back to article 4K refresh sees Blu-ray climb to 100GB, again

The Blu-ray Disc Association has signed off the Ultra HD Blu-ray spec. For those of you who like your video entertainment crisp, the new standard means future disks will be able to handle 3840x2160 resolutions and deliver “significantly expanded color range … high dynamic range and high frame rate content [and] next-generation …

Total waste of time

With downloading and streaming of media, CDs, DVDs and Blue-rays are all dead.

Why bother?

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Re: Total waste of time

Crikey, you've no appreciation for quality. The bitrate of streaming media is terrible in comparison.

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It hinges on...

when the DRM will be broken. As soon as the DRM is broken, such media is a decent way to get a DRM free copy of something. And unlike streaming software where the DRM malware runs on your PC and can be updated quickly, standalone players usually cannot be updated quickly.

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Re: It hinges on...

BD+ showed a way to keep the target moving. If the authentication program is different for each disc (meaning they can be updated quickly), then the pirates have to keep cracking the programs.

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Re: Total waste of time

Got a 100mb fibre connection. Haven't used a CD/DVD/Blue-ray in at least a year.

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Re: Total waste of time

Most houses don't have a 20Mbps connection required for 4K streaming. Even HD is a struggle for many. That's why.

If the media companies contributed to BT's fibre roll out, that would guarantee higher uptake of streaming.

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Re: Total waste of time

Friend of mine is thinking of going 4K. He lives in a village - complete with its own primary school and church - a little outside of my town. He's been told by Superfast Wales that his village is unlikely to ever get fibre, so he's stuck with the ADSL from the town, which maxes out at 3.5Mb/s on a good day. And he won't be alone. There are plenty of people who would love to stream Netflix at 4K, but have absolutely no hope of doing so until every household in the country - yes, including those who live far out in the sticks - get FTTP at a realistic price.

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Re: Total waste of time

Doesn't matter when you're watching it on a phone.

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Re: Total waste of time

Streaming is "good enough" for the mass market. Think of CD v's 128kbit mp3s, physical media is on the way out and those who shout "what about quality" are the minority. There'll be a market for this, just not a very big one plus it all hinges on mass adoption of 4k tv & bluray players. Try and convince average joe to spend £600+ on a new 4k TV when his current 1080p looks good enough to him.

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Re: Total waste of time

>Try and convince average joe to spend £600+ on a new 4k TV

Many of the 'average Joes' spent quite a bit more on their TVs some time ago, and many will be looking at something bigger and better. Generally, the time Reg readers spend messing around on PCs is time the average Joe and his/her family will spend watching TV and films.

Big TVs used to be the preserve of 'home cinema' enthusiasts - these days they are found in a good number of households.

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Too much focus on resolution

Don't care about 4K, DO want 100fps or so. Would make so much more difference imo.

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Facepalm

Re: Total waste of time

Why?

1) Because you own the media, and your right to watch can't be revoked.

2) No internet required to watch, so I can watch anywhere.

3) No minimum internet speed or juddering because of BT Issues

4) Quality.. Streaming is no where near the quality of a Blu-Ray

5) The physical boxes look nice & make it easy for kids to watch

The first 4 matter to me, but all could be fixed by providing easy DRM Free downloads..

the last one is less of a concern, my kids an easily navigate to my NAS where I store all my recorded TV.

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Re: Total waste of time

"There are plenty of people who would love to stream Netflix at 4K"

You could stream movies in 4K on dial-up. You wouldn't be able to tell what was going on as the image quality would be so poor, but it would be a 4K image.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix already can't stream at blu-ray quality, which is a sharp, detailed, 2K image. "HD streaming" is little better than upscaled DVD quality. And that's because that's already a bandwidth hog. Some blu-ray players can tell you the bit rate of data transfer, and it's typically anywhere from 20mbps to 35mbps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Total waste of time

This is great just so long we can still rip them to TPB and KAT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Total waste of time

"Got a 100mb fibre connection. Haven't used a CD/DVD/Blue-ray in at least a year."

Got a 150 Mb cable connection. Can't even remember the last time I purchased any sort of content. PopCornTime ftw.

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Re: Total waste of time

"Got a 100mb fibre connection. Haven't used a CD/DVD/Blue-ray in at least a year."

So a few hundred a year instead of about £50....sounds like a plan.

Not all of us live glued to the telly.

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Re: Total waste of time

blu-ray movie beats download any day with the depth of image colour and better rich sound.

Downloads are only downsized of the original.

