Beginning of the end? Study Says Blu-ray Can't Save Disc-Based Media - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Study Says Blu-ray Can't Save Disc-Based Media
by Wayde Robson last modified February 02, 2009 08:49

Blu-ray up, but disc media is flat
Here's one more reason last year's high-def format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray was so destructive. While miring potential customers in confusion it wasted much of physical media's remaining days in the sun. According to analysts at Futuresource; those days are numbered.

According to a study conducted by Futuresource, Blu-ray sales won't save physical media. Although we've seen high def disc sales are indeed growing, the study concludes that physical, pre-packaged disc media is flat and going nowhere fast.

Sure, Blu-ray is growing for now. People buy HDTVs and they can finally find affordable disc players to go along with them. But the new Blu-ray sales are largely being made at the expense of DVD sales. In other words the disc-based media pie is not growing, it's merely shifting.

The study agrees with the Blu-ray Promotions Group that sales of the new high-def discs should triple in 2009. But it will only be enough to counter the slide of slumping DVD sales. Futuresource predicts a flat physical media industry through 2012.

What's the future of home entertainment? You guessed it - digital downloads! The study predicts mobile and online digital revenue will make up 15 percent of home entertainment spending by 2012 when disc-based media will have peaked for the last time.

The analysts are saying that by 2012 you, me and the media buying public together will spend some $20 billion on shiny discs with movies. But we'll also spend $3.5 billion on digital downloads. From there it'll be downward curve for shiny discs.

http://www.audioholics.com/news/indu...e=011320090202
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post #2 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 09:36 AM
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The curve turned down for me mid-Nov. 2008. I haven't bought a disc since mid-Dec. 2008. I have DL'ed 11 movies since that time and 6 movies in the 4 weeks prior to "LD-day" ... that is "Last Disc purchase day"
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post #3 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 10:30 AM
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Hmmm. When I read this I can't help but think of Jim Morrison'swonderful song "The End"
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post #4 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 08:57 PM
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IN 2012 the they are expecting $20B in discs and $3.5B in downloads. That is still better than a 5:1 ratio. What was it that Mark Twain said?

Downloads are growing faster than discs, but I am not worried about being able to buy a disc for the next 10 years. That being said I will be doing a combination of renting downloads and buying discs for the foreseeable future.
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post #5 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I also wouldn't be worried about being able to buy a disc in 10 years.

I think in 10 years we are going to have a great mix of options, including all you can eat streaming, download collectables and disc media. In 10 years I would hope to have at least a 50 terabyte NAS on my home network that hosted a crapload of movies, games and music with portable devices (including auto, cell phone, etc) with smaller storage that would sync the content I wanted seamlessly evertime they are within range!
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post #6 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 10:28 PM
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let's hope the quality and cost gets a little better - nothing beats the Netflix bluray model
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post #7 of 38 Old 02-03-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Tywoniak View Post

let's hope the quality and cost gets a little better - nothing beats the Netflix bluray model

How about convenience? I dropped Netflix when I had an infinite wait for any new title. It became a whole lot easier to rent the movie on Apple TV HD. If I like the movie I buy the Blu-ray. Otherwise, I hope I go my $4-5 worth. The funny thing is that I was actually pretty happy with Netflix for a few years -- and then I went HD and that changed everything.
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post #8 of 38 Old 02-04-2009, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Tywoniak View Post

let's hope the quality and cost gets a little better - nothing beats the Netflix bluray model

Doesn't red box?
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post #9 of 38 Old 02-05-2009, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kevivoe View Post

Doesn't red box?

Maybe not, since you have to go get it and return it. Mail is slower of course, but for pure convenience only downloads beat it. Plus, the selection pales in comparison, from what I've seen.

Anyway, I'm sure the news that more ISPs are implementing caps will be just great for downloads: http://gigaom.com/2009/02/04/welcome...sed-broadband/

Hey, at least with Charter, you don't have to worry about extra charges for going over the limit. They just shut down your service.

The problem I have with downloads is that I don't think we'll get the quality we get on discs. I believe that one of the big reasons we get large encodes in the first place is because the space is there to be used or wasted. When that space becomes flexible and there are bandwidth concerns, it will be in their best interest to compress it as much as they can. Just look at how the major sellers of music don't offer lossess audio.

