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Both Formats Doomed??

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
Forgive me if this prospect has been posted - I wouldn't be sure what to search for to see if it had, but doesn't it seem that hard formats like Blu-Ray and HD DVD are both destined to be overtaken very soon by downloads and individuals holding their entire media library on a harddrive format as opposed to individual expensive discs?

As I just purchased a 1080p LCD television, I started researching which Hi-Def format would be best... then started thinking that both will probably be rendered obsolete sooner than later.

Since consumers became able to eliminate entire cd libraries and consilidate into tiny players, I see no reason why the general public will want to buy entirely new DVD libraries.

It's almost like the SACD format that came out a while ago that no one really embraced... it was bypassed for the mp3 preference... actually as I think about it, Sony has been pretty unsuccessful with many of their new format offerings, Beta, Mini-CD, SACD, et al. I guess that's another thread.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what the long term and short term limitations are to the prospect of this happening or who might currently be working on the technology that would incorporate the superior video quality of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD in the format I've described.

Thank you in advance!
post #2 of 113
Do you know how long it takes to download 8GB over high speed...longer than I want to wait...and if HD programming is larger, forget it.

Also, what percentage of households have access to high speed? What percentage of household don't have internet access? Do you just leave the low speed / no internet customers out of your potential customers? Wal-Mart probably wouldn't like that.

If I could go to the store and purchase a SD card with a HD movie, would I...probably...but then what do I play it on....I'm not dragging my computer into my living room.
post #3 of 113
I remember during the dot.com boom when online newspapers were supposed to spell doom for their printed counterparts.... it never happened. This is the same case. The idea of having a hard copy available for any kind of media is a reason why people will continue to buy disc formats of the movies over downloading directly. Add this to the fact that downloading an 8GB movie that is clearly inferior in audio/video quality to its blu-ray/HD-DVD counterpart further supports the claim that internet downloading is not yet ready for mainstream and will not be for some time, IMHO.
post #4 of 113
It's a very real possibility that both will fail to ever become more than niche formats. That's life. You roll your dice, you take your chances.

In the meantime, we're watching some pretty solid video.
post #5 of 113
Downloading movies on a large scale isn't going to happen any time soon, if ever. As others have stated, it takes too long to do, takes up too much space and not everyone has or even will have the ablity to do so.
Then there's the ownership aspect. There is lots of Video On demand now, but people still buy DVDs, because they like to own a physical object that has the movie.
The SACD Vs. mp3 comparison may be semi-valid, because you have one medium emphasizing high quality audio, Vs. a medium that has low quality sound, but is extremely convenient. The masses will always go for convenience, that's why CDs beat out LPs years ago.
That said, the real competition with BD/HD DVD is SD DVD. I'm not convinced the masses care that much about quality-mp3s have pretty much proven that. The new formats may very well fail, or more likely just be niche formats, because many people just don't care about higher quality.
J
post #6 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivartk View Post

Do you know how long it takes to download 8GB over high speed...longer than I want to wait...and if HD programming is larger, forget it.

Also, what percentage of households have access to high speed? What percentage of household don't have internet access? Do you just leave the low speed / no internet customers out of your potential customers? Wal-Mart probably wouldn't like that.

If I could go to the store and purchase a SD card with a HD movie, would I...probably...but then what do I play it on....I'm not dragging my computer into my living room.


That's understandable with respect to large HD programming - that's what I'm wondering about.

Since we can't currently get these superior audio and video quality movies in a downloaded format, I guess my gut is just telling me that the market will start demanding this as an option before they dish out the bucks for all new movies and hardware as easily as we all did when switching from VHS to DVD's.

I'm not saying people shouldn't buy Blu-Ray or HD DVD and that they don't have merits - just wondering if it will truly catch on and become the standard before a digital format as I've described it catches on and takes over.

As I'm shopping, I just foresee someone offering the option to rip our existing DVD's (legally) to play on some form of upconvert Hard Drive-based player, and then have this coincide with some form of 1080p downloadable movie.

