably still cheaper to just buy DVDs.

I have a 16 GB flash drive that can fit multiple HD titles, and I paid about $30 for it. I can play these videos on a PS3 or Xbox 360, or any computer. Why would I limit myself to only having Blu-ray compatibility when so many more devices are compatible with USB?

Those are great points. First, price is too high. Given that there's no overwhelming quality advantage (see above), they should have been pushing for rapid adoption by pricing it at close to the same price as DVD. Instead, they got greedy, slowing adoption.

Second, it's all about compatibility. When I buy a movie, I'd like to be able to watch it on my TV, but also load it onto my iPad, my daughter's iPod, or play it on a portable DVD player or computer. Because of the cost and licensing restrictions of BD, that's not going to happen any time soon.

Bottom line is that the Blu-Ray consortium was greedy. Instead of pushing for rapid adoption and wide-spread sales, they decided to add onerous DRM and to set extremely high pricing - both of which slow adoption. The result is that BD doesn't drive the market they way they should at this stage in the cycle.
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post #96 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Not sure how you have reached that conclusion, but in my experience the difference in price between US and UK is far more than 17.5%.

A few examples:

iPad 16gb - $499 US / £429 UK ($648) US inc 17.5% $586
iMac 27" quad - $1999 US / £1634 UK ($2468) US inc 17.5% ($2348)
Mac Mini - $699 US / £649 UK ($980) US inc 17.5% ($821)

Some pretty healthy margins on those UK inflated prices. Apple are being far from fair, - they're simply ripping UK (and I can imagine all EU) customers off.

Those differences are mostly not all that large (other than the Mini). Try comparing US car prices to UK prices if you want to see a real difference.

The problem, though, is that you're assuming that the cost of doing business is the same in the UK as in the US. You have very different laws and rules and it costs more to do business there. The prices reflect that.

The bottom line is that there's a price for a product. You decide if you want to buy that product or not. Whining about "it's too expensive" doesn't do you any good. If enough people refuse to buy, the company drops its prices. If lots of people buy, then the price is OK. So far, the latter appears to be the case.
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post #97 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

I've never seen a Blu-Ray movie. I'm sure they look great but how great and at what price? I really enjoy DVDs on my computer. My 23" DVI connected screen at 1900 X 1080 plays those discs great. How much sharper can a video be? If I knew someone with a Blu-Ray screen I'd ask them to show me the same movie in Blu-Ray and DVD. I'd go rent the same movie in DVD format if they didn't have it just so I could see the difference.

The difference between Blu-ray and DVD is readily apparent to me on a 46" 1080p screen. It's too bad you don't know anyone who can properly demonstrate it to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

DVDs are a great medium but they are in the same boat as CDs it's just taking longer for the market to get into saving or buying digital copies of movies. Maybe that won't happen as fast. If DVDs go away for digital downloads I don't think Blu-Ray will last any longer.

The thing I hate about CDs, CD ROMs, and DVDs is they degrade due to oxidation of the aluminum inside them. There are companies that make discs with gold as the recording medium. Since gold doesn't tarnish those should last as long as the plastic lasts. They cost a fortune.

I've got CD's that are 25+ years old and they play just fine. As a matter of fact, of the 1500 some-odd CD's that I own, I don't think I've ever had a disk fail due to oxidation. Actually, I don't think I've ever had a CD fail that I didn't accidentally destroy myself. My DVD's are doing just fine as well. My oldest DVD, a copy of the Clint Eastwood flick "In The Line Of Fire", is going on 13 years old and it played fine just last month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

My life is just fine without Blu-Ray discs. Perhaps they'll just end up being for videophiles.

Hey, each to his own and I get that, but this is a classic example of the "ignorance is bliss" mentality. Blu-ray is not for everyone as it is obvious that you need other supporting components to take full advantage of what it has to offer. The unfortunate thing is, many people like yourself, have written it off without actually giving it a fair shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Too many things in life are about price not quality. That is why I think Blu-Ray is destined to fail.

