Total waste of time
With downloading and streaming of media, CDs, DVDs and Blue-rays are all dead.
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 …
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 ?
"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!
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.
>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.
"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?
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
"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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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.
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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
"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?
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
Too much faff. I bought one BluRay disc, eventually managed to rip it and watch it with VLC and tbh even paused and up close it didn't look any better than a dvd to my old eyes. Won't be buying another one, I used to watch VHS videos so DVD is more than crisp enough for me....
"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..."
This is not the fault of Blu-ray, rather the fault of PowerDVD. Buy a different software player that doesn't require you to pay for an upgrade.
Suggestions? I haven't found any that don't require a periodic update to play the latest Blu-ray discs. It is getting to the stage that I will rip his disks for him and provide them on a USB stick - but this removes his independence on buying and playing what he wants when he wants.
Can't comment on 4K Netflix - but grabbing the opportunity to rant about the quality of 'HD' cable TV in Berlin, which I see when I vist the kids and the granddaughter... and every time I see it I have an urge to wander down to the provider and knock some heads together until they *at least* double the bitrate. Probably just as well I don't know who the provider is!
When an HD system provides a worse visual experience than an out-of-focus PAL signal, there's something wrong... and when the viewers have been condititioned to accept this as 'good because it's HD' then there's not a lot of point waiting for 4K because it's going to be even more compressed to buggery on the common distributions.
Yes, there are high-bitrate sources available, but if you just want to watch the telly, I can't help feeling you are being done a disservice.
Mindful of the fail that is "Sky HD" and their crappy compression.
I've always found Sky HD's quality to be pretty good actually, bearing in mind it's 1080i and not 1080p. It's not as good as Blu-ray, no, but it's a damn sight better than any "HD" stream I have ever watched.
Yes, a lot of the "ten quid TV" SD channels are look rubbish, but they have nothing to do with Sky, and who watches them anyway?
I hope physical media sticks around a little bit longer. I like streaming from services like Netflix and renting then streaming from Google Play, for example, as it is very convenient. However, you can never guarantee what they will have in their catalogue. Google Play has a lot of inexplicable region restrictions, e.g. very popular films not available in the UK. Netflix are a bit unpredictable at adding and removing things.
You can also buy digital copies of films, but most come with fairly onerous licensing restrictions. E.g. if you buy a film on Blinkbox, then they fall out with whoever owns the rights, their T&Cs let them remove your access to it! For now at least, physical media is the only way to guarantee a film is available and that no one will take it away once you have it!
I think the uptake will be minimal, as for most people Blueray is good enough. The enthusiasts will buy, as will the keep up with the Joneses types. I received a Blueray player for Christmas, just finally hooked it up 3 weeks ago, and have still not watched a full disk other than to test it. There is so much stuff available online to watch, and the newer stuff looks good enough to me, that haven't felt a need to buy any Bluerays. I think a lot of other people probably think the same way. This isn't like the jump from tape to DVD, or from SD to HD.
Had a blue-ray player for about 2 years. Bought it when the DVD went pfft, and it was only £5 greater, so i though why not.
Since then it has never seen a blue-ray disk. On the rare occasion when i do buy a DVD, I look at the price difference and think what's the point. Yes it may display a bit clearer, but it won't make the acting, script, special effects any better.
If I would to see a film in hi-def I goto the cinema.
I don't rush into getting into new standards. I only got me a HDTV three years ago along with blu-ray player since they do give better image in HDTV then DVD players. The difference is that many DVD players are analogue (scart connected) while blu-ray players are all digital (HDMI).
As for upgrading to 4K blu-ray. I might do so in about 10 to 20 years. Since there is limit to how much resolution they can offer people in the long run. I don't think it is going to a lot above 4K.
I continue to use VHS and DVD. Even if they are old standards. VHS being analogue it doesn't has the sharp image of digital image. It does not look bad on HDTV if the tape is not damaged.
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