Print 156 comment(s) - last by cjohnson2136.. on Sep 29 at 3:08 PM

Microsoft executive thinks that digital downloads will make Blu-Ray obsolete

Microsoft has never been much a fan of Blu-ray.  In May 2007, firmly aboard the HD DVD bandwagon, a Microsoft spokesperson wrote:

We firmly stand behind the HD DVD format as the best choice for consumers. Current reports indicating that Microsoft has a back-up plan, which includes Blu-ray support are incorrect. We’re fully committed to HD DVD and have absolutely no plans to support other optical formats.

Today HD DVD has waned and died.  Blu-ray has proven a mild success, slowly supplanting traditional DVDs at retail locations and movie rental businesses.  And Microsoft is still no more supportive of the format.

Microsoft UK Xbox chief, Stephen McGill, in an interview with the site 
Xbox360Achievements remarked, "Actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format."

Mr. McGill apparently sides with Apple, Inc. -- another critic of Blu-ray.  He says that digital downloads (such as those from the Xbox Live service) will replace physical media such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, rendering them obsolete.

There are some legitimate advantages to consumers with this approach.  Digital downloads can be quickly obtained from home via online purchases and potentially can be easier to reinstall when you switch systems, depending on the seller's licensing agreements.

Businesses benefit because the cost of serving to provide digital distribution is much less than the costs to press millions of discs on traditional physical media.  However, businesses also benefit from something that's a downside to consumers -- digital downloads effectively prevent easy resale, which would essentially destroy the used games/movies/music market if the format is widely adopted.

Another downside to consumers is that they lose all the physical "goodies" that come with the average DVD or CD -- such as booklets, art, and other perks.  Also problematic is the growing amount of data-capped connections.  If such a connection is used as your primary internet service, downloading content could become prohibitively expensive, as a single high definition movie package could put your well over your limit.

Thus Blu-ray is unlikely to go anywhere quite yet, despite Microsoft's predictions of doom.  And Microsoft seems equally unlikely to embrace the format it has long fought against.

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Another problem
By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 10:53:34 AM , Rating: 5
Another issue I see with digital download only sales is that as of yet I still have not seen a digital download that matches the picture or sound quality of a Blu-Ray disc, especially with the surround sound. I have not seen a single digital download movie that has intact surround sound.

RE: Another problem
By killerroach on 9/23/2010 11:00:17 AM , Rating: 5
Agreed. Microsoft can say what they want, but the current state of digital distribution is awful. I'm sorry, but 2-2.5Mbit 720p video files with 128Kbit stereo AAC audio isn't exactly going to make me run out and grab my credit card. If what you're trying to sell me at full price is an inferior product to even what I'm getting from watching HD cable, much less a Blu-Ray disc... forget it.

It all comes down to Microsoft refusing to admit they lost to a competitor and Apple trying to make near-monopoly profits on other people's content. That's all.

RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 11:06:38 AM , Rating: 5
You guys are all missing the point. This has nothing to do with Microsoft admitting or not admitting anything. They are looking at the market and trying to predict where the money will be. From their research, they have come to the conclusion that digital downloads will end up more popular than blu-ray, which makes sense since very few people (relative to everyone out there) will actually care about getting blu-ray quality movies over the convenience of digital downloads. I know plenty of people that are still content watching DVDs and even VHS tapes.

Now if you want to give a play on wording, obsolete may be an overstatement for the near future, but it seems quite apparent that the market is heading for digital downloads over blu-ray in popularity.

RE: Another problem
By Akrovah on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 11:37:11 AM , Rating: 5
did you miss the
It all comes down to Microsoft refusing to admit they lost to a competitor

in the post I replied to?

But yes I agree, there are limitations and things that must be answered first, and I would suspect that the answer to "can I move this between systems" will end up being a similar platform to steam, where content is tied to an account rather than the device playing it.

RE: Another problem
By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 11:51:08 AM , Rating: 1
Lol, I did miss that actually. My Bad.

Now I'm not saying that I think Blu-Ray will be around forever. It may even be replaced by downloads. The way thigns are going it probably will be. But MS seems to feel that this transition is either already taking place or is very close aroudn the corner, and I think there are too many unanswered questions and technical limitations for that to be true.

The problem I have with a Steam like system is the worry of what do you do if the service goes down. Then there is the control it gives one company, much like the iPhone app limitations. One service may not carry a particular movie and so you end up with multiple logins to multiple services just to watch movies.

RE: Another problem
By Alexstarfire on 9/23/2010 6:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
That's easily remedied. All those "services" can still be tied to one delivery system.

RE: Another problem
By ihateu3 on 9/24/2010 5:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think this may be closer than you anticipate. The only thing that is holding this back currently is customer adoption rates. Netflix has done very well with breaking through this technology. Pirates have been downloading Blue-ray rips for a few years now at perfect quality, so there must be some sort of demand for this.

RE: Another problem
By psychmike on 9/26/2010 3:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? The only thing that is holding back downloading is customer adoption rates?? Isn't customer adoption rate the MOST important factor in whether a new consumer product succeeds??

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer to own what I buy. If Apple and others have their way, downloading will be supplanted by on-demand viewing which involves rentals. Big Industry will still decide when you can watch something and those conditions may change. Also, our rights as consumers are eroded by licensing which does not include the doctrine of first sale which lets me sell or give away my media.

RE: Another problem
By Proxes on 9/23/2010 1:02:47 PM , Rating: 5
People send $3000 on a TV, $500 on a receiver and $500 or more on a set a speakers, $1500 if they are stupid enough to get Bose, just to watch lower quality media?

I'll pass on that. I still buy CD's and I buy Blu Ray discs. Sorry but I'll take advantage of my HT equipment over the "convenience" not having to touch a disc. Heaven forbid people actually have to get off their asses and do something.

RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 1:09:51 PM , Rating: 4
I never stated that blu-ray was bad or that it didn't fit someone's needs better than digital downloads, and I never questioned or even stated anything about quality being a bad thing. I simply stated that people like you who spend thousands on a home entertainment system like you just mentioned are the VAST minority. A lot of people really don't care about quality that much. While I, for example, don't mind watching a nice 1080p video with awesome surround sound, I also will not care if I have to watch the same movie as a 700MB dvd rip on my PC with headphones. To each his own, and I for one would prefer a digital service over blu-ray discs for the convenience. (And that doesn't really have anything to do with "getting off your ass" to put the disc in)

RE: Another problem
By wallijonn on 9/23/2010 1:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people really don't care about quality that much.

As evidenced with .mp3 format music files. They'll take convenience. Now we have some portable device which is touting movie quality screens. They'll not want to make the same mistake Sony made with the UMD format - where the media cost the same as the regular DVD. So people will have to pony up for downloads (or Digital Copy transfers).

This argument reminds me of an article I read yesterday, where everyone wants a piece of the streaming media pie. The author made the comment that downloading TV shows should bring the price of downloading down. I beg to differ - if the music distributors charge $1 per downloaded song why in the world would they be willing to charge $1 per 20 or 45 minute TV show? It all looks good on paper until one starts getting $50 to $200 a month charges (just as cell phone texting was originally very expensive.) Yeah, I can see the day when a TV commercial touts $99 TV watching plans...

Maybe that's why many in the industry want to do away with free TV. So that everyone will be forced to pay.

RE: Another problem
By talonvor on 9/25/2010 1:10:45 AM , Rating: 2
One other thing the digital download has going for it. Kids cant trash a digital download. Where I have seen them ruin a BRD in a matter of days.

RE: Another problem
By theapparition on 9/23/2010 1:48:48 PM , Rating: 3
People send $3000 on a TV, $500 on a receiver and $500 or more on a set a speakers, $1500 if they are stupid enough to get Bose, just to watch lower quality media?

Perhaps that's the first problem.

$500 for speakers? Speakers? Probably the single most important part of a high fidelity system. The one component in the entire chain that actually makes the biggest difference.

If you've only spent $500 (and yes, I'm not talking about Bose crap either) then you have no idea what a real quality sound sytem sounds like.

But yeah, all that quality goes in the toilet when running crappy media.

RE: Another problem
By Proxes on 9/23/2010 2:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I know $500 is crap for speakers, but I'm assuming most people don't know better and just buy the kits.

I only have Klipsch speakers C-2, F-2 and a RW-10 sub. I use quintets for surround.

RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 2:09:45 PM , Rating: 5
I feel sorry for people who have to spend twice as much just on a sound system alone than I do on the TV+sound system just to enjoy a movie...

RE: Another problem
By Proxes on 9/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: Another problem
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you feel sorry enough to throw some money my way so I can afford $500+ speakers, I can't even afford that for a TV, Stereo and Player.

I just checked and over half of the people in the US make less than $50K per year. That is a lot of people who can't afford more than an entry level system if they can even afford that. How many can't afford more than a dialup internet connection, or even get more than that because of where they live? Im maxxed out right now paying for my 1.5Mb down connection while paying the rest of my bills. Can you stream BR quality TV over a connection that slow?

Until the average masses can afford the things you are talking about, then the BR and DVD players are going to be around for a long time to come. Honestly I believe the media people want everyone to believe they should worry more about having a 100" 1080p TV with a $2500 sound system than they should about putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Yes it is nice to have the good things when you can afford them, but to pity someone for having the best they can afford of something that doesn't matter that much in the overall scheme of life is just wrong.