This is the sad unfortunate fact my friend. I've said this before, but it's disheartening that we are constantly being conditioned to settle for less. Even worse is that many are settling. Just look at digital downloads, they've outpaced CD's at a fraction of the quality and for what, instant gratification. And on top of it all, the music labels sell it for practically the same price as a regular CD. Now, it looks like video is poised to follow in music's footsteps.
post #98 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

Lack of Blu-ray hasn't stopped anyone from buying a Mac or any other computer.

Stated as fact. Would you be willing to back up that assertion with a bet? I can come up with five people who have held off buying new computers (two just for the latest Mac Mini alone) because they didn't have BD drives. They're simply holding back with their current machines, waiting for a compelling reason to upgrade. Inclusion of a BD drive would have tipped the scales for them.


Quote:
The minority of computers are sold with Blu-ray drives. No software comes on it, and there's no cost advantage to burning Blu-ray data discs. It's cheaper to just buy a large hard drive. It's probably still cheaper to just buy DVDs.

Where did disc-burning come from?!? I don't think people here are promoting BluRay players just so they can use them for burning. It's primarily about playback.
post #99 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckh1272 View Post

Nice to see the advocacy of theft. Can we get that in writing?? The MPAA might be interested in your statements.


So far, Americans are free to advocate pretty much anything they want. Many people like it that way.
post #100 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Stated as fact. Would you be willing to back up that assertion with a bet? I can come up with five people who have held off buying new computers (two just for the latest Mac Mini alone) because they didn't have BD drives. They're simply holding back with their current machines, waiting for a compelling reason to upgrade. Inclusion of a BD drive would have tipped the scales for them.

Count me as one of those people. I would definitely have bought a 27" iMac last year if it had at least come with a BTO option for a Blu-ray drive.
post #101 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

Lack of Blu-ray hasn't stopped anyone from buying a Mac or any other computer.

People don't even realize that they can burn Blu-ray discs.

People don't burn discs anymore, period,

Everyone is using an iPod for music,


All true.
post #102 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

40% of Avatar's physical media sales were on blu-ray. I didn't hear Apple crowing about how many copies they sold.

That is a bit disingenuous. Avatar on DVD cost $19.99. Avatar on DVD+BD cost $21.99. So, basically, they are charging $2 for Blu-Ray. And yet, even for $2 60% of consumers chose not to buy Blu-Ray.

I am actually really surprised that only 40% of Avatar were sold as Blu-ray. Avatar was techy-geek movie primarily made to show off incredible graphics. I would expect that most people who would buy Avatar, would have higher end audio-visual systems than the average American and thus would want Blu-Ray.

This also calls into question the original contention that Blu-Ray is selling as well now as DVD did. I never bought a DVD coupled with a VHS tape. About two-thirds of my Blu-Ray discs have been bought as a package with a DVD, with a minimal additional cost. Basically, I am paying around $2-5 for the Blu-Ray. DVDs still rarely sell for that little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

I think it is more complicated than just swapping one drive out for another. Sure on my old Macs I used to swap a CD-ROM drive for a DVD-ROM or SuperDrive in 2 minutes, start to finish (whether IDE or SCSI).

But I think the "bag of hurt" is all to do with securing the computer's graphics/video system, isn't it? Don't MS and PC makers have to get some kind of DRM on to their graphics channel and ports, so that BlueRay content can't be recorded anywhere within or outside the computer -- BlueRay content is allowed to be watched on a supported monitor only?

If this is the case, then that tech has to go into ALL Macs, not just the ones for people who opt for the BlueRay drive. And that adds cost to all Macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

People have already mentioned that if you attach a USB blu-ray drive and boot you Mac to Windows you can watch blu-ray movies, so all this technology must already exist in the Macs.

It is more complicated than that. Not only does the hardware have to be specialized for Blu-Ray playback, but so does the operating system. From my understanding, there is a performance hit on the system related to simply building Blu-Ray playback into a computer's OS.

Now, let's look at this from Apple's perspective. Apple sells the majority of its computers in the portable market. Over the last few years Apple has been going to great lengths to increase the life of the batteries that power their money making portables. In fact, many people theorize that the inclusion of the SD slot in the MacBook is the first step in removing the power hungry optical drive from Apple's laptops, and I agree. Not only would getting rid of the internal optical drive reduce power consumption, but would open up valuable real estate for more battery, and could lead to a thinner and lighter laptop.