So, with those caps, you can probably forget about 30GB encodes. Will they want to sell/rent 4-5 movies per month, or potentially many more? Will they risk alienating consumers with low caps or limited bandwidth tiers? Hopefully we'll get different levels of quality to choose from, but don't be surprised if they charge a lot more for the high quality versions.
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post #10 of 38 Old 02-05-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SirDrexl View Post

The problem I have with downloads is that I don't think we'll get the quality we get on discs. I believe that one of the big reasons we get large encodes in the first place is because the space is there to be used or wasted. When that space becomes flexible and there are bandwidth concerns, it will be in their best interest to compress it as much as they can. Just look at how the major sellers of music don't offer lossess audio.

So, with those caps, you can probably forget about 30GB encodes. Will they want to sell/rent 4-5 movies per month, or potentially many more? Will they risk alienating consumers with low caps or limited bandwidth tiers? Hopefully we'll get different levels of quality to choose from, but don't be surprised if they charge a lot more for the high quality versions.

This is a valid concern IMO. I'm not sure caps and limited bandwith will be such an issue as much as saturation and costs for the actual provider of content, be it Netflix, Vudu or whatever, but here's something I think would solve the problem. As we see, competition is what drives quality. Vudu is offering HDX movies because they are competing with other services and Blu-ray, so they are forced to offer something that's as close or better to get more users. It's an optimistic view but I believe that in the next couple of years we will see a much healthier competition among the streaming and digital download services overall. They will most likely offer same movies as studios will open up to everyone but only those who offer quality and some interesting features will be having an upper hand in attempt to get more consumers.

So in the long run, I don't think it will be like mp3. Lossless audio and 192k mp3 is indistinguishable for most people but overcompressed video vs Blu-ray or any serious HD content will be definitely much more noticable.

I'm optimistic that competition will drive the quality.

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post #11 of 38 Old 02-06-2009, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Bozster View Post


I'm optimistic that competition will drive the quality.

Since we are being optomistic, I think Obama will turn around the economy, force the NCAA to give us a football playoff system, and insure that we have a download service the equals BluRay in quality.
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post #12 of 38 Old 02-06-2009, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bozster View Post

I'm optimistic that competition will drive the quality.

...Except that the studios/networks control the quantity and quality and "the competition" is only the messenger in this game.
The "competition" controls how many boxes, ease of use, menus, box pricing, etc.
The studios dictate cost of content, PQ, AQ as well as limitations on time of viewing and storage.
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post #13 of 38 Old 02-11-2009, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by miata View Post

How about convenience? I dropped Netflix when I had an infinite wait for any new title. It became a whole lot easier to rent the movie on Apple TV HD. If I like the movie I buy the Blu-ray. Otherwise, I hope I go my $4-5 worth. The funny thing is that I was actually pretty happy with Netflix for a few years -- and then I went HD and that changed everything.


That is not my experience. I downgraded to 1 disc at a time since I got the roku box. I often get new releases on the day they are released.

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post #14 of 38 Old 02-11-2009, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailn View Post

That is not my experience. I downgraded to 1 disc at a time since I got the roku box. I often get new releases on the day they are released.

Sounds like you are lucky. That is a great deal.
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post #15 of 38 Old 02-11-2009, 03:25 PM
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I will keep buying blurays until things like lossless audio are available through streaming or download.

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post #16 of 38 Old 02-11-2009, 03:29 PM
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Downloading to own is like buying your girlfriend e-Gold for Valentine's day and handing her a receipt you printed out on your crappy ink jet. Then again most geeks into downloads might not have girlfriends, and that's another matter entirely.

Marketing 101 says you need to get the customer to make a connection, a tangible connection, with the product. There is nothing tangible about downloads.

I personally look forward to the day where disk-based is killed off, or naturally phased out. We need to go back to cartridges, you couldn't scratch those.

It isn't the size of the disk that counts, but how you use it.

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post #17 of 38 Old 02-11-2009, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailn View Post

That is not my experience. I downgraded to 1 disc at a time since I got the roku box. I often get new releases on the day they are released.

