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Blu-ray vs. digital downloads: The future belongs to Blu-ray

The high definition format war appears to be over. Blu-ray has won, HD DVD is finished. Toshiba can deny it as much as it wants, but the cold hard facts don't lie.

And so now that the war between HD DVD and Blu-ray seems to be drawing to a close, a debate which had remained dormant for some months has again reared its controversial head. Some people say that Blu-ray's victory is meaningless. They say that digital downloads are the future. And that optical disc formats are old hat.

This James Rivington from Tech.co.uk doesn't buy. At least, not yet he doesn't.

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Vip3r3281d ago

I'd prefer my films on disk thanks. That way you can watch it in other rooms and you would loose everything when your HDD dies.

coolfool3281d ago

besides most hard drives today are still pretty much old tech so that means magnetic disks. Which of course degrade. The beauty of optical disk, assuming you look after it, is that it could last forever. You will still be able to crack open the old blu ray disc and watch it on your lastest player (assuming the trend of backwards compatibility between formats continues).

To get round that you could keep changing you films from the old hard drive to a new one but who would want to waste time, effort and money doing that?!?

Jebissaveme3281d ago Show
marinelife93281d ago

Optical disks will be around for awhile.

1. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disk are in 1080P downloadable services are in 720P. They also don't have the robust audio information that Hi Def disk carry.

2. The length of time it would take to download a hi-def movie is a big deterrent because of the bandwidth reservations in the US. If Time Warner cable is already trying to limit bandwidth consumption what future does down loadable movies have?

3. Hard drives aren't portable. If I want to take a new movie I just watched to my parents or in laws I throw it in a sleeve and go. If the digital copy was only on my hard drive I would have to re-purchase for them or bring the entire drive.

whengeeksgobad3281d ago (Edited 3281d ago )

I get way more scratched DVD's than I get failing HDD's, and it's not like I mistreat them. Just like most people download their music now, I believe movies can be just as successful in the downloadable content market.

I do agree though, optical disks will be around for a while, but I don't necessarily believe opticals are any more durable, just easier to lose one optical disc than a whole HDD full of movies (for some).

Sure the potential for the data to last forever is certainly there, but my experience has been that the more a disc gets watched/viewed the more likely it is to scratch and stop working. As drives get cheaper and larger, it will be more difficult to justify buying 1 HD movie for $30.00 when I can purchase an external HDD for 4 times that, and put 70 movies on it. No exaggeration there, I'm already using a 500GB mybook (62 movies and 50gb~ free) that I'm transitioning over to a 1TB. At those price points, I'll take my chances with the HDD. I realize its not for everyone but I know how to backup and migrate data and that knowledge coupled with both a ps3 and a 360, it makes it really easy for me. As far as picture quality on these go - they look far better than comcasts broadcast HD ondemand or their straight HD feeds, and *nearly* (but not quite) as good as content on HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

WilliamRLBaker3281d ago

losing every thing when your blu ray dies....? lol thats not a reason to not use digital downloads because infact blu rays are not impervious...

THUNDERMARE3281d ago

Just to let you know that Blu-ray disk has anti scratch coat on, which makes it much more durable than DVD. Not that I disagree with you opinion, I'm just saying.

And Willian
What on earth are you talking about? what's the reason that will makes Blu-ray die? HD-DVD??

Wereturd3281d ago

whengeeksgobad: I have watched 100s of DVDs and never had one so scratched it did not worked. What are you doing to them, leaving them out of the boxes/using them as coffee coasters?

rawg3281d ago

Digital downloads might replace rentals for me but there are some movies that I will want in my personal collections. Those I'll buy on Bluray.

BrianC62343281d ago

One important point he didn't make is downloads will take up bandwidth which I wouldn't be surprised to see be more limited in the future. Will your broadband company allow you to keep downloading Gigs of data over their network? I keep reading about some of them trying to limit how much people can download. This will just add to that. If you're a gamer and download a lot of movies then be ready to pay a lot mre in the future.

zambrota3281d ago

take a series like LOST for instance. It might take up multiple Blu Ray discs.

You might need 100gig -- 200 gig of space. In order to store that on HDD you might need 1 FULL HDD.

Plus consider the time which is taken to download that. 3/4/7 days . Blu Ray will win this no doubt.

I expect some form of MODIFIED HOLGRAPHIC DD in the future which could replace physical media in 2015 for instance.

But the big question is would people give up their preference for PHYSICAL DISC over DD??

we will find out but in 2015

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 3281d ago
BubblesDAVERAGE3281d ago

I agree with you guy....if you lose your HDD you lose everything...and with these caps they want to put on the internet it will make it near impossible...I want to fight internet caps personally...bit DD will not be as main stream as people want to belive

sonarus3281d ago

blu ray is here to stay. Sure digital downloads will get adopted but it won't be an easy transition thus it will take time and it will require a unanimous push by all hollywood studios. HI-def movies and i mean true hi def movies not compressed take up to 20GB by that with 5 movies you are already at 100GB how many movies will 1 hard drive hold. Do you want to be running around with numerous hard drives struggling to connect it to your tv. That is all to messy so at least till they have a better way of doing things blu ray is here to stay.

DTClown3281d ago

not EVERYONE had internet connectivity. Loads of people still have dial up also. I for one want a physical disc that I own to watch in ANY of my rooms in my house, friends house, in the car for the kids, or to even loan to a friend. DD doesn't do that. period.

DD is for people who currently watch movies on their PC's. That's a very SMALL percentage. DD is a nice service to compliment the hard copy, but not replace it.

Salvadore3281d ago

As both of them previously mentioned, people don't have access to highspeed bandwith and I think people prefer movies in physical form.

Arkham3281d ago (Edited 3281d ago )

With the last reported average US download speed being sub 1mb/s (~800kbps), digital downloads don't have any chance of replacing disc-based media distributions anytime soon. Hopefully fibre connections will proliferate faster than expected, but until then digital downloads will be only be a casual alternative to purchasing full HD media.

You can't reasonably expect a 1080p (or high-quality 720p) distribution to come any where near the sales numbers of a disc-based release anytime soon.

DD is best for music, shorter programs, and casual movie watching. Portable devices will be the driving force behind it's short-term success, and that's going to be very important to developing both DD's future infrastructure and popularity.

DD might be the Future, but it's neither the Now nor Soon.

Vip3r3281d ago

The US has a average speed of 1mb/s? Wow, I though they had super fast lines. I know mainland Europe has very fast internet connections and that the UK is the complete opposite.

Arkham3281d ago

The US does have super-fast lines, and Sprint (I think it's them...) offers a great all-inclusive fibre package, but there is nowhere near the penetration needed for DD to make any noticeable impact.

CORRECTION TO MY PREVIOUS POST:

I was out of date... the under 1mbps average was way out of date. As of last summer the average was ~2mbps, or 4, depending on which survey/report you look at. Sorry about that.

Still, it's far less than Canada's 7-8mbps.

v1c1ous3281d ago

they do not want to classify broadband as 2 MB and up.

they want to keep 728k as the minimum speed for broadband to make it seem like broadband penetration is going fine in the country in charts and graphs.

plus they keep bending over for telcos, so when download limitations become the norm (not a matter of if, but when), digital downloads will take a hit in the gut.

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