But, here comes an optical format which is pretty much only useful for watching movies, which would require not only that Apple possibly abandon plans to ditch the optical drive, but would also eat up precious computational resources, which equate to heat and power draw.

So, here is the simple equation that I see Apple looking at.

Support Blu-Ray:
Minuses
*Additional cost which either equates to higher prices or lower margins.
*Decreased performance due to required DRM demands
*Decreased battery life due to required DRM demands, even on systems that might not have Blu-Ray
*Increased complexity of OS code due to required DRM
*More people having access to proprietary OS code during validation that DRM has been properly implemented
*Longer time between OS updates as another, outside source must vet the new code to determine that no DRM bypasses are possible
*Increased time to require optical drives to support payback of investment in Blu-Ray
Pluses
*Might sell some more computers (although this is highly unlikely as the people who really want Blu-Ray on a computer also likely want HDMI. Which means more cost and development moving in a direction counter to the move to DisplayPort).

You could add onto that the very minimal loss in sales of movies through iTunes, but nobody in the know thinks that iTunes profits are anywhere high enough to lead business decisions. Even independent analyst have said that iTunes profits are marginal at best.

To me the simple point is that Apple is a hardware company. They make the vast majority of their money from selling hardware. And more and more of their hardware is moving towards portables. Be that the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the iPad, or the MacBooks. The benefits to Apple as a company for supporting Blu-Ray just isn't there for the minimal possibility of their possible sales.

I can honestly believe that Steve Jobs said that the cost was too high for the probably life of the media. He may have been talking about the media itself, or he may have been talking about the fact that as Apple's profit generators move to smaller and more portable systems the feasibility and desirability for incorporating Blu-Ray into their lines becomes less and less real. Thus there is a very short window for Apple to profit from Blu-Ray. After all, you aren't going to fit a Blu-Ray player into an iPhone or iPad.

At least that is my take on it. Personally, I am glad that Apple isn't messing with Blu-Ray. That is why I have a PS3.
post #103 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I think you're overestimating the average consumer. I have Blu-Ray and while it's better than the average DVD (especially with upsampling), it's not like watching Hi-Def compared to 1960s Black and White. It's a very subtle difference - and if the movie's any good, you'll be watching the movie rather than examining pixels.

If you find the difference between DVD and 1080p blu-ray to be "very subtle", then you're either doing something wrong or have poor eyesight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's not to say that people won't buy BD, but that there's less built in pressure to do so. Classic case where price is going to have a huge impact. If Blu-Ray discs were the same price as DVD, I'd switch over. Since BD is twice as much some times, I don't buy as many.

Often times, blu-ray discs are the same price as DVD. And people are buying blu-ray players; the adoption rate is the same as DVD was at this point in it's life. Don't believe everything Steve Jobs tells you; if digital downloads were all the rave, they'd be busting out those sales and rentals figures every quarter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

That is a bit disingenuous. Avatar on DVD cost $19.99. Avatar on DVD+BD cost $21.99. So, basically, they are charging $2 for Blu-Ray. And yet, even for $2 60% of consumers chose not to buy Blu-Ray.

I am actually really surprised that only 40% of Avatar were sold as Blu-ray. Avatar was techy-geek movie primarily made to show off incredible graphics. I would expect that most people who would buy Avatar, would have higher end audio-visual systems than the average American and thus would want Blu-Ray.

Now that's disingenuous. It's not packaged as "DVD + Blu-ray". The disc is packaged with a big-ass blu-ray logo on it; people without a blu-ray player aren't going to look at it long enough to realize it also includes a DVD. Instead, they're going to reach for the one labeled "DVD". And the only way the sales figures could be higher than 40% were if more people had blu-ray players. It's not just the higher end audio-visual consumers who buy movies you know.
post #104 of 219
Where does SJ think Blu-Ray is going? Until Apple and broadband speeds can match BluRay quality movies, things like Netflix will make sure that BluRay doen't go anywhere.