Just seems to me that it's not likely for the world to adopt 1 of 2 formats, currently surrounded by so much uncertainty for their future usablity, while we've just experienced the most important and widely accepted music media advent since the CD format was introduced and accepted.

But I'm with you - I know it would take forever to download... currently.

Just wondering if someone has heard of a company working on a plan as I've described it.

Thanks for the responses.


By the way, although newspapers are not dead - print is definitly dying... trust me, I work in that industry!
post #7 of 113
Quote:


Since we can't currently get these superior audio and video quality movies in a downloaded format, I guess my gut is just telling me that the market will start demanding this as an option before they dish out the bucks for all new movies and hardware as easily as we all did when switching from VHS to DVD's.

No the issue is bandwidth, speed, etc. And by the "market" I take you mean the consumer. The consumer will take the path of least resistance and familiarity. That familiarity is associated with going down to the local video store and renting. Secondly, to use downloadable high def content you still need an HDTV, an HD receiver/hard drive to store the content, etc. In other words, you still need to invest in the hardware. And when hd players are dropping as sharply as they are (with panny's 1/2 price cut and the very low cost entry for HD DVD, rebates, etc.) you have a return to further familiarity with disk based content. The fact that the latter hardware can read your existing dvd collection as well is the kind of transition which vhs---->dvd could not do: in other words the transition can be faster.

Only difference is that HDTVs are on the ascendancy which means the market is still growing. You're not dealing with a huge existing market when people had their standard def tvs and moved from vhs to dvd. That's the difference in how the formats are being adopted. But by all accounts though the numbers are actually reflective of the rate of adoption of dvd from vhs. And remember it was only recently that dvd outpaced vhs in sales.

So downloaded content has less of a chance of success than either of the two formats in becoming the standard for the next several years.
post #8 of 113
I think the real issue is whether people really want HD or not. Most HDTV's aren't even hooked to a high definition source.

I have a feeling that for a lot, perhaps most people, DVD is good enough. They'll never see the benefit of HD DVD or Blu-ray...at least while both are substantially more expensive than DVDs. Perhaps things will change when you can buy new release HD titles at $15 and catalog titles for $10 and less.
post #9 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by fattytca View Post

Forgive me if this prospect has been posted - I wouldn't be sure what to search for to see if it had, but doesn't it seem that hard formats like Blu-Ray and HD DVD are both destined to be overtaken very soon by downloads and individuals holding their entire media library on a harddrive format as opposed to individual expensive discs?

As I just purchased a 1080p LCD television, I started researching which Hi-Def format would be best... then started thinking that both will probably be rendered obsolete sooner than later.

Since consumers became able to eliminate entire cd libraries and consilidate into tiny players, I see no reason why the general public will want to buy entirely new DVD libraries.

It's almost like the SACD format that came out a while ago that no one really embraced... it was bypassed for the mp3 preference... actually as I think about it, Sony has been pretty unsuccessful with many of their new format offerings, Beta, Mini-CD, SACD, et al. I guess that's another thread.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what the long term and short term limitations are to the prospect of this happening or who might currently be working on the technology that would incorporate the superior video quality of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD in the format I've described.

Thank you in advance!

Every format eventually becomes obsolete. If you think downloads will make HD optical obsolete, then within a decade, something will come along that makes downloads (as we know them) obsolete.

If you are going to hold off on buying something for fear of becoming obsolete, then just sell all your A/V gear and buy some books... they may be the only format that never becomes completely obsolete (at least they've had the longest run).
post #10 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnorris View Post

Every format eventually becomes obsolete. If you think downloads will make HD optical obsolete, then within a decade, something will come along that makes downloads (as we know them) obsolete.

If you are going to hold off on buying something for fear of becoming obsolete, then just sell all your A/V gear and buy some books... they may be the only format that never becomes completely obsolete (at least they've had the longest run).


Not my point - I realize that eventually everything will become obsolete. Just wondering if the trends of downloads could render BD and HD DVD obsolete before they even get off the ground (to the extent that one or the other becomes a "standard" like regular DVD's are now).
post #11 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnorris View Post

Every format eventually becomes obsolete. If you think downloads will make HD optical obsolete, then within a decade, something will come along that makes downloads (as we know them) obsolete.

