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ManuCH
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BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:24 am

Some of you may have seen the following thread:

This Is Why I Will Never Buy An Apple Computer (by Birdwatching Feb 18 2010 in Non Aviation)

After a lengthy discussion about "Mac vs PC" (which is somewhat like Boeing vs Airbus, but without the wings), it has turned into a debate about whether BluRay discs are indeed a useful feature to have in a computer or not.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 261):
Lack of BD on Macs is very serious. I won't even consider to buy one before Apple adds BD support in their machines.
Quoting Klaus (Reply 262):
Optical BluRay disks like any physical media are outdated transitional technologies even today, with a clearly limited lifespan as a technology. The sooner we're rid of plastic garbage just to use some data (and not even being able to make backups!) the better.
Please do not turn this into another Mac vs PC thread. I would like it to be a carefully thought debate about whether BluRay discs will have a future, or if they will be soon superseded by online downloads.

Personally, I don't know one person who owns a dedicated BluRay player, expect those playing with a PlayStation. I don't have one myself. I haven't bought a DVD in years, and my only movie source is iTunes (or TV broadcast).

How about you? Do you actually purchase BluRay discs? Do you watch them on TV, or at your computer?
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Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:38 am

I rarely buy DVDs or downloads, no BluRays thus far. Music I buy exclusively via download nowadays.

In general I expect that BluRay will at some point eclipse DVD sales, but they will probably never reach the same numbers DVDs had at their peak.

Long-term I see a progressive shift towards downloads, especially once the DRM problems are sorted out (which is one of the reasons why BluRay will not reach the same level as DVD before) and with internet bandwidths further increasing.

Downloads avoid a lot of wasted physical resources (transport, manufacturing of physical disks, packaging etc.), can be backed up (DRM allowing) and are much more convenient and flexible to use.

Audio downloads only started to really take off once DRM was dropped. The circumstances about video (movies and TV series) will remain different to some degree, but essential similarities remain. A large part of the failure or success of downloads in the market hinges on what the studios / broadcasters will allow.

Selling physical media is an outmoded concept, however, and is on its way out, even if BluRay will somewhat delay its demise on the HD video front.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:51 am

I'd say downloads, but don't forget they use up huge amounts of internet bandwidth as well. The apple store here sells movies for $25..for that price you can get most movies on DVD..some even on Blu-ray. At the moment..most of my stuff is downloaded, but for things like TV series I'd still get the blu-ray.
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:06 am

It all depends on the image and sound quality you're after.

If you absolutely need HD (1020p), then BD is the way to go for now. Otherwise you can download, but the quality will be lower.

Full DVD quality means a file about 4 Gb. More compressed formats return files of around 1.5 Gb, or even down to 700 Mb, by which time you have really lost a lot in image quality and the compression algorithm shows.

I don't know how big a full BD format movie file would be, but I believe so big that it would be impractical to download it these days.

As bandwidth increases, so will the size of files we can practically download, and movies in higher definition formats will become easier to get online.

The same goes for audio files, by the way.
When buying a song online, you pay slightly less than the average price of a CD song, but you download an MP3 file of much lower sound quality than those found on a CD. ( abround 5 Mb vs. 30 or 40 Mb on a CD)
Which is why it is funny when people go and spend fortunes on high quality audio hardware to listen to grossly compressed digital formats... (same goes for video)
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afterburner
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:48 am

Compact disc is a 30-years-old technology but most music sales are still in the form of CD. I believe physical media will stay for at least several years.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:36 am

I have a Sony home entertainment system with HDTV and Sony Bluray. Very pleased with the results and Im currently collecting the James Bond Bluray discs. They have come down alot in price and places like Amazon and ASDA sell them for around £10. I still think the majority of families and everyday people still want discs rather than downloads.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:40 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
The same goes for audio files, by the way.
When buying a song online, you pay slightly less than the average price of a CD song, but you download an MP3 file of much lower sound quality than those found on a CD. ( abround 5 Mb vs. 30 or 40 Mb on a CD)
Which is why it is funny when people go and spend fortunes on high quality audio hardware to listen to grossly compressed digital formats... (same goes for video)

Well, when buying MP3 at a good source, the sampling rate is >= 256 kBit/s, which equals a file size 7-10 MB for a normal song.

I think that studies show that it is next to impossible to detect quality differences above a sampling rate of about 200 kBit/s.

But then, on the other hand, some audiophiles claim that they can hear a difference between 10 $ vs. 100 $ cables.

Back to the topic: I believe that online pay per view will be the future standard for movies, and that Blue Ray discs (or whatever physical format) will be reserved for afficionados or for presents etc.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:53 am

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 6):
But then, on the other hand, some audiophiles claim that they can hear a difference between 10 $ vs. 100 $ cables.

I believe they actually can't. I still have to see a double-blind placebo study with $10 vs $100 cables where the audiophile can nail which cable is in use, if everything else remains equal.

Quoting afterburner (Reply 4):
Compact disc is a 30-years-old technology but most music sales are still in the form of CD. I believe physical media will stay for at least several years.

I think that's true for non-tech-savvy people or for aficionados. But will these same people buy BluRay movies? Or will they continue buying regular DVDs for the next 20 years, because "oh well, we don't need all this HD stuff"?
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racko
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:30 pm

If you have seen the the quality of BD compared to a DVD on a big HD screen you don't want to go back.

And since today very few people have really high-speed broadband lines to actually use downloads in that quality and the studios are unwilling to provide movies without DRM I think the BD will gain a lot of momentum. With a BD you at least own the movie and don't depend on the servers of some company to allow you to use your product.

And I have my doubts that the movies studios will come to their senses anytime soon. Remember, it wasn't until Amazon MP3 (in December 2008!) that a shop came along which didn't use DRM at all. So it took them a full decade to realize that it was a good idea to provide their paying customers with a product that at least isn't worse than what they can get at the P2P-network one click away.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:37 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 9):
If you have seen the the quality of BD compared to a DVD on a big HD screen you don't want to go back.

