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Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable? - Page 2

Poll Results: Is the End of Physical Media Inevitable?

 
  • 2% (23)
    Yes, physical media will quickly disappear altogether
  • 18% (198)
    Yes, physical media will slowly disappear altogether
  • 34% (369)
    No, new physical formats will continue to be developed
  • 44% (470)
    No, but physical media will become a niche market for enthusiasts
1060 Total Votes  
post #31 of 920
The best audio I have ever heard have been high rez downloads. Better than my vinyl and my CD's. It is a hit or miss proposition however. The devil is always in the details. Some 24/96 high rez downloads are nothing more than high rez copies of red book CD's or at least, so they sound. The question always is from what masters were they made and what care went into making them. Provided that they are from the actual master analog tape of 24/96 or 24/192 digital recordings, mastered with care. the high rez tracks are superb. Again, that is very hit or miss. However, what I have really found incredible are DSD recordings which are slowly becoming available. They are really like having the studio master in your home. They are only a handful of dacs which decode them but more are coming out and they are actually rather affordable. namely from $800 to $1,500. More and more of the computer software is being designed to handle them with Amarra set to add DSD to their programming in the next few months. You don't need a high end systems to hear the benefits pf high rez or DSD. It is audible on almost any 2 channel system. I will still play my LP's but am transferring all of my CD's onto a laptop with an external solid state hard drive. By the end of this year, it is how I will listen to digital music exclusively.
post #32 of 920
As for 4k media, I do not expect there to ever be a physical format for that other than the BD data discs that Sony is supplying for use with their 84" 4k display. 4k will be downloads only.
post #33 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

The best audio I have ever heard have been high rez downloads. Better than my vinyl and my CD's. It is a hit or miss proposition however. The devil is always in the details. Some 24/96 high rez downloads are nothing more than high rez copies of red book CD's or at least, so they sound. The question always is from what masters were they made and what care went into making them. Provided that they are from the actual master analog tape of 24/96 or 24/192 digital recordings, mastered with care. the high rez tracks are superb. Again, that is very hit or miss. However, what I have really found incredible are DSD recordings which are slowly becoming available. They are really like having the studio master in your home. They are only a handful of dacs which decode them but more are coming out and they are actually rather affordable. namely from $800 to $1,500. More and more of the computer software is being designed to handle them with Amarra set to add DSD to their programming in the next few months. You don't need a high end systems to hear the benefits pf high rez or DSD. It is audible on almost any 2 channel system. I will still play my LP's but am transferring all of my CD's onto a laptop with an external solid state hard drive. By the end of this year, it is how I will listen to digital music exclusively.



I haven't heard DSD downloads and I'm not sure what kind of CD's you have. I hear what your saying but I doubt there's a download they equals the quality of my MSFL, SACD and DVD-A media. Any download is more compressed than a red book CD and honestly I think their higher bit rates are all smoke and mirrors. I'll put my best CD's up against any download or my blu rays up against even the best download service which IMO is Vudu. They're getting closer but there really is no argument as to which is better. There are many that will never give up quality for convenience. I'll disagree with you about hearing the difference on a inferior setup, I can barely hear the difference on a revealing setup so you'll never hear it through some setups.


I want to add that I use some download services for music and videos and I do enjoy them.
Edited by comfynumb - 4/6/13 at 11:47am
post #34 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

As for 4k media, I do not expect there to ever be a physical format for that other than the BD data discs that Sony is supplying for use with their 84" 4k display. 4k will be downloads only.



I agree with that smile.gif
post #35 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by boblinds View Post

The content providers will push and push and push streaming and downloadable media until physical media has been eradicated. Then they can completely control the dissemination of their content to ensure that you can't own it and can access it only in those contexts they deem acceptable, profitable, and convenient...for THEM. This issue has nothing to do with technology or quality. It's all about the studios and producers controlling their IP and, ultimately, charging for every viewing.

