Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable? - Page 11 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable?
Yes, physical media will quickly disappear altogether 23 2.14%
Yes, physical media will slowly disappear altogether 203 18.88%
No, new physical formats will continue to be developed 375 34.88%
No, but physical media will become a niche market for enthusiasts 474 44.09%
Voters: 1075. You may not vote on this poll

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post #301 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:19 PM
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Yes just like vinyl LP's it will become a niche collector market...
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post #302 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:21 PM
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If any of you have had the troubles I've had with Itunes, and I forget the company that went out of business and there went my purchases, not to mention what happens , when your hard drive dies and your credentials are now different, and you have a hard time accessing your media, you will then go back to buying the music in Cd or movies on DVD

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post #303 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Exactly. What the industry needs to work on is getting the quality of 1080i/720p content up to par, not this 4k stuff.

Agree.
I've always said- sit in a room with two identical screens.
One plays a stream. the other the Blu ray.
Side by side- I can't imagine the viewer choosing the stream as the preferred choice.

4K really does seem like a waste of time.
IMo- the next big step up will be projected 3D holographic images.
Until then- give me the disc.

You can't re-sell a download on Ebay, Amazon, or an old fashion garage sale.
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post #304 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:22 PM
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Physical media provides permanence that DRM laden streaming media does not. Streaming media puts you at the mercy of studios and their DRM servers. We've already seen Amazon call back books and disable customers Kindles without explanation. Video game buyers see authentication servers taken offline, thereby eliminating their ability to play games they often prefer.

Sorry, but that's just not acceptable to me. I'm fine with renting a title that I feel isn't worth purchasing for the long haul. But certainly if I really like it I'm buying a copy on physical media so that down the road it will be available. There are many many CDs that are out of print now that are available only as expensive collector items. I'm sure glad I bought them some 20 or even 30 years ago,

Physical media also frees you from dependence on what is in print and what titles your streaming service is paying for at any particular time.
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post #305 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:22 PM
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I haven't ever seen anything that could deliver the quality that a blu-ray disc could, and as 4k becomes more and more consumer friendly I anticipate seeing a 4k blu ray that nothing will be able to compare to for a good while
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post #306 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:22 PM
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I would be thrilled if physical media tied, and quickly, but it's not going to happen too fast. CD's are pretty much dead (as a percent of business) but still quite pervasive.

I've got accounts and media with Vudu, iTunes, Amazon, and some others with multiple devices (home and mobile).

Punchlist:
  • Physical media is currently still cheaper (to buy, not manufacture) than streaming media. At least as far as video which is what I think we're primarily talking about.
  • Streaming has more limits on Disney (and some others) titles than does physical.
  • Streaming doesn't offer 1080P, 3D, 7.1 or combination depending on title and/or service compared to physical.
  • Studios still seem to have some reluctance with streaming. Old habits die hard.
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post #307 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:24 PM
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I think it'll be a while before physical media disappears, especially with 4k around the corner. We'll need a lot more bandwidth to support these HD formats and what they have now is just okay. We cancelled our Netflix steaming due to quality and availability, so it's physical media for us. I do watch regular tv programing streamed, but I"m not as concerned about the quality and other than that it's OTA.
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post #308 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:24 PM
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Much of rural/agricultural US does not have access to unlimited land based broadband. I pay $70 for 20GB of 3G service. I had satellite for 7 years prior to this (it was 10GB per month, but only $50 with my purchased satellite equipment, for 512Kbps service). One satellite company is full in this area (up to 5 meg service), they are not taking new customers. The other satellite company is 10GB daytime plus 10GB nightime usage for $70 per month with lease fee, that being their cheapest plan. Their service is also up to 5 meg. Both suffer from severe primetime slowdown, speeds less than 200Kbps in the evening is very common. Webpages often time out, it's a pain to use. Those are my only choices for internet, many do not have access to cellular either. I only recently got access to cellular thanks to a new tower only 8 miles away. Land options will never get to many of us. A planned upgrade here was canceled. So, physical media may die. If it does, many of us will no longer have access to buying/renting movies to watch (at least not more than one or two a month, in low quality).

edit: Forgot to add, in addition to the only Internet available having fairly low caps, the only tv rebroadcast tower in this area was shut down because they couldn't afford the digital upgrade. So there is no free over the air TV either.
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post #309 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:25 PM
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I have always preferred to own vs buy; cars, houses, LPs, etc.; oft buy used. I have yet to d/l any streaming vid and comments, herein, about multiple accounts reinforce my position. As for the fragile HD, esp SSDs.... Enough said.