      I certainly notice the difference when going back to non BD . Also BBC HD on the Freesat box is amazing especially for nature programs etc..
 
afterburner
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:22 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 7):
But will these same people buy BluRay movies? Or will they continue buying regular DVDs for the next 20 years, because "oh well, we don't need all this HD stuff"?

I was talking about physical versus online media. Regular DVD will certainly be obsolete and Blu-ray will be the standard format. Some people will still buy movies (and musics) in physical media even after very high speed internet connections have been ubiquitous and cheap.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:28 pm

Quoting afterburner (Reply 10):
I was talking about physical versus online media. Regular DVD will certainly be obsolete and Blu-ray will be the standard format. Some people will still buy movies (and musics) in physical media even after very high speed internet connections have been ubiquitous and cheap.

Maybe I should re-word my thought: could it be that there will be 2 groups of people as follows?
1. people who have always bought CDs and DVDs, and will continue doing so, not caring about either HD or online downloads
2. people who love the HD revolution, and who don't really care about the physical media, thus switching to online downloads

In other words, I think the more future-oriented people are now going for BluRay but will switch to online downloads soon (bandwidth permitting), and the less tech-savvy and less future-oriented people will stick with the old formats for decades to come.

Does it make sense?
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:39 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):
In other words, I think the more future-oriented people are now going for BluRay but will switch to online downloads soon (bandwidth permitting), and the less tech-savvy and less future-oriented people will stick with the old formats for decades to come.

I don't think that's necessarily the split line, if such a line can even be defined.

I expect for the users it will primarily depend on prices, availability, quality levels and convenience.

And over time emerging usage trends can influence availability of titles on one or the other distribution mode.

I personally would expect the studios over the course of quite a few years getting dragged towards online distribution with just relatively benign DRM (if any), but there will be lots of kicking and screaming on the way. Just compare to the development of the music market, just bigger and with (even) more drama...   
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:47 pm

I don't believe that most people are ready for using downlad as an option. They will see it as too complicated even if its not... for that reason, I think that blu-ray will win against download for many years to come.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:50 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):
Maybe I should re-word my thought: could it be that there will be 2 groups of people as follows?
1. people who have always bought CDs and DVDs, and will continue doing so, not caring about either HD or online downloads
2. people who love the HD revolution, and who don't really care about the physical media, thus switching to online downloads

I suspect that within a few years, I and a few others of my ilk, will be sending DVD records of images of samples and for a group of samples, a Blue Ray disk might well be more convenient.

I cannot see my ISP allowing me to upload an 8 Gig file any time soon. Yes I know there are other ways, but our broadband is still ridiculously slow. Meanwhile, the Post Office works quite well!!  Wow!
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:16 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):
Maybe I should re-word my thought: could it be that there will be 2 groups of people as follows?
1. people who have always bought CDs and DVDs, and will continue doing so, not caring about either HD or online downloads
2. people who love the HD revolution, and who don't really care about the physical media, thus switching to online downloads.

We should differentiate video format and media format. Regardless of the media, in the near future all movies will be sold in HD. People with high speed broadband connection can choose to see a movie pay-per-view or downloading it to their hard drives. For some others who don't/can't have a fast broadband connection, will choose Blu-ray or any other physical media format available to them.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:21 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
I would like it to be a carefully thought debate about whether BluRay discs will have a future, or if they will be soon superseded by online downloads.

If current trends continue, everything eventually will be coming to us on line. Regardless, and no matter where one stands on this issue, the technology and standards are changing so quickly that I think the revenue stream is shifting from being hardware manufacturing-centric to distribution-centric, a la downloads. Personally, I will never invest a lot in physical media if I can avoid it for this very reason. If I end up with a BD player, it will only be because someone gives it to me or it happens to come with a PC that I purchase. Otherwise, I'm not inclined to go out and buy a player as I'm not about to buy any of the discs for the player. As for DVDs, when I play them, which is very rarely, I play them off of a dedicated PC that I've set up as a media entertainment center in my home. But I haven't purchased a DVD movie in over a year. If I watch a movie these days, it is typically streamed or sent to me in the mail as a rental, courtesy of Netflix. I just don't see a future in "owning" entertainment in a plastic format. This trend is, IMO, emblematic of all information and not just entertainment. Hence the explosion in "cloud" computing in recent years.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):
In other words, I think the more future-oriented people are now going for BluRay but will switch to online downloads soon (bandwidth permitting), and the less tech-savvy and less future-oriented people will stick with the old formats for decades to come.

True, but only to the point where the manufacturers decide there's no profits to be had in catering to those "less tech-savvy and less future-oriented" people. I think they (the manufacturers) will pull the plug on those old formats in just a few years time, not decades.
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racko
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:47 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 17):
I play them off of a dedicated PC that I've set up as a media entertainment center in my home

This is gonna be the future anyway. Sony is already trying to do something like this, Popcorn Hour (and dozen of clones), many people have built or bought HTPCs etc. - even today you you can have movies and tv series organized and presented by the systems thanks to databases in the internet. If you record e.g. an episode of Lost and name it Lost.S01E10 the system knows you have the 10th episode of the first season and downloads descriptions, artwork, etc. - it doesn't get more comfortable, see this: http://www.castle-grounds.co.uk/htpc/images/stream-tv-24.jpg

Same works for movies: http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/at...available-moving-pictures-list.jpg

It's just that as long as they stick to their own walled gardens instead of using open standards they'll fail and people will rather buy it on physical media (or download it illegally) than being tied to one system and the goodwill of the companies running it. Freedom will win, as it always does.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):

I cannot see my ISP allowing me to upload an 8 Gig file any time soon. Yes I know there are other ways, but our broadband is still ridiculously slow. Meanwhile, the Post Office works quite well!!