RE: Another problem
By theapparition on 9/24/2010 8:59:20 AM , Rating: 4
I just checked and over half of the people in the US make less than $50K per year. That is a lot of people who can't afford more than an entry level system if they can even afford that. How many can't afford more than a dialup internet connection, or even get more than that because of where they live?

Yeah and half of the country pays absolutely no taxes either. What happened to the days when people lived within thier means and if they couldn't afford something, then they did without.
Can't afford an HDTV, then go without. Can't afford a $50 converter, then go without. Can't afford internet service....too bad.
Oh Wait!!! Can't afford a cell phone, the government will give one to you. Can't afford food, the government will give you stamps so you can trade them for cash and buy beer and cigarettes. Can't afford a car, well I'm sure that's coming soon too. Already internet is being talked about as a right, not a priveldge.
What the hell, the other 50% will buy everything for us. Socialism works great until everyone runs out of money.

I'm sorry you can't afford some things. But let's face it, there are some nicer things in life that if one works hard enough they might be able to obtain. But whining doesn't get anyone except politicians anywhere.

RE: Another problem
By eggman on 9/24/2010 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
In the post the person was referencing he was pointing out that a person paid $3000 for the TV and only $500 for the speakers. In that context $500 is very low.

RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
No I think it's more sad that you will actually notice and that it would bug people like you to not watch a movie on a $1000+ sound system. Do you ever watch a movie outside your house or is it not good enough for you?

RE: Another problem
By Proxes on 9/23/2010 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 4
Of course I do. I watch movies while laying in my girlfriend's bed on her 17 inch TV with mono sound all the time.

You said you "feel sorry" for people that spend more money on a nice sound system. I simply said I feel sorry for people that don't know what they are missing. Sound is just as important to me as video quality. To me spending $2000+ on a TV just to use the built in speakers is just like people that spend $1200 on a DSLR and use a cheap kit lens. You really are missing out on a big part of the movie.

I don't make a lot of money but I budget and I'm able to purchase things that I like.

BTW - I highly doubt if you were to go and spend $15 to watch a movie at a theater you'd pick one with a small screen and crappy sound system. People stand in line for hours to watch movies in IMAX for a reason. It enhances the experience!

It's not about elitism. Get over it.

RE: Another problem
By nikon133 on 9/23/2010 5:31:29 PM , Rating: 3
All the time? Nothing else to do with girlfriend..? ;)

RE: Another problem
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 5:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
BTW - I highly doubt if you were to go and spend $15 to watch a movie at a theater you'd pick one with a small screen and crappy sound system. People stand in line for hours to watch movies in IMAX for a reason. It enhances the experience!

Never seen one in IMAX, I know I would have to drive at least an hour away to see one at a theater that only has one IMAX screen. Also I think no movie is worth standing in line for hours to see.

RE: Another problem
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 6:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I meant something really specific though. I specifically mentioned those that REQUIRE spending that much on quality audio in order to enjoy a movie at all, because there are a lot of people out there that will cringe and complain if they don't have the best of the best surround sound for movies or FLAC for audio. The people that absolutely need FLAC over a 320 mp3 or they think it's just awful. I was not referring to you specifically, but focusing on a general group based on your comments.

RE: Another problem
By Alexstarfire on 9/23/2010 6:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
If the video quality or sound quality is a big part of a movie to you then I think you have some priorities mixed up. Video and sound quality are pretty low for me. Things like story and acting matter quite a bit more for me.

And yea, if you're spending $15 to watch a movie in theater then of course you're not going to pick the crappy theater if the pricing is the same. You'd be stupid not to.

RE: Another problem
By xsilver on 9/24/2010 7:46:32 AM , Rating: 4
If I had the choice of watching a movie with no sound or no picture, I think I will choose no picture.

The story and acting come through in the sound more than the picture imo.

RE: Another problem
By eggman on 9/24/2010 3:42:34 PM , Rating: 2
In a good modern movie the visuals and sound play a very important role. Just ask a Director.

RE: Another problem
By Alexstarfire on 9/24/2010 6:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
I meant audio and video playback quality, not of the original video. I realize that in a movie it can be very important, but playback quality can be pretty poor and still get the effects across.

RE: Another problem
By Suntan on 9/27/2010 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
If the video quality or sound quality is a big part of a movie to you then I think you have some priorities mixed up.

Actually, I feel that the physical abilities of the picture and sound being expressed in high quality does make for a more enjoyable experience. Like it or not, a good screening of a film makes it more enjoyable than just "watching" it.

As this is a topic about a completely unneccisary activity anyway (it isn't like eating, or shelter) what is it to you if someone likes to put more effort into enjoying the quality of the screening as much as the content of the screening?

Personally, I have a good amount invested in being able to watch movies at home because we are not big fans of the movie theaters. Further, my wife and I can still enjoy a good movie after putting the kids to bed bed ourselves without having the babysitter do that, etc. I'm not rich, I set my priorities for the disposable income I have available and spend it accordingly.

Frankly, if you think that is mixed up, you can suck it.

Lastly, if you haven't experienced a well done home system, you likely don't know what you are missing.


RE: Another problem
By hr824 on 9/23/2010 7:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
People that spend tons of cash on sound are just like people that spend tons of cash on cars, hunting, boating, jet skis, vacations, camping, guns, RC helicopters ect. Peoples hobbies are important and they will spend a bigger share of their disposable cash on them. I'm sure there is something you would or might spend more cash on then the average person just because it's something you enjoy.

RE: Another problem
By callmeroy on 9/23/2010 3:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
Bah...some people like me....don't care to spent THAT much on watching TV....I spent a TOTAL of $2700 (that's including taxes) on my LG system which features a 47" LED TV, and LG Blu-Ray all-in-one surround sound system (5.1 DTS) , I'm not gullible enough to think my system is high end -- its not and I'm the first that would tell you that. But the sound is FANTASTIC as well as the picture quality on HD and blu-ray content...I'm totally satisfied with it. Why would I WANT to pay twice as much or more just to show off I have highend brand name components?

That's dumb.

Only audiophiles will notice the difference from a "decent" (note not crappy) sound system and a very good one.

(well audiophiles and prudes).

I enjoy i got the system I got...I watch Blu-rays maybe twice a week and just as many on the about 4 movies a week (unless I have other plans i want / have to do).

So $2700 for great picture quality and very nice 5.1 surround -- for about 4 movies per week on avg...yeah that's fine by me.

I actually think if you drop $5000 + on a home system you are friggin nuts if you don't use it ALOT.

RE: Another problem
By Proxes on 9/23/2010 4:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
The system I have didn't cost much more than what you spent. Bought the TV back in the day:

36inch Sony Wega XBR HDTV (I love it still)
Klipsch Quintet II
Klipsch RW-10 sub (gift from a friend actually)
Pioneer Elite VSX-53TX (got it cheap, open box)

Used that for over SIX years, TV for eight. I recently purchased the Klipsch C-2 and F-2s because they dropped in price a lot. Paid my car off months ago, I have a little extra cash now.

Didn't cost me $5000 and it's a hell of a lot better than the built in speakers.

RE: Another problem
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 5:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good to buy in such a way to save some money and still have good stuff.

Mine is good enough for me, but most here would hate it.

31" Mitsu CRT (15 years old)
Pioneer Prologic Surround System(15 years old)
Pioneer FS (flat square) main speakers( must be 25 years old)
rest are kit speakers that came with system.

Of course since I live in an 800sqft log cabin, don't really need or have room for a huge setup.

RE: Another problem
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 3:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you've only spent $500 (and yes, I'm not talking about Bose crap either) then you have no idea what a real quality sound sytem sounds like.

Last time I bought speakers I paid $25 each for them and though that was rediculous. Of course that was about 15 years ago. But at $500 for speakers, that's crazy, it is almost half my bring home pay for two weeks. I would rather listen to decent sound and have money to eat with, then listen to a little better sound and starve.

RE: Another problem
By WLee40 on 9/24/2010 10:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that some people don't have the income to support a decent HT system. IMHO, people that do have an above average income are the ones who buy/use blue rays if they are into watching movies at all. The improvement in visual and audio quality blew me away. I thought DVDs were fine until I tried blu-ray recently. I do have a fairly good system though. I picked up a cheap blue ray player for the bedroom after my DVD died and was surprised by the improvement on my old 32in 720p LCD via HDMI.
I decided to go all out and got the new Oppo universal player and I am never going back! Amazing, words can't describe. Here is my HT system:
Toshiba 56in 1080p LCos TV.
Sony 777 ES 5.1 receiver
Oppo BDP-83
Monitor Audio silver center, LR and LR satellite surrounds.
Definitive audio ProSub 100TL

Note: This is a fairly dated system but is still great for BD and its uncompressed surround sound. Set me back less than 4k over the years.

RE: Another problem
By WLee40 on 9/24/2010 10:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Forgot to mention that I have my xbox360 on the HT system and stream Netflix on there. Quality is good but I much prefer the BD and its far superior A/V quality. I only watch about 1 movie per week on it though.

