Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Death of Blu-ray?

From VHS to DVD is a big reap for most consumers, they mostly opine that DVD gives them extra features and greater quality of pictures. Also, the physical size of it was more comfortable than VHS. Therefore, with the plunge of cost of DVD players, most folks were flocking to move up to viewing DVD as the major format for view movies. Sony lost the war in Beta vs VHS, but it won in Blu-ray vs HDDVD. Theoretically, it should be great for the camp of Sony and Blu-ray. Cos, most major disc manufacturers are now on the bandwagon of Blu-ray. However, the adoption of Blu-ray was disappointing. Certainly, I’m no expert but just a regular folk that entitle to my own opinion. I think that there are many reasons why Blu-ray is not doing well.

Firstly, the cost is no lower enough and fast enough. Secondly, most consumers are happy with their DVD, the leap to Blu-ray is not deemed to be large enough to convince folks to open the pocket. The selling point of Blu-ray is even better picture quality and capacity. However, to most folks, DVD is good enough; Blu-ray is better, but not much better. For extra features, DVD has it too. For capacity, well, a 2-hr movie is a 2-hr movie on either DVD or Blu-ray. The extra capacity is a wasteland. As such, why would folks spend on Blu-ray? Also, the promotion of Blu-ray is not doing that good a job that I’m not sure if Blu-ray player is capable to play DVD, if not, definitely adios!

The biggest problem or threat to Blu-ray is internet. I.e. streaming or digital download. As music side a clear indication, from vinyl/cassette to CD is a great leap, but people never migrate to SACD, DVD audio, etc. Instead, MP3 takes over. Music becomes distributed in a digit format that can be reaped, transfer in a digit format, rather than on a physical medium. Yes, we use iPods, but we got that via iTune or streaming, or even through wireless download. CD is going to its grave; DVD will follow, though it will still take many years for that to happen. Blu-ray as a new comer with smaller acceptance in the market will die earlier than DVD. That’s my prediction.

There are still 2 streams of development in the distribution of moving pictures. On the one hand is the continuous research in physical media in the traditional way. Like, researches saying something about optical media that can carry 500GB on a single disc. I can only see that be something that can help the harddisk technology. I love to have 500TB harddisk in 10 years. However, what is a 500GB disc do for me if I just wanna watch a new movie. To me, it is just a larger wasteland that can’t be used. To have disc with such capacity, it is only good for some HD long TV series, like the 10 years of X-Files on one disc. That’s something people would buy, but not for watching a chick-flick. On the other hand, it is the faster internet, 4G, 5G, wireless whatever name they will be called. By then, movies can be streamed or download in a snap. When that happens, who will need a physical disc? We may need a larger capacity, but smaller size harddisk to save it. Or, if ‘clouds’ develop well, we don’t need to store those movies files, instead, we can laterally pull them from the air. I think it may be it. So, regardless whether larger capacity harddisk will be it or clouds, Blu-ray is gonna die soon.

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