I'm sure BluRay player sales will peak soon, but that doesn't mean it's dead. It means that the format has caught on. But, iTunes inferior HD quality, the rental price of $6 a movie (Netflix BluRay starts at $11 a month), and Broadband that can't support full streaming of true 1080p in most places will prevent BluRay from going anywhere in the future.
post #105 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

If you find the difference between DVD and 1080p blu-ray to be "very subtle", then you're either doing something wrong or have poor eyesight.

Compared to previous generation improvements, the differences ARE modest.

Compare TV to Radio.
Compare B/W TV to color TV
Compare Cable to over the air TV in rural areas
Compare DVD to VHS
All of those are huge, "hit you right between the eyes" improvements.

DVD (especially upsampled) to BD is just not that scale of improvement. Not even close.

I have average vision and a good quality system (not videophile, but well above average), so I'm not doing anything wrong. It's just not as huge a gain as the BD fans are pretending.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Often times, blu-ray discs are the same price as DVD.

Really? Where?

Avatar is $30 on BD at Best Buy, DVD is $20. That's about the same ratio as almost everything I've seen there. I've bought dozens of movies at Best Buy since I got my Blu-Ray player and don't recall EVER seeing the price being the same. In fact, about 75% of the time, the price difference is high enough that I buy the DVD version.

Going back to the above, when DVD came out, even though it was more expensive than VHS, when I went into a store to buy a movie, I ALWAYS bought the DVD version (when available). The quality difference justified it. For BD, it doesn't justify a 50% (or more) premium for many people.
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post #106 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

From my understanding, there is a performance hit on the system related to simply building Blu-Ray playback into a computer's OS.

Even if that were the case (and I really doubt today's machines couldn't handle it) it would only be true while playing a BD disc. Meanwhile, Flash is a known resource hog on the Mac yet we manage to shut it off (Click-to-Flash) when not desired.

Quote:
Now, let's look at this from Apple's perspective. Apple sells the majority of its computers in the portable market. Over the last few years Apple has been going to great lengths to increase the life of the batteries that power their money making portables...

[portable-specific rationale snipped]

Fine. Don't include it in laptops. But offer it as BTO in the desktop machines, at an added cost (in case that wasn't obvious) for those who are willing to pay for it. It's not a technological challenge - it's a an artificial marketing decision to not do so.
post #107 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Compared to previous generation improvements, the differences ARE modest.

Compare TV to Radio.
Compare B/W TV to color TV
Compare Cable to over the air TV in rural areas
Compare DVD to VHS
All of those are huge, "hit you right between the eyes" improvements.

There's no doubt that DVD raised the bar substantially. But the comparison between VHS and DVD is like one between a McDonalds cheeseburger and a good steak. You were going from 240 lines of horizontal resolution (on a good day) and analog mono or stereo sound to 480 lines and Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1. Blu-ray is like the filet mignon with the potential to be like a Kobe steak under the right circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Avatar is $30 on BD at Best Buy, DVD is $20. That's about the same ratio as almost everything I've seen there. I've bought dozens of movies at Best Buy since I got my Blu-Ray player and don't recall EVER seeing the price being the same. In fact, about 75% of the time, the price difference is high enough that I buy the DVD version.

Going back to the above, when DVD came out, even though it was more expensive than VHS, when I went into a store to buy a movie, I ALWAYS bought the DVD version (when available). The quality difference justified it. For BD, it doesn't justify a 50% (or more) premium for many people.

Here's a bit of advice, don't buy Blu-ray movies from Best Buy (or Walmart or Target). Avatar sells for $21.99 on Amazon. I buy all my blu-rays from Amazon and I've never paid more than $25 for a new release. Truth is, in most instances, the Blu-ray version of a movie represents a 25%-30% price increase. I think it's a safe bet to say that blu-ray represents at least a 25%-30% increase in quality. So to me, the price is justified. Throw in the digital or DVD copies that frequently come with many blu-rays and the price is even more justifiable. Sorry if I sounded like an ad for Amazon, but I haven't found better prices for blu-ray movies anywhere. BTW, my copy of Saving Private Ryan on blu-ray was $19.99. Well worth it in my opinion. Oh, and one more thought, the price that really isn't justified is $20 for an HD-Lite copy of a movie from iTunes.
post #108 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Not sure how you have reached that conclusion, but in my experience the difference in price between US and UK is far more than 17.5%.

