Blu-ray vs. Digital Download: Why Blu-ray is the Future

The war between the two high definition formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD, seems to have come to a bloody end. Company after company has pledged its allegiance to Blu-ray, and things look grim for Toshiba. However, many in the industry claim Sony's victory will be short lived in the face of a new nemesis, digital downloads.

Tech.co.uk's James Rivington goes over the facts and tell players why he believes that Blu-ray will survive in the face of digital downloads. I agree that Blu-ray is safe for now. Many people, myself included, want to actually own a physical copy of their media. If I have a catastrophic failure of my computer, I can always rebuild from the discs I have on hand. However, many distributers of digital downloads want to limit the time period and number of installs you're allowed to have. So in the event your game becomes corrupted or your CPU frags itself, you may actually have to repurchase your games if you bought them via digital download.

In short the digital download is renting or leasing where as Blu-ray is buying. Until they change that, I will be purchasing hard copies of all my media.

[Via Tech.co.uk]

News source: Gaming Today

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

UK surfers tune-in to web radio

Next Story

Top Games of 2007

54 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, HD downloads have barely started right now and ISPs are already capping downloads and throttling bandwidth. Until that's taken care of (which won't happen any time soon), physical discs still have a future.

Yes, and to add to that, what of the millions of people that live in rural areas that can't get broadband, let alone an uncapped connection? Those people account for a large number of movie sales, too. WiMax might be the answer, but that's still a LONG way off before it's rolled out en masse.

we are all attracted to the Blue light and the name as a great marketing name.


Blu-ray will rule and so do "LaBatts Blue" the Canadian Beer

I own and run an online DVD rental company, and from what I see we can all agree that right now downloading movies is possible.

Where the model falls apart is the distributors for the movies are left with a choice - let people download it or let people buy/rent a physical format.

Consumers expect the digital version to be far less as it doesn't have a physical component (even though the physical component production cost under $1 with packaging).

Because of this distributors have a choice of bowing to consumer demand and taking a revenue and profit cut for the sake of the consumers' convenience, or stick to the physical side of things and maximise profit.

Going by their push towards higher capacity formats and lawsuits through the MPAA it is pretty clear they are going to pick profit and lawsuits over consumer convenience until the convenience factor can be proven to make them more money overall (or piracy forces their hand).

(Andre said @ #23)
The future has place for both digital download and physical media. End of story.

Probably the only sensible post on this thread at all.

I'd say for the next 5 