RE: Another problem
By eggman on 9/24/2010 3:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, that Oppo will do wonder for DVDs and CDs!

RE: Another problem
By Suntan on 9/27/2010 1:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
But at $500 for speakers, that's crazy, it is almost half my bring home pay for two weeks.

What's that expression about nobody getting to eat steak because of the baby???

Yeah, you can't afford $500 speakers so the rest of us are crazy...


RE: Another problem
By Chernobyl68 on 9/23/2010 2:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Mitsubishi 65" Diamond DLP
Denon 7.1 channel upconverting reciever
Blue-Ray and DVD player
7.1 channel Definitive Technology speakers

No way I'm going to get into Downloaded movies over bluray.

RE: Another problem
By XtremeM3 on 9/23/2010 2:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not yet. But it's all just data. 1s and 0s my friend, 1s and 0s. There is nothing stopping a service from providing the exact same data on a BD via download. Its not done(legally) now likely due to bandwidth restraints, but as those start to diminish d/ling 20-30 or even 50GB won't seem too crazy. Today or tomorrow, likely not. But I feel it's likely in the not too distant future.

Imagine a service where you schedule to buy a new release, and at 1201 release day it kicks off, d/ling to your media center of choice. By the time you wake up, it's already there and ready to go.

RE: Another problem
By callmeroy on 9/23/2010 3:09:39 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed...and we are headed in that direction. It will be the next "major" generation step up in media delivery for movies...discs WILL be replaced.

Its only of WHEN not IF.

BUT before that happens cable/fiber/whatever Internet infrastructure in America has to improve ....we need much more bandwidth...and that said bandwidth to be much more common all over the country...only then will this "disc-less" form of movie delivery happen.

And no we aren't just talking like now with Netflix (the streaming selection of Netflix is HORRID btw)...we are talking like the previous poster stated NEW RELEASE movies available the same day its out --- I even think one day (many years no doubt) a movie that will be out in theaters will be available the same day to stream right to your home system. All in flawless surround sound and blu-ray/hd quality (most likely 3-d too).

RE: Another problem
By xsilver on 9/24/2010 7:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
yes, this way, the retailers can be cut out of the picture and the studios can take a larger share of the profits!

RE: Another problem
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 3:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not yet. But it's all just data. 1s and 0s my friend, 1s and 0s. There is nothing stopping a service from providing the exact same data on a BD via download. Its not done(legally) now likely due to bandwidth restraints, but as those start to diminish d/ling 20-30 or even 50GB won't seem too crazy. Today or tomorrow, likely not. But I feel it's likely in the not too distant future.

But how not too distant will it be before those who are now stuck on dialup will be able to download at those speeds? Will it come to the point that people in rural areas will just be out of luck because they can't get high speed internet and physical media has all but disappeared in favor of downloadable? Maybe once the economy turns around then we will see some movement on this, but not before, because reaching out beyond the cities is going to cost more money than most are willing to pay when they are worried about whether or not they will have a job tomorrow.

RE: Another problem
By lolmuly on 9/23/2010 4:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
maybe, but it will take another 20 years for our networks to get to that point.......... and still, i wouldn't pay more than 5 bucks for a download, whereas most are willing to shell out 20-30 for bluray....

face it, physical formats will always be a luxury item, people like luxury.

RE: Another problem
By tophat on 9/23/2010 8:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
You've essentially identified two segments to this market - those that are willing to sacrafice the quality for convenience (if the pricing is right) and those who will be satisfied with nothing less than BluRay quality.

The right pricing strategy will make both models work as there are clearly more than one segment.

RE: Another problem
By YashBudini on 9/23/2010 8:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
those who will be satisfied with nothing less than BluRay quality.

And of those how many are simply obsessed with mere specmanship?

RE: Another problem
By Kel Ghu on 9/24/2010 3:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
It is surely not about admitting anything like that. Though, Microsoft was a supporter of HD-DVD. What's is so much better about HD-DVD over Blu-Ray? And more importantly, what wouldn't have made it obsolete the way Microsoft sees Blu-Ray will become obsolete? I am pretty sure Microsoft wouldn't have said that if HD-DVD had won the format war!

Predicting or not, Microsoft is just spreading propaganda about Blu-Ray to me. We are 10 years away from having Full HD streaming in every household, not even talking about 3D. 10 years during which Blu-Ray can safely expand.

RE: Another problem
By Final8ty on 9/27/2010 12:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
which makes sense since very few people (relative to everyone out there) will actually care about getting blu-ray quality movies over the convenience of digital downloads. I know plenty of people that are still content watching DVDs and even VHS tapes.

Most likely because they have never seen a good quality blue ray so they don't know what they are missing.

RE: Another problem
By RjBass on 9/23/2010 7:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. Just the other night I downloaded a movie via XBox Live that was full 1080p with digital surround sound.

I also get movies that way from Dish Networks Video On Demand and PPV.

RE: Another problem
By Tony Swash on 9/24/2010 7:07:52 AM , Rating: 1
It all comes down to Microsoft refusing to admit they lost to a competitor and Apple trying to make near-monopoly profits on other people's content. That's all.

I don't see any evidence of Apple making any monopoly profits on content and I would be interested if you could offer any up.

My understanding of monopoly profits is that once the competition is marginalised by a monopoly then the monopoly owner can then charge very high prices for the monopolised commodity and make a much higher rate of profit beyond a "normal" profit level.

I don't see that mechanism operating with Apple in relation to content and I don't see any evidence that it forms part of their business strategy. All the evidence I have seen points towards Apple seeking to secure large scale media content distribution rights so they can enhance the end user experience of the consumers of their devices.

Apple is a maker of devices (that is objects that combine both software and hardware with a high level of integration. If you look at the figures released each quarter by Apple giving breakdowns of revenue by products category its clear that revenue from devices dwarfs revenue from content (music, TV shows, Film, Apps etc). Apple does make a profit on operations like the iTune music store for example but the rate of profit is much lower than its rate of profits from selling devices. Apple doesn't do loss leaders but it does do low profit operations when they are a necessary part of enhancing the experience of the users of their devices.

Apple don't need to make monopoly profits from content as they can make very high profits from their devices. Apple's main concern in relation to content is to firstly ensure that their devices are not excluded from content by the actions of their competitors, and secondly by integrating the design of the content acquisition and management system in their devices to ensure that acquiring and consuming content on their devices is a better end user experience than their compeititors.

One final point, given that a monopoly business strategy is usually associated with attempts to push up prices which are freed from competition it is telling that Apple's strategy in relation to content (music, Apps, TV and Film) has been to consistently press content owners very hard to lower prices.

That's not a content monopoly business strategy in operation.

RE: Another problem
By mushi799 on 9/23/2010 11:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
Also majority of the world has download capped at < 100gig a month. Comcast is capped at 250 gig a month and at&t will join the bandwagon soon. Disc base isn't going anywhere.

RE: Another problem
By bill4 on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Another problem
By sprockkets on 9/23/2010 12:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, there are plenty of "discs" in these countries, they are simply pirated and made to look official.

RE: Another problem
By RjBass on 9/23/2010 7:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
I was gonna say, When I was in Brazil in 08 we saw tons of guys pushing sound system carts up and down the beach selling pirated cd's and dvd's.

RE: Another problem
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2010 12:46:45 PM , Rating: 3
Nearly $29 billion in DVD/Blu-ray sales world-wide says otherwise.

RE: Another problem
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2010 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's over 1.9 billion movies by the way.

RE: Another problem
By bhieb on 9/23/2010 12:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
Digital downloads can be quickly obtained from home via online purchases

Not to mention the broad definition of "quickly" a true Blu-Ray quality video is just to big to download in any reasonable amount of time (in the US that is). Broadband is just too slow, and the companies that do offer higher bandwidth it is usually capped.

Microsoft dropped the ball IMO on Blu-ray. I get their position on the first xbox, but the recent refresh could easily have had a blu-ray drive. No reason not too. IMO their Xbox Live service is better than Sony's, their app integration is better (no Netflix disc). Why not twist the knife a bit and add Blu-ray? It is the ONLY reason I even considered the PS3, so just remove that and it does not even make my list.

Admittedly I absolutely loath Sony (not necessarily the PS3 but he company in general), and as such they will not get another red cent from me. They push proprietary bs in just about every thing they sell, and I refuse to support them. However I came really close to getting an Xbox over the PS3 because of Blu-ray, ultimately my lack of Blu-ray collection stopped me. MS should close this marketing gap, this is a lame excuse. It would be a minor cost, and if they sold it as a USB expansion device they could even make money on yet another must have Xbox accessory.

RE: Another problem
By muIIet on 9/25/2010 6:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
I buy many Blu-Ray classic movies that I like. I will always buy a hard copy like Gladiator, Braveheart, Blade Runner and so on. The more people try and stream movies the quicker ISP's will cap, ISP's hate competition.

RE: Another problem
By AnnihilatorX on 9/27/2010 4:14:15 AM , Rating: 2
I have not seen a single digital download movie that has intact surround sound.

I don't see why they can't do it barring cost for a commercial video download site. The pirates are expert at HQ movie encoding. There are many codecs which supports surround sound and HD content.

