Originally Posted by Everdog
It sound like you agree with me when I say people are happy with DVD quality.
For the second part I should have used the word "eventually". Sales of disc based media have be declining while streaming is increasing. Add to that the VoD and other ways to get movies, and it will all one day over take the purchasing of discs. It's nowhere near there yet, but wait 5 to 10 years.
I would agree that typical home screen sizes severely bias most peoples perception of the quality difference between the two formats, making the difference seem closer than it really is.
I was thinking the last few sales figures I saw for packaged media, sales were actually up compared to last year, for both BD and DVD. I can see why dvd would be down though; it's harder to justify investing in the format, now that the industry has imposed the future of TV as being HD, once you realize that dvd is not high def anyway. Even if I couldn't justify high defs price premium yet, I'd probably stick with renting until I could.
I think it's still a bit early to tell what's going to happen with electronic delivery. Even once resolution and compression improves, which I have my doubts about the later unless they develop far more efficient compression solutions, as it doesn't seem to be a priority for content providers to increase bandwidths; just look at DirecTV and Cable, neither of which has improved in over 20 years in that regard, and once the infrastructure is there, there are apparently still some roadblocks and political hurdles to overcome.
It seems logical that electronic delivery will eventually become a very popular if not the preferred way for renting films. I'm sure studios would love not having to spend so much on bonus content for discs (though can you imagine all the companies that would be out of business if streaming ever actually replaced packaged media - not that it matters, because that won't happen until hard-disc or some sort of satellite storage becomes a viable alternative, in both price and convenience, to collecting discs) but I'm not certain the repeat business of a rental society, especially one that can record the content for repeate viewings that doesn't have to rent them again, will ever be as lucrative for studios as the hard-copy market is today, without regulating prices more.
I'd love to be able to download any movie in 1080p with BD compression ratio quality, with lossless surround and skip all the extras, for a couple bucks or less per movie, and save the films to a massive storage unit that runs to every TV in the house and can be linked to through the net, so I can access my movies at a friends house when I'm visiting, or so I can watch them on the go. But I suspect studios feel a little more threatened by the very notion of such a future, not to mention every business that is in any way related to the entertainment industry.
They say if they ever found a cure for cancer, it would take 50 years to gradually prepare the industry; apparently our very economy could collapse if a cure were introduced overnight that voided all current forms of treatment, due to all the occupations related to those treatments. Of course the same has often been said about fuel, energy, and many other markets; I suspect as large as the movie industry is, it would apply to it too. But the notion that the medical industry or the government itself would actually withhold a cure for cancer itself... that really got me though, considering how many millions would die in even a much shorter length of time.