If you are going to hold off on buying something for fear of becoming obsolete, then just sell all your A/V gear and buy some books... they may be the only format that never becomes completely obsolete (at least they've had the longest run).

I don't need this to last as long as books...I'd settle for it lasting as long as the 480i NTSC standard.
post #12 of 113
as long as there are 2 standards to fight over, the 1080p wars will continue to rage and the war itself will be the focus as opposed to the quality difference the standard offers. This one factor could very well limit total acceptance by the buying public. When you couple that with all the gear in your system that has to change to get any benefit out of HD plus the price to replace your existing media, and then add still further, the HDCP issue, I don't know. It's certainly an uphill climb and a bit of a stretch to see it ever becoming mainstream in it's current form. Of course, that doesn't mean it will die out. I just don't think you'll be seeing it in every household any time soon. People have better things to do with their money than to go out and re-buy movies they already have.
post #13 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRebel View Post

I don't need this to last as long as books...I'd settle for it lasting as long as the 480i NTSC standard.


when was 480i NTSC introduced? what year?
post #14 of 113
are you tallking about on DVD or 480i in general?
post #15 of 113
Until J6p can go into wal-mart, target, etc and buy an hd player(either format) for less than $200 and purchase hd movies on the regular release date for less than $20 per title both hd formats are on a bit of shakey ground imo.

Otherwise sd dvd just keeps getting more penetration into j6p's home and that is the "trench" in which these types of wars are won or lost. It's easy for me to see the difference in sd vs. hd as I have a large fp setup. Trying to convince j6p, who just bought a new widescreen tv because he thought it'd get rid of the black bars, that he now needs to spend another $400-$1000 for a real hd player and then buy special discs that cost nearly double what he's use to is another story...and still have the black bars on most movies.

Heck a lot of uninformed buyers think that the $80 upconverting dvd player packaged with the tv they just bought is giving them true hd now.

If the studio's really wanted to help either hd disc format they would just put a seperate(not combo disc) sd dvd copy of the movie in the box with the hd version and keep the pricing at or close to a regular sd movie. Then we'd see a ton more interest in the hd formats as people would not have to choose between buying in sd for the kids room, car, etc. or buying in hd for the living room/theater.

As to the whole downloading aspect...for even sd movies that is problematic for many. What with the digital rights managment issues etc the studio's just aren't ready for that even if every house in the country had access to 10mb/sec download speeds. I envision spending hours to download one overly compressed sd movie that then could only be played via the computer that downloaded it. There'd be no way to play it via portable dvd players or in the players alot of new cars come with to keep the kids quiet on the trip to grannies house.

Bottom line for mainstream movie downloading...there's a lot of issues both technical and intellectual that will need to be sorted out before it's ready for primetime.
post #16 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by fattytca View Post

That's understandable with respect to large HD programming - that's what I'm wondering about.

Since we can't currently get these superior audio and video quality movies in a downloaded format, I guess my gut is just telling me that the market will start demanding this as an option before they dish out the bucks for all new movies and hardware as easily as we all did when switching from VHS to DVD's.

I'm not saying people shouldn't buy Blu-Ray or HD DVD and that they don't have merits - just wondering if it will truly catch on and become the standard before a digital format as I've described it catches on and takes over.

As I'm shopping, I just foresee someone offering the option to rip our existing DVD's (legally) to play on some form of upconvert Hard Drive-based player, and then have this coincide with some form of 1080p downloadable movie.

Just seems to me that it's not likely for the world to adopt 1 of 2 formats, currently surrounded by so much uncertainty for their future usablity, while we've just experienced the most important and widely accepted music media advent since the CD format was introduced and accepted.

But I'm with you - I know it would take forever to download... currently.

Just wondering if someone has heard of a company working on a plan as I've described it.

Thanks for the responses.


