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Summary:

A year since HD DVD conceded defeat at last CES, Blu-Ray and its backers will be touting their so-called success at this year’s CES, but the…

A year since HD DVD conceded defeat at last CES, Blu-Ray and its backers will be touting their so-called success at this year’s CES, but the reality is far from it. As numbers point out, very few consumers know about Blu-Ray, and those who do still do not see enough value for the premium. As NYT points out in this story, “Going from the whirring VCRs of yore to a DVD player was a big leap in picture quality and convenience, while the jump from DVD to Blu-ray is subtler, at least for those who do not have the latest and largest high-definition televisions.” With the economy being what it is, the march towards HDTVs has also slowed down. Plus the inevitable march towards HD downloads online put the future of physical media, HD or not, in jeopardy. You can argue about when that future will arrive, but it surely will..case in point, read the previous Netflix-LG story about broadband TVs.

What the Blu-Ray backers are banking on is merging these new discs with online content: the story says the group will support for a feature called BD Live (as in Blu-ray disc live), which lets people download additional material from the Internet and interact with friends in text chats that appear on the TV while playing a movie. But again, where did we hear that before…

  1. i keep reading a lot of stories like this lately; they pitt the future of blu-ray(and physical media)against the future of digital downloads.nowhere in these articles do they mention measuring online image quality against blu-ray(or cable/satelite)image resolution. i have a hd monitor connected to an htpc(both are capable of outputting above 1080p)and i've sampled some of the "hd" content from tv studio sites and there's definitely a downconversion in image quality when comparing br/cable/sat against online image quality.and, i don't see how people think of digital downloads as a viable format with the onslaught of bandwidth caps coming into play from isps(not too many articles seem to be commenting on this).i've yet to download a movie/show on my pc,but from what i hear(and keep reading),hd downloads are still sluggish,they're usually incomplete,image resolution isn't always up to par,& you only get a 24 hr window.hdtvs have been existence since the mid/late 90's but, they didn't really take off until the early 00's due in large part to hollywood duking it out with tv manufacturers over issues like piracy.since things like piracy(and ip rights) over the web are still such hot button topics for hollywood,can someone really explain to me how dd is going to be the next holy grail?all i'm trying to say is,these articles shouldn't be so quick to label blu-ray(or other physical media)on its deathbed just yet. the same thing has been said about vinyl when cd's first came out;yet,it's still proliferating(albeit in a limited fashion).even best buy is carrying a small quantity in some stores.i'm no major fanboy,but in terms of image quality,blu-ray is not hype;and watching an image upconverted to 1080p is not the same as watching an image encoded in native 1080p resolution.there is a big difference!

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  2. Forget this and other articles, amman shird.

    Now that Blu-Ray becomes the hottest growth in UK (albeit ths US), there is no point in believing in a piece of $hi11y article like this.

    Also, almost every article about Blu-ray's "near-death" and the "shift" to digital downloading sounded like a cheap propogandal advertisement.

    Plus, I have terrible experiences, physically and emotionally, with the computers. You have to pay internet subscription fees, utility fees, and the repairs of broken hard drives. Also, I have to keep my "permanent" data very private, especially porno ones, until my computer parts break down and I become too lazy and evitable to pay the expensive repairs and replacements. I don't give a damn whether they were downloaded songs or movies; anyone could have same terrible experiences.

    The only most affordable and comfortable downloads are rentals, movie or music.

    As for Blu-ray, no comment on that except that I will find more affordable information than this piece of crap

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  3. I'd have to disagree with amman. Other than the sure highest-quality, what else does BD have to offer that streaming movies don't… and especially for the price? I recently became a subscriber to Netflix because of the streaming capability with the Xbox360. I've watched numerous movies and all have been in great quality on my 40" Sony Bravia. Do I care to watch a movie in crystal clear quality in 1080p? Not so much, as long as it's enjoyable. Being able to see the wrinkles on an actor's face doesn't make the movie any better.

    I'd rather pay the subscription fee for a service like Netflix, than pay $30 per BD movie… how many times do you really watch 1 movie? Once, maybe twice? With Netflix, you have a library of movies to select from and you can watch a movie more than once. Building a library on your own that compares to this will cost you an arm and a leg… and eventually collect dust as it loses all value.

    In my opinion, the Netflix model will severely hurt physical media because it's a lot more convenient, and affordable, for the average consumer… especially in our current environment.

    To the last paragraph in the article – it seems like a last hurrah for the backers. "BD Live" just doesn't add any value for me.

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  4. to matt:yeah,that's all well and good about your netflix service.but,how long do you think that steady stream will last once the bandwidth caps seriously comes into play?comcast is already doing it;as well as at&t-others are following suit.depending on your isp and their stipulations,there's only so much you're going to be able to download.at least with br(or other physical media),you still have a hard copy.with a digital download,once it's stored on your computer(or xbox),that's your 1 copy.from what i understand about the hdmi standards,you can't transfer it w/o hdcp turning it into video mush.i don't know how much of a library of streaming content you think you're going to have with issues like corrupt hard drives,drm.etc.&,don't forget about the aforementioned bandwidth caps.that's part of the point i was trying to stress in my original comment-articles like this talk about the fall of blu-ray and the rise of digital download w/o mentioning the impact of bandwidth caps and the effect it will have on an ever-increasing streaming community.

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