Erstwhile HD DVD heavyweight Toshiba has forecast the end of consumer optical media, and is to develop a series of set-top boxes and portable players all fed with digital content sold on SD card instead. The scheme follows the Japanese giant's decision to invest $20m in US digital content deliver specialist MOD Systems in …
Great, another format no-one wants
Until they offer High-def, full 7.1 DTS, downloads of BRAND NEW CINEMA releases, i'm not the slightest bit interested.
We all have our own home cinemas now, the idea of having to endure a night looking at a milkshake stained screen, in a too-loud cinema (though not loud enough to drown out all the chavs), should be over by now.
Otherwise this is just another way of renting out DRM packed movies that will be cheaper on DVD.
Bitter Old Toshiba...
They are still so upset about losing HD DVD, they are prepared to send the whole company down the pan by developing products without the infrastructure to support them.
Mainstream digital downloads are decades away...
Exactly as I predicted
Not wanting to blow my trumpet too much, but this is exactly what I said would happen when Toshiba bowed out of the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD race.
Even ISPs giving "unlimited" broadband aren't really giving us "unlimited" usage. People who buy DVD/Blu-Ray movies often will find themselves meeting their download caps quickly.
And then we have the problem with the general speed of broadband here in the UK as well.
Maybe in the future. But not now.
I am not buying a new SD card with each film
An SD card is fine as a way to take a film home, but I want to keep the film on my low £/GB harddisk.
Just a test
Wondering if this comment will appear within the next 5 hours. Honestly El Reg, since your makeover your times for getting comments posted are appalling. How are you supposed to have a good old fashioned argument with an annoying commentator if you don't know that your responses will be posted in a timely fashion?
HD Downloads . . .
. . . simply aren't. 720p and stereo sound is not hi-def and I wouldn't pay a penny for it.
Assuming they get some better compression than for BD or HD DVD, your still looking at needing 16GB cards at least for the data - which will cost more to manufacture than current optical discs.
Which means that even the early adopters, who they need to win over first of all, will more than likely baulk at the media cost.
@ Just a test
i noticed that too... some are quick and some are slow to update. i can only imagine that its due to some journos being quicker than others to respond?
i agree that uk bb is too useless to use for HD downloads. the only point of streaming is that its instant - can you imagine how virgin, bt et al would react if all of a sudden we all starting downloading 50gb movies and wanted them in 90 mins! dream on people.
Unless you have the Sky Max ADSL2+ package, which really is unlimited (and only £10 a month if you have Sky TV.)
I can download HD torrents usually at 1.75MB/s which gives a 'reasonable' download time even for 25GB films. The future is here (and its free!)
some people seem to be missing the kiosk aspect.
the movies would be downloaded in a store, so people's home connections are irrelevant.
pirated 1080p downloads (using x264/ac3 codecs) are currently between 8-12gigs depending on length. if pirates can do it, so can the industry.
i would use it to rent movies if it were comparable in price to a video store rental, however not if it has the standard 24hr digital rental lifespan...
Sensible approach from Tosh
"Until they offer High-def, full 7.1 DTS, downloads of BRAND NEW CINEMA releases, i'm not the slightest bit interested."
Whilst not there yet, I am certain this will occur and not that long away. Though personally I find most brand new cinema releases today to be utter drivel, but anyway ;-)
The SD delivery will be an intermediate method I expect, whilst the high street store still exists. It could also be paired up with a downloader box at home also which could just be set to queue up a load of downloads overnight, and you have a media card ready to go stuffed with films.
Broadband speeds are constantly moaned about and deemed the reason for the download option to fail. However, look at how much the net has sped up in 10 years, and note the heavy push by governments and industry to role out super-speed broadband.
Next year ADSL2+ is being heavily pushed by various ISPs, and this is another intermediate stage with faster still speeds on their way. Come 5 years, speeds will be up to the job, certainly by 10 years.
Thing is there's an impression that it has to be streamed and on-demand to work as no one wants to wait for a download, and yet almost everyone is prepared to wait for a DVD to be delivered or take a trip to the store.