By the way, although newspapers are not dead - print is definitly dying... trust me, I work in that industry!

i think downloading [as i understand it] takes to long at the present time and its along way off before thats happens.one more thing people like myself like to collect!!!!,we like the cases hd and bd discs come in ,we like to look at the cover ,read the back,all that stuff. even if downloading is up to par with hd and bd,its still gonna be a real hard sell,like someone said here people still buy newspapers even though you read the newspaper on line.your wasting your time waiting and hey you could die tomorrow,so pick your format and enjoy ,life is short!
post #17 of 113
I can imagine downloads being very good for providing a nice alternative to PPV or rentals. Even I would rather download than take a trip to Blockbuster, and I *HATE* the idea of downloading.

That said, physical media is a much better deal, IMO, and I think enough people out there agree with me that it won't kill DVD/BR/HDDVD anytime soon.
post #18 of 113
The joke was that if it lasts as long as 480i, I'd be happy. I'm not sure exactly when it was invented, but I'm thinking it's almost 50 years old now. It is one of those standards that outlasted what it should have, much like the PC architecture with 640k of conventional memory. Or the gasoline engine. Sometimes things work really well, and they get so big that they don't give way to newer ideas very easily.
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by turansformer View Post

I remember during the dot.com boom when online newspapers were supposed to spell doom for their printed counterparts.... it never happened. This is the same case. The idea of having a hard copy available for any kind of media is a reason why people will continue to buy disc formats of the movies over downloading directly. Add this to the fact that downloading an 8GB movie that is clearly inferior in audio/video quality to its blu-ray/HD-DVD counterpart further supports the claim that internet downloading is not yet ready for mainstream and will not be for some time, IMHO.

Actually, subscriptions to newspapers are WAY down. Most publishers are hurting big time. As the older folks die off, less and less people read newspapers.
post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by fattytca View Post

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what the long term and short term limitations are to the prospect of this happening or who might currently be working on the technology

It seems to me that having millions of copies distributed all over the planet of any one
movie is wasteful. Waste is cost and efficiency. It would be cheaper and more efficient
to have every movie ever made available for viewing by anyone at any time. Downloading
is just as wasteful as making a million disks to distribute. If you're going to watch it a couple
of times, even worse. (sci fi, kid movies or animation are a different matter)

Pay-per-view doesn't work well because of limited selection. The cable/satellite companies
only have so much bandwidth, so they have to pick what to offer. A video store has shelf space
issues as well as a number of copies limit. Netflix or other service, can scale up, but
only so far. Still more efficient, but not perfect. A service where any movie every made
(HD or SD) is available at any time you want it (stored on a service providers server) is
about as efficient as you can get. Yes, you'll need a box or receiver, and pay them, but we're
not talking open source videos though.

This kind of thing is not ready just yet, but seems to be on the way. Therefore a disc
solution is a likely intermediate solution that enables a lot of businesses to stay
in business and is familiar to consumers. Eventually though, it would seem mr and mrs
consumer will not want to drive to the store or mail discs or even purchase a disc when
they are all readily available with some slick (easy to use) software for searching,
previewing, etc....

http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2007-...20070426.1.xml
post #21 of 113
They're not doomed. Electronic distribution is likely not coming for several years. As it currently stands, NetFlix gets to my door several days quicker than downloading an HD movie.

After the movie is downloaded in a couple days, storage isn't even cost effective yet. At $0.25 per GB, the two Pirates of the Caribbean movies I just purchased requires a 200GB hard drive, $50!

The current options are pay per view, netflix, or the traditional buying. And for full quality, netflix is by far faster than downloads for most people. So no, these formats are not in danger of becoming obsolete anytime soon.
post #22 of 113
So, I will acknowledge that I am far from "J6P" so I won't try and speculate as to what will be broadly acceptable soon. But in contrast to most of what has been said here, I would happily adopt a download model today, if one were available. And that would drastically reduce my disc purchasing if it were.

I got my first VCR in about 1980. Paid something like $500 for it, while just married and still in grad school. Until we had kids (in 1987) and they were into watching kids movies, I did almost 100% rental. In those days, most new tapes were really expensive - $70 or so.