I am not advocate of piracy, but I sincerely hate the big companies of movie or music so slow to transfer into digital download model and providing HQ releases through digital download. Nearly all commercial downloading either music or movie are highly compressed lossy formats. This only quicken their demise and they seems to blame their customers pirating instead of buying because of greed only.

When I buy a CD and I loselessly encode them, it takes me 10 minutes to rip the disc, 3 minutes to encode them into .flac, 4 minutes to scan the booklet and store it, 5 minutes to sort out the ID3tag. I'd happy to pay twice the price if a site sort out all that stuff and just give me a single zipped package.

No surprise
By masamasa on 9/23/2010 10:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
Any fool can predict the death of blu-ray or similar media formats based on the acceptance of digital distribution and changes to infrastructure, but that clearly is not around the corner.

Not much of a prediction.

RE: No surprise
By bill4 on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: No surprise
By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 11:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't it possible that sales are down because of cheap, disc based subscription services like netflix, rather than because people are switching to downloads and streaming? I know anacdotal evidence is not really evidence at all, but almost everyone I know has a Netflix subscrition and has slowed thier Blu-Ray/DVD purchases because of this, not because they are buying downloadedable versions of the movies they want to watch.

And I realize that Netflix does offer streaming, but as only a fraction of thier catalog is available for streaming I think it is safe to say they are still primarily a disc service.

RE: No surprise
By mindless1 on 9/23/2010 12:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
No it's because of more and more CATV channels, plus downloads and streaming. It is quite obvious the internet has vastly increased the digital video download rate, albeit a significant % due to piracy.

Further, it is also due to people spending more of their free time surfing the internet instead of watching TV at all.

RE: No surprise
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 3:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
It could also be that there haven't been that many great new movies and or songs produced lately to warrant larger sales. Combine that with a very slow economy and high unemployment and you will naturally get a drop in this type of sales.

RE: No surprise
By mindless1 on 9/23/2010 6:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree about the songs, but see movies a different way. I can listen to a song and enjoy it once every few days but not a movie and movies are more of an event in themselves so back in the day I used to rent VHS tapes, then DVDs. When you (or at least I) want to watch a movie I'll get whatever looks best even if none of them seem that great.

It seems I don't watch nearly as much TV or movies as many people though, but I would see watching a movie at home as one of the things more people do in a slow economy instead of going out to a theater or another more expensive evening out, and it's a lot more enjoyable to do so with today's huge TVs, multimedia living rooms with surround sound, etc... I'd usually prefer to watch the movie at home instead of driving to a theater, paying for overpriced food, waiting in lines... but I am patient in not feeling I need to see movies when they are first released.

RE: No surprise
By bill4 on 9/23/2010 12:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure somewhat. And you forgot redbox too.

But it's worth noting Netflix just entered the Canada market, like yesterday, and I believe they said they're not even bothering with their mail service there, it's going to be straight streaming from the get go, which says a lot about their priorities going forward.

RE: No surprise
By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 12:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
That would be an interesting turn of events, but it may also mean that Canada will see a signifigantly lowered catalog from Netflix, decreasing its value.

RE: No surprise
By wallijonn on 9/23/2010 1:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't it possible that sales are down because of cheap, disc based subscription services like netflix, rather than because people are switching to downloads and streaming? ... almost everyone I know has a Netflix subscription and has slowed their Blu-Ray/DVD purchases because of this, not because they are buying download-able versions of the movies they want to watch.

Sales are probably down strictly due to economics. Sony originally sold Blu-Ray by selling the BD movies for $10 when the DVDs were going for $20. Once they won the war BD prices skyrocketed to HD-DVD prices, or about $35 apiece. When prices of DVDs went to $14.95 and BDs for $19.99 there seemed to be an upsurgence in sales. Lately BD sales have been hovering at the $25 price point and I, for one, refuse to pay that price. I'll wait for the Christmas sales price drops. BDs which were being sold for $10 a year ago are now regularly priced at $25 ("Independence Day," & "2001," for examples.) And that $25 price is usually Day of Release. A week later they are going for $29.99. At $30 a pop I can afford to be VERY choosy as to what I buy. To the point where I won't buy it at all. At that price point (and the $34.99 and $49.99 price points), sales will plummet. The industry will probably blame it on piracy. Sorry, but I will not pay $49.99 for "Gone With the Wind" or $89.99 for "The Wizard of Oz."

For me download streaming is not an option, just as having Cable is not an option. Cable sales have slowed down, if not dropped. If one wants HD they'll have to pay the basic, extended, and then will be able to get HD programming. In my area that translates to about $75 a month. One can put up a satellite dish for $29.99. No brainer.

Part of the allure of Netflix is the ability not to pay the BlockBuster price of $5 and $6 a movie. It's why the RedBox has taken sales away from Hollywood Video and Block Buster and why both companies will probably soon disappear.

With BD prices as high as they are the days of making blind purchases are over (which is what killed CD music sales.) Paying $1 to watch it on DVD seems prudent. If one loves the movie then one buys it on DVD or BD. And one usually waits until it goes on sale at Target or WalMart.

And no, many of us who have made the switch to BD do not want to pay extra for Digital Copies (many of which expire after a certain time), nor do we want to pay extra for the DVD movie on a third disc. Well, I don't. I end up giving the DCs and DVDs away to friends.

RE: No surprise
By mikefarinha on 9/23/2010 12:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair it wasn't the PS3 that won the day for bluray. It was the studio's that decided to support one over the other.

RE: No surprise
By bill4 on 9/23/2010 12:22:32 PM , Rating: 1
Realistically though, it was the PS3. No way Blu Ray would have won without the PS3, anyway. It actually came down to Warner Bros decision, and that was WITH PS3 Blu Ray. Imagine without.

Without PS3, cheaper HDDVD sales would have outpaced Blu Ray heavily early on ((which they did, but PS3 sales dwarfed that putting Blu Ray in a large lead), and movie studios would have ended up backing it. As I said, HDDVD almost won anyway, and that was with PS3 Blu Ray.

RE: No surprise
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2010 12:50:45 PM , Rating: 3
It also has to do with the fact that Sony has an IMMENSE library of movies. That it promised all to Blu-ray.

RE: No surprise
By sprockkets on 9/23/2010 12:43:49 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair it wasn't the PS3 that won the day for bluray. It was the studio's that decided to support one over the other.

You forgot about which one had the stronger DRM? That's all the studios care about.

RE: No surprise
By chick0n on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: No surprise
By StevoLincolnite on 9/23/2010 12:37:26 PM , Rating: 4
if blu-ray is as useless and as overpriced and as "inferior" as you said, then it should've been dead long time ago.

Not true, many products that were "inferior" have succeeded in the marketplace for various reasons.

The Pentium 4 beat the Athlon 64 because of Intels better marketing and anti-competitive practices at the time, despite it clearly being an inferior product.

Then you have the iPod, alternatives like the Zune and Creative Zen were far more powerful and versatile; and yet the iPod is still the dominant force.

Because its better so it stay. HD-DVD suck thats why it faded out.

Well that has to be the most intellectual thing I have read today...

Don't cry if you're nothing but a poor/cheap f*ck. If u can't afford it, if u don't like it, just don't buy it. whining makes u look like a retard

Nope this is.

If you have so much money and you aren't cheap, feel free to buy everyone on Dailytech a PS3, I won't complain.

Microsoft didn't include HD-DVD drive because the original Xbox360 plan did NOT include HD-Dvd drive

Microsoft didn't include it because of cost.
With the original Xbox Microsoft packed significant amount of hardware that was simply un-heard of at the time.

The end result of which made the console incredibly expensive to manufacture, Microsoft changed that strategy with the Xbox 360 by not including such things and making them buyable accessories/bundles.
People get choice, Microsoft makes more money.

And they did make money on the HD-DVD drive, so it made sound business sense.
Remember... Microsoft like any business is there to try and get the consumers coin, Sony and Microsoft... They are all the same in that aspect.

RE: No surprise
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2010 12:51:38 PM , Rating: 4
Your post makes you look like a child.

RE: No surprise
By tng on 9/23/2010 1:03:54 PM , Rating: 1
I agree to most of that, HD-DVD was the better format.

I also agree that it is the next generation that will determine if any disc based distribution will continue.

Kids that are now in there pre-teen and early teen years are using mobile media much more than any previous generation. I see these future adults as the consumers that will start downloading content more than has been seen in the past.

By the time the next generation has enough discretionary income, formats and download techniques will have developed to allow large file downloads at faster speeds to allow true HD.

That being said, I don't think that DVD/CD will ever die completely. There are way to many people out there that will never trust people like the RIAA and what they can trace with a downloaded file. I like to have the physical disc in my hand. I still have friends who listen to old fashion records on very expensive equipment, yes it does sound better, but I can't justify the storage space for all the albums. Future generations will look at my CD/DVD collection the same way I think.

RE: No surprise
By Proxes on 9/23/2010 2:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
In the future CD players will be like recorder players are now. Only the true audiophile will have them. Why? Because they sound better.

RE: No surprise
By YashBudini on 9/23/2010 8:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
The loudness wars have ruined quality beyond all hope anyway, so unless you're buying an occasion off label jazz CD you'll be wasting your money.