I continue to enjoy my 1000+ LPS and similar# DVD/CDs esp when so much of the new garbage is not even worth the initial view.
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post #310 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:27 PM
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I'll take physical media any day. If my internet goes down I can sill watch a movie. Not to mention the overall better audio quality.

I can tell the difference in quality of my zoomed 2.35 material and 1.78 material but then its a 120" screen at 9' away. Looking forward to true 4k material at some point.

DVD at that size looks as bad as standard definition TV does on a 55".
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post #311 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:29 PM
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I have probably 1000 disks in my collection of CDs, HD DVDs, and Blu-ray disks and I play many of them regularly. So I sure hope it's around for a long while.. I love physically owning a hard copy of movies and music that I love. streaming is convenient but at a (sometimes large) sacrifice in quality sometimes and the need for a reliable broadband internet connection at all times. the wife loves to stream a movie we don't have to see if we'll like it.. the video and audio quality using DISH's on demand is mediocre to poor. Apple TVs' rentals are a little step up in quality but the service pauses to buffer a lot. Netflix depending on what device you are using is ok, HD video quality is decent on the Apple TV but audio isn't always the best. Anyways, all the stuff we like we buy it to have a quality hard copy. but I gather lots of people don't care about the audio and video quality as much as the people on this forum...
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post #312 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:30 PM
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It's just like the film companies to shoot themselves in the foot.mad.gif If they do attempt to eliminate physical media, it will just open a NEW market for pirates,eek.gif while costing themselves millions in lost revenue. I think they're being fooled by people who, including myself, have signed up for streaming accounts like Ultra Violet, which can link to a half dozen other accounts and companies. I haven't (and wouldn't) spend $.10 on streaming. The streaming I do is free and of the Blu-rays that I have already bought. I spent nearly $2,000 last year alone just converting my DVD's to Blu-ray....which look better than DVD's when I'm using the projector in my HT.wink.gif
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post #313 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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This has been said before, but the general public has been conditioned to accept mediocrity. MP3 lossy music, Hulu and Netflix, etc. You used to have to buy $5K turntables and $10K speakers to be considered an audiophile, but now that stigma is attached to any of us 'old folks' who just want lossless audio from a CD or a video from a Blu-Ray. The bar has been lowered.

The CEO of Cisco has said "Any content, anywhere, any time" in one of his speeches. That's what this sound byte generation wants. They want the Pandora, the Netflix, the Spotify, the Hulu, the MOG, etc. Content providers will eat it up because of the monthly recurring fee, while Apple gets those who want some semblance of ownership with iTunes song (false ownership of course). When they grow up, it will be the norm. Just like when the CD generation grew up - it became the norm ousting vinyl to the niche market.

Regrettably, I say "it's inevitable", but that doesn't mean we can't go out kicking & screaming.
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post #314 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NErancher View Post

Much of rural/agricultural US does not have access to unlimited land based broadband. I pay $70 for 20GB of 3G service. I had satellite for 7 years prior to this (it was 10GB per month, but only $50 with my purchased satellite equipment, for 512Kbps service). One satellite company is full in this area (up to 5 meg service), they are not taking new customers. The other satellite company is 10GB daytime plus 10GB nightime usage for $70 per month with lease fee, that being their cheapest plan. Their service is also up to 5 meg. Both suffer from severe primetime slowdown, speeds less than 200Kbps in the evening is very common. Webpages often time out, it's a pain to use. Those are my only choices for internet, many do not have access to cellular either. I only recently got access to cellular thanks to a new tower only 8 miles away. Land options will never get to many of us. A planned upgrade here was canceled. So, physical media may die. If it does, many of us will no longer have access to buying/renting movies to watch (at least not more than one or two a month, in low quality).

edit: Forgot to add, in addition to the only Internet available having fairly low caps, the only tv rebroadcast tower in this area was shut down because they couldn't afford the digital upgrade. So there is no free over the air TV either.

Wow... You must really live in the boonies. Definitely has its plusses and minuses.

Comcast just upgrade internet today, so with a modem restart I went from 35mbs to 55mbs and I'm paying $70 a month.

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post #315 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:33 PM
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Well, the elimination of optical media based music and movie entertainment will save me a ton of money because I do not and will not spend any of my hard earned cash on "clouds" or downloads.
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post #316 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:39 PM
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I have transfered many of my dvd's to thumb drives. The tv i bought has the capability to play them.
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post #317 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:39 PM
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Yes, I can. My present collection of 400+ Blu-Rays takes about 12 TB, spread between a Synology and Thecus server. I just bought another Synology 5-disk server to back up the movies. Total outlay, including extra disks for RAID 5, about $3000.
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post #318 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:41 PM
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If we can allow ourselves to think out of the box, physical media will die, except for a few enthusiast (think vinyl records).