Along came DVD. I bought into that about a year after it came out, and went nuts on buying disks. I have over 600 (average 1 per week over 11 years) and found that most have only been watched 1 time, some a couple. I rationalized this against the cost of going to the theater. However, as the HD formats loomed, I found myself using my Netflix account more and more, even for movies I would have bought in SD previously.

I bought an HD DVD Player the first day they came out last April (2006) and own less than 20 movies so far. I have rented plenty on Netflix. The presence of this war has made me a more cautious consumer.

My only complaint with Netflix is sometimes the four movies I have home aren't what we want to watch that night.

At my current 6Mbps cable modem download a 30GB HD movie would run about 11 hours to download (plus overheads would make that longer). That is faster than a Netflix mail delivery.

With some of the technology improvements in development, in 2-4 years, I would expect double or triple that speed. As soon as the download time is on the order of the movie play time (2-3 hours) you can envision a buffered download/play model.

Don't need to purchase it and store it. Give me a rental model with a viewing and discard the copy, and I would be just fine.

As to when that experience would be acceptable enough for a sustaining business model, I am sure that Netflix is working on it now.

Ken
post #23 of 113
With the promise of digital HD downloads, the first thing everyone complains about is speed. I don't really see why though... Netflix, with an approximate 3 day turn around for me is plenty fast, especially when I have 3 movie options at a time. As long as digital downloads arrive faster than 3 days for my current 480p content, it will be an improvement. Chalk me up as someone who doesn't care about real time HD streaming the second I press play. Also, as someone who owns like 500+ DVDs, for all but a few select movies, I've lost my past rabid desire to own my content. Netflix now works great for 95% of my content needs. Lately, I've only bothered buying foreign DVDs which Netflix doesn't carry.

My dream...

A Netflix P2P set-top box
  • Free box with 6 month commitment
  • $20/month rental fee for 5 movies out at a time ($30/month for 10)
  • Only needs HDD space for 5-10 movies
  • Automatically downloads the top 5-10 movies in your queue
  • P2P with other peoples boxes for faster downloads
  • ---Could even give you a download time estimate, with popular movies downloading faster
  • Box gives you the option to delete after you've watched
  • Can manage your box content/queue from your tv
  • 1080p/720p/480p options to meet the full spectrum of speed/quality folks needs
  • Movie size/language/subtitle default preferences set up once (only downloads what you need)
  • ---Option to modify individual downloads for picky folks
  • Option to download special features in place of 1 movie on your box

There is absolutely NOTHING, from a technical standpoint, stopping this from happening today. If built en mass, they would probably only cost $100-150 to manufacture. If I had the above box, I would be a happy man... and only get happier as faster internet speeds/cheaper storage progressively allow me to receive a larger local list more quickly. And eventually, when speeds are fast enough, the same box could handle direct streams (and probably 480p streams from day one).
-Matt


EDITED: To point out that the 5/10 movie limit is what would exist on the box, you could still download and watch as many movies per month as you could physically sit through assuming you had the bandwidth.
post #24 of 113
Agreed, khoyme. You posted while I was pondering my dream box features :-)
post #25 of 113
Thread Starter 
I'm with you Ken. I'd go downloadable if the limitations of bandwith, etc could be overcome. In the meantime, I'll keep struggling with which format will have the longest life with the most potential for price drops in media. Maybe while I agonize over it, there will be another reduction ?

I never thought I'd be the guy to disregard the importance of liner notes in CD's - but here I am - if the particular album/artist is important enough to me, I'll buy the hardcopy.

So that leads me to believe I could do the same with my movies.

I get no real sense of satisfaction out of telling others "I have over 100 movies, WITH CASES in my DVD library."

I'd get the same satisfaction out of telling them "I have over 100 movies on my harddrive and access to whatever I want for a single viewing (based on subscription or one-time fee, etc.)"

But if it's a long way off... I need to actually get back to work here and try to earn a bonus to pay for my new 1080p player... whatever that might be.
post #26 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjohnst View Post

With the promise of digital HD downloads, the first thing everyone complains about is speed. I don't really see why though... Netflix, with an approximate 3 day turn around for me is plenty fast, especially when I have 3 movie options at a time. As long as digital downloads arrive faster than 3 days for my current 480p content, it will be an improvement. Chalk me up as someone who doesn't care about real time HD streaming the second I press play. Also, as someone who owns like 500+ DVDs, for all but a few select movies, I've lost my past rabid desire to own my content. Netflix now works great for 95% of my content needs. Lately, I've only bothered buying foreign DVDs which Netflix doesn't carry.