Yes, we would have to see an increase at least one order of magnitude in the speed of terrestial networks (not to speak of the present generation of wireless networks) before on-demand HD would be reality -- and if the present is of any predictive value by then people will have used up the capacity by some other nice stuff, and your flawless on-demand video will be back to somewhere near square one. If by some magic we could (or money could) establish deterministic public access networks (perhaps the contents creation companies could lobby towards that direction) the outlook would be different.

Meanwhile, as your BluRay player for the PC is in the range of EUR 83 (while regrettably not available for some other systems), and title availability is increasing, and at your corner store pretty much today, I see no reason for BluRay to fail -- although some would like it so.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:57 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 7):
But will these same people buy BluRay movies? Or will they continue buying regular DVDs for the next 20 years, because "oh well, we don't need all this HD stuff"?

Too many variables. Perhaps I am the odd man out but:

We got the PS3 a few years ago when it was new as it was the only 1080P player around.

But it was multi-functional in that it also serves as a digital photo frame (we can run photos and music on the TV mounted over the fireplace while we have company over.), it can played stored music, CDs, and DVDs as well as Blu Ray. This is wired into a LCD screen that sits above a fireplace and will stay with the home once we sell.

We never really buy Blu Rays or DVDs simply because we borrow them from the library (which is amassing a large collection) and hate acquiring more stuff. As for HD quality, if I am not mistaken, you can download HD quality direct from the SONY Playstation network although I have never done it. I have never gotten into online downloads or streaming as of yet simply because the need is not there.

Now, once we get into a new home, we are starting over so I may look at a new media server or simply keep my PS3. But I have to tell you....not once have we looked into online streaming/downloads for TV viewing...

Quoting racko (Reply 8):
If you have seen the the quality of BD compared to a DVD on a big HD screen you don't want to go back.

True. In fact, its been about 2 years since we went to the movies since BluRay. The Dark Knight was one of the most impressive films in 1080P. We may go see AVatar in 3d soon but....maybe not.
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OA260
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:14 pm

Here is a good comparison

 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:56 pm

I love my Blu-Ray player. My collection of Blu-Ray discs is rather small (four titles) as while some movies I love are on Blu-Ray, I see no real point on having them on Blu-Ray as well as regular DVD since they still play in the Blu-Ray player. Since my Blu-Ray player upscales DVDs to near HD quality, I see no need in replacing the DVD versions of most of my collection with the Blu-Ray versions. This isn't like when CDs came out and folks scrambled to replaced their vinyl collections with the CD version. I can still watch my DVD copies of "Casino" or "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" on my Blu-Ray player.

I can hook my Blu-Ray player to my cable modem and stream content from Netflix (I've been doing the online streaming from them for about a year now, even before I had my Blu-Ray player and even when I was still using DSL.) as well as CinemaNow and even stuff from YouTube.

Quoting racko (Reply 8):
If you have seen the the quality of BD compared to a DVD on a big HD screen you don't want to go back.

Very true.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 21):
Here is a good comparison

Bad comparison, as HD DVD is the Betamax of the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war.


In some cases, I think that the on-demand PPV option that cable and satellite providers offer if priced right, could be a real competitor to online streaming and downloading sites. I know I watch at least 2-3 things a week on mine, usually TV shows or a movie that is among the free offerings.
 
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OA260
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:04 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 22):
Bad comparison, as HD DVD is the Betamax of the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war.

Ok another example similar kind of difference

 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:07 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
I don't know how big a full BD format movie file would be, but I believe so big that it would be impractical to download it these days.

Anywhere from 35 to 50 GB, yes, GigaByte of data. Usually closer to 50GB. Compare that to the typical 9GB on a dual layer DVD you buy off the shelf for a regular quality movie.

Downloading these would be prohibitive. Especially since providers such as Comcast are known to limit you to 250GB a month. Thats about 5 movies.
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waterpolodan
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:21 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 7):
Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 6):
But then, on the other hand, some audiophiles claim that they can hear a difference between 10 $ vs. 100 $ cables.

I believe they actually can't. I still have to see a double-blind placebo study with $10 vs $100 cables where the audiophile can nail which cable is in use, if everything else remains equal.

I personally can't tell any difference above a certain level of quality, but my dad has worked in the super high end audio realm for 3 decades now and he certainly can hear a difference between the seemingly most inconsequential components. You mention cables, which any reasonable person would think should be the cheapest part of the equation and the least influential on overall sound quality. He's tried all sorts of lesser cables and eventually settled on these-
http://www.transparentcable.com/prod...duct.php?catID=1&recID=24&modCAT=1
... which are something like $8,000 a pop. Don't even ask how much he paid for the rest of his setup, suffice to say it's probably the most impressive audio setup that one can ever hope to hear. It's good enough that the only limiting factor in reproducing perfect sound is the quality of the recording used to make the CD, which he also does as a hobby (recording engineer for the local symphony) so usually it's flawless. All that said, I'd never pay more than maybe $500 total for a sound system, because the marginal returns above that price are minuscule for the average listener. I guess it's like cars... if I had the money, I wouldn't think twice about buying a Ferrari 430, while a used Honda for 1/100th the price will get you there more comfortably with more people and more luggage and better fuel mileage.

Anyway, back on topic- I get almost all my movies these days via torrent, and I tend to look for files that are in the 1-5 gig range as they have quality close to DVDs or sometimes better if it's a compressed bluray or HD broadcast. Not exactly legal, but I thought I'd want to buy a BR player at some point only to realize it was just too expensive, so downloads are the "way of the future" for me. If I were held against a wall and forced to pay, I'd probably choose having the physical disc rather than a download as I'm not always online and I like the instant access of a physical disc rather than waiting for a stream to buffer or a file to download.
 
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OA260
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:38 am

Are there any decent BluRay recorders on the European market yet?
 
Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:48 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 24):
Anywhere from 35 to 50 GB, yes, GigaByte of data. Usually closer to 50GB. Compare that to the typical 9GB on a dual layer DVD you buy off the shelf for a regular quality movie.