Imagine when we have digital fire hoses coming into our homes. It is not going to happen next year, but it is not far off. When this happens, there is no reason to not have blu-ray quality streaming video. Buy the video online and it is yours for the rest of your life.

It will take time for this to happen and for homes to routinely be wire to handle the band width, but it will happen, just not tomorrow.
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post #319 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:41 PM
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I burn DVDs with a standalone recorder every week. Until analog connections disapear I will always use physical media. Unfortunately analog connections may soon be gone making DVD recorders obselete.
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post #320 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich86 View Post

Well, the elimination of optical media based music and movie entertainment will save me a ton of money because I do not and will not spend any of my hard earned cash on "clouds" or downloads.

You, me and MILLIONS of the rest us, the "silent majority" and the people that have SUPPORTED THEM ALL ALONG.rolleyes.gif I'd like to see their profit margin when they only have the "streaming crowd" to rely on for revenue.biggrin.gif They've already destroyed the movie theatre industry and once they eliminate physical media, they have effectively committed suicide.
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post #321 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich86 View Post

Well, the elimination of optical media based music and movie entertainment will save me a ton of money because I do not and will not spend any of my hard earned cash on "clouds" or downloads.

Amen to that.

The DVDs I record from an HD satellite definitely look better than SD streaming and are very close if not as good as HD streaming, without the glitches of streaming.

I like actually owning stuff, not paying for something that I don't even physically own.
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post #322 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:46 PM
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As long as ISPs continue to treat bandwidth as rare as water on Mars, continuing to cap and throttle high bandwidth users, there will be a need for physical media. And as more people stream, they're just going to clap down more.

Also keep in mind that 1/3 of Americans don't have broadband, so downloading and streaming isn't even an option for them.

And obviously there will need to be a massive improvement to download speeds and bandwidth for streaming picture and sound quality to match physical media (and the push to 4k seems to be about future proofing this).
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post #323 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:47 PM
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I hope to heck not for a million reasons:

1. what a frickin tragic waste of internet bandwidth. Everyone has to suffer from miserable speeds for things that wouldn't make sense for physical distribution just so people can stream movies in sub-standard quality (audio and visual) and then we have to listen to them complain about how their fancy new HDTV barely looks better than their old SD set and that HD looks barely better than DVD, if even. Really???

2. as already mention in point one, the quality is poor, many people only get 1-7Mbps typical internet speed and that is a far cry from 20-40Mbps of physical media (and we aren't even talking 4K yet!), at least in the U.S. we are sooo, soooooooo far from the age where we have the bandwidth to stream 7 channel lossless audio and physical media quality compressed 2K video never mind 4K, one day we will get there but that appears to be a long way off still, and don't forget that is for ONE stream with zero bandwidth left over for anything else so we need a good 120Mbps, constant, all times of the day, to every home before it begins to even make sense for 2K video and more like 500Mbps, if not more, for 4K.

even once we get 500Mbps to every home all the time with ease:

3. what about extra? various cuts? commentaries?

4. distribution rights change, rights get fought over, suddenly maybe a ton of your favorite shows/films are gone for who knows how long until the lawyers fight it out

5. storage space and distro cost money so even if homes have 500Mbps it will be a long while until the streaming companies feel the pressure to deliver physical media copy levels of quality, maybe a LONG while and they may also cut losts of shows/films they decided are too obscure to waste space/bandwidth with


It's just nice to know that once you have the disc you have the disc. The title won't disappear. Your preferred cut might not disappear. And you get top quality audio and video and extras. Some people go insane of special edition cuts or original cuts, maybe the one streaming is the cut you don't care for and you are stuck with it for who knows how long.
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post #324 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:47 PM
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Unfortunately, it will probably be the case that DVDs will become harder and harder to get. The mass audience loves streaming and anything else that will connect its computers to its TV sets or stereos and will apparently never be able to get enough of Hangover II. I, on the other hand, prefer older movies, which are not streamed, and since DVDs cut across all studios, not just the one or two the streaming company has made a deal with, I can see, or could see through the old Netflix DVD deal, all the old movies I wanted and reasonably quickly, with excellent picture and sound, without constant breakup, and no matter how many other people wanted to watch it at the same time. I find that the streaming companies are to movies what the iPod is to music--expensive, low quality, and with extremely limited selection to boot. Call me when a company pops up that allows you to stream any movie ever made, not just Disney or Sony. Then the poorer quality might make it at least worth looking into.
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post #325 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:47 PM
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Those in the Yes and Niche Market camps seem to be forgetting two things:

1. Streaming Media without offline options removes all control from the consumer and places it in the hands of media conglomerates and ISPs. But realizing how apathetic the masses are, this probably won't be a major barrier.

