Blockbuster OnDemand coming to a Blu-ray player near you
Not just set-top boxes
Blockbuster will start integrating its OnDemand film download-to-rent service into Blu-ray players from early next year, the firm’s Chairman has revealed.
The company unveiled a set-top box for its OnDemand rental service last week, but company Chairman Jim Keyes has since told website E-Commerce Times that “by the first quarter of next year” it will put “the same capability into a Blu-ray player”.
Essentially, if you’re an HD hungry film fan then you’ll be able to rent HD quality films from Blockbuster directly through your Blu-ray Disc machine. Keyes didn’t reveal whether it’ll launch its own Blu-ray player or if it’ll build the service into another manufacturer’s machine.
It’s worth noting that Blockbuster won’t be the first company to integrate access to an HD movie rental service into a Blu-ray player. Samsung announced in October that its BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 Blu-ray models can now stream movies from Netflix.
Keyes admitted that bandwidth could prove a problem for customers, but claimed that it’s possible do download HD content “if you’re willing to wait the extra download time”.
How much data?
Is anybody forgetting that most (all?) consumer Internet access have monthly download limits? And at 10 or 50 Gb depending on which of the above you believe, that's going to trip the limit at anything between less than one, and four or five downloads.
..it's highly unlikely to be 50Gb in size, it'll be compressed in some way, a 1080p compression using h.264 will come down to around 10Gb for your "typical" film... and if you've got a fast broadband connection (like Be for instance) then this will come down in less than 90 minutes
Shame all of this is US only :(
Re: 50gb, throttling and flash cards
50gb - Like BR generally takes a whole 50gb for just the movie (long ass stuff like LOTR excepted). Besides, there will be initially some compromise to compress down to acceptable sizes. As a hint of what's to come, just take a look at the Beeb's beta "HQ" streamed content on iPlayer. Yes not High Def, and not flawless, but on our currently slow broadband it's quite amazing for such a low bandwidth. Then think how fast net speeds have increased in just 10 years. Project forward, improve compression, and ignore the small minority of people who are *that* fussed about true HD quality (yes sucks for us, but the majority couldn't give a rats)... and there you have it.
Throttling - ISP + deal with relevant movie company / blockbuster-like-outfit = QoS priority for streamed content. Problem solved, especially as the money will pay for bigger pipes dedicated to it. ISPs are generally only concerned about things outside of their control that consume resources without financial compensation. Add money and Hollywood to the mix, and the problem goes away.
Flash cards - definitely another potential way forward. Think a few years from now: credit cards with 100s of gigs of flash. Pop into Tesco, pay for your goods at the till and pick movie while you're at it onto your card. Stick the card into a reader connected to your TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, fridge, whatever, and play. All DRM'd (keeping Hollywood happy) and portable because it's just all on a little bit of plastic in your wallet! Want on-demand or overnight downloads? An extra card in your TV (complete with credit card details for purchase), pick what you want to watch, and off it goes.
Optical? Limited formats. Expensive to distribute.
History has shown that convenience over quality wins in the mass market. It's the same with music, and even the same with food.
Unless you live miles from a Blockbuster..
surely it will be quicker just to pop in, and get the blu-ray disc, won't it?
As far as I am concerned...
The future is with write-once SD cards or USB keys. Package the suckers into plastic boxes the size of old slim-line audio cassette cases.