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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The Blu-ray Disc Association chairman said this week that adoption of the high-definition disc format is on par with that of DVD, countering an argument from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs that the format is a fad whose days are numbered.



Italian Mac website sette B.it asked chairman Andy Parsons to respond to an alleged email from Jobs comparing the Blu-ray format with failed "high-quality audio formats" that were supposed to come after CDs. In reply, Parsons quoted statistics that put Â*Blu-ray adoption at the same market penetration rate as that of DVD after an equivalent time on the market.



Although he acknowledged the increasing importance of streaming and downloadable content, Parsons predicted that "Blu-ray Disc will continue to dominate for many years," citing several factors such as ease of use and durability.



Parsons remarks come in response to an unconfirmed email sent by Steve Jobs to one customer.



"Bluray is looking more and more like one of the high end audio formats that appeared as the successor to the CD - like it will be beaten by Internet downloadable formats," Jobs allegedly wrote. When pressed further, the Apple co-founder purportedly said that "free, instant gratification and convenience (likely in that order)" were the main reasons for the adoption of the MP3 format, rather than the lack of DRM. The email added that "the downloadable movie business is rapidly moving to free (Hulu) or rental (iTunes)" and predicted a "fast broad move to streamed free and rental content" of at least 720p.



A spokeswoman for the Blu-ray Disc Association pointed out that Apple had not confirmed the emails were actually sent from Jobs. Â*She also noted that Apple had recently denied that Jobs had authored emails that were posted online, presumably the emails about iPhone 4 reception issues that were published on a popular mobile blog several weeks ago.



Still, Jobs has gone on record at least once to discredit Blu-ray as a viable platform for his company's Mac computer line, calling it "a bag of hurt."



"I donÂ?t mean from the consumer point of view," Jobs said at a company event back in October of 2008. "ItÂ?s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex. WeÂ?re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off before we burden our customers with the cost of licensing."



A year later, Jobs and Co. reportedly gave Blu-ray another go during the development of the latest 21- and 27-inch iMacs. People familiar with the matter had said that the high-def drives were to ship in the high-end model and be available across the rest of the product family as build-to-order options.



But in the weeks leading up to the October launch of the new all-in-one desktops, all signs of Blu-ray were scrapped from evaluation units (and other Macs under development) due to lingering problems.



One issue, according to people familiar with the matter, was that Apple management -- including Jobs -- felt Blu-ray licensing fees were still too steep for the length of time they believed the technology would remain relevant in the market place. There were also reportedly both software and hardware related issues that would have demanded too much engineer effort to overcome.



Currently, none of Apple's hardware offerings support the Blu-ray format, although some of their software allows the burning of Blu-ray discs through an external drive.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 218
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,563member
    Well, I'm stunned to find that he thinks Blu-ray will be a huge success.
  • Reply 2 of 218
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    lol how many years did it take for America to switch from VCR to DVD?



    It's safe to say that DVD's not going anywhere soon.
  • Reply 3 of 218
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,182member
    I hate optical drives with a passion.

    Their days be numbered and thats that.

    I will give blue raymond 2 years max before it begins to fizzle out rapidly.
  • Reply 4 of 218
    oxygenhoseoxygenhose Posts: 236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    I hate optical drives with a passion.

    Their days be numbered and thats that.



    Uh-oh. Don't say that. You know how many idiots are going to be upset they can't watch Transformers 2 in "HD" on their Macs? They've got nothing else to live for!
  • Reply 5 of 218
    godriflegodrifle Posts: 266member
    ...It would be news if he *did* agree.
  • Reply 6 of 218
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:

    There were also reportedly both software and hardware related issues that would have demanded too much engineer effort to overcome.



    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!)
  • Reply 7 of 218
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    I hate optical drives with a passion.

    Their days be numbered and thats that.

    I will give blue raymond 2 years max before it begins to fizzle out rapidly.



    I hope not. I have an optical drive with each of my computers and a optical drive is connected to each of my TV's. And the optical drive is the way I rip movies for my AppleTV.
  • Reply 8 of 218
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post


    Uh-oh. Don't say that. You know how many idiots are going to be upset they can't watch Transformers 2 in "HD" on their Macs? They've got nothing else to live for!



    "Transformers 2 " yeah that would be about right
  • Reply 9 of 218
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pt123 View Post


    I hope not. I have an optical drive with each of my computers and a optical drive is connected to each of my TV's. And the optical drive is the way I rip movies for my AppleTV.



    It's inevitable. I'm sure you will get reasonable mileage out of your kit. Nobody is going to stop supporting it overnight. But the number of people buying blue ray will peak pretty soonish.
  • Reply 10 of 218
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    BD?s days ARE numbered.



    But it?s nice big number BD support would be welcome (at least as an option).