A few examples:

iPad 16gb - $499 US / £429 UK ($648) US inc 17.5% $586
iMac 27" quad - $1999 US / £1634 UK ($2468) US inc 17.5% ($2348)
Mac Mini - $699 US / £649 UK ($980) US inc 17.5% ($821)

Some pretty healthy margins on those UK inflated prices. Apple are being far from fair, - they're simply ripping UK (and I can imagine all EU) customers off.

You can't just add 17.5% to the lower price, you have to instead take 17.5% from the larger UK price, which makes a difference. This is how I have calculated to reach the before tax price in both countries:

iPad:
USA: 499 US
UK : 648 US - 17.5% VAT = 551
52 dollars difference.

iMac:
USA: 1999 US
UK : 2468 US - 17.5% VAT = 2100
100 dollars difference.

Mac Mini:
USA: 699 US
UK : 980 US - 17.5% VAT = 834
Bigger difference, 135 US, don't know why. Reckon it should be 599 GBP and not 649.

The iPad and iMac are well within the range I mentioned: you may save 100-150 on a 1000-dollar purchase. In fact when it comes to the iMac, the UK price is only 100 US (65 GBP) higher, on a 2000-dollar purchase. If they were simply padding their margin and raising UK prices across the board, I would expect the iMac to be more (in the same proportion, another 100 US); instead, it looks like the prices may reflect the normal US margins, with cost of business and currency fluctuations built in. You often see price differences larger than this between different stores that sell the same product within one country. I like being able to count on one price for Apple gear per country.

The Mac Mini is apparently more proportionally, and just outside the higher end of my range. That does disappoint me, but I hadn't been shopping for one of those. In the case of the Mac Mini, I would definitely look for the possibility of getting it elsewhere; but for the other two it is hardly worth the bother, and seems insignificant in the scheme of things, even for me who has little cash to spare.

I still don't think it is necessarily a case of Apple trying to pad or raise their margins unfairly -- as I said, I think the remaining differences in price are largely down to the higher cost of doing business in Europe -- and the need to have a built-in mechanism to deal with fluctuations in exchange rates (which change between manufacturing and shipping, and the time of purchase).
post #109 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Now that's disingenuous. It's not packaged as "DVD + Blu-ray". The disc is packaged with a big-ass blu-ray logo on it; people without a blu-ray player aren't going to look at it long enough to realize it also includes a DVD. Instead, they're going to reach for the one labeled "DVD". And the only way the sales figures could be higher than 40% were if more people had blu-ray players. It's not just the higher end audio-visual consumers who buy movies you know.

I didn't mean to be.

You are correct that not just higher end audio-visual consumers buy movies, but the specific example given was the movie Avatar. Can you honestly tell me that this particular movie doesn't appeal to the techy-type more than the average Joe? Can you honestly tell me that the techy-type is less likely to have a high end HD setup than the average Joe?

A more accurate movie to give numbers for would be perhaps The Hurt Locker. This movie is sold as DVD or Blu-Ray only, there is no combination pack that I have seen. Also, this movie would appeal to a much more diverse audience then Avatar.

And you might very well be correct that the 40% is a hard limit due to the availability of Blu-Ray players. I don't know. I am just saying that Avatar is not a very good example to use for several reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Even if that were the case (and I really doubt today's machines couldn't handle it) it would only be true while playing a BD disc. Meanwhile, Flash is a known resource hog on the Mac yet we manage to shut it off (Click-to-Flash) when not desired.

From everything that I have seen, that is the case. Even Bill Gates commented about the cost of the DRM on Blu-Ray.

As for not being able to handle it. That isn't the point. Of course, they can handle it. However, each processor cycle isn't free. It takes power for each process ran. That power draw has to come from somewhere. On a desktop it equates to a very minimal extra electric cost, not enough to even mention. On a portable it equates to shorter battery life. Something that is very noticeable.