2. Relating to #1, what about independent or for-hire productions and home videos? Must all of those be streamed online, too? Do you want to pay a cloud service a monthly fee just to store your wedding video forever? I'd hardly call this a niche market.
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post #326 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:48 PM
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Enthusiasts, by nature, are collectors. As others have noted, look at the resurgence of vinyl for its collectibility and its superiority to other media, at least in the ears of collectors. If we lose physical media, we lose 11.2 surround, master audio, 4k resolution possibilities. Just look at the pathetic delivery speeds (and dependability) offered by ISP, let alone their their expensive rates.
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post #327 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:48 PM
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AT&T got rid of unlimited streaming for their wireless phone plans because of people streaming movies and videos. The bandwidth just couldn't handle the throughput. Is the wired infrastructure to our homes any better at handling everyone streaming movies to their TVs? At this time I doubt it...at least in more rural areas. Not to mention the crappy selection of movies Netflix has available to stream, (though that may change if they lock up more agreements with the studios)
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post #328 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
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Another problem with streaming is availability of titles. What happens when a title is discontinued? Better hope you have plenty of backups! With physical media is doesn't matter if it's long discontinued, I can continue to enjoy my favorites as long as I have a functioning player (seems to me players are more reliable than HDs over time). I still have CDs that I purchased in 1982 and they still look and perform like new; some of which you simply cannot find these days.

No kidding, from 1982? That's great! I wouldn't have thought even 'modern' CD's wouldn't last that long in a reliable fashion, much less 30 year old CD's. Over the years I've had some shoddy disc's begin to oxidize the film the pits reside in/on.

But as to the question at hand: I, too, think physical media is here to stay, particularly for non-commercial and archival purposes, where the data would be considered 'priceless'. Not that I'm a physical-media 'fan' or anything (even as a musician/producer I never bought into the analog vinyl vs digital cd controversy. Personally, I believe content is here to be *experienced* for what it says to us, rather than compared as an artifact. The harder it is to discern a difference, the less point there is to the discussion, outside of any theoretical concerns)

At some point bandwidth infrastructure and compression will converge to the point where, for everyday purposes, it won't make sense to take up space with physical media. But hopefully by that point, for those 'priceless' things, the physical media we'll be left with will 'last forever' and be able to be 'read' by simple standard, means. After all, when that huge solar flare hits (and it will) we'll be thankful for physical media!
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post #329 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

Wow... You must really live in the boonies. Definitely has its plusses and minuses.

Comcast just upgrade internet today, so with a modem restart I went from 35mbs to 55mbs and I'm paying $70 a month.

1. And that is actually quite the exception for the US. I've lived within 30 miles of Boston and NYC and never had any service come close to that.
2. $70 a month for internet alone is pretty steep price
3. even with your bandwidth you can handle ONE blu-ray stream at a time and zero 4K
4. you are stuck with whatever cut of a movie they deliver and likely zero option for extras or commentaries and the selection available can change at any moment (netflix streaming is missing tons of things)
5. the quality streaming services are willing to put out always lags quite a bit to what bandwidth customers may have available, they don't want to pay to store or stream blu-ray quality now even for people who have the internet bandwidth to handle it (look how long it took music downloads to move even a little above a pitiful 128kpbs compression rate!)
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post #330 of 928 Old 04-22-2013, 03:55 PM
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Google Fiber is coming to Austin in 2014. This is a huge deal. It will likely take a few years to roll out to the whole city, and who knows if/when Google will roll out to the whole US. But it is only a matter of time before gigabit internet is everywhere. The ridiculously high bandwidth arms race has begun, and ISPs will either have to get on board or go quietly into the night. Oh, and it's no coincidence that AT&T just happened to announce gigabit fiber for Austin right after the Google fiber announcement wink.gif

Personally I love my blu-ray (and even my aging HD-DVD) collection. But I will be happy to get the same quality on demand.

Therefore I predict that physical media is dead. Some day. Eventually. Definitely by the 22nd century, but sooner in Austin wink.gif
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