Blu-ray Disc a 'bag of hurt', says Jobs
Licensing a pain, consumers don't want it
Want a Mac with a built-in Blu-ray Disc drive? You're in for a long wait - Apple's waiting until the technology becomes more firmly established with consumers.
Speaking at the launch of Apple's new notebooks yesterday, CEO Steve Jobs described Blu-ray as "just a bag of hurt" - this despite the company's membership of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).
Jobs admitted the optical disc format is "great to watch the movies" but, he added, "the licensing of the tech is so complex".
His strategy, then: "We're waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace."
In short, when there's a demand for it, we'll supply it.
Jobs has already questioned the need for new optical disc formats, saying he believes people will be keener on download and/or streaming offerings.
Indeed, Jobs' lieutenant, Phil Schiller, was quick to say that iTunes is Apple's HD content platform.
So, Jobs' comments are not those of a disinterested party.
But is he right? Certainly here in the UK, Blu-ray isn't exactly flying off the shelves. With the defeat of HD DVD, you'd have thought more consumer electronics companies would have leapt in to back the victor. Not so. Sony and Samsung both have players out, as do Sharp, Panasonic, Pioneer and Yamaha, but there are plenty of other big names out there who don't.
Maybe they will, but it's clear they don't anticipate big consumer demand in the coming Christmas sales period. Some laptops come with BD drives, but only as optional extras or in top-of-the-range SKUs.
Ironically, the demise of HD DVD has eliminated the drama that was largely responsible for bringing the technology to the attention of consumers. Without it, interest has waned.
The BDA argues that independent research - from Futuresource, a company that under its previous guise, Understanding and Solutions, was very pro Blu-ray - shows the format's uptake is ramping up at a rate faster than DVD managed.
Again, maybe it is, but it'll still be some years before Blu-ray truly goes mainstream, giving broadband time to evolve and fill the bandwidth gap needed for decent downloads. In some countries- France, for instance - it's arguable already there.
Looks like Jobs could be right to wait. It'll be easy enough to add drives when it's clear that punters want them.
I want a writer damn it
I don't want a blu-ray player in my mac so I can't watch movies. What loser watches movies on their desktop. I want a Blu-Ray recorder so I can archive off my raw video, 50GB at a time. Maybe then I can free up some space on my HDD.
In other words Steve, don't look to your 'joe iTunes user' market for thoughts on Blu-Ray. Look instead to the creative media users for thoughts. You know - the people who have propped you up all these years? We want a recorder.
"for films like transformers there is a massive difference over the dvd!"
Transformers? Is that really the best argument that you can come up with in favour of spending a pretty significant wad of cash to upgrade? A movie that was released 15 months ago?
I could spend a tenner going to see it in the theatre, or a grand to see it properly" at home.
Amazon.com shows 20 Blue ray releases scheduled for the week or October 7th, 31 for the week of October 14th, 32 for the week of October 21st, and 33 for the week of October 28th.
DVD? 593, 450, 344 and 515 for the same 4 weeks.
That's 116 BRD releases versus 1902 DVD releases. And the ratio of utter shite is probably not that much different in either format (at least if Transformers is being held up as the epitome of BRD quality).
The real question is though...
...other than the couple of Mac users in here that have directly commented on their own wants and needs, does any REALLY care if BR drives come to Macs any time soon?
It wasn't a shitty comment either, but a genuine question. The comments have gone way way off point as normal so I thought I'd bring it back to the article. We know by a large it is because Jobs want to cut a market off that is a rival to Apple HD downloads but in the end...
... as with the ranting comments and rumours about a 360 BR drives, does anyone REALLY, TRULY give a toss about BR coming to Macs or not?
its not price, people feel they don't need it
Here in thailand shops have problems unselling blue-ray players to people buying £1000 46"+ displays! and thats with hooky blue-ray disks costing £3 each.
All this security doesn't seem to have stopped commercial piracy of blue-ray disks; and I find DVD DRM enough hassle when it comes to doing reasonable things like playing videos on my PDA and laptop; why would I want to make things harder with blue-ray
Tru Blu fan
I have a 100+ Blu-rays a mixture of region A & B which I used to play on my PS3.
I just recently bought a Sony stand alone player for £250 from the Sony shop which I thought was bargain as I originally paid £500 pound for my first DVD player when they were first released.
People forget that dvd's cost £20+ when they were first released and I have never paid more than £14 any of the Blu-rays I have. The only place that sells disc for £25 is HMV or that strange Zavi shop.
Downloading films from the net is not a option for me as I can only get a 2mb connection in my area and I also like having the option of lending my disc to friends and family.