Google loudness war for more info.

RE: No surprise
By Donkeyshins on 9/24/2010 1:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
The loudness wars have ruined quality beyond all hope anyway, so unless you're buying an occasion off label jazz CD you'll be wasting your money.

Or you could buy vinyl. I think I've purchased one CD in the last 18 months. But I've purchased over 50 LPs (reissues, new releases and used vinyl) in that time.

RE: No surprise
By Noliving on 9/23/2010 8:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
I would say blu ray was the better format tng simply because hd dvd and blu ray are storage formats meaning the most important thing for those formats is how much space they can hold.

HD-DVD is/was a better consumer format but in terms of specifications Blu-Ray is actually better.

RE: No surprise
By tng on 9/24/2010 8:00:59 AM , Rating: 1
Yes from that viewpoint you are correct, but from picture quality standpoint, no. HD-DVD used a Microsoft encoding technique that was developed especially for HD, Blu Ray used modified MPEG that was never really designed for HD. Sure, they made it work, but it still suffers from issues even today.

RE: No surprise
By sprockkets on 9/24/2010 5:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD used VC-1, which is just a rename of WM9, which incidentally, had MPEG4 technology in it.

HD-DVD also was to use Microsoft CE tech. And it used a Pentium 4 in their players to play the content.

See a trend? It's Microsoft throwing a PC at a problem.

This time however, other companies were not going to get burned again by Microsoft's anti-competitive practices, even if they submitted VC-1 to be an ISO standard.

MPEG2 can handle 1080p just fine, since you have such an abundance of space for it.

RE: No surprise
By tng on 9/27/2010 7:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
Did you ever do any side by side comparisons? I did, HDDVD was better. JUST from a PQ viewpoint and that is what I used to judge things like these on, what looked better to me...

Nowdays, BD has gotten their act a little bit more together and refined than in the early days when the format war was raging and their PQ has gotten better.

RE: No surprise
By geddarkstorm on 9/23/2010 2:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
And anyone can say "in XX amount of years Microsoft will be overtaken by some changing market/internal rot/anti-trust breakup/end of the world/teletubby invasion/etc". Wow, I just predicted the end of Microsoft!

RE: No surprise
By Lazarus Dark on 9/25/2010 6:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta disagree. Bluray has a good ten years. Then another physical format with capacity for 4k resolution will come, but this will be for the enthusiast with wall size tv/projector only and will likely be expensive.

Meanwhile, in the last year, EVERYONE I know has acquired a bluray player from the poorest to the most well-to-do I know. At the same time, half of those have gotten Netflix subscriptions and are regularly streaming via pc or game system or device. FREE streaming is the future. The average joe does NOT want to buy digital bits to stick on their hard drive, or rent a vid with a 24 hour window to watch, but they CAN see the value of a streaming buffet for a monthly charge.

Add to all this... based on the rate so far, it will take another decade for my middle class neighborhood to get internet faster than 10mbit.

Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Bateluer on 9/23/2010 10:50:39 AM , Rating: 5
Not unless major changes are made to the way current digital downloads work. First, a single 1080p BluRay file is huge, 30GB or more. Files this size will take a long time to download, and streaming is a pain with a lot of buffering. A large part of this stems from the over all cruddiness of US's broadband services and associated bandwidth caps. So long as our Internet speeds are this slow and we've got bandwidth caps, digital downloads aren't going to gain much traction.

Second, if I buy an HD video file through a service, whats it get me? Do I just get to download the file once, and after that its on me to back up? Do I get to redownload at a whim? What if the service I bought the file from goes belly up? Whats the policy governing burning the file to a disk? How many PCs/players can I play the file on? An actual BluRay disk shouldn't have any of these restrictions. I buy the disk, I should be able to play it on any number of PCs or set top players. All without any buffering or busting my bandwidth.

I've only purchased 4 BD movies because the player options on the PC are terrible. Playing the movies effectively means I have to rip and encode, takes a lot of time. Disks themselves aren't cheap either.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Aloonatic on 9/23/2010 11:13:26 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know what it's like in the States, but broad band in the UK is so far off being able to deal with this as to be untrue.

There are few places that can cope with the streaming requirement for the BBC iPlayer in HD, which is only ~3.5 Mbps and I doubt is any where near approaching the quality of a BD film in terms of video & sound quality, let alone the other options. I can just about get the SD version to work which "only" needs ~2 Mbps. What will a BD beating stream need?

For BD to be completely redundant, then almost everywhere will need to be able to use/access a streamed/downloaded alternative, and it's going to be a long time until that is the case in a lot of places I think.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By bill4 on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By bill4 on 9/23/2010 12:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
well, not everywhere, but most places

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By MikeO on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By zsejk on 9/27/2010 7:06:55 AM , Rating: 1
Hahaha... the UK does not Europe make.

120 mbit down, 10 mbit up, 60 bucks a month. The price is including HD TV subscription and a phone connection of course.

Goodbye, and thanks for playing.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By bill4 on 9/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 12:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
The quality is "good enough" for YOU perhaps. Some of us are AV geeks who want only the best quality possible, and highly compressed video/audio simply don't cut it. People are different, and some of us can tell the difference.

And in case you forgot, Netflix offers streaming as a SIDE service. It is primarily a PHYSICAL media service.

And I'm starting to wonder. You keep talking about rips and how much you always download etc. Are you pirating these movies? If so, then even your prefered movie viewing method probably started as a physical disc at some point, and will become much harder to accomplish if there is a mass move to DRMed digital downloads.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Fritzr on 9/23/2010 12:34:47 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry but you are the one out of touch. If you read these forums regularly then you are aware that high speed, uncapped service is the exception unless you are willing to pay the cost of a boxful of BD releases every month to get service that would allow streaming BD quality.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By tng on 9/23/2010 1:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
Just like when the mp3 format came out for music, people didn't really realize what they lost when compressed music from a CD.

An mp3 is what normally max 360kbs? A CD is a 16 bit word sampled at 44.1Khz which makes it 705kbs. You lose almost half the music...... Which is good enough if you listen in the car, but at home.... How much resolution do you lose when streaming video?

By YashBudini on 9/23/2010 8:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, but as they've proven they don't care.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By JediJeb on 9/23/2010 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 1
Really Bateluer? I have normal, probably considered low speed cable internet in a small town. 10 MB/s down.

I would call that high speed since mine is only 1.5Mb/s with the max option being 6Mb/s at over $60/month

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Bateluer on 9/23/2010 11:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
Uh, are you refering to lossy compression? When I re-encoded my BluRay rips, I could easily get them down to around 4 to 6GB in size. But its VERY obvious the quality was degraded from the original BD disk.

By the way, you're not streaming BD quality content on XBL, Netflix, or iTunes.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By guacamojo on 9/23/2010 12:24:51 PM , Rating: 3
First, a single 1080p BluRay file is huge, 30GB or more. Files this size will take a long time to download...

MS is probably right... in the long term. 15 years ago, 300 MB was huge. 10 years ago, 3 GB was huge. Today, 30 GB is huge. If we take a bit of license, we might reasonably say that in 10 years, a 30 GB download will be reasonable. In 15-20, it will be a no-brainer.

Sure, there will be a few people who want the super-duper disk format (1 TB disks maybe?) so that they can have a copy of a movie where the actor's nose hairs are clearly discernable. But IMO we're already seeing that people aren't clamoring for that level of fidelity. (Ex: slow uptake of BR disks vs. upscaling DVDs.)

No, unless a killer app comes out that is a huge bandwidth hog (360 degree surround 3D video maybe?), the rest of the population will probably be happy with downloads.

No need for local storage, either. If the bandwidth and latency is reasonable, just view it from a server. Hell, cable companies have been pushing in this direction for years. 100% on-demand.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Aloonatic on 9/24/2010 6:45:51 AM , Rating: 2
I see where you're coming from with the timeline thing of xx seemed big in so and so, then xy seemed big... which is all well and good, but those improvements in service have mostly come via the same infrastructure along with the odd improved exchange, and still, many places struggle, and downloading 3G is still a huge problem, in a household where many people use the same connection.

To get the leap in speed and reliability (as you'll need this link for 2 to 3 hours if streaming a film) then the current copper infrastructure that the majority of the world has in place now, just will not cut it.

What You also need to bear in mind is that the internet is being used for more and more things. How many devices have you got in your home that connect to it now, compared to a few years ago? What are the additions demands there? When you have a few people in a home wanting to use the same connection, to do more and more, with devices constantly automatically connecting to check for twitter updates and what not, downloading things by themselves etc, then the jump in service that will be needed is going to take a lot of investment.

Also, we are perhaps assuming that only 1 person will want to be watching a BD like streamed film. What if two people want to watch more than one film in the same household at the same time?

So to completely replace/kill something like BD, you are going to need to be able to provide that sort of service to a fair percentage of the country. Not just city centres and large urban conurbations. Towns, villages, hamlets... They will all need access too.

Then there is the final thing. In 10 years time, maybe even if that sort of internet infrastructure is in place, by then BD will probably have been succeeded anyway, by BD-3D, or whatever, that will need even larger file sizes.

We all know why MS are down on BluRay, 360/HD DVD Vs PS3 and all that.

