Originally Posted by mikepellegrini
where we're gonna end up. We're moving in that direction right now. It's just a mater of time. It WILL happen.
The only real limiting factor is bandwidth.
The length of time it takes for movie downloads to become the primary method for home viewing is wholly dependant on how long it takes ISPs to roll-out faster speeds.
Right now, with 8 mb/s downloads as the fastest average downstream speed in the US, who wants to wait over 11 hours
to get your 40 GB HD movie? That's certainly not something I want.
But in Hong Kong right now, that same download takes just 5 minutes! In Japan and Korea, you can download that 40 GB movie in less than an hour. Right now.
Hong Kong has symmetrical GB Ethernet available which sells for the equivalent of around $215 US a month. In Japan and Korea, you can get 100 MB for around $30-40 US per month.
And here we are in the US with our paltry 6-8 mb/s! Ghastly! The US is a cultural backwater. A Third-World Nation!
It won't stay that way long. Verizon is building out its FIOS. Comcast is moving to DOCSIS 3.0. Lots of good things are happening in the bandwidth world.
The latest buzz is that Comcast will be rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 this coming year (in select markets), with speeds in the 30-50 mb/s range. Verizon will match that, of course, as will Qwest and AT&T and all the others.
That's nowhere near what they've got in Asia, but it's a start and it gets us farther down the road to where we need to be. How long till we get those GB speeds they already have in Hong Kong? Hopefully less than 10 years. Probably not more.
Blockbuster and Hollywood Video and the others know this. They're already positioning themselves for the new market. I read a speech given by the President of Blockbuster where he predicted downloads coming into their own right with the next five years.
It's just a matter of time.
Video downloads will
predominate as soon as they're as easy and convenient and cheap as conventional rentals/sales. You go browse online through Blockbuster's catalog (or Netflix), select the movie you want to watch, click buy, then go pop some popcorn. You come back and watch it on your HDTV.
So how much bandwidth do we need for it to take off?
I would think the time limit for a download would be somewhere in the range of 10-15 minutes for people to widely accept it (everyone wants immediate gratification - it can't take as much time as going to the store, or it won't work).
That may be implemented by offering SD downloads initially (at say 6-8 GB each). SD video looks pretty awful good, and 8 GB only takes 22 minutes to download at 100 mb/s. That's close to being workable.
How am I gonna watch em?
Easy! The movies will be delivered to your entertainment multi-media device. Current PS3 and X-Box 360 devices have this capability already (although not enough storage to really work). NextGen consoles will have much larger storage capacity and will be able to fully implement movie downloads.
It's just a matter of time.