Blu-ray vs. every other consumer technology (2010)

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2014
OK! I admit the thread title is somewhat misleading but I felt we needed to escalate.



Now, I admit that actually have little interest in the topic, but I believe that AI is a poorer place without our annual blu-ray thread (thanks, Frank 777) so here it is.



Where we at now? How's the market penetration going? Myself, I'm pretty disappointed in the state of streaming downloads, what with so-so image quality, limited selection, Hulu's bizarre efforts to keep us from watching on our televisions, etc.



I want to particularly single out Netflix streaming as being an extremely hit and miss affair. In addition to the obviously limited selection, the encoding quality seems to depend entirely on some mysterious determination of worth, so that the odd first run recent feature might look pretty good indeed, whereas a recent slew of classic Kurosowa movies look liked hammered shit.



But enough about me. Get to it.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 421
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    Bluray is short lived. I received a BR player for xmas but I can't tell you the last time I actually visited a movie rental place, including those rental stands at the g store.



    Every aspect of downloading and streaming movies is so much easier and convenient than the in-store purchase that even companies like Blockbuster and Netflix are embracing downloads. Plus, it satisfies my movie craving right then and there without having to leave the living room



    Additionally, future movie codecs will get better, rural areas will soon enter the 21st century, and internet connections continue to increase in speed.
  • Reply 2 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Anybody got the latest figures on blu-ray uptake? Probably recently cited in the '09 thread, but that thread is over.
  • Reply 3 of 421
    Well, I finally got HDTV (an STB and a 1080p LCD) so I will probably be getting a Blu-ray player within the next few months. I have a very small movie collection, so I am interested in converting some of my favorites to BR format. I'm enjoying the quality of broadcast HDTV. I'm also loving hooking up my MacBook Pro to the monitor and watching my downloaded films, slide shows and even browsing the web with my Magic Mouse and BT keyboard from across the room.



    Also, there seem to be cheap BR players finally coming out. I saw one recently at our local megachain for $150. I fully expect prices to go down to $100 for cheap Chinese-made players this year.



    That leaves the cost of media. Man. When there are a gazillion DVDs out there with decent quality for $10, I can't percieve spending $30-$40 a pop on a film. And I think that's the main problem. For most, DVD quality is "good enough" when you factor in the huge difference in price.



    Once media prices drop, expect BR to take off exponentially.
  • Reply 4 of 421
    double penetration
  • Reply 5 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Well, I finally got HDTV (an STB and a 1080p LCD) so I will probably be getting a Blu-ray player within the next few months. I have a very small movie collection, so I am interested in converting some of my favorites to BR format. I'm enjoying the quality of broadcast HDTV. I'm also loving hooking up my MacBook Pro to the monitor and watching my downloaded films, slide shows and even browsing the web with my Magic Mouse and BT keyboard from across the room.



    Also, there seem to be cheap BR players finally coming out. I saw one recently at our local megachain for $150. I fully expect prices to go down to $100 for cheap Chinese-made players this year.



    That leaves the cost of media. Man. When there are a gazillion DVDs out there with decent quality for $10, I can't percieve spending $30-$40 a pop on a film. And I think that's the main problem. For most, DVD quality is "good enough" when you factor in the huge difference in price.



    Once media prices drop, expect BR to take off exponentially.



    Have you tried watching thing downloaded or streamed?
  • Reply 6 of 421
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Have you tried watching thing downloaded or streamed?



    Yes, I've watched an HD movie downloaded through BT and a few SD films I've converted for iPod playback. I didn't have a problem with the quality of an SD rip of the latest episode of Dollhouse, which is generally a dark show. I haven't watched anything streamed. But my monitor is small, so SD generally looks fine, especially if it's from a digital source.



    I also rip DVDs and watch them through my MacBook. The reason I do this is that I don't have an upscaling DVD player. Although I have an upscaling box, the image quality is lacking when compared to digital SD.



    I could just hook up the MacBook and play directly in my Superdrive, but I watch films from different regions. My MacBook is set to Region 1, so if it's not Region 1, I need to plug in an external reader to either play it or rip it for later play. All DVD players in Hong Kong are region-free, so it's aggravating to have to do this. If I get a BR player, it would solve this problem, as it's sure to be region-free for DVD playback.



    What's the state of region coding of BluRay discs? This should be a concern, I guess.
  • Reply 7 of 421
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,323member
    Way to get the ball rolling addabox! :-) I'm loving my Blu-ray on my PS3 Slim (maybe a bit too much given my intermittent appearances on the board lately), but I fully expect Blu-ray to be dominant going forward as it was during the holiday season.



    Sure, downloads will get there, but I think a lot later that some may think. Maybe 2012 or even 2013? Either way, Blu-ray is here to stay. But perhaps if Apple can bring their engineering prowess and improve upon the AppleTV which has been "okay" in terms of functionality and features, then maybe downloads will take off a bit more. Personally, I'd love to see a Blu-ray burner go into an AppleTV, along with DVR functionality. Probably not going to happen, but just a thought.