That comparison is invalid, since DVDs use a nowadays obsolete older compression format to remain compatible. With modern codecs as used on BluRay DVDs could be compressed to much smaller data sizes without losing resolution.

And 50GB is the normal capacity of a BluRay disc, not the actual size of the films (which are usually much smaller as far as I'm aware).

While mechanically rotating media usually employ constant data rate encoding, downloads don't need to adhere to such a limitation and can use adaptive data rate which can again improve total compression rates without visible artefacts, making the files smaller without loss of quality.

Quoting waterpolodan (Reply 25):
I personally can't tell any difference above a certain level of quality, but my dad has worked in the super high end audio realm for 3 decades now and he certainly can hear a difference between the seemingly most inconsequential components.

The question is whether he would be able to notice the difference in a blind test. High-end aficionados of course claim that they can hear the difference between minute differences in even minor equipment parts – but in actual blind tests they often can't make out the distinction in practice.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:07 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
While mechanically rotating media usually employ constant data rate encoding, downloads don't need to adhere to such a limitation and can use adaptive data rate which can again improve total compression rates without visible artefacts, making the files smaller without loss of quality.

I must say I totally lost on what you are trying to convey. You're perhaps saying the stream from a disk is fixed and therefore inferior, while the same stream from a network is somewhow improved in quality by some unknown algorithm (which apparently could not be used for the same purpose on the disk, however). I wonder what material you're using as your source? Perhaps we could take a look at it together?
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:09 am

I love my Apple TV, and works flawlessly, but I buy BD discs sometimes because they look better than HD on the Apple TV (720p vs 1080p).

I think online tv content is the wave of the future.

regards TRB
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Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:01 am

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 28):
I must say I totally lost on what you are trying to convey. You're perhaps saying the stream from a disk is fixed and therefore inferior, while the same stream from a network is somewhow improved in quality by some unknown algorithm (which apparently could not be used for the same purpose on the disk, however). I wonder what material you're using as your source? Perhaps we could take a look at it together?

Please stop your personal insinuations. I am ready to talk about issues, but persistent personal aggressiveness inserted into absolutely every response to any of my posts is really getting old.


To the point: Constant bitrate video encoding needs to maintain the peak data rate which is needed for the most demanding scenes (fast and uncoordinated movement in large parts of the image) even when that data rate is actually not needed, such as in static scenes with minimal changes or with very little detail.

With mechanically rotating media constant bitrate has the advantage of eliminating track switching during playback when the video stream needs less data than the current rotational speed would provide (the disc cannot be braked or accelerated quickly enough to adapt to the changing data rate). As long as the total capacity is sufficient, the wasted space doesn't make any difference on a disk.


With downloads this is different on several levels. Downloaded files are stored on harddisks on which especially large files are often fragmented anyway, so mechanical track and sector seeks will happen regardless of how the file is encoded. Harddisks are also much faster than optical ones, both in data transfer speeds and in R/W head positioning. With solid-state storage even fragmentation becomes entirely irrelevant.

So constant data rate has no advantage on a computer file stored on a harddisk or in flash memory and the advantages of variable bitrate (meaning "slower" sceenes using fewer Mbits/s than lively action scenes) will become very noticeable when downloading the file from the internet.


Essentially, the same movie can be compressed substantially smaller for download without loss of quality relative to a BluRay disc. There are simply technical reasons why it uses more space on disc and why it doesn't in a download.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:23 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
The question is whether he would be able to notice the difference in a blind test. High-end aficionados of course claim that they can hear the difference between minute differences in even minor equipment parts – but in actual blind tests they often can't make out the distinction in practice.

I honestly think that he would be able to. Whenever he gets a new unit to review, he does blind tests comparing it back to back with whatever he was using previously so that he's making an unbiased judgment about what sounds better, and it's often not the more expensive unit, but always a high end piece rather than some mass market device. If you were to go swap out his 8,000 dollar carbon speaker cables with the best cables they have at best buy and not tell him, he'd know something was wrong with the system. Maybe I can find a way to get him to subject himself to just such a test, it'd be interesting!
 
Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:43 am

Quoting waterpolodan (Reply 31):
Maybe I can find a way to get him to subject himself to just such a test, it'd be interesting!

Indeed.  

There are of course noticeable differences in various components, but with extremely expensive cables and such I have my doubts. In most cases the bigger differences are not so much in esoteric materials but in plain and simple things like cable routing, proper parts dimensioning and nowadays mathematical signal processing algorithms.

Of course I don't know your dad or his equipment, but there have been blind tests done with people who had sworn they would "of course" notice the difference between uncompressed and higher-bitrate MP3 reproduction and in the end most of them couldn't with any statistically significant reliability.

Of course in the end the whole point is to have fun with the music or the movies, so technical criteria alone shouldn't be overestimated anyway.
 
GuitrThree
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:09 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
And 50GB is the normal capacity of a BluRay disc, not the actual size of the films (which are usually much smaller as far as I'm aware).

Well, Pirates of the Caribeean At Worlds End clocks in at 46.61 GB.

There are lists out there that I did a google search for. Most are in the mid 20's to mid 30's when you take into account the extra's and add ons.

Sure, you can compress them, but that wasn't the question asked. But since you went there most compress to around 13GB to keep the quality, still a LARGE amount of data to be downloading everytime you want to watch a movie. Using the Comcast standard of 250GB, again, that pumps you up to 15 movies, if thats all you do.
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Zentraedi
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:37 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
While mechanically rotating media usually employ constant data rate encoding, downloads don't need to adhere to such a limitation and can use adaptive data rate which can again improve total compression rates without visible artefacts, making the files smaller without loss of quality.

Where do you get this from? The fact is, many DVD/BluRay discs do use VBR encoding. Just look at the reviews on DVDBeaver. http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews11/yojimbo.htm

Does that look like CBR? You can even confirm it with many DVD and Blu-Ray players. They have a bitrate display and you can see it spike during intense action or fine color gradient scenes.
 