As for the computational cost only occurring while the Blu-Ray is playing. Are you sure about that? Because it seems to me that there has to at least be a check at numerous, numerous levels regarding whether a Blu-Ray disc is playing or not.

The conditional statements do not go away just because you aren't playing a movie. So, I am having a hard time seeing how it would only have an impact when a movie is playing. I can see that the impact could be higher when a movie is playing, but nothing is free.

What does disabling a browser plug-in have to do with disabling something that would have to be built into several layers of the OS? That isn't even close to being the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Fine. Don't include it in laptops. But offer it as BTO in the desktop machines, at an added cost (in case that wasn't obvious) for those who are willing to pay for it. It's not a technological challenge - it's a an artificial marketing decision to not do so.

That would mean that Apple would have to have two separate OSes. One for laptops and one for desktops. That means two sets of code to maintain and debug. That means engineering resources that are spent.

You are right that it really isn't a technological challenge. You are completely wrong that it is a marketing decision. It is a business decision. It is called return on investment.

Supporting Blu-Ray will cost Apple something.

Playing devil's advocate, let's assume for a second your contention that there is no technology drawbacks to incorporating Blu-Ray. It would still cost money to implement. You contend that Apple could then pass that cost on to the final user.

So, here is the situation. Apple has to weigh the return on this investment.

It has to do a major rework on its OS, that cost money. Support this separate OS, that cost money. Buy the Blu-Ray players, that cost money.

Then it has to weigh how much a consumer would be be willing to pay for Blu-Ray?

Would they expect it to only cost as much as Dell or HP charged, despite the fact that these companies do not have to pay for the software side of the Blu-Ray deal? Would they REALLY be more likely to buy an iMac with an "overpriced" Blu-Ray player or would they still buy the PC with the Blu-Ray player and come to this site and complain about how greedy Apple is for charging such exorbitant prices for Blu-Ray?

So, they can't even expect to grab all of the very small group clamoring for Blu-Ray players in a computer. How big is that market? Let's say that Blu-Ray has a ten year life span before the next big thing comes along and displaces it. Could Apple concievably make back the money that they spent on Blu-Ray? Could they in twenty? Will Blu-Ray still be around by that point?

How long until the majority of customers at that time have 1Gbps fiber to the home and be capable of downloading an entire HD movie in under seven minutes?

My point is that it is not as simple as many on this forum are making it out to be. There is a lot more to consider here than some simplistic marketing scheme. There are technological and real cost associated with implementing Blu-Ray and it isn't as cut and dry as simply saying pass it on to the customer. You might be willing to pay that premium, but how many others wouldn't? Would there be enough people like you to justify the expenditure?

Given the fact that Apple still isn't offering Blu-Ray. I would say that the answer is no. Likely, it isn't even a close call. The number of customers who fit into the category of Blu-Ray watchers, who want to watch on a computer, and are willing to pay a premium to watch on a Mac, likely isn't very big.
post #110 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

There's no doubt that DVD raised the bar substantially. But the comparison between VHS and DVD is like one between a McDonalds cheeseburger and a good steak. You were going from 240 lines of horizontal resolution (on a good day) and analog mono or stereo sound to 480 lines and Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1. Blu-ray is like the filet mignon with the potential to be like a Kobe steak under the right circumstances.

And that's the entire point. Blu-Ray is the first time that the quality improvement is not something that's going to hit people between the eyes. It's better than DVD, but, for the first time, it's not a no-brainer.
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post #111 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

Well you can enjoy waiting a minute for the disc to load, I mean, for the disc to make sure you haven't "modified" your BD player, or update the firmware on your player to pointlessly patch the keys on it or be able to play the latest BS Java protection, or be forced to watch all the promos.

The rest of us will open up a file and be on our way

That's an absurd statement. Regardless of those checks, it's still far faster for the Blu-ray to load and start playing than it is to download a file. If the U.S. were on the verge of supplying low-cost high-speed internet access along the lines of what's available in South Korea, I might agree that Blu-ray is completely unnecessary. But until then, and for those who want the highest quality in both picture and multichannel sound, BR is the way to go.