If you want to enjoy watching a movie then blu-ray is currently the best and true 4k image on the format will be unbeatable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Total waste of time

"blu-ray movie beats download any day with the depth of image colour and better rich sound.

Downloads are only downsized of the original."

Not true. It's easy to find direct rips of most BluRay disks on TPB etc.

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Re: Total waste of time

Said someone at whom blu-ray was never targetter in the first place, given that if you are happy to stream then even over a 100Mbit connection you are absolutely not getting the quality that a BD delivers.

Why did you even ever bother with CD's when wax cynlinders were all you ever needed ?

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Re: Total waste of time

The physical media experience:

First: Purchase a player. Cheap as chips and all pretty much the same. Allow 1/2 an hour for this purchasing decision (primarily governed by how much you want to spend on the player)..

Then for each movie etc:

1. Pop media out of case

2. Insert into player

3. Sit back and enjoy

The downloaded/streaming media experience:

First: Choose your media library/streaming provider. Lots to choose from, you may need to subscribe and maintain accounts to multiple providers to get all the content you want, and for your media library some suck, some are great, some work, some not so well. Allow a few weeks to make your choice.

Then, for each movie:

0. First: Resolve router brain farts, content provider brain farts, ISP brain farts, device brain farts etc etc.

1. Navigate to each of your available sources to find something to watch. If it's something in particular you are looking for you may need to check with multiple providers before you can find it (or may not find it at all).

Return to 0 as and when required.

2. Sit back while you wait for the initial buffering. If this takes too long then you may have a brain fart. Return to 0 as and when required.

3. Enjoy the streaming experience. Be prepared to return to 0 at any moment. I wouldn't hurt to have a disc loaded up in your physical media player to fall back on in case a brain fart proves terminal or sufficiently tedious to resolve that it turns an evening of watching a movie into an exercise in self-service tech support. "Sorry kids, Pitch Perfect will be back on just as soon as I've figured out why the network is playing up. Talk amongst yourselves"

Seriously, people have been proclaiming the death of physical media at the hands of streaming for at least 10 years, and we are no closer to it now than we were then. If anything, we're further away since the quality of the content (in terms of the bits) means that the increased capacity of the network simply isn't keeping up. That capacity being not just a function of the fatness of the pipe to a connected home, but the number of connected homes and the ability of the network as a whole to carry the traffic.

Someone else here posted that they have a 100Mb/s connection.

Whoop-de-diddly-doo. The HDMI cable between my BD player and TV/amp carries data at 10.2 Gb/s

Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

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Re: Total waste of time

I'll see your 100Mbs connection and raise you 10.2 Gbps

Since that's the bandwidth of the HDMI cable connecting my BD player to my TV/amp.

Call me when your connection is capable of delivering the same quality of content. (I won't be waiting by the phone).

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Re: Total waste of time

"With downloading and streaming of media, CDs, DVDs and Blue-rays are all dead.

Why bother?Got a 100mb fibre connection. Haven't used a CD/DVD/Blue-ray in at least a year."

I have a car. Public transport is dead.

I have perfect vision. What's the point in glasses?

I left school ages ago, so why the hell do we need schools?

Swimming lessons? Why? I can bloody swim!

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Re: It hinges on...

"standalone players usually cannot be updated quickly."

What makes you think standalone players are part of the equation? Think of the games now available which require a net connection even to play "standalone" single player.

I have no inside information as to whether HDBD will work standalone or not, but if these one do work standalone you can bet your bottom dollar that the next iteration won't. Or will need an update to play next years discs with the new encryption system. Or something. Maybe I'm just being too cynical?

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Why?

Why have a nicely formatted paper book? Just a loose collection of dirty photocopy will do.

Why the expensive booze? This knock off brand is good enough.

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Re: Why?

Why have a nicely formatted book when an EPub will do. Why buy expensive booze when the knockoff taste exactly the same.

I don't have a fancy tv so 4k means squat to me. Making bigger definition tvs seems to be the best way of stopping pirates only because the files are so huge

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Re: Why?

Never mind the quality... feel the width.

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Joke

@Thorne: epub... Re: Why?

Thorne,

I ruined my last kindle after I wrote some comments in the margins...

Ebooks have their place, so do dead trees!

Btw have you checked out bookbub.com?

Cheers,

Jay.

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Joke

Re: Neil Barnes

"Never mind the quality... feel the width."

Are the pr0n studios interested then?

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Re: Neil Barnes

BEEN interested. They were among the FIRST into HD (where widescreen became the norm).