That has been my experience as well, since I've upgraded to Netflix Blu-Ray. No wait whatsoever. In fact, with over 50 movies in my queue, not a single one shows any wait whatsoever, and about 3/4's of them are available in Blu-Ray! The shipping facility is also one town over from me, so I get movies within 1 day.
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post #18 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark Rider View Post

That has been my experience as well, since I've upgraded to Netflix Blu-Ray. No wait whatsoever. In fact, with over 50 movies in my queue, not a single one shows any wait whatsoever, and about 3/4's of them are available in Blu-Ray! The shipping facility is also one town over from me, so I get movies within 1 day.

If you have over 30 Blu Rays in your queue and none show a "wait", you aren't selecting new releases. It's not unusual for a popular Blu Ray new release to take a couple months before I get it. Currently, 5 out of the top 10 Blu Rays in my queue show a wait.
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post #19 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 07:49 AM
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Of the 175 BluRay disks in my waiting list on netflix -- only 11 are long or very long wait. However, you are right - those are typically always new releases. A trick to getting popular releases without waiting -- schedule them at the top of your waiting list before they release. Also having a 8 disk package may not hurt, although I think this is more speculation - no one has ever really proved that 8 disk subscribers get any better treatment than 1 disk subscribers.

Either way - the wait has never bothered me -- there is so much high def contenton bluray, directv, and vudu -- that I havemore than enough to keep me entertained. We have come a long way from thedays when we used to watch anything in HD (i.e. hdnet) because it was hd.
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I can see discs slowly dying off over time...seems like a fact of life.

When I look at my Directv HD DVR it's quite amazing how fast the HD PPV and "On Demand" sections have grown in the last year or two.

Today with the press of a remote button I can watch a HD version of a lot of newly released movies that are on Blu and all for what, $6 vs. paying $25-35 to own it on Blu...? Most movies (at least for me) are barely watchable a second time...so having HD PPV is the perfect and easy solution, and I bet a LOT of folks are starting to see this option via cable and sat that as a much better solution than investing in something like Blu Ray...
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post #21 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

Hmmm. When I read this I can't help but think of Jim Morrison'swonderful song "The End"

For those who predict the end of BluRay is -- it seems that BluRay sales are doing just fine

The Digital Entertainment Group in Jan. said that a total of 28.6 million Blu-ray discs were purchased in the fourth quarter of 2008 and Top Blu-ray titles are in top 10 sales at retailer Amazon.com,

http://news.punchjump.com/blog/2009/...stay-under-17/
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post #22 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 08:05 AM
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The only way I could ever consider download would be if it allowed me to own the content. I want to be able to put it on my server building a library to play at my convenience on a player of my choice. So far that has not happened.
Because of the above most consider current download services second choice.
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post #23 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Lizardo View Post

I can see discs slowly dying off over time...seems like a fact of life.

When I look at my Directv HD DVR it's quite amazing how fast the HD PPV and "On Demand" sections have grown in the last year or two.

Today with the press of a remote button I can watch a HD version of a lot of newly released movies that are on Blu and all for what, $6 vs. paying $25-35 to own it on Blu...? Most movies (at least for me) are barely watchable a second time...so having HD PPV is the perfect and easy solution, and I bet a LOT of folks are starting to see this option via cable and sat that as a much better solution than investing in something like Blu Ray...

Comparing the cost of RENTING to the cost of BUYING is a bad example. What your really doing is overpaying for less features and lower PQ/AQ, than if you rented the BD.
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Originally Posted by Mr. Lizardo View Post

I can see discs slowly dying off over time...seems like a fact of life.

It seems like disc sales have already plateaued, and the latest analysts are pointing to BD hardware sales peaking in 4 years before a pretty dramatic downturn.

I truly hope that the studios are paying close attention and put together a great download offering. I like the mix of pay and ad based services out right now, but they need to make more of these work from one box.

I would not mind having download being the primary delivery method, but I do want an offering where I have tons of content available to stream remotely on demand while also having my own media server that houses purchased media.
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post #25 of 38 Old 02-15-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vikingfan View Post

Comparing the cost of RENTING to the cost of BUYING is a bad example. What your really doing is overpaying for less features and lower PQ/AQ, than if you rented the BD.


True buying and renting is different but my overall point is that in time people won't want/need to even buy hi-def dics when their sat/cable HD DVR's will deliver the movie in HD for $5-6.