    I wonder too, what they (Apple) might be able to do in the IPTV realm? Hmmm. Maybe nothing since they don't own the infrastructure...but just a thought. It would be cool, as right now I have AT&T Uverse that runs a Windows CE variant OS for its box...would be sweet to have a Mac OS and GUI controlling this with some sort integration into the iTunes store and be able to off load DVR recordings onto a Blu-ray disc with a built in Blu-ray burner. Just typing out loud here guys so don't slam me!



    Heck at this point, I'd just love to see Blu-ray be put into iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBooks, and MacBook Pros!
  • Reply 8 of 421
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    I suggested Blu-Ray vs. iTunes, but Adda just had to give in to "Not Invented Here" syndrome.



    Anyway, BR players are down to $120., and I still don't feel like I'm missing anything without one.

    Between those cheaper DVDs and my cable company's streaming options, I don't even have time to watch the stuff I have access to now.



    If I was a videophile I can see where I'd spend the money, but I'd prefer to use the year reducing debt.

    Of course, that's not to say I don't have my eye on other luxuries this week.
  • Reply 9 of 421
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    Optical discs, no matter what flavor, are on their way out. They are as dead as dead.

    Streaming, downloading and hard drives are coming back in a big way.

    Optical discs will meet the same demise as floppy disks.

    Also, I'll keep my DVDs. There's no reason to upgrad to Blu-Ray in my opinion when upsampling DVD players are available.
  • Reply 10 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    I suggested Blu-Ray vs. iTunes, but Adda just had to give in to "Not Invented Here" syndrome.



    Exactly my reasoning.





    Quote:

    Anyway, BR players are down to $120., and I still don't feel like I'm missing anything without one.

    Between those cheaper DVDs and my cable company's streaming options, I don't even have time to watch the stuff I have access to now.



    If I was a videophile I can see where I'd spend the money, but I'd prefer to use the year reducing debt.

    Of course, that's not to say I don't have my eye on other luxuries this week.



    Last time I engaged the topic, I was entirely in the "Blu-ray is a stopgap before downloads and streaming take over camp", but as I say I have been not super happy with the streaming front.



    Netflix is using Silverlight, I believe, and I'm not seeing the improvement over Flash, which of course has its own shortcomings. As I mentioned, depending on the encode the IQ can verge on unwatchable, even on a 15" laptop screen, and the transport controls require a rebuffer every time you want to jump ahead or back. The thumbnails on the timeline as you move around are handy, but compared to even a DVD the experience is pretty so-so.



    But of course there's the instant gratification factor, which somewhat trumps IQ, IMO.



    If someone can do a codec that gets the IQ at least on par with DVD, consistently, and then get the selection beefed up, I think that would really put a dent in optical media rentals.



    I guess I see the battle now between any optical media and downloads/streaming, with the distinction between blu-ray and DVD less significant.
  • Reply 11 of 421
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    My take for 2010:



    I used to be really into DVD collecting but that urge is now gone. It is probably because tons of stuff can be streamed and anything can be had from netflix within 2 or 3 days. And by streaming, i mean it's all available from my couch via a normal remote control.



    Most of the urge for investing in a video library was that it provided a wide variety of options on-hand at all times. While it is still superior for movies you absolutely have to watch on a regular basis, the equation has definitely changed. That's the key difference between video and audio collecting. Music is listened to repeatedly so purchasing has more of an incentive.



    Even the relatively meager netflix streaming library (combined with various other options), provides a selection that is a suitable replacement for the personal library of old. The only video that I've purchased in a few years are some DVDs of freestyle biking that I like to throw in whenever bikers gather at my place for food and drink. Other than that? It's all DVR, netflix, or streaming for me now.



    To me this seems like what will be the inevitable scenario for everyone in the near future. With "near" being open to debate. People in the immediate future will still buy a few videos that they watch on a regular basis, but otherwise physical discs sales may face an ever declining market share. Granted this could mean blu-ray still growing for a few more years while the market as a whole declines.
  • Reply 12 of 421
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Since Adda opened the thread's floodgates to "every other consumer technology" this year, I think I'll weigh in with a screed on the crazy wait for mass access to real Internet Television.



    I know, I know. There's Hulu, Cable IPTV, YouTube and such. But the truth is that media goliaths are jealously guarding the gates to open Internet TV for the masses.



    I want to kill my cable and choose from unlimited TV options, the way I choose web pages.



    Miro deliver a nice interface (with content guide) and open broadcasting platform. But for some reason Miro remains focused on the computer and won't invest in a 'last mile' solution to my TV. The Boxee box is supposedly coming, though I have no info for Canada. Even Hulu is a no-fly zone north of the border.



    The thing that baffles me is that we play video in our browsers and browser software is free. I know there have been many experiments like Yahoo's Connected TV. It's not hard to put an ethernet port on the back of a TV and embed a browser for viewing internet video.