As for 4K, now things get ugly. HD raised the level of detail to the point things occasionally get TOO detailed to enjoy the experience. For this reason, pr0n likely won't jump to 4K that quickly, as this will only raise the Ick Factor.

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Re: Why?

"Why the expensive booze? This knock off brand is good enough."

I guess that's why Aldi and Lidl are doing so poorly? Oh wait they're not. People have clued up that when the difference in quality is not worth the extra dosh, why pay more.

The same goes for 1080p v 4k. The jump in quality isn't as noticeable as SD v HD.

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Interesting

My own BD archive experiment ended up as a write off. It did not complete even one backup run so I ended up doing backups 100% to MAID as a lukewarm storage mechanism

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I've thought about it, but with my archival demands already in the terabyte range, I need something a bit more capacious. The Archival Disc is a possible solution but the price point will take time to reach consumer affordability.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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I know the answer before I ask the question (they can't rip you off) but why not a small upgrade fee for the same movie on a new media? Bring your blu-ray and two or three quid to walk out with the 4K version. It would certainly boost uptake rates of the new technology. As it is, I'll stick with DVDs for the moment.

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Stop being so bloody sensible!

IIRC you can actually do something similar with streaming. You could add your dvd to your streaming library (for a small fee) and then upgrade to the HD stream for another couple of dollars (about 16 pence). I think it might have been on flikster? Not quite the same as physical media and greatly reduced bitrates, but a similar concept.

Given we cant even get the buggers to replace scratched media at a sane cost I don't hold out much hope, but I think you are right about an exchange program driving up adoption.

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The point about scratched media is a good one. Add it to the list.

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Along with the point about paper having a tendency to burn when exposed to a naked flame. No wonder the idea of books never took off.

CLUE: Look after your media!

Downloads:

- The point about hard drive failures is a good one. Add it to the list.

- The point about RAID being prohibitively expensive is a good one. Add it to the list.

- The point about RAID not being 100% reliable is a good one (you can lose an entire array - it has happened to me). Add it to the list.

- The point about recurring connectivity issues to your download player of choice spoiling an evening of watching a movie is a good one. Add it to the list.

Streaming:

- The point about content having the quality compressed out of it is a good one. Add it to the list.

- The point about paying for one level of service and getting only a lower level due to the capacity of your connection to the service is a good one. Add it to the list.

- The point about connectivity issues ruining the experience is a good one. Add it to the list.

- The point about having to subscribe to multiple content providers to cover all the content of interest is a good one. Add it to the list.

Physical media:

- The point about scratched discs is a good one, IF you are the sort of idiot who doesn't look after their property. For the rest of us who handle their property WITH DUE CARE it's a NON-ISSUE.

My discs are 100% scratch free. In the same way that my book collection has robustly avoided spontaneously bursting into flames over the years.

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Thankfully you obviously haven't bred yet!

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Capacity

What I don't get is how come a 6x increase in pixels only results in 1.5-2x disk capacity? What kids the size difference between an HD file and Bluray one?

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Re: Capacity

In short, better compression, while im sure there will be 4k in h264, just like there was full HD in MPEG 2, really i expect most 4k releases to use h265 (HEVC)

plus keep in mind, a lot of movies are on single layer blu-rays.. and even then the "movie" part is often only 15-20GB (the rest is extras and other crap).

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Looks at something being sold as new potential backup media.

Looks over at single, cheap, hard drive that came as standard in a bog-standard £150 business desktop.

Does some maths.

Realises will need 10 of these disks to get close to the storage capacity of the cheapest hard drive being sold with the cheapest PC at the moment, for a single backup.

Multiplies by number of users / desktops on-site at the moment.

Looks over to servers humming in the corner, in the rack with everything from cheap NAS devices to expensive SAN rackmount devices.

Nah.

Sorry, but something like a Buffalo Terastation will be cheaper to buy than the rewritable drive version of this, plus the disks to match capacity for a one-off backup, and will stay that way until the next available tech is similarly obsolete before it arrives.

And people buying discs? Sorry, but even DVD's are old-hat and found for pence in bootsales and charity shops. Blu-rays are coming into them there. Given that Blu-Ray is currently the BEST format we have out there, to see them appearing in such places means that people aren't actually using them for buying content any more.

If it would take my dad ten disks to do a backup of his old laptop with his photos of the grandkids that he's basically filled up three times over (and bought a cheapie £50 1Tb external drive TWICE now), then it's just not worth the effort.

