Blu-ray 0, SDHC card 1, THX Chief Scientist predicts
In-store downloads, not discs, the future
Blu-ray Disc will never win mass appeal - we'll all be buying out HD movies on Flash cards instead. That, at least, is the verdict of THX Chief Scientist Laurie Fincham.
Fincham's comments come by way of UK magazine Home Cinema Choice, relayed by website DVD Town. Says Fincham: "I think it's too late for Blu-ray. I think consumers will only become interested in replacing DVD when HD movies becomes available on flash memory.
"By the time Blu-ray really finds a mass market, we will have 128GB cards," he says. "I would guess that getting studios to supply movies on media cards, or offer downloads, will be a lot easier than getting them to sign up to support a disc format.
"In the future I want to be able to carry four to five movies around with me in a wallet, or walk into a store and have someone copy me a movie to a USB device," Fincham forecasts. "Stores will like that idea, because it's all about having zero inventory. I don't want to take up shelf space with dozens of HD movies."
Fincham's words echo those of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who this year said the future lies in downloads rather than physical media. Jobs has a reason to play down formats like Blu-ray: he sells downloads. But Fincham comes from the other end of the chain, the content producers, so his words perhaps carry more weight.
Of course, pundits have been forecasting in-store digital data transfers for years, first to CD then to solid-state media. As yet it's never taken off, largely because the process requires a computer to get content off the memory card and onto the TV. To make Fincham's vision reality, you need plenty of set-top boxes with suitable memory card slots and/or USB ports, in-store data transfer stations and the infrastructure to feed them with user-selectable content.
The infrastructure's there, but as yet the first two elements are conspicuous by their absence. Not so Blu-ray discs and players, so maybe the format does have some time to capture the public's imagination.
This week, market watcher Strategy Analytics forecast boom times for Blu-ray now that rival format HD DVD is effectively dead.
Dont think sony would mind too much, as long as its on memory stick pro duo or something they can flog, a lot of those Ps3's they sold can take flash and play straight off it. I'm sure a patch for some DRM would be right up their alley too.
Downloads are the future
i really don't understand why people are so download negative.
The internet became a massive success when people where using dial up.
Broadband spawned multimedia services such as youtube & itunes because end users now had sufficient bandwidth to view the content without waiting an eternity.
Just look at the huge me too investments by MS, Amazon & Walmart for online music and video sales/rentals for proof that the internet as a delivery medium is viable. You have to accept that services delivered over the internet will continue to evolve and meet or change peoples expectations of product/service delivery. in the days of dial up, downloading music from the internet was mainly for pirates and enthusiasts, in today's broadband era its now a multi billion dollar industry! Again pirates and enthusiasts are leading the way with downloading tv shows & movies in both standard and high definition formats, but now the likes of apple, MS and others are providing those services too. When they solve the complexity of showing that downloaded movie on the TV to be as simple and familiar as putting a disk/tape in the dvd/video player, the days of physical media will be over.
Right place this time
Meant to post this here, put it under the article about the hd-dvd group dissolving instead!
Optical media will always be my choice while it is available
Personally, I don't want to have to be reliant on my ISP working as it should, every route between me and hollywoods servers being super efficient and not being cut off should a ship accidentally cut the transatlantic cable so I will never go download only. I would take a flash based system for rental only, but I like having a disk that will still be the same in 10 years time without worrying about having to back it up, transfer it to a new faster memory type as my old one gets made obsolete, doesn't require me to delete things from it because it ran out of space, will never suddenly die on me with no warning, does not have a limited lifespan of read/writes as it will never be written to, I can drop it in a big pool of water without damaging it, will still play with some scratches even though it may stutter in places. Try dropping flash memory in water and see how robust it is or put a big scratch on the contact pins and watch as it is never recognised as a device again. If I buy a film it is because I want a physical product, mine to keep and watch whenever I like, take to a friends, give to someone else if I choose, not to restrict the number of times I can watch it, how long I can keep it, what brand device I can watch it on. Somebody above said about HMV allowing you to put the film back on if you lose it, what if they go out of business, who do I get my legitmately purchased film from then? What if I cannot prove I bought it unless you are happy with retailers keeping your personal shopping list for your entire life. Flash takes away far more than it gives
Isn't there a new high speed internet researchers have? When do I get that?
Once that new high speed internet it out, we'll download HD movies no problem.
Where's Al Gore when you need him? Lay some cable Al!
Another way ??
Current talk is that the BBC iPlayer might make UK broadband ISP's lose loadsa money, due to the number of people "watching online" - so, one option is for the BBC (and others I guess) to install "proxy" servers, so that specific "programs" can be dumped onto ISP's local networks just the once, and then users stream from the local ISP "server"...
Taking this to the next level, one would assume that each ADSL-enabled telephone exchange could have multiple "industrial strength media servers" which act as "repositories" for all the BBC (and other TV channels) "watch again" content. This would further reduce the problem of high bandwidth "streaming" from a limited number of source servers...
They could then act as "storage space" for other material....so, they'd be no need for any users to buy any "media", coz it could all be streamed directly to your home from these "caches".....
Thinking about this...doesn't Google now have hundreds of server farms dotted around the globe???? Maybe they can be used for media as well as indexes ??