Anyway, frankly I'm probably not going to buy into Blu-Ray now. Got my fill of cheap HD with HD DVD, cheers Sony! :-), but I see Blu-Ray now as being no more than another Laserdisc. Why buy two formats that will be defunct in 5 years time? I may as well cut my losses with one defunct format (at least it was cheap).
I will wait for the replacement. Be it downloads, flash media, or another optical format.
Oh, and yeah with downloads, those in the back of beyond will be screwed. Yep, well that's what you get for living in the back of beyond (which I learnt when I did live there, hence why I moved into civilisation!). But still. Sure there will be decent delivery methods available. e.g. a data feed by satellite of all the latest movies.
For the moment sky is excellent at non capped broadband.
@AC & Vincent
[Mainstream digital downloads are decades away...]
[Maybe in the future. But not now]
The last DVD I rented was probably 2 years ago - VirginMedia, 4OD & Blinkbox covers all my needs now.
With internet capping and UK broadband technology still stuck in the middle ages I will continue watching my hi-def through Blu-Ray (via Love Film). I've downloaded a couple of hi-def videos, and the compression artefacts are awful.
Get over it Toshiba.
Before Anyone Get's Too Smug...
The bandwidth necessary to do this with music has been available for years, and the idea was even tried for a while, if memory serves. Didn't ever get off the ground of course, because it's not about what the technology is capable of, but what consumers WANT.
Online music stores have achieved a certain amount of success of course, but have also exposed Joe Consumer to the wonders of DRM, and Joe Consumer is increasingly "not impressed".
And the sector of the music industry enjoying the largest growth currently is.... VINYL!
But with an important industry player putting their money where their mouth is, this MUST be the way of the future, right?
Well, let's not forget that this is the same company that not so long ago thought that HD-DVD was the future.
As far as crystal balls go, Toshiba's looks to be on the blink.
It is more likely that having lost the HD/Blu battle (it was hardly a "war"), Toshiba cannot stomach the loss of face that hitching to a competitors band wagon would entail, AND if they are to have ANY hope of saving face, backing another possible rival gives them their best shot of pulling out a lead once more.
Whether they will prove clairvoyant or merely insane remains to be seen.
- Paris cos she goes down loads.
....Really are unlimited too... i've checked and for the last 6 months i've averaged around 500Gb a month of downloads, never heard a whisper, seen a letter or anything from them.... oh and i can sit there downloading at a nice 2.1MB/s from my lovely 24Mbps connection. All for £18 a month....
Some of the Apple downloads are coming with Dolby Digital now, sure they're only 720p but hey.... and as i've said to so many people *having to have* the best audio systems, such as DTS-MA and then listening through their Pioneer all in one system that cost £200... you, honestly, really, 100% guaranteed won't hear the difference between that and standard Dolby Digital (once you've got over the standard dB boost as used by DTS). As for the video being able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p ain't all that easy... i'm more than happy with 720p for the most part, but then again i do sit 12 feet from a 40" screen....
What is currently offered and probably will be for a while is perfectly adequate for "Mr Average" who whilst he'll say he has to have the best, in reality probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference at all.... sure there are us AV folk who can and do want the best, so we'll whinge until we get it.... but i'm happy with HD DVD still, just a shame we have no new films :(
@scott Mckenzie - 500Gb a month?
500Gb of data? What kind of media is that? If its movies and music how do you get to listen and watch it all each month? Where do you store it?
You do have a job I take it? That must take up 8 or so hours of the day. Maybe another 6 for sleep? Maybe another couple of hours for eating and toilet breaks.
That leave 8 hours left for watching stuf if you have nothing else in your life so thats maybe 4 movies a day.
I hope thats fully paid for media too!
Hmmmmm, apologies if I sound a tad sceptical.
Clearly you are crazy if you believe that if suddenly everyone in the UK started downloading the same as you (allegedly), that you would still get that same (alleged) download rate....
Clearly if you want proper HD, 1080P, 7.1 uncompressed soundtracks, then Blu-ray is the way to go for the forseeable future. Clearly the PS3 is also the best vehicle to do that (at the moment).