Personally, I have a separate combo BR/CD Audio/SACD player plugged into my audio/home theatre system, but it would still be nice if Apple would support BR so I could use those same discs on my laptop from time to time.

The thing that bothers me the most about Apple's lack of support (hell..just support it in the OS and let third parties supply the hardware) is not so much the hardware choice, but Apple's arrogance in the matter. Apple was always supposed to represent the highest quality - that's one of the things we were paying the Apple premium for. 720p is not the highest quality and their library is not very large in any case. But this still looks to me not like a strategic technology decision, but more like Jobs' personal feelings and to protect Apple store revenue.
post #112 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

[stuff]

TL,DR.

Considering all the background tasks, eye-candy, and other flourishes that Apple builds into the OS (which I'm not necessarily objecting to, mind you) I think having a mostly-dormant SATA-based optical drive attached to a desktop machine is hardly something to worry about. And again, I'm saying it should be an option. Don't want it? Don't get the upgrade.

(As for added hardware costs - I would happily trade the built-in iSight camera, for example, which I have never used, once for the added components needed to play BD discs, and even pay more to do so. But that simply is not an option.)
post #113 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Compared to previous generation improvements, the differences ARE modest.

Compare TV to Radio.
Compare B/W TV to color TV
Compare Cable to over the air TV in rural areas
Compare DVD to VHS
All of those are huge, "hit you right between the eyes" improvements.

DVD (especially upsampled) to BD is just not that scale of improvement. Not even close.

It's actually more a resolution increase than DVD over VHS. DVD doubled the horizontal resolution of VHS, but blu-ray is 2.7 times the horizontal resolution of DVD and 2.25 times the vertical resolution as well. The difference being that VHS would degrade over time because it wasn't digital.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I have average vision and a good quality system (not videophile, but well above average), so I'm not doing anything wrong. It's just not as huge a gain as the BD fans are pretending.

No, you're doing something wrong. "Average vision" might be your problem. Or your screen might be too small to appreciate the extra resolution at the distance from which you sit from it (a common mistake).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Avatar is $30 on BD at Best Buy, DVD is $20. That's about the same ratio as almost everything I've seen there. I've bought dozens of movies at Best Buy since I got my Blu-Ray player and don't recall EVER seeing the price being the same. In fact, about 75% of the time, the price difference is high enough that I buy the DVD version.

Best Buy will have a good price on new releases the week are released, and after that you have to wait for a sale (they were selling the Avatar blu-ray for $19.99 the week it came out). Amazon's prices are always closer to the DVDs, if not the same or even cheaper at times. This isn't always the case mind you, and there are still titles to be found whose blu-ray prices are too high.
post #114 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

And that's the entire point. Blu-Ray is the first time that the quality improvement is not something that's going to hit people between the eyes. It's better than DVD, but, for the first time, it's not a no-brainer.

Probably true for the masses, but for me it was a no-brainer. At one point in mid 2006 when some new releases started coming out on HD-DVD and later Blu-ray, I decided not to buy any more standard def DVDs unless there was no HD disc option. To me, it was like "why should I buy the standard version when I can now get the high def version?". I wouldn't buy anymore cassettes either once I had a CD player. Price wasn't an issue for me cause I had been used to paying $30, $40 even $50 for movies on laserdisc. Paying $25-$30 (at the time) for "A" list movies in 1080p was a comparative bargain.
post #115 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

No, you're doing something wrong. "Average vision" might be your problem. Or your screen might be too small to appreciate the extra resolution at the distance from which you sit from it (a common mistake).

Without knowing the specifics of his system, we can only speculate as to why he only sees a moderate improvement over DVD. Heck, the 1st time a showed a 1080i broadcast to my brother-in-law on my Pioneer Elite PRO610HD 58" rear projection set (this was almost ten years ago), he insisted that he couldn't see a difference. I was so surprised and shocked, I wanted to club him. A couple of years later, when I got a 720p front projector, I finally saw what I was missing and understood my brother-in-law's reaction from a few years back. The interesting thing was that DVD's looked really good on the 720p projector until I upgraded and got a 1080p front projector. All of a sudden, DVD's didn't look that good anymore. I still stand by my earlier statement that I can clearly see the difference between a DVD and a blu-ray on my 46" 1080p LCD at 12'.
post #116 of 219
Maybe someone else mentioned this. There are so many posts now, I have to admit, I scanned them without reading every word. But, if Mac OSX ever grows past the size limits of DVD DL, then Steve will have to surrender to another format, now won't he? If BL was standard on all Macs, then only one BL DVD is needed for the restore media.