Boeing1970
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:35 pm

BluRay will probably thrive for about 7-10 years. Then it will be locally storable downloads, or maybe solid state cards like your SD card for a Camera. I don't care how much bandwidth you have over IP, there will always be the occassional hiccup and that's going to drive people nuts, so direct feed isn't the answer without significant buffering or download to a drive. The real problem will be storing and maintaining the movies you opt to buy vs. rent and keep local. Thats a hell a lot of TBs in HD material...Then again, my cabinet with Case Logic booklets will be vacant.

I'd love nothing more than to order a full HD resolution movie from Amazon and have it downloaded to a HTPC by the time I get home, slide it to a solid state drive, dump it in my car and hit the road for vacation with the kids...but thats going to be a while with the studios.

[Edited 2010-03-04 09:52:03]
 
Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:57 pm

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 34):
Where do you get this from?

Deducing from how the technology works. But I haven't checked the method they're actually using with BluRay. (Actually, I have checked but not found detailed information about this.)

With real VBR you either need very large buffers and slow linear servo spindle speed adaptation (which still produces audible "whining" of the drive and can result in a shortened lifespan of the mechanism) or you need backtracking – skipping back to previously read places on the track to prevent a buffer overflow (but that increases the risk of actually losing the track on a marginally produced, dirty or scratched disc or with a dirty lens or a degraded laser pickup; you would normally try not to give up tracking if you can avoid it).

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 34):
Does that look like CBR?

Yes, actually. It looks very much like CBR minus frame stuffing.

In CBR video encoding you set the constant bitrate (that would be the pretty much straight line at the top of the BluRay graph) and then you encode as much detail as you can in the fixed frame sizes given by that bitrate. In more complex scenes you're forced to throw away excessive detail to fit into the frame, in slower scenes you don't actually use all of the frame.

If they're using CBR, the disk will indeed provide a constant bitstream at the given rate (requiring neither linear servo deviations nor backtracking) but some fo the frames in that constant bitstream will simply be empty/unused and may not be transmitted to the display or be counted in the effective data rate statistic because they do in fact not contain any useful data.

In the bitrate diagram of a well-encoded downloaded VBR file I would normally expect a jagged line throughout, without much of a noticeable ceiling (a maximum rate is still observed as a limit, but it should not be attained all too often). And for downloads that is in fact the ideal encoding.

I could be wrong and they might actually use adaptive linear servo control and/or backtracking, but I doubt it, since on an optical disc CBR makes a lot more sense, and the disc has a large capacity anyway which doesn't cost the manufacturer extra (apart from maybe a higher effective defect rate in the total production run). VBR would only make things more complicated there without really producing any benefit.

Pressed discs have the advantage of making extra features almost irrelevant to the production and distribution cost, but on downloads this is a different matter, which may of course impact people's decisions of which medium to prefer.

As I said: I could be wrong, but as far as I can see, BluRay adheres to a sensible CBR strategy, but that makes the BluRay file sizes not directly comparable to the ones that might get used for online distribution.

Another factor in that would be that all the extras on a pressed disc would normally not need to be part of the dowload: Director and actor commentaries (on BluRay they can even be an additional video stream again and they are embedded into the main data stream) or all the different language versions can be separate downloads which most people won't need, and the same is true for extra features like interviews or making of clips. Since I could pull these down only as needed, the actual movie file will be a bit lighter again.

At this point at least the iTunes movie downloads are available only up to 720p resolution (at relatively low bitrates right now), in one language and normally with no extras – that leaves a lot of room for improvement in multiple dimensions, of course, but since it's all done in updateable software instead of fixed boxes requiring backward compatibility (see the very outdated DVD format limiting even new releases!), download formats can be changed and upgraded relatively easily, while even allowing for retroactive upgrades to existing purchases (see the upgrade policy Apple offered for older music purchases when the higher-quality, DRM-free versions of the same titles became available).

While physical media by necessity limits future development, BluRay does provide a lot of headroom as it is. By comparison, video downloads are still in their infancy, but they can grow and develop more easily.

Individual users can decide what fits their priorities best at any given point, but at least one part of the equation will keep developing...

[Edited 2010-03-04 10:12:31]

[Edited 2010-03-04 10:26:09]
 
Zentraedi
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:52 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
Deducing from how the technology works.

That's actually a very bad habit, especially when things have many layers of abstraction and how hardware usually implements "dirty" techniques which are good enough to fit ideal models.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):

With real VBR you either need very large buffers and slow linear servo spindle speed adaptation (which still produces audible "whining" of the drive and can result in a shortened lifespan of the mechanism) or you need backtracking – skipping back to previously read places on the track to prevent a buffer overflow (but that increases the risk of actually losing the track on a marginally produced, dirty or scratched disc or with a dirty lens or a degraded laser pickup; you would normally try not to give up tracking if you can avoid it).

Well, it's a good that the hardware today is advanced enough to allow this! Most hardware actually implements the latter method in filling buffer and backtracking.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
Yes, actually. It looks very much like CBR minus frame stuffing.

Way to ignore the DVD results--a much older and less sophisticated technology. Honestly, I expected you to be able to look at more than just that one example. Look through the reviews and you'll see a highly variable bitrate on several BluRay discs.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
I could be wrong and they might actually use adaptive linear servo control and/or backtracking, but I doubt it, since on an optical disc CBR makes a lot more sense, and the disc has a large capacity anyway which doesn't cost the manufacturer extra (apart from maybe a higher effective defect rate in the total production run). VBR would only make things more complicated there without really producing any benefit.

As mentioned earlier, the hardware is good enough to deal with VBR. Given that, the main constraint for DVDs has been space. In order to maximize video quality for a given amount of space, VBR is used.