    Why is it that in 2010 all TVs don't ship with ethernet and a built-in, open TV browser?

    Why are manufacturers more interested in the 3D fad rather than freeing us from Cable's grip?



    Is this like the supposed "killing" of the Electric Car? Or the rip up of the train lines in California?

    Is Big Cable somehow preventing open access to Internet TV?
  • Reply 13 of 421
    mr. kmr. k Posts: 115member
    I look at Blu-ray as being the last major optical disc format for media. It's going to be around for more than a few years though, for two major reasons IMO:



    1) Streaming just isn't practical for everyone, everywhere yet. Not in any sort of quality comparable to DVDs. This is the same reason why physical copies of games will be around for some time yet, despite the popularity of digital download services like Steam.



    2) Blu-ray has the best image quality out there. Streaming video and even download services like iTunes can't match it there. At best even iTunes HD is comparable to DVD.
  • Reply 14 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Since Adda opened the thread's floodgates to "every other consumer technology" this year, I think I'll weigh in with a screed on the crazy wait for mass access to real Internet Television.



    I know, I know. There's Hulu, Cable IPTV, YouTube and such. But the truth is that media goliaths are jealously guarding the gates to open Internet TV for the masses.



    I want to kill my cable and choose from unlimited TV options, the way I choose web pages.



    Miro deliver a nice interface (with content guide) and open broadcasting platform. But for some reason Miro remains focused on the computer and won't invest in a 'last mile' solution to my TV. The Boxee box is supposedly coming, though I have no info for Canada. Even Hulu is a no-fly zone north of the border.



    The thing that baffles me is that we play video in our browsers and browser software is free. I know there have been many experiments like Yahoo's Connected TV. It's not hard to put an ethernet port on the back of a TV and embed a browser for viewing internet video.



    Why is it that in 2010 all TVs don't ship with ethernet and a built-in, open TV browser?

    Why are manufacturers more interested in the 3D fad rather than freeing us from Cable's grip?



    Is this like the supposed "killing" of the Electric Car? Or the rip up of the train lines in California?

    Is Big Cable somehow preventing open access to Internet TV?



    I think it has to do with how the advertising money is structured. The networks and producers simply don't make as much money off of people watching on line as they do when people watch broadcast or cable, so they don't really want to allow the experience to be that appealing. It's kind of like a second tier ghetto-- just look at all the effort the Hulu consortium has gone through to keep that stuff off your TV.



    They know that the day you can sit back in your easy chair and summon up whichever show you want, in HD, any time you want, is the day you'll stop "watching television", which is the basis for all the ad rates.
  • Reply 15 of 421
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Good point, about the networks and stations. Though one would think that there would be any number of magazines and other media outlets who would see the value of disrupting that system with their own internet TV channels.



    Blu-Ray could even be a complement to IPTV. There's no reason something like the Boxee box platform couldn't be combined with a BR player for a truly all-in-one box.



    It seems so obvious. I don't understand why no-one is doing it.
  • Reply 16 of 421
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Isn't everyone "doing it" already? Just about everyone makes a network media player and a good percentage of new TVs and blu-ray players are capable of some form of streaming.



    The problem is that copyright holders are dragging their feet due to how disruptive it will be to their current business model.



    I'd suspect it is obvious to them as well. But these are billion dollar corporations that would prefer to remain as such. If streaming becomes popular and open standards gain traction, then the need for media behemoths will start to decline. The world wide web is comprised of lots of independent websites and same will probably be true of IP based video distribution... eventually.
  • Reply 17 of 421
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,877moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Anybody got the latest figures on blu-ray uptake? Probably recently cited in the '09 thread, but that thread is over.



    Over 1 billion DVDs sold in 2009, Blu-Ray was around 100 million.



    If it was as simple as getting a new player and discs, more people would probably go for it but to see the benefit, the HDTV purchase is still in there for a lot of people.



    People are generally aware that they can easily rip their DVD too for their portable devices.



    I'm personally behind the movement for streaming video and happy with DVD quality. I would however support an alternative non-optical format. Optical drives are too slow, noisy and not flexible enough.
  • Reply 19 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:



    Sony, Sony, Sony. Your love of proprietary formats borders on the insane. Didn't Minidisc, ATRAC, UMD and Memory Stick teach you anything?



    Of course not! You're Sony!
  • Reply 20 of 421
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Over 1 billion DVDs sold in 2009, Blu-Ray was around 100 million.



    If it was as simple as getting a new player and discs, more people would probably go for it but to see the benefit, the HDTV purchase is still in there for a lot of people.



    People are generally aware that they can easily rip their DVD too for their portable devices.



    I'm personally behind the movement for streaming video and happy with DVD quality. I would however support an alternative non-optical format. Optical drives are too slow, noisy and not flexible enough.



    Any one have year over year graphs? I know that blu-ray was expanding rapidly from introduction, but is it possible that things are slowing?
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