As it is, machines aren't even being supplied with optical drives any more. There's no need for them for most peope. If you really need them a £20 external USB thing does the business. Hell, give me more USB slots and a Zalman VE-400 any day. I literally only store optical disks because they are the original supplied media, but for the last few years of VL, it's been downloads and logins that are the original media. Everything else is on a single, huge, portable USB hard drive that can pretend to be a USB DVD drive from any ISO on the disk.

HMV went bust for a reason. Nobody buys discs unless they're dirt cheap any more. Those they do buy, they are buying from Amazon. The ones you get you can't play on the computer anyway (tried it with a Disney DVD lately?) and have to have a dedicated player. Then you have to sit and can't skip minutes of junk (which will only get worse as the storage rises), then the disc will want to go on the net anyway,

Compared to just sticking it on your Google Play account and streaming it via YouTube servers, or Netflix or Amazon Instant Video or any other of the million and one services, discs are the bottom of the pile.

If it's pointless for backup, pointless for storage, pointless to buy, doesn't fit in the new machines anyway, requires all new hardware, and then you have to go back to buying net-"enhanced" discs? That's a really hard sell.

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People do still buy disks. Not everybody has, is likely to get very soon, fast enough broadband to play HD content, let alone 4K content. Some people will take care when choosing a television set, since they enjoy watching movies.

4K TV sets are becoming an option worth considering, and new display technologies (OLED, Quantum Dot) are at the point where they can begin taking advantage of the extra data per pixel (colour space, dynamic range) of new content formats.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't know about 4K. The term's a misnomer, anyway, since a TV number is supposed to indicate the number of lines the TV can display (1080p means 1080 lines, progressive-scan), and the jump from 1080p to 2160p (what 4K should REALLY be called) really isn't all that, especially given the size limits of your average family room. The jump from SD to HD was of a greater ratio, offered widescreen views closer to authentic cinema, AND happened at the same time as flat TVs hit the market, making the upgrade multiply appealing.

I'm not too thrilled about the current capacity of BluRays at this point. They're too small for my storage needs. That said, I'm not too thrilled about the idea that hard drives are about the only consumer option out there as their longevity leaves plenty to be desired. I currently have to use twin backups (to guard against a catastrophic) combined with parity archiving (to treat bit rot).

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"4K TV sets are becoming an option worth considering, and new display technologies (OLED, Quantum Dot) are at the point where they can begin taking advantage of the extra data per pixel (colour space, dynamic range) of new content formats."

OLED was on every TV buyers most wanted list long before 4k came out. Until they make it cheap enough it's still a pipe dream for most and until that happens why upgrade from a 1080p LCD/LED to 4K LCD/LED?

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Anonymous Coward

Blu-ray, Blu-ray

ah, I see... funny concept, that, to put 100 GB on a cd...

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DRM again........

My father's primary form of entertainment is TV and film due to reduced mobility and eyesight (50 inch screen up-close helps with that). BD though is a huge problem - he recently purchased Interstellar and it would no-longer play on his HTPC as the Power DVD 10 BD edition required an upgrade..... out of support.... want another £50 of him to upgrade to Power DVD 14 BD. This happened previously with Power DVD 7 BD edition...

So understandably he is no longer going to bother with Blu-ray.

When being legal exposes you to extortion you tend to give up on it. The sooner Blu-ray dies the better for everyone.

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Re: DRM again........

Strange... £50 would buy him a good enough stand-alone Blu-Ray player deck. Still, if his eyesight doesn't allow him to see the benefit of the format, why bother?

However, see what the situation is a couple of years. It might be that High Dynamic range images prove to be clearer for people with impaired eyesight.

Still, it depends on whether he enjoys the cinematography of Lawrence of Arabia, or the gags of Tommy Cooper.

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Re: DRM again........

His HTPC also gives him access to email, the internet, google earth etc. Why he should be forced to purchase software again and again just to use the Blu-ray player which he already owns, a little harsh don't you think?

Yes a separate player is possible but then you need to change the source with the tv remote (with it's little buttons) and use another remote for the separate player. If you suffer with poor eyesight you may understand that an HTPC can have the buttons on screen as large as you need them, the controls of a mouse and backlit keyboard are far superior than a small remote control.

Streaming in HD will by the way forward - as Blu-ray is destroying itself.

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Re: DRM again........

> it would no-longer play on his HTPC as the Power DVD 10 BD edition required an upgrade

Install MakeMKV and rip the BD. Play result through VLC. If you're strapped for storage space, Handbrake it down in size. No need for BD player software on the PC,

Admittedly, not as convenient as shoving a disc in a slot and hitting "play", and probably not within reason for someone with reduced vision.

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