With DVDs, the benefit is very real. As for Blu-Ray discs, the capabilities of the hardware are good enough to deal with either. Seeing as how the "complicated" part is already implemented and obfuscated, the company mastering the disc isn't really making things more complicate things further by choosing VBR vs CBR on a Blu-Ray disc with ample storage space.

As long as the lower layer is capable of meeting its spec, higher levels only need to worry about the abstraction, not implementation details. This concept is actually very common when dealing with computer technology.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
As I said: I could be wrong, but as far as I can see, BluRay adheres to a sensible CBR strategy,

Again, you should really look at more than one example.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
(on BluRay they can even be an additional video stream again and they are embedded into the main data stream)

I guess it might blow your mind to find out that Blu-Ray is also capable of accessing out-of-mux streams as well!
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:33 am

Based on my usage patterns, I've never gotten good value for money for the two different DVD players I've bought over the last 10 years or so, and doubt I'd ever get good value for money if I would buy a BD player. I mostly bought the DVD players for the 'coolness' factor and at times have been tempted to buy a BD for the same reasons, but when I step back and consider value for money I change my mind.

I have gotten excellent value for money from my TiVo.

It has an Amazon Unbox application for downloading first-run movies on a PPV basis.

It also has a Netflix application that gives you access to the "play it now" / "instant queue" selections on a subscription basis.

These netflix selections definitely are not the first run stuff, but if you're into older or "off the beaten track" movies or documentaries it's pretty good.

I have a $8.95 bottom-tier Netflix subscription that means I can have one pysical DVD out at a time and as much online content as I can download. Chances are I'll drop it for the summer months when I don't watch much TV and pick it back up for the winter when I do.

I have a 384 kbit/sec DSL internet connection and I never see the movie pause.

I have a widescreen plasma and I really don't notice any issue with quality, which seems to me to be quite good.

Sure, if it were side by side with a BD at 1080p I'd notice, but convenience matters to me more than quality.

Also I hate having physical media gathering dust all around the place. I own maybe 12 or so DVDs that are copies of classics that I just want to have, and even these don't get played much at all, just the rare time when I'm in a nostalgic mood. Most of the time the Netflix physical DVD I get sits for weeks waiting to be played.

Most of the time I'm using TiVo to play TV shows that I know I'll enjoy, especially since I can flip past commercials.

Other times I use the TiVo to show pictures or play music stored on my PC using the TiVo Desktop Application.

I recently upgraded the TiVo to a 1TB hard drive. It can store something like 120 hours of HD shows. To watch all that you'd have to sit in front of the TV for five solid days with no sleeping. It's an amazing amount of storage.

I guess the real question for you is do you think you'll get good value for money buying a BD player then either getting discs through the mail or a rental store or purchasing them?

If you have cable TV, you may want to see what your provider offers for PPV. Before I had a TiVo I had a digital cable box for a few weeks and I thought their PPV selections were not interesting and overpriced. I've founnd that Amazon Unbox has more interesting selection and a cheaper price.

For me, my world is already 99% download and I'm quite happy.
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Go3Team
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:45 am

Pretty much download only for me, although I keep having to add drives to our VOD server. Good thing I have room for 12 more drives.
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:23 am

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Personally, I don't know one person who owns a dedicated BluRay player, expect those playing with a PlayStation

Well, I own one and I'm almost totally happy with it. It plays almost everything from wide variety of sources: discs, memory sticks, HDD's and from the internet.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Do you actually purchase BluRay discs?

Yes.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Do you watch them on TV, or at your computer?

TV, of course.

I personally expect the sales of moves and music optical media diminish in this decade. However, I don't expect all sales to be taken over by online services. There are many situations when owning a media with the movie is better than a download. I think we'll see some kind of cheap permanent memory developed for this purpose along with players without moving parts.
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AverageUser
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:15 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):

Please stop your personal insinuations. I am ready to talk about issues, but persistent personal aggressiveness inserted into absolutely every response to any of my posts is really getting old.

You are free complain to the moderators any time you find me offensive, please. I'm always ready to discuss facts with anyone. Forgive me for sometimes including in the facts the fact why someone might want to distort the facts - also known as practicing (meta-)metadiscussion.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
To the point: Constant bitrate video encoding needs to maintain the peak data rate which is needed for the most demanding scenes (fast and uncoordinated movement in large parts of the image) even when that data rate is actually not needed, such as in static scenes with minimal changes or with very little detail.

Ok, we've reinvented the basics of capturing and compressing video so far here. I don't understand how there ever could be "extra" data on a video encoded disc. If the picture does not change, only the incremental changes will need to be represented, and disc space thus saved -- or alternatively, more high-quality reference pictures for future needs could be fed on to the decoder.

Now if you could explain how the way video streamed throught the internet somehow processually manages to escape the problems of limited bandwidth of the network media? Since you're in the know, if you could quote the actual bitrates as well, please.

I think you're missing the single most important part of the difference between disc and internet streaming -- the disc is basically deteministic, i.e. if you play the same disk two times over, the algorithm will behave identically in both cases. However, on the internet as it now stands, no two viewing experiences will be the same, and errors or "artifacts" may develop out of the blue and break down the user experience he or she might have paid for.

Of course, should we go off-line, and have the user download an image of the entire presentation beforehand, things will be different, but frankly I'm not sure if the studios allow it.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:25 pm

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
I think you're missing the single most important part of the difference between disc and internet streaming -- the disc is basically deteministic, i.e. if you play the same disk two times over, the algorithm will behave identically in both cases. However, on the internet as it now stands, no two viewing experiences will be the same, and errors or "artifacts" may develop out of the blue and break down the user experience he or she might have paid for.

Good summation. Now the question is does that non-deterministic internet behavior matter? As above, it doesn't to me: using the Netflix app on my TiVo works just fine. I'm sure a disc would be probably better quality, but quality isn't what motivates me and IMHO the bulk of the market, convenience does. I'm not sure that it's a big mystery: Blockbuster just closed their store in my town that's been open 10+ years.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
Of course, should we go off-line, and have the user download an image of the entire presentation beforehand, things will be different, but frankly I'm not sure if the studios allow it.