Unfortunately, that is the case.
post #36 of 920
I wile I do like and use ITunes, Crackle, Hulu Plus, and Blockbuster Total Access I do prefer having the disk; I think maybe it will become an DVD-R to older thing like what we have now sites like wbshop.com.
post #37 of 920
I have almost 1000 cds and over 500 lp's mostly all jazz and classical. I have been an audiophile sonce the 80's and love high rez downloads with the provisos noted in my prior post. And yes, I hear the difference in using a $2,000 systems to a $25,000 plus and above system with a good dac, jeez, even with the Dragonfly.
post #38 of 920
BluRay will remain the standard for decades to come, not to worry. 4K will not catch on like they hope it will, not in this world economy, and not without a physical medium.
post #39 of 920
If I buy a DVD or Blu Ray disk I can loan it to twenty of my friends to watch and it it better quality to boot so why on earth would I want to switch away from that?

David
post #40 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavius View Post

BluRay will remain the standard for decades to come, not to worry. 4K will not catch on like they hope it will, not in this world economy, and not without a physical medium.



Exactly and the jury is still out on if you can actually see the difference between 4K and 1080p. Some say they can and others have found no joy. And until they make it affordable for everyone it isn't going to catch on.
post #41 of 920
Anyone born after 1990 has virtually no use or desire for physical media, and those people will soon constitute the prime customer demographics. This is the twilight era for physical media as the primary retail force. What we might see in the future is something similar to what the music labels are doing for some classic music. The average consumer buys it as a digital download, while a few obsessives pay hundreds for super-deluxe, lavish box sets with a number of trinkets that can't be digitized. If physical media for home video sticks around in ten years, it will be much closer in pricing and market size to the old laserdisc years. A small elite will have Super-BD, while everyone else will be content streaming the movie off VUDU and Amazon. Places like Walmart will likely still have bargain bins and a few newer releases, but it will be even smaller in scope than today.
post #42 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

I have almost 1000 cds and over 500 lp's mostly all jazz and classical. I have been an audiophile sonce the 80's and love high rez downloads with the provisos noted in my prior post. And yes, I hear the difference in using a $2,000 systems to a $25,000 plus and above system with a good dac, jeez, even with the Dragonfly.


But you have to admit that with a top quality of around 400 Kbits downloads fall short even to a red book CD of 850-1000 Kbits. How can a lower bitrate sound better? Not possible. Again they have their place but when I want to to hear my favorite music or watch my favorite movies there's never a question, I'm going to a disc.
post #43 of 920
Even with Wallyworld pushing Vudu their blu ray racks are packed full. Old and new releases. Everyone said CD's would end vinyl production too wink.gif
post #44 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

As for 4k media, I do not expect there to ever be a physical format for that other than the BD data discs that Sony is supplying for use with their 84" 4k display. 4k will be downloads only.

At 100GB+ per movie, your ISP's data cap will have a lot to say about this.
post #45 of 920
They are offering higher speeds and better packages. But yeah the download times for one 4K movie are ridiculous, and I can imagine my son playing his ps3 online and a laptop going and our phones and my tablet, will kill my 22 Mbps Internet.
post #46 of 920
Unless the U.S. overhauls its infrastructure with all the IP's screaming about data hogs and either capping them or terminating their service I just can't see it .
post #47 of 920
Yes and the higher Mbps service is a lot of money.
post #48 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by boblinds View Post

The content providers will push and push and push streaming and downloadable media until physical media has been eradicated. Then they can completely control the dissemination of their content to ensure that you can't own it and can access it only in those contexts they deem acceptable, profitable, and convenient...for THEM. This issue has nothing to do with technology or quality. It's all about the studios and producers controlling their IP and, ultimately, charging for every viewing.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Every time a copy of a title is SOLD studios and CDNs are turning over in their grave. Purchasing a physical thing engenders certain rights. Including never having to pay every time you watch it.

Studios hate that.
post #49 of 920
Time will tell as will future codecs and speeds.
post #50 of 920
Let's remember that an overwhelming majority of streaming is done with the cheap Netflix plan. The studios are not going to continue to support that model long term with anything other than C-list quality content. The problem is that most people have come to associate streaming with a low fee and all they can get. That is going to change and then we will see if consumers really want streaming.