My dream...

A Netflix P2P set-top box
  • Free box with 6 month commitment
  • $20/month rental fee for 5 movies ($30/month for 10)
  • Only needs HDD space for 5-10 movies
  • Automatically downloads the top 5-10 movies in your queue
  • P2P with other peoples boxes for faster downloads
  • ---Could even give you a download time estimate, with popular movies downloading faster
  • Box gives you the option to delete after you've watched
  • Can manage your box content/queue from your tv
  • 1080p/720p/480p options to meet the full spectrum of speed/quality folks needs
  • Movie size/language/subtitle default preferences set up once (only downloads what you need)
  • ---Option to modify individual downloads for picky folks
  • Option to download special features in place of 1 movie on your box

There is absolutely NOTHING, from a technical standpoint, stopping this from happening today. If built en mass, they would probably only cost $100-150 to manufacture. If I had the above box, I would be a happy man... and only get happier as faster internet speeds/cheaper storage progressively allow me to receive a larger local list more quickly. And eventually, when speeds are fast enough, the same box could handle direct streams (and probably 480p streams from day one).
-Matt


Okay... can we forward this over to netflix? This would be ideal. Well done.
post #27 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by fattytca View Post

Okay... can we forward this over to netflix? This would be ideal. Well done.

I agree... I'd quit blockbuster right now for it.


Granted I still would buy movies. I watch far more than 10 movies a month.
post #28 of 113
digital = do not want

Give me a pretty little disc in a pretty little case or I'm not paying for it. Period.

Blu-ray or DVD, thanks.
post #29 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjohnst View Post

[*]Only needs HDD space for 5-10 movies[*]Automatically downloads the top 5-10 movies in your queue[*]P2P with other peoples boxes for faster downloads[*]---Could even give you a download time estimate, with popular movies downloading faster[*]Box gives you the option to delete after you've watched[*]Can manage your box content/queue from your tv

Why would netflix bother with actually giving you the bits? There's going to be DRM
issues at a minimum. How would you actually know if you physically had 5 - 10
movies in your box, or if it just looked like you have 5-10 movies in your box? Maybe
we're saying the same thing. Whether the bits coming in are streamed or
actually downloaded, or some combination, probably is meaningless to consumers.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjohnst View Post

With the promise of digital HD downloads, the first thing everyone complains about is speed. I don't really see why though... Netflix, with an approximate 3 day turn around for me is plenty fast, especially when I have 3 movie options at a time. As long as digital downloads arrive faster than 3 days for my current 480p content, it will be an improvement. Chalk me up as someone who doesn't care about real time HD streaming the second I press play. Also, as someone who owns like 500+ DVDs, for all but a few select movies, I've lost my past rabid desire to own my content. Netflix now works great for 95% of my content needs. Lately, I've only bothered buying foreign DVDs which Netflix doesn't carry.

My dream...

A Netflix P2P set-top box
  • Free box with 6 month commitment
  • $20/month rental fee for 17-20 movies ($30/month for 25)
  • Only needs HDD space for 5-10 movies
  • Automatically downloads the top 5-10 movies in your queue
  • P2P with other peoples boxes for faster downloads
  • ---Could even give you a download time estimate, with popular movies downloading faster
  • Box gives you the option to delete after you've watched
  • Can manage your box content/queue from your tv
  • 1080p/720p/480p options to meet the full spectrum of speed/quality folks needs
  • Movie size/language/subtitle default preferences set up once (only downloads what you need)
  • ---Option to modify individual downloads for picky folks
  • Option to download special features in place of 1 movie on your box

-Matt

Fixed***

I go over 15-20 movies a month with Netlifx's 17.99 plan. Why would I pay more for less. How EFFICIENT , is that.
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