Amazon VoD on TiVo does exactly that. The movie file (either HD or non-HD) is downloaded onto the TiVo's hard disk. You can rent the use of that image (I think 3 days is the default time) or you can get permanent access (it stays on your TiVo till you delete it, and you have the right to download it again whenever you want). Movies become available at about the same time they hit the DVD market.
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Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:08 pm

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
I'm always ready to discuss facts with anyone. Forgive me for sometimes including in the facts the fact why someone might want to distort the facts

If you do have "the fact" that I "distort the facts" then present that fact as such, with topical arguments.

Instead of that trying to insinuate that I was just a bad person and my arguments were somehow inherently invalid because of that is not just pointless (in every sense of the word), but also in violation of the forum rules.

Maintaining personal resentments is just a waste of time.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
I don't understand how there ever could be "extra" data on a video encoded disc. If the picture does not change, only the incremental changes will need to be represented, and disc space thus saved -- or alternatively, more high-quality reference pictures for future needs could be fed on to the decoder.

Optical discs are heavily optimized for linear playback – they have only a single track spiraling outwards and skipping to a different location takes a rather long time (which is why random file access on optical discs is so godawfully slow compared to harddisks).

In order to maintain uninterrupted playback, simply staying on the track and keeping linear velocity and thus the raw data rate generally constant is highly desirable. The CD never needed anything but a constant bitrate, and both DVD and BluRay have inherited the same low-level operation principles.

Any track skipping on an optical disc comes with the danger that the new location may not be locked and synchronized in time before the data buffer has run empty, possibly resulting in jerky video playback and/or audible dropouts.

This can make it advantageous to limit bitrate variations to just the amount that the FIFO buffer can iron out on average and to simply leave some of the raw data space unused where it is not needed (meaning the raw data rate still remaining constant, but the contained signal data rate fluctuating below that).

As always in hardware design, the path ultimately chosen is a compromise, and it may in fact result in the recorded data being substantially larger than the same data being compressed for a medium which doesn't have to compensate for optical/mechanical problems.

BluRay players probably have larger buffers than CD or DVD players (in terms of playback time buffered), so they will be able to compensate for wider fluctuations just with buffering, but it is also possible that they can in fact afford to use backtracking for even wider bitrate variations with enough buffered time to re-synchronize, but since we're dealing with fixed media specifications here, actual discs need to be encoded to be playable on all devices, so they can only rely on what all of them will be able to work with. (Ignoring the existing compatibility problems between individual BluRay titles and individual players for now.)

Especially BluRay has plenty of space but needs to deal with optical and mechanical compromises, so it can be a good choice to "waste" some space which is available anyway for a better playback experience, while for a file download which will be played back from a harddisk or from flash memory any fluctuations in the data rate are completely irrelevant but total file size and thus download bandwith are primary concerns.

As I said above: Both may result in very different file sizes for similar results.

I have put quite a bit of time into researching the exact signal bitrate management strategies on DVD and BluRay but so far I have not found much usable information. The detailed specifications are not publicized, of course, but if you have any pertinent information I would be interested.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
Now if you could explain how the way video streamed throught the internet somehow processually manages to escape the problems of limited bandwidth of the network media?

It is a relatively complex (and usually less than flawless) dynamic bandwidth adaptation mechanism which is not present in recorded media. This kind of mechanism is normally only used for real-time streams where the priority is put on uninterrupted playback even at the temporary expense of quality.

Movie downloads are normally just regular file downloads. Where they allow you to start playback right away, playback will simply pause when the continuing download should not be able to keep up, but the file will eventually remain an exact copy of the one on the vendor's server.

Both cases are compromises, with different side effects.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
I think you're missing the single most important part of the difference between disc and internet streaming -- the disc is basically deteministic, i.e. if you play the same disk two times over, the algorithm will behave identically in both cases. However, on the internet as it now stands, no two viewing experiences will be the same, and errors or "artifacts" may develop out of the blue and break down the user experience he or she might have paid for.

No, a downloaded file is just as deterministic as a pressed DVD or BluRay disc. (Unless you're using a live-streaming service with adaptive degradation.)

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 40):
Of course, should we go off-line, and have the user download an image of the entire presentation beforehand, things will be different, but frankly I'm not sure if the studios allow it.

That is exactly what iTunes movie downloads (and probably most competing ones) are.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:48 am

Unless you have broadband Internet connection that can maintain at least twelve megabits per second download speed, you can forget about 720p HD from NetFlix or Amazon's streaming video service.

Besides, with a real Blu-ray disc, you get real 1080p quality video (watch any Disney/Pixar film in Blu-Ray format--it will literally blow you away with its astonishing clarity), Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio 5.1 or 7.1 soundtracks, and the ability to quickly jump to any point on the film. Besides, players are really cheap nowadays, so no excuse for not having a Blu-ray player if you have a TV set that supports HDMI 1.3 inputs!
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:27 pm

How did we go from a question about whether to go with BluRay or online downloads to a geek-centric discussion of playback strategies?

Anyhow,...

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 43):
Unless you have broadband Internet connection that can maintain at least twelve megabits per second download speed, you can forget about 720p HD from NetFlix or Amazon's streaming video service.

Yes, you can forget about live streaming of HD video if you don't have 12 Mbit/sec download speed.

And to me that isn't what matters most, convenience is.

Even tho I have a 1080i capable plasma, it doesn't matter to me if the vast majority of the stuff I watch is at DVD levels of quality.

I just checked and I garbled the numbers above.

I have 3.0 Mb/sec download, 768 kbit/sec upload residential DSL service.

It's good enough to stream Netflix's or Amazon's DVD resolution movies in real time.

If I want HD it's be a factor of four slower so we're talking about 8 hours to download a 2 hour move.