The fact is the studios know that they won't be able to charge $20 for owning a streaming only title. And when you look how cheap you can get catalog titles for on DVD and BD why are you better off buying a streaming only version?
post #51 of 920
Faster ISPs and data caps are going to be the next avenue for the cable and phone companies to rip us off.
post #52 of 920
Also the day studios force us to a model to pay every time I watch a title is the day I extend my middle finger to and tell them to go .... themselves.
Edited by Toknowshita - 4/6/13 at 3:11pm
post #53 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toknowshita View Post

Faster ISPs and data caps are going to be the next avenue for the cable and phone companies to rip us off.

Absolutely... it's so much easier to create an artificial fee than it is to upgrade their infrastructure to high-end fiber, so their customers can get blistering fast internet speeds with no usage caps.
post #54 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toknowshita View Post

Also the day studios force us to a model to pay every time I watch a title is the day I extend my middle finger to and tell them to go .... themselves.

And for our friends across the pond, they'll get the two finger salute.

They've been pushing and pushing for a PPV model after almost every iteration of home media... now many people are willing to play that game (and possibly get a lesser product for more money) because they want everything instantaneously.
post #55 of 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

But you have to admit that with a top quality of around 400 Kbits downloads fall short even to a red book CD of 850-1000 Kbits. How can a lower bitrate sound better? Not possible. Again they have their place but when I want to to hear my favorite music or watch my favorite movies there's never a question, I'm going to a disc.

These are not what I am referring to. I am refine to lossless FLAC files and the like which are much larger.
post #56 of 920
I definitily see the end of purchasable physical media down the track. But I hope 'they' give us the option to download whatever quality we are willing to pay for....offering a multi tiered, quality and cost structure.

But I also think it will give an opportunity for manufactures to produce secure serves, with add on hard drive capability, licenced by the movie studios, internet linked, that we can store our downloaded movies/digital data for future access......and in case of a HW failure, the option of downloading our collection for a much reduced rate.
post #57 of 920
There was a court case just settled, media you purchase via itunes and other services is not your property. You can not resell it. Once people find out the money they spend is merely for the right to watch the download, physical media is safe and will be around a long time.
post #58 of 920
I love collecting Blu-Rays, but if the studios were to make lossless Blu-Ray downloads possible, I would join that bandwagon in a heartbeat.
post #59 of 920
I certainly hope physical media sticks around for a long time. The studios have more control over what consumers do with their content than they deserve now. Imagine how much we would be paying if it was download only...

-- $6 EACH time we wanted to watch it.
-- A copyright dispute with a distribution service results in the content being yanked from your HD ( see Kindle e-books. )
-- Having to jump through hoops just to gain access to the download. ( Typing in keys, specially-formatted drives, forced to buy dongles, etc )
-- Being hit with excess data charges and hitting data caps.
-- No choice as to WHERE the data is stored.

Vudu only allows the content to be stored in one location. For Windows this happens to be the C: drive along with the OS. Folks, like me, that partition up their drive and only keep the OS and its tools on a very small partition to limit damage by drive failure and virus threats are screwed. I basically only have enough space on C to store ONE HDX movie at a time. I have to copy the movies off to another partition just to download another to watch it. If I want to watch a movie I've moved to another location, I have to move it back into the original directory.
post #60 of 920
As displays have grown smaller and the sound coming from then has gone worse, the quality expected of the general public has grown to accept many compromises. Many do not buy movies at all anymore since they have a netflix account. Due to this they have come to accept worse sound that is compressed and through streaming as well as the tiny speakers that are in the small flat panels that the majority of us use.

Because of this, I believe it will become a niche market for physical media in the same way that LPs for music are also a niche market. Heck, I would even go as far to say that the true HiFi systems is indeed a niche market.

That said, I hate how media companies are trying to prevent the existence of a used market for DVDs and Blurays. Do I approve of pirating? NO, however, every other industry has to live with the fact that there is a used market for their goods. How many of us buy couches off craigslist? Or audio gear used to save money?

I feel like if we all go to streaming we are giving up our freedom to sell items that we no longer use to enhance our quality of life.
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