RE: Sorry to disappoint Microsoft
By Hakuryu on 9/23/2010 12:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
You hit the problem on the head with your questions, like being able to re-download content. I bought Bitdefender AV, and they charge something like $3.99 if you want to download it again (and it is a small file).

But the biggest issue, that you also asked about, is usage rights. Not only can you transfer the file to another PC, but do you have get each download re-authorized every week like you have to with MP3s on Rhapsody? There are literally hundreds of unanswered questions about the legal issues.

I think most companies love the idea of digital downloads because the secondhand market will be destroyed, and the possibility exists of customers having to re-purchase content due to legal issues of transferring files to another device.

By zephyrxero on 9/23/2010 1:07:12 PM , Rating: 1
It's not just movies and music going this way either. Top executives at EA and the like have all expressed interest in selling games only thru digital download services in the near future to kill off leach businesses like Gamestop. In some ways they are right, used media is really no better than pirating, you're not supporting the artist even though it's technically legal :/

By astralsolace on 9/23/2010 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 3
The people that drove initial Blu-ray adoption are the high-end enthusiasts who value image quality over convenience. People who do research and commit large amounts of money into recreating a high-quality movie experience at home.

Netflix/etc are awesome, and practical, for the average movie watcher. But there's definitely a demand for the upper end quality content, which we're just not seeing digitally (at least, streaming) quite yet.

That much larger, average, demographic will eventually fuel digital downloads essentially taking over the market, but I doubt it'll be any time soon.

By smackababy on 9/23/2010 11:17:19 AM , Rating: 2
IIRC Beta Max was higher quality than VHS, and look what won in that war. Sure, BluRay is superior in quality, but as far as pricing and availability goes, Digital Downloads rule. The market wants the cheapest product, but the best quality. This has been demonstrated numerous times.

By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 11:26:54 AM , Rating: 2
Beta max lost because of the Apple syndrom. They didn't let anyone else produce the players. VHS was an open licensable standard that anyone could make a player for. Market saturation made VHS the winner.

This does not apply to Blu-Ray Vs. Digital Download.

By Fritzr on 9/23/2010 12:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
VHS also had an advantage in recording length. You could get more recording time on VHS than on BetaMAX.

Also many people were still using lower quality TVs that really cou;dn't do justice to the real quality difference. Upscaling a DVD reduces the BluRay quality advantage & most people are still dreaming about 60" TVs. Quality is needed for those top end sets, but until there are more out there and people are conditioned to demand HD quality, good enough is good enough.

Price, library & playback time all had a part to play in the enduser's decision with tapes. Good enough quality can beat best quality when these other items are factored in.

My problem with a vendor tied system like Steam is what happens when the vendor disappears. It *might* outlive me, but given the realities of business, that is unlikely. Also like the public library, you are limited to whatever they have available at the time you request it. If the vendor decides to remove something, then it is yanked out of your library as well ... Amazon has already demonstrated this behavior with Kindle. As I'm not a Steam user, I do not know if it can be done there, but will the movie download service issue you a permanent copy with a license to replace it if needed or will they just give you a license to view the material subject to possible cancellation at a future date. BluRay and whatever physical media supplants it do not share this weakness.

By YashBudini on 9/23/2010 8:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
VHS also had an advantage in recording length. You could get more recording time on VHS than on BetaMAX.

And what could you rent on Beta? Not much.

By Mitch101 on 9/23/2010 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
Have to agree and most people dont have a system high enough to tell the difference between Netflix HD Stream and Blu-Ray HD. Seems most people with 5.1 audio call their setups home theaters despite the lack of screen size. Sure its nice but I cant imagine seeing a movie like Cloverfield on a 42" screen 15' away and expect to get the perspective and scale effect you need for a movie like that. Some movies demand huge screens.

I will say Netflix HD is very good. I have a 120" screen and Netflix-HD streams are plenty good enough it certainly doesn't detract from a movie if it does its very temporary. Its not really relevant unless its a heavy motion action title. Action titles on BLU-RAY version with 7.1 audio adds another level that Netflix HD cant touch in my setup. For those I have the BLU-RAY shipped to home. If I had a 42" 5.1 audio setup sitting 15' away I probably wouldn't care or be able to tell the difference which is the majority of people's home theater setups.

Go Big people. Check out Epsons next gen lineup coming out in a few weeks. 1:000:000 to 1 contrast ratios on a projector although I would like to see higher lumen values it will rock in a dark room. The new bulbs can also last 5000 hours. You can get 12month 0% finance just about everywhere and pay it off in a year. Also You can paint a wall for $50.00 that rivals top end screens costing several hundred bucks. Im not talking the Projection screen in a can but a special mix.

By zephyrxero on 9/23/2010 12:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
Also, if u keep up with Netflix development. They claimed earlier this year that they would have full 5.1 surround sound in addition to 1080p video support by Christmas this year (currently 720p + stereo are the max).

By Akrovah on 9/23/2010 1:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
While that will be awsome, are they planning on re-converting thier current offerings? I doubt it seeing as how only a handful of movies are even offerd in 720 at the moment.

By bhieb on 9/23/2010 12:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed GO BIG!!

The difference between a 50" LCD and 104" projection setup is minimal, having space is the big concern.

I picked up a Mitsu with rebate for ~$1,400, and I even spent another $600 on the screen. Still $2K for 110" 3 years ago! At that time the cheapest 50" was well north of $2k.

By dagamer34 on 9/27/2010 9:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
Number of pixels doesn't matter as much as bitrate. Don't forget that.

No breaking news here... Next...
By tallcool1 on 9/23/2010 10:52:31 AM , Rating: 1
Too bad they didn't have the forsight to predict the death of the format they where behind, HD-DVD. Now they just sound like a sore loser with that statement. But in reality of course Blu-Ray will eventually die out, like most electronic formats do in time.

No breaking news here... Next...

RE: No breaking news here... Next...
By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
Now they just sound like a sore loser with that statement.

How so? They just made the wrong choice when it comes to blu-ray vs hd-dvd. It was a gamble. They are doing the same here, but placing their money on digital downloads over blu-ray. Nothing here has anything to do with being a sore loser...

RE: No breaking news here... Next...
By probedb on 9/23/2010 11:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
But at least they launched an addon drive for HD-DVD. BR drives are cheap now so it would make sense for them to launch an addon.

Yes, in 50 years I can see their point, but I don't know what it's like in the US but broadband here in the UK won't be in a state in 5 years where people can easily download a 50GB movie. One movie would probably result in their downloads being capped ;)

RE: No breaking news here... Next...
By bill4 on 9/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: No breaking news here... Next...
By bill4 on 9/23/2010 12:18:05 PM , Rating: 1
And why would Microsoft launch an add on for a dead Blu Ray format? They have 1080P streaming on the box already. Why?

You can already get Blu Ray players for like $69 anyway.

By rdeegvainl on 9/24/2010 1:38:48 AM , Rating: 2
An addon at this point for the current xbox makes absolutely no sense. For the next xbox it makes perfect sense to have it as the built in drive, unless they go all digital. And unless some amazing infrastructure changes take place really quickly, or they wait AT LEAST 10 more years before the next console, it WILL have an optical drive.

By marvdmartian on 9/24/2010 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
It's easy to predict the eventual end of a media. Just wait until the next generation comes out, like Blu-Ray over DVD.

I predict in the next 10 years, we will see smaller disks or other style media take over the spot that Blu-Ray has today, and people will flock to that. 25 years from now, that will be replaced by something else.

Predictions made, no crystal ball required! ;)

DRM and permanent ownership
By Aibo on 9/23/2010 11:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that digital download video and audio quality aren't the level of Blu-ray. But there is far more important factor that I'm against the digital download. DRM and permanent ownership.

With digital download movies, the buyer doesn't own the movie, only the license to play the movie. Most common is locked to the buyer's account and often restricted to limited amount of time can be downloaded. There is no guarantee if the digital download movies can still be played after a few years. Also, the buyer cannot loan or give away the digital download movies to family or friends. It's all about one time "ownership". If the DRM license changed, expired or something that caused the license to become invalid, the buyer must rebuy the same movies again.

The point is unlike Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, Laserdisc or any type of physical media, the buyer never owns the movie permanently.

I still have DVD movies that I bought in 1997 and movies are still playable. Can any company that sell the digital download version guarantee that it can still be playable after 10 years later?

RE: DRM and permanent ownership
By zephyrxero on 9/23/2010 12:55:12 PM , Rating: 1
Arguing DRM in favor of BluRay over streaming is a little silly. BluRay is DRM'd to hell and back. How easily can you (today) drop your favorite BluRay in your PC and back it up to your hard drive? Your logic there is invalid.

With that said, I've just given up on buying anything. CDs, DVDs, BluRays? No thanks...I'll just stream it. If they don't want me to actually own their copywritten material, then I won't. I'll simply rent. This is why services like Rhapsody & Netflix are the future. As long as content is DRM'd it's only good for rental, as you never really own it.

Furthermore, BluRay is still very slow in its take off. The average consumer has trouble telling the difference between SD & HD, and those same people certainly won't be able to tell the difference between a 720p stream and a 1080p high bandwidth medium. Only enthusiasts will be able to tell, and this is why BluRay won't be necessarily fully dying any time soon, but don't expect it to ever become mainstream.

