Originally Posted by JeffR1
I would be curious to see what the Canadian market is, since we really don't have any options to stream new releases _ we don't have a choice but to buy or rent discs.
I don't claim to know much about Canada, except that it's roughly 10% the population of the U.S. in an even greater geographic area overall. It's a beautiful country, but a very unimportant market for Hollywood studios because it has fewer people than, well, California.
My *guess* is you will get better streaming options soon. My hope is that my guess is right. My suspicion is your few independent video stores left will carry UHD BluRay in tiny quantities.
Originally Posted by R Harkness
I'm actually pleasantly surprised that Blu-Ray became as successful as it did. There was lots of cynicism all the way through the launch, from the format wars and onward there was lots of "Blu-Ray will fizzle out, no one cares, it'll be like laser disc." And there was much hand-wringing that older back catalog movies would never really make it out beyond a handful. But it seemed to have nonetheless made a significant penetration, and movies never stopped coming out, and now I find myself with far more Blu-Ray movies than I'll probably ever be able to watch. Most of my DVD collection, including most of the classic movies I loved, niche and otherwise, came out on Blu-Ray. So...color me happy with the way that went.
I should be clear when I downplay the prospects of UHD BluRay that I was very bullish on BluRay. I predicted its victory over HD-DVD, was very critical/dismissive of Time Warner/Toshiba's patent money grab/scorched-earth play to try to push HD-DVD, and was excited to acquire one of the earliest BluRay players (a first-gen PS3).
That said, as successful as it has been, the fact it never came close to outselling DVD is a major disappointment given HDTV penetration in the U.S. is something like 90%. That BluRay finally took off when Blockbuster began to die and when Netflix started to emphasize streaming over disc rentals also limited its potential.
None of this takes away from the things you like, of course. And you are one of many enthusiasts who has enjoyed years of amazing content on the format.
Originally Posted by JaguarCRO
I think BluRay ended up in very good shape. Every major movie title comes out on the platform, prices are reasonable and there are lots of places to get them. It has taken a long time to get to this point though
UHD Blu-Ray has many advantages over Blu-Ray.
I don't think anyone is arguing that as a concept, I think your optimism is misplaced as to whether that matters.
1) TVs that are needed to see the advantages of the superior video quality are considerably cheaper and already shipping at a much higher volume and yet at a much earlier point in time as compared to HD TVs (From the CTA Presentation during HTG Episode 288 at ~40:24) One can clearly see that the 2015 UHD TV number is 7.1 Million units sold vs <5.9 Million in 2006. 2006 was the year Blu-Ray Launched and yet that was almost 8 years after HD TVs launched in the US.
BluRay never became as popular as DVD even as HDTV penetration passed 90%. And that was when disc penetration was also 90% or so, everyone lived near a Blockbuster, everyone could subscribe to Netflix, which encouraged new disc subs, etc. Now, disc rental is borderline dead, save Redbox and dwindling Netflix. And no one will be renting these discs. No format in the U.S. has come remotely close to success without robust rental.
2) Launch Players (and follow-on players will have to follow suit) are already significantly below their Blu-Ray counterparts. $399 vs $799 and up. Of course the bargain Blu-Ray player in late 2006 was the PS3 but that was $499 and $599 at launch and Sony lost a ton of money at those prices. UHD Blu-Ray players are already profitable at $399 in 2016.
Who cares that Sony lost money? Millions of us bought a PS3 because we wanted one and could also play BluRays. It was a win-win. No one will have any such synergy with UHD BluRay.
3) No competing Disc Format launching at or near the same time (HD-DVD launched and burnt out rather quickly but it certainly slowed the launch of Blu-Ray)
Actually, there are many competing formats. Amazon, Vudu, Netflix and likely soon Apple. The idea these don't compete is really silly.
5) It costs them virtually no more money to manufacture than traditional Blu-Rays today and yet they can sell them for more money. (or justify the higher price for a longer time when the majority of their sales come for a movie)
Oh, good, the studios can justify charging more money. That should be a boon for the format!
6) Significantly superior quality video (Thank you 4K, HDR and WCG)
All available on streaming, all irrelevant to likely 90% of customers anyway.
DVD never lost to BluRay because most people don't care about picture quality. When PQ was freaking terrible (VHS), DVD was a godsend. When it was terrible (NTSC), HDTV was a godsend. UHD will be free on most sets and most people won't see any UHD for a long while, unless they get it from a streaming service.
7) Significantly superior audio. (Thank you Atmos and DTS:X) Even if you can't afford the superior audio system to take advantage of the object based audio formats, the built-in audio in TVs is getting much much better than it was in 2006. Better sound makes a movie much more immersive. (Streaming audio is quite bad even on the best services)
Please don't argue that Atmos is going to be noticeably better than Dolby Digital on a built-in TV speaker. And please remember that, again, <10% of U.S. households have surround sound.
8) It represents a True Halo Product for Hollywood. They all want to make the best product they can and they want the most people to see that. That Home product has been well below what the Cinema could deliver for a number of years. In March of this year, UHD 4K Blu-Ray will become the true Halo product that delivers the best in class Audio and Video experience for Movies and TV shows.
Yes, the 1% (of digerati, not wealth) will love it. Likely 50% of people won't have ever heard of it by 2018. I'm really not sure this format is meaningfully going to survive past 2020 and have some modicum of confidence it will be gone by 2025. But I'd love to be proved wrong.
Arguments about quality, halos, sound and wide color gamut -- a whole host of things that 90% of people will absolutely never care about -- are not persuasive. The world picked LCD over plasma. It picked VHS over Beta. It picked MP3 over CD. It picks "inferior", more convenient formats over and over and over and over and over. The quality hounds keep thinking "this time will be different."
Now one thing I would like to know is how many Blu-Ray players, and Blu-Ray Movies were sold in 2006. (So we can do a fair comparison)
<1 million in 2006, 2/3 of which were PS3
10 million in 2008
I'm betting 2007 is "somewhere in between"
I found a stat that had BluRay movies at 694,000 through Feb. 25, 2007. So that's close.
If we'd like to take bets I am:
1) Confident that fewer than 1 million players will be sold this year in the U.S.
2) Reasonably confident that the average buyer of a player sold this year will acquire 5 or more movies given the incredible launch/near launch selection