Remember, people on sites like this are a TINY fraction of the normal viewing public. The average family is PLENTY content with the quality of the HD images they get from cable/sat...so to them they don't see it as they are getting "lower quality" etc....we are in a world now that people are content with convenience and high quality A/V is mostly a thing of the past...just look at how many millions of folks use and enjoy Ipods etc...only folks on sites like this really care so deeply about A/V quality that they will go to the ends of the earth to find it and use it...99% of the rest of the world just doesn't care THAT much.
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post #26 of 38 Old 02-16-2009, 01:09 AM
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Part of the BD problem is self inflicted. Players need firmware upgrades every 45-60 days
just to be able to play the new releases. Sales are not going to take off if one is never
sure about being able to play the disks and having to go thru the hassle of
returning the opened disk when it happens.

I am wondering if the whole idea of the "HD" experience is moot. If the public
at large is content with a 4Mbps Netflix stream being "HD" then this may be
the start of a slippery slope for the BD disk format.

However, streaming transfers part of the cost of delivery onto the ISP. In
that case of cable operators such as Comcast, this type of service also
directly competes with their own offerings and may lead to more severe
bandwidth caps. This will definately take the wind from the sails of the
streaming content providers.
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post #27 of 38 Old 02-17-2009, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlb View Post

If you have over 30 Blu Rays in your queue and none show a "wait", you aren't selecting new releases. It's not unusual for a popular Blu Ray new release to take a couple months before I get it. Currently, 5 out of the top 10 Blu Rays in my queue show a wait.

Actually, most are newer releases. I do have one now showing short wait, "Miracle at St. Anna", but the others are still all available... It could have something to do with which distribution center you're going through. Name a movie that has a long wait, and I'll test it by adding it to my queue.
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post #28 of 38 Old 02-21-2009, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Tywoniak View Post

Of the 175 BluRay disks in my waiting list on netflix -- only 11 are long or very long wait. However, you are right - those are typically always new releases. A trick to getting popular releases without waiting -- schedule them at the top of your waiting list before they release. Also having a 8 disk package may not hurt, although I think this is more speculation - no one has ever really proved that 8 disk subscribers get any better treatment than 1 disk subscribers.

I have found that to be the BEST way to get new releases. Also, it might just be my preception, but downgrading to 1 at a time has reduced my wait times, which I almost never see when the disc is at the top of my queue. Of course there are about 10 discs in my saved queue which I never expect to see ( Fantasia ).

Anyway, netflix fits my needs very well, and while streaming is nice, I like to watch the extras that are only available via disc.

Sailn...
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post #29 of 38 Old 02-21-2009, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong Chia View Post

Part of the BD problem is self inflicted. Players need firmware upgrades every 45-60 days
just to be able to play the new releases. Sales are not going to take off if one is never
sure about being able to play the disks and having to go thru the hassle of
returning the opened disk when it happens.

Bunk. My player was updated only once because of a disc play issue in 1 1/2 years of sevice and this update was 7 months ago.

I am wondering if the whole idea of the "HD" experience is moot. If the public
at large is content with a 4Mbps Netflix stream being "HD" then this may be
the start of a slippery slope for the BD disk format.

Making sweeping pronouncements about the publics' preference from our own limited experience is not going to be very accurate or take into account all factors.

However, streaming transfers part of the cost of delivery onto the ISP. In
that case of cable operators such as Comcast, this type of service also
directly competes with their own offerings and may lead to more severe
bandwidth caps. This will definately take the wind from the sails of the
streaming content providers.

True.
This can also be said about the studios and the desire to offer a premium product in BD and get a premium price for it. A lesser priced item such as dvd will garner less of a premium and the last in the line, DL, will offer the least overall quality. If you don't mind eating the crumbs from a good meal then I guess you will be ok with BD failing.
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post #30 of 38 Old 02-21-2009, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong Chia View Post

Part of the BD problem is self inflicted. Players need firmware upgrades every 45-60 days
just to be able to play the new releases. Sales are not going to take off if one is never
sure about being able to play the disks and having to go thru the hassle of
returning the opened disk when it happens.

Don't forget about owners of BD players that are "abandoned" apparently like LG.

But luckily offsetting this problem are the draconian streaming/digital distribution rules.
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