Sadly, DVD will probably out live BluRay simply for those with no/bad internet connections as 100Mb+ services are going to be popping up across major cities within the next year.

RE: DRM and permanent ownership
By Aibo on 9/23/2010 1:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
True Blu-ray is heavily DRM. But my point is able to play the Blu-ray disc as long as I want. DVD was the last format that has weak DRM that can't be updated.

Movie studios are moving towards in selling movies that buyers cannot permanently own. It's their way to ensure they can make you buy your favorite movies as many times as they want. I don't always rebuy double-dipped movies on Blu-ray or DVD because I don't always care about the added materials. But I can always play the old edition on Blu-ray and DVD as long as I want.

I don't believe streaming is always the answer even for those that has high speed internet. Internet service can be down when you are ready to watch the movie.

RE: DRM and permanent ownership
By BikeDude on 9/24/2010 2:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think you are looking at this from the wrong angle.

If someone came along, offering:

1) Good bandwidth (your ISP could start a movie download service, or they could cache an existing service)

2) Excellent quality (1080p, DTS-HD)

3) Transferable ownership

Then suddenly you have more advantages than anything blu-ray has to offer.

DRM is moot. History teaches us that those who do not want to pay for a product, aren't going to pay. Bluray DRM forces some of us to circumvent it. E.g. I want to enjoy my 30" Apple Cinema monitor, so when watching bluray movies I have to use AnyDVDHD so I can use the products I paid for. By making it difficult for me to buy content, the industry is pushing their customers towards illegal content providers (pirates) who actually know what the market wants (movies you can play on any device and store according to your own wishes/needs).

Shiny discs is a hopeless way of distributing content. It was fairly OK 20 years ago when only a select few had Internet access, but now it is obvious that you have to be a bit strange in the head to buy an audio CD. There is an incredible amount of unnecessary steps involved in such a purchase. Plus it is bad for the environment (transport, waste generated and annoying audible grunts from the poor schmuck who had to pay good money for an outdated product).

I understand the industry are afraid of taking a leap of faith and trust online content, but I doubt they have much choice if they want to sell much of anything in the future. Actually, the biggest problem is they desperately want to divide the world into regions. How bizarre is that? Without AnyDVD, I cannot buy a shiny disc in the States and watch it on my player at home in Europe. The movie distributors are not playing an honest game, yet they expect their customers to behave like saints?

All physical media may one day be gone
By DarthKaos on 9/23/2010 11:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
The prediction that Blu-Ray is going away is just silly. Before Blu-Ray goes away you will see Music CDs, Games, and Books go away first. These forms of media are easier to download due to file size. They also already have portable devices to play them on (MP3 players, PSP/DS/Phones/iPad, Kindle, and many more I can't think of).

People generally enjoy movies to relax at home on the weekend or at night after a long day of work. Often in their living room with friends or family. A movie is 1.5 hours long or longer. Because there are not a lot of compelling reason to make movies portable the only driving factor for going with a digital download is maybe convenience but as stated earlier the file size really makes it not very convenient. I have a great connection. I get dropped from games maybe 6 times a year at most. I never have trouble downloading anything except movies when I have tried them. They are just too big and it takes way to long. If I have to plan in advance to start a download so I can watch a movie later, why not just plan to rent the disk, put it on my netflix, or buy it?

When physical media for music, games, and books goes away I will worry about movies.

By inighthawki on 9/23/2010 11:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
Well to be fair, music is already digitalized, and CD versions are really only still around because some people like to own physical copies of things they buy. Games are also already heading in that direction with programs like Steam on PC, and the next-gen consoles will surely follow. In fact xbox live arcade, wiiware etc is already a good start. I do disagree on books though. Sure the kindle is really gaining success but a LOT of people including myself will prefer the physical book over an electronic version. Something about reading it on an electronic device (be it a desktop, laptop, or e-reader) just doesn't appeal to a lot of people.

The only thing really stopping most digitalized versions of products now is internet speed, which I suspect won't be long before digital downloads forces ISPs to increase service quality. I'm hoping there will be somewhat of a circular dependency - more digital downloads forces ISPs to improve service, which in turn provides more digital downloads, etc.

By bill4 on 9/23/2010 11:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
Err no, you're mistaken.

Music CD's are going away. They're already down some 50% in sales over the last years. Half! Anyways nobody would seriously argue CD's arent in major decline so I wont dwell on that. When was the last time YOU bought a CD? I cant remember the last time I did!

Books is a different matter. You have major advantages to physical books, that you do not have with physical movies/music. You can hold a book, it's much easier on the eyes than a LCD screen, you dont have to boot it up, etc etc. I can guarantee books will never go away. But that has no bearing on the fact Blu Ray will. Even all that said, to a certain extent Kindle and all that HAVE probably reduced sales of books on physical media.

Games, a certain type of game, are also I believe an exception to the disappearing physical media. That certain type of game is the high end hardcore game. The Uncharted 2, Halo's, COD's. Those games will likely always utilize the superior storage space of disc.

However, a ton of gaming is already DD based. Look at all the facebook gaming, all the popcap type stuff, then you have XBLA, PSN, iPod/Touch/Pad/Android phone gaming, you even have steam. So even though I believe hardcore high end gaming will not go digital anytime soon, a lot of the gaming industry has already.

So you seem you're mistaken :0. Blu Ray is like CD, it will die (except in a niche segment of gaming), not books, which wont.

By bill4 on 9/23/2010 11:34:14 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know why Blu Ray fanboys like Mick talk about data caps. There are no relevant data caps to speak of in the US.

Comcast is the only major carrier that has them, and it's 250GB. Since DVD rips are 700 MB, thats enough to watch 10 movies a day. HD streaming will be somewhat more, but A) nobody needs HD streaming, its the same as 128kb MP3 vs CD, where lower quality MP3 won handily and B) even HD movies will not be enough data to stress caps. I am on the net nearly 24/7, watch lots of streaming video, I only use some 40GB per month!

Further, whatever DL caps currently exist, not enough to hinder digital downloads even now, will only rise as technology gets better, speeds get faster, pipes get wider, the net gets more data rich, etc. Whatever caps currently exist will only rise. But Hd quality video bitrates do not rise.

I know Sony fanboys hope caps happen so Sony's Blu Ray can flourish, but that ship has sailed.

And it funny since Mick is so pro piracy, but now all the sudden he supports data caps? L-o-l.

RE: Err
By Belard on 9/24/2010 10:15:36 AM , Rating: 2
Quality of streamed video doesn't approach a quality BR media storage. A typical movie may require upwards of 25~30GB... thats a long time.

And if your house hold has various players or your car, or going to grand-ma's place, then theres transportation issues.

Also, no extras. Behind the scenes, etc.

RE: Err
By Lerianis on 9/27/2010 2:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not too sure about that. I download HD-quality rips of TV shows AND watch those TV shows in HD on my computer.... I am hard pressed to see the difference in all honest, either in sound quality or picture quality.

Sour grapes anyone ?
By chick0n on 9/23/2010 11:56:31 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is one of the biggest "sour grapes" supporter of all time.

Just like their "prediction of death" of iPhone, hell they said no one will use it, but guess what, what's iPhone's market share now, where is WinMo ?

I don't even like Apple but sometimes Microsoft's BS just makes me sick.

Microsoft needs to stop bsing and focus more on their product.

RE: Sour grapes anyone ?
By bill4 on 9/23/2010 12:05:00 PM , Rating: 1
Too bad Apple says Blu Ray is dead too. What now?

Get over it you bitter microsoft haters.

RE: Sour grapes anyone ?
By chick0n on 9/25/2010 7:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
yea yea yea

Microsoft lover. oh yea, Microsoft sad iPods die too. blah blah blah

What do you people want them to say?
By Homerboy on 9/23/2010 10:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
Look, this is clearly a PR move.

BR is a Sony product. Sony is MS's biggest competitor in the console (aka: Entertainment Device) market space. Of course they are going to say and do ANYTHING to persuade the general publoc that their competitor's product is inferior and/or going to go away. As some of you poiinted out, streaming is fine for the vast majority of the masses... the same majority that use consoles for watching movies. It only makes sense that MS is going to try to convince these masses that streaming is the way for them... and streaming is already pretty mature, easy to use and, for the most part, good enough quality for those masses, and MS has it going strong on the 360 already.

By tdawg on 9/23/2010 11:09:45 AM , Rating: 2
Um, Sony is just one of dozens of partners behind blu-ray. It's not a Sony product. Just like hd-dvd wasn't a Microsoft product; hd-dvd was created and supported by a small group of companies. Blu-ray was created and is supported by a large group of companies.

There's no financial incentive for MS to support blu-ray since they have invested time and money into the zune marketplace.

Sour Grapes
By ARoyalF on 9/23/2010 11:24:11 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't bitter about losing the format war are they? LOL

I think there will always be a place for physical media.

RE: Sour Grapes
By zephyrxero on 9/23/2010 1:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
"I think there will always be a place for physical media."

Yeah, the boonies ;)

Blu-Ray will start dying in 2-4 years
By Belard on 9/24/2010 10:30:18 AM , Rating: 1
That is my prediction. Not because BR is flawed or DD (Digital Downloads), but all optical disc media will simply go away.