In the cases that HD matters, I'd just download it overnight and watch it the next day.

Still better than going to the DVD rental place, which for me is now impossible since they just closed it after 10+ years.

And buying media makes even less sense in terms of convenience and cost.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 43):

Besides, with a real Blu-ray disc, you get real 1080p quality video (watch any Disney/Pixar film in Blu-Ray format--it will literally blow you away with its astonishing clarity), Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio 5.1 or 7.1 soundtracks, and the ability to quickly jump to any point on the film.

There are cases where this would be nice, but it's really less than 5% of my viewing.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 43):
Besides, players are really cheap nowadays, so no excuse for not having a Blu-ray player if you have a TV set that supports HDMI 1.3 inputs!

It's just not good value for money. The cost of the player is just the down-payment. The real cost comes in buying or renting the media and all the cost of all the trips to the store or the shipping expenses paid when buying online. Most of us are already paying for broadband internet already and this is just one more benefit of having broadband.
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Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:36 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 44):
How did we go from a question about whether to go with BluRay or online downloads to a geek-centric discussion of playback strategies?

Because they can have a substantial impact on the comparability of file sizes between disc and download.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:21 pm

I spent a while looking for a Blue Ray recorder and there do not seem to be many around. I would imagine if they become more readily available - not to mention cheaper - this might affect the popularity of the whole system. After all, if I make a Blue Ray disk and send it to you, you are going to need a BR to read it are you not? No problem these days distributing DVDs cos everyone can read em. Was not always so.
 
AverageUser
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:11 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
No, a downloaded file is just as deterministic as a pressed DVD or BluRay disc.

Is not, if you mean real time streaming on the present internet. Would be wonderful if it was, though. Revolutionary even.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
It is a relatively complex (and usually less than flawless) dynamic bandwidth adaptation mechanism which is not present in recorded media. This kind of mechanism is normally only used for real-time streams where the priority is put on uninterrupted playback even at the temporary expense of quality.

Whatever you will need the bandwidth adaptation system for, if your bandwidth is deterministic?
(If anyone's intereted for more info, they should google for "quality of service agent" or "QoS")

Quoting Baroque (Reply 46):
I spent a while looking for a Blue Ray recorder and there do not seem to be many around

I took a quick look and the present models from various manufacturers seem to be out of stock with no immediate restock in sight, which in my experience means a cheaper generation is on their way. Your correspondent will need a BluRay equipment as well, but a reader-only will do (to replace an existing internal PC CD/DVD drive) which is priced @ 83 EUR here.
 
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail?

Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:02 pm

As far as music goes, I'll download songs here and there but thats only because there are only certain songs on a certain album I want ... so for me, thats convenience. With movies, it doesn't make sense to do that because you need the complete story, and not just bits and pieces. So I would rather go out and buy or rent a physical disc that comes in a lovely case that I can put on my shelf versus having to download a movie, pray that it downloads completely, pray that I have the right codec, pray that I have the current version of whichever player I may require, pray that there's no virus attatched, find the complete file on my computer, make my own pysical copy of the file and hope that my home system will recognize the format, and print off my own jacket which all costs me time, frustration and money.

If I want to watch a movie, its because I want to relax and not dick around for half the evening trying to get something to work. I belong to the crowd (who I believe is still a very large crowd) that wants something that simply plugs in, turns on and works ... thats it. So, downloading movies really has 0% convenience factor for me and a still large portion of the movie watching consumers market and hopefully that'll stay that way for a very long time  

As far as BlueRay vs. regular DVD goes, its not that important to me. I find the picture quality of a standard 720p flatscreen TV and regular DVD more than satisfactory. Sometimes the BlueRay and 1080p is just too much, I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean the other day on a BlueRay and 1080p system and it was almost fake like which I found to be very distracting.
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Klaus
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RE: BluRay Or Online Downloads: Which Will Prevail

Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:49 pm

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 47):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
No, a downloaded file is just as deterministic as a pressed DVD or BluRay disc.

Is not, if you mean real time streaming on the present internet. Would be wonderful if it was, though. Revolutionary even.

A real-time stream is not the same as a file download. The two are inherently different, as explained above.

The first is a dynamic data transmission link with congestion management being handled on the fly and no data being stored on the client, the latter is just an exact copy operation where a bit pattern is transported exactly to the client, no matter how long it takes.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 47):
Whatever you will need the bandwidth adaptation system for, if your bandwidth is deterministic?
(If anyone's intereted for more info, they should google for "quality of service agent" or "QoS")

...and they will find they don't have it in their existing internet connection. If you do, you won't need bandwidth management. But almost all retail internet connections don't – they have to deal with (from their view) nondeterministic bandwidth fluctuations.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 48):
If I want to watch a movie, its because I want to relax and not dick around for half the evening trying to get something to work. I belong to the crowd (who I believe is still a very large crowd) that wants something that simply plugs in, turns on and works ... thats it. So, downloading movies really has 0% convenience factor for me and a still large portion of the movie watching consumers market and hopefully that'll stay that way for a very long time

With the iTunes Movie Store you select, you confirm and you watch (within seconds after starting and without stalls if your internet connection is fast enough). No fussing around whatsoever. Everything is already in place and will just work. Much less effort and complication than fetching a physical disc from the store or from a rental place.

It should be similar with most of the other services as well. Since they all have to use DRM (mandatory on behalf of the studios, just as on DVD or BluRay), you will have to use a pre-tested codec package in the respective application anyway.

(With pirated copies you're on your own, of course.)

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 48):
I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean the other day on a BlueRay and 1080p system and it was almost fake like which I found to be very distracting.

The fully synthetic CGI was looking fake relative to what, exactly?   

But seriously: Very different quality levels will always take some time getting used to, in either direction.

Increased resolution will only make sense if the aspect angle is large enough, of course, so the screen must be large and/or near enough for your eyesight to notice the difference.

[Edited 2010-03-07 12:50:16]

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