Originally Posted by TBell
I understand some of your sentiment. However, Blue Ray was designed to stamp out Fair-Use by putting in place harder DRM. Further, the licensing requirements really do stink. Go check out a PC with BlueRay on it. Performance suffers even when not using BlueRy and you get tons of annoying messages when dealing with third party hardware.
This is a demonstrably false claim. I have built an AMD-based Windows PC with a Blu-Ray drive (can both burn and play back Blu-Ray), and I have also purchased an Asus laptop with built-in Blu-Ray drive. The Asus is an Intel Core i7, although it has ATI/AMD graphics (a Radeon Mobility HD 5730); the desktop I built is a Phenom II X4 940 system with an Asus AM2+ motherboard and a fairly run-of-the-mill LG BD-ROM burner.
Both systems do Blu-Ray playback exceptionally well, with no stuttering, hiccups, etc. And performance is just fine
when not playing back or otherwise using the Blu-Ray capability. What you say about DRM is somewhat true, and to get the optimum experience for movie playback you need 100% certified components throughout the entire playback chain -- this means video card and monitor, for example, must support HDCP over whatever cabling you choose (DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.)
However, when not using either system to play back movies, the DRM doesn't factor in at all. Even burning data discs to BD-R media is not impacted by DRM.
I hear where you're coming from on the Fair Use issue, but it's good to remember that few countries have liberal Fair Use laws the way the United States does. It's also good to remember that more and more studios have recognized the desire to obtain digital copies of movies, for instance to side-load on their iPod or to watch on their laptop computer without having a disc in the drive. So studios are putting digital copies on Blu-Ray releases, either on the BD disc itself (for side loading onto a PSP) or on a DVD that's packed in (for every other platform). I know this isn't perfect, but at least it's something, and it's often possible to do at least limited remixing of the digital copy, even if it's lower resolution.
It's the remixing and other transformative uses that are the ones the creative types care most about, and ironically these very applications are feared (rightly or wrongly) as a gateway to piracy or to distortion of the original artistic work.
The licensing requirements for Blu-Ray are bad, but guess what? They're just about as bad for DVD, even in this day and age -- we still don't have legitimate Linux software for viewing DVDs, unless you count Lindows/Linspire software that isn't mainstream and isn't open source.
Which is one of the reasons many tech folks went to Macs in the first place -- a UNIX operating system which can also run Photoshop and play DVDs, for example. I don't see any Mac users clamoring for Apple to take away
their ability to watch DVDs, though. What I do
see is Apple's steadfast refusal to include Blu-Ray drives on any Macs, forcing users to buy external drives or install Blu-Ray internal drives in an expensive Mac Pro. Some of us would like the option to watch BD movies on our MacBook Pros, and others would like to burn huge datasets (> 9 GB) to a single disc on their Mac Pros.
At any rate... I think your comments about Blu-Ray on computers are overblown. I have yet to see a single annoying pop-up message about third party hardware, or anything else. Maybe I can chalk that up to being super careful about selecting hardware when building a system, though I can't claim that for a laptop purchase.