DD suck because they are typically 720p and low-quality compression, good enough for a notebook or iPad, different when you have a 60" HDTV with 120~240hz refresh rate. Downloading a 25~35GB of movie data is not fun and there are constant threats of data-caps from the internet companies.

DD are DRM locked to your hardware device... what happens when your player dies or gets stolen? Costs are about the same for physical media, especially when you make a backup. There are portable issues in which you can grab a few titles and walk out the door.

With that said, BR will still be dead.

It will be replaced by Solid state Flash-memory type cards. The players will be CHEAP too. Why? The same decoders used in BR players can be used and with todays players as low as $100, a card reader will easily make the player $50.

There are no moving parts to fail, no laser to wear out... and no discs to scratch.
As of today, you can buy a 16GB flash card/key for $20.
At least 32GB is needed for a standard movie with some extras.
So in about 2 years, a 32GB card will be down to $15 or so.

When the costs can be reduced to $1~2 to make a read-only memory card that can hold a 1080p 3hr movie (Avatar for example), then its bye bye blu-ray.

RE: Blu-Ray will start dying in 2-4 years
By WLee40 on 9/24/2010 1:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now that is a good point. Solid state is probably the future.

By Belard on 9/24/2010 6:22:08 PM , Rating: 1
It will be the future.

No drive, just a cheap card reader like what we use today.

Unlike BluRay, HD-DVD, DVD, etc...

The memory card gets upgrades (getting more capacity while cheaper to make), not the hardware (which the consumer electronics companies will not like so much since there isn't much to upgrade or enhance).

Hopefully, they won't make it ANY smaller than a CF-card (1" square) while NOT being a CD card because its connectors are old style) so that it has a proper label that is readable and not quite so easy to lose. Afterall, we can fit 16GB onto a Mico-SD card which is for cellphones, easy to lose, etc.

This would allow functionality of media players, people can pop-these into Personal media playrs as well as game consoles and dedicated players.. or even the TV themselves. Because you can fit the decoders and reader into a small space, we may see the card-reader as a standard on ALL TVs... no cables! Other than optical OUT to a stereo sound system.

Customer advantages?
By delphinus100 on 9/26/2010 8:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
"There are some legitimate advantages to consumers with this approach. Digital downloads can be quickly obtained from home via online purchases and potentially can be easier to reinstall when you switch systems, depending on the seller's licensing agreements."

And how is this easier than simply putting a BluRay disk in a new player, instead of the previous one, when you switch that system?

Getting existing downloads with DRM to play nice on new hardware can be very...problematical. The disk doesn't care, as long as the device it's in is HDCP compliant.

As noted, some people live under a monthly data cap, more of us eventually might. And there's still the simple fact that some people just do not have (or cannot get) broadband (or any) Internet access.

RE: Customer advantages?
By Lerianis on 9/27/2010 2:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, it can, but to play Devil's Advocate here, that is a problem in the DESIGN of the DRM. I.E. that it is locked to ONE COMPUTER instead of ONE ACCOUNT that you log into on another website.

Steam got around that problem by allowing you to install your games on AS MANY PC'S AS YOU WANT, as long as the person in question has your account info.

If they see say..... more than 100 installs in a day, then they know that your account has been compromised or you allowed it to be compromised, and they can block the account.

Personally, I hate DRM and think it should be made illegal, because it only punishes the actual LEGAL buyers of things.

By astralsolace on 9/23/2010 10:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
The people that drove initial Blu-ray adoption are the high-end enthusiasts who value image quality over convenience. People who do research and commit large amounts of money into recreating a high-quality movie experience at home.

Netflix/etc are awesome, and practical, for the average movie watcher. But there's definitely a demand for the upper end quality content, which we're just not seeing digitally (at least, streaming) quite yet.

That much larger, average, demographic will eventually fuel digital downloads essentially taking over the market, but I doubt it'll be any time soon.

By borismkv on 9/23/2010 11:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
This is not a repeat of 2007.

By The Insolent One on 9/23/2010 2:42:05 PM , Rating: 2
When was the last time that a "prediction", any prediction of Microsoft's has come true?

The fact is their crystal ball is the size and color of an 8 ball. Probably the worst in the entire industry.

The only things that keep Microsoft even remotely relevant are as follows:

<this is the end of the list>
<no really, there's nothing else here to see>
<move along>

By justsomeone on 9/23/2010 3:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
I absolutely loathe that most downloads/on-demand rentals only allow 24 hours from the time you hit play until the download expires!!! That at times is the deciding factor for me if I know I don't have two full evenings to watch the movie. Why can't they simply add 12 hours? I can go rent the disk for 3-5 days for about the same price.

Besides that, I like having both Bluray and digital downloads for different reasons. If it's an action movie, I'm likely to either just buy or rent on Bluray for the extra quality. A comedy or drama with lower expected entertainment value I don't mind downloading.

My $.02

downloads look like poo
By noonie on 9/23/2010 4:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
I was hoping that with 7M service that streaming content would look and sound better, it doesn't. I've been mislead again by the folks in Redmond. Fortunately I'm paying about $30 less a month for the faster service than I was for the slower 1M service.

As far as I'm concerned Blu-Ray looks and sound fantastic and streaming contend only looks about as good as up-converted standard def. So for old standard def TV shows Netflix streaming is fine but for new HD TV shows or movies it's got to be Blu-Ray for me.

Wake up Microsoft, just because you've been able to convince your suck up employees that downloads look and sound great doesn't mean you can convince everyone else. Consumers: beware of the Microsoft cool-aid and any other "beverage" that comes from that Redmond company, bad isn't good enough for this consumer.

Microsoft is missing out
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/23/2010 10:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
Physical media is, at this time, more convenient since everyone does not have the fastest internet connection (at least in the USA). Right now, if I were to download the movie I would expect (quality measurement) from a Blu-Ray it would take me roughly 2 and a half days at the best, or I could go to Wal-Mart and have it in 15 minutes. My cost would probably be the same price and I wouldn't have to eat up HDD space.

Hopefully within the next couple of years, we will get 3D games and that will drive my point even further.

Until Internet 2.0...
By JonnyDough on 9/24/2010 1:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
Until they roll out the new internet and/or upgrade our current infrastructure or at the very least band together and get rid of spam I really don't see cloud computing even taking off. The net is still too slow, at in the United States. :(

By Zingam on 9/24/2010 1:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
Guys, Microsoft are right! Long live digital downloads and The Pirate Bay!!!!

And where do we put all this?
By Golgatha on 9/24/2010 9:25:31 AM , Rating: 2
With a $100 250GB hard drive I can fit exactly 5-6 full Bluray quality movies on my XBox 360. I suppose 1TB external USB drives will work, but I'm still looking at 20-25 movies tops for each $100 HDD, so it costs me $4-5 dollars in hardware just to store the things and $8-10 if I want a backup (assuming they would even allow backups to be made).

They are right!
By stm1185 on 9/26/2010 3:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Just think of things in True or False:

The vast majority of TV and Movie watching is done without Surround Sound.

The average consumer cares about the quality difference between a 1080p quicktime movie that can stream instantly and a bluray disc.

People like to drive out to bestbuy and find the movie, wait in line, pay the cashier, and then drive back.

People can access any movie they want instantly from the cloud, but are paranoid and must have a physical local copy.

Broadband speed is increasing. Data is Data. Quality increase is only a matter of more bandwidth.

Dear Microsoft:
By vapore0n on 9/27/2010 10:29:30 AM , Rating: 2
Get with the program and put out native Bluray support for Windows Media Center. Digital downloads will not replace anything for the next 20 years.Because that is how long I expect the US to catch up to the broadband speed of places like Japan.

Its ridiculous how stubborn you sometimes are. This is why other companies are starting to catch up and even beat you in your own game.

Death of Blu-Ray
By Prodriver096 on 9/27/2010 11:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
I remember years back of Bill Gates predicting the death of Apple. I think MS will die before Blu-Ray, along with ever larger hard discs and catastrophic drive failures.

I agree
By Renski on 9/28/2010 4:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
I do believe that digital will eventually be the direction we are all heading to. A digital library where we will have the rights to watch the purchased movie anytime you want through our broadband connection. I jumped on the HD bandwagon early on and was quickly disappointed with the quick death of HDDVD and the limited HD selection of BluRay. In addition, I felt the pricing was to steep in comparison to the DVD title. Why would I shell out $35 over a HD movie when I can get a $15 dvd and watch it upscaled?

Nowadays, it's streaming on the web/Netflix. Much cheaper than spending $15-40 a week on the latest movie.

By cjohnson2136 on 9/29/2010 3:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I have not read all the comments but I have a read a good porition and why is everyone talking about streaming and "what if media goes down" It is called digital download meaning you download it to your PC, PS3, or XBOX, or whatever and you own it. It would be the same thing if you look inside your Blu-ray or DVD cases today and see a digtial download thing for you. You would still own your movie. Companys would just have to keep the download media working. And what if it does go down for a day, boo-who you cant download a movie that day just watch some other movie. They are not talking about streaming videos to you like Netflix has their movie streaming ability.

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