One thing that always gets me is the use of slot loading DVD drives. That means no option for 3 inch media. Some people do want that, and it can't be done. The Apple Store employee who sold me my iMac almost three years ago said I could use 3 inch media. Good thing I did my homework, as it is not an option.
post #117 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by WPLJ42 View Post

...if Mac OSX ever grows past the size limits of DVD DL, then Steve will have to surrender to another format, now won't he?

Couldn't they just put the OS on two DVDs? I remember installing operating systems from several floppies. Not convenient, but doable.
post #118 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Probably true for the masses, but for me it was a no-brainer.

Businesses rarely make product introduction decisions for any one individual. It's the masses that matter - and you're admitting that for the masses it's not a huge improvement - which is what I've been claiming all along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Without knowing the specifics of his system, we can only speculate as to why he only sees a moderate improvement over DVD. Heck, the 1st time a showed a 1080i broadcast to my brother-in-law on my Pioneer Elite PRO610HD 58" rear projection set (this was almost ten years ago), he insisted that he couldn't see a difference. I was so surprised and shocked, I wanted to club him. A couple of years later, when I got a 720p front projector, I finally saw what I was missing and understood my brother-in-law's reaction from a few years back. The interesting thing was that DVD's looked really good on the 720p projector until I upgraded and got a 1080p front projector. All of a sudden, DVD's didn't look that good anymore. I still stand by my earlier statement that I can clearly see the difference between a DVD and a blu-ray on my 46" 1080p LCD at 12'.

I'm glad you can see a difference. It just doesn't matter, though.

My system is a couple of years old, but it was a top of the line 55" LCD projection system with LED lighting (Samsung, I think, but I don't remember). Connected directly to a same-brand Blu-Ray/DVD player with HDMI cable. Audio is a Sony amp with Infinity speakers all around. So just what am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WPLJ42 View Post

Maybe someone else mentioned this. There are so many posts now, I have to admit, I scanned them without reading every word. But, if Mac OSX ever grows past the size limits of DVD DL, then Steve will have to surrender to another format, now won't he? If BL was standard on all Macs, then only one BL DVD is needed for the restore media.

Apple has used multiple disks for years. On floppies, they were up to at least 10 floppies at one point. They used multiple CDs at one point. Even today, I believe they use 2 DVDs. The inconvenience of throwing in another DVD isn't great enough to force them to use BD if they don't wish to.
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post #119 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Businesses rarely make product introduction decisions for any one individual. It's the masses that matter - and you're admitting that for the masses it's not a huge improvement - which is what I've been claiming all along.

What I'm admitting is that (in your words) it hasn't hit people between the eyes. Can't say I understand why, but it is what has been happening so far. I've seen reports that adoption is on the same or similar pace as DVD was at the same point after it's introduction but I was hoping it would have been more popular by now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I'm glad you can see a difference. It just doesn't matter, though.

Exactly which part doesn't matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

My system is a couple of years old, but it was a top of the line 55" LCD projection system with LED lighting (Samsung, I think, but I don't remember). Connected directly to a same-brand Blu-Ray/DVD player with HDMI cable. Audio is a Sony amp with Infinity speakers all around. So just what am I doing wrong?

I can't see it from here. Difficult to say.
post #120 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

No, you're doing something wrong. "Average vision" might be your problem. Or your screen might be too small to appreciate the extra resolution at the distance from which you sit from it (a common mistake).

Maybe he really can't tell much difference between SD (DVD) and HD (Blu-ray). If so, he won't have to upgrade any equipment to go HD, he won't have to spend extra time downloading low bitrate HD movies (lucky guy). DVD is ok but I find Blu-ray movies stunning, definitely for me.
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