Originally Posted by fpconvert
The problem currently is that there is no one or two providers to go to for the studios.
This results in fractured content availability, lower quality and the need to have multiple "boxes" to get most of the content. The beauty of the shiny dvd disc is all discs will play on all machines and the available content is phenominal.Will digital overcome all the above? Too early to tell. It looks as if it is trying but there is the old addage: too many cooks spoil the broth.
I can agree with that, however, I think what's going to happen actually is that you will have ALL CONTENT, everywhere, because it's in the interest of studios to do so. Then services compete based on features and integration rather then content. Right now they are still testing and analyzing but once there's no doubt that it's the next wave of content delivery I'm convinced they will blow up content. With VUDU most of them already are, however they are limiting HDX and rental availability because of Blu-ray, which is very unfortunate and another example of why their business models are bad overall.
It the grand scheme of things, it doesn't make sense to me to think that studios will limit content on one provider and not on the other. That's where competition comes in.. If one service doesn't offer certain content I will go with the one that does and so on.
To studios it's a win win, because if they offer all of their content on all networks, they will have multiple streams of revenue based on the same content, which is basically their wet dream. Encode once, sell everywhere. No packaging, no replication, nothing. Pure profit.
Also, as for quality, I can agree that content is still not at the level of highest quality of physical media (such as Blu-ray) however this will change.
Why I would definitely like for digital downloads and internet based delivery to succeed is because it doesn't have limitations such as physical optical media does. When I say this, I mean we don't have growth limitations.
As PSound says, Any stream to any screen is what online gives us and it can be really whatever you want it to be and there's no cap on the quality when the infrastructure is improved.
A simple example is what happens beyond 1080p? Blu-ray is cemented at 1080p, so if you wanted something better you would have to repurchase all your equipment. With online based delivery there's no such limitation. Software update is all you need (sometimes not even that), the pipes will deliver higher bandwith content to your already existing setup and you get much higher quality.
Just like we had with Youtube, Hulu, Vudu and others. They started off with very low quality content but as time passed (a year or two) they improved their infrastructure, competition happened and they offered HD versions of their videos and it was completely transparent to users. You can clearly see the pattern here.
Now, I'm aware we are still not there with internet speeds to serve full 1080p footage at Blu-ray quality but it will happen and I'm pretty sure much much faster then some people think. One of the major reasons I believe we will see same quality content as Blu-ray and above is because streaming technology, compression/encoding/decoding technologies are progressing rapidly offering same type of quality as Blu-ray (at least in some tests I've seen) at a fraction of the size. If algorithms and compression is advanced you can get superb quality at 8-10mbps.
Sure there will always be those who want "uncompressed" or 50mbps bit rate cause nothing else can do it. But we both know that this type of attitude is minority and really without any relevant logical support. Even today we can see that compressed audio streams and video streams look identical to master (TrueHD, DTS-MA, VC1, AVC), so it's completely realistic to expect improvements and take it one step further.
At the pace things are developing with online delivery I'm very optimistic we are on the right track and within few years all content we watch through online sources and services will look and sound identical to Blu-ray and offer catalogs at our fingertips and continue moving forward to bring us 4K HD and so on without rebuying stuff except maybe TVs.