    And if BD isn?t in that much demand, then it?s not something Apple need fear will compete too much with the Internet-video future.
  • Reply 11 of 218
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    How well are Blue-Ray discs going in comparison to iTunes movies
  • Reply 12 of 218
    stompystompy Posts: 322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    But the number of people buying blue ray will peak pretty soonish.



    I'll mark that on my calendar then.
  • Reply 13 of 218
    sprockketssprockkets Posts: 796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    I hate optical drives with a passion.

    Their days be numbered and thats that.

    I will give blue raymond 2 years max before it begins to fizzle out rapidly.



    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!
  • Reply 14 of 218
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Yes, Steve Jobs, BluRay licensing costs are "too high" for you, but you're more than happy to raise prices for everyone else.



    Blimey hypocrite.
  • Reply 15 of 218
    jonrojonro Posts: 47member
    Steve Jobs is correct and Andy Parsons is an idiot. They rushed an incomplete format (Blu-ray) to market and it shows. There is no similarity between the introduction of DVDs and of Blu-ray. DVD video was a unified format and everyone got behind it. The reason it took a while to grow was that they didn't have much manufacturing capacity for DVDs and the failure rate was high in the beginning. Blu-ray and HD-DVD fought it ought in the marketplace, but it wasn't a real fight. Sony paid off movie studios to drop the HD-DVD format. It's really more of a repeat of the introduction of SACD and DVD-Audio. Both formats fought it out and like a movie cliche, killed each other at the end of the duel. There wasn't much advantage to consumers either: Music that couldn't be burned to an iPod, somewhat better audio quality, and surround sound mixes that were often completely unnatural.



    If there will be another physical media for video, it will probably be a storage medium with no moving parts, holographic or flash memory-based. There might be some use for an Apple Blu-ray drive, but I'm not sure what it would be. 50 GB of slow optical storage doesn't get you very far as a backup medium. Good bye Blu-ray and good riddance.
  • Reply 16 of 218
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,249member
    I've come to terms with not getting Blu-ray on my Mac. Personally I really only wanted it for HD content delivery, not for watching movies on my iMac. I'll probably buy an external BR drive just for burning BR discs for HD content. However, for home viewing of movies, BR is still the best way to go. It's a complete myth that you need a huge screen to see the benefit. iTunes crappy 720p is nowhere near a viable option and the selection still sucks. I love my Apple products, but I don't agree with Apple on this one. BR is already much more successful than DVD-Audio/SACD ever was so that wasn't really an accurate comparison.
  • Reply 17 of 218
    wplj42wplj42 Posts: 439member
    I am of the humble opinion, optical drives are history. Computers will loose them eventually. I would not want a Blu Ray drive in my computer, not even for the 50 GB it holds. I almost never use my optical drive. Only thing is backing up my iTunes library. Apple needs to fix that, so I can backup to another source. The future will bring the end to both CDs for music and DVDs for video. Having a device to hook up with the TV and stereo is one thing, but never would I want a Blu Ray drive on a computer. Someday, we will be using something like the SD cards for everything. Apple has gone state of the art with SD and the mini. Not that I always agree with Steve Jobs, but this time he is totally on the money.
  • Reply 18 of 218
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
  • Reply 19 of 218
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,249member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonro View Post


    Steve Jobs is correct and Andy Parsons is an idiot. They rushed an incomplete format (Blu-ray) to market and it shows. There is no similarity between the introduction of DVDs and of Blu-ray. DVD video was a unified format and everyone got behind it. The reason it took a while to grow was that they didn't have much manufacturing capacity for DVDs and the failure rate was high in the beginning. Blu-ray and HD-DVD fought it ought in the marketplace, but it wasn't a real fight. Sony paid off movie studios to drop the HD-DVD format. It's really more of a repeat of the introduction of SACD and DVD-Audio. Both formats fought it out and like a movie cliche, killed each other at the end of the duel. There wasn't much advantage to consumers either: Music that couldn't be burned to an iPod, somewhat better audio quality, and surround sound mixes that were often completely unnatural.



    If there will be another physical media for video, it will probably be a storage medium with no moving parts, holographic or flash memory-based. There might be some use for an Apple Blu-ray drive, but I'm not sure what it would be. 50 GB of slow optical storage doesn't get you very far as a backup medium. Good bye Blu-ray and good riddance.



    Did you buy into HD-DVD? Your rhetoric rings of the bitterness of a former HD-DVD supporter. Or not, whatever. Give me Blu-ray audio/video quality I can download in an hour or less and I'll switch.
  • Reply 20 of 218
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonro View Post


    Steve Jobs is correct and Andy Parsons is an idiot.





    Parsons can deny that it is bag of hurt as many times as he wants to.



    It doesn't change the fact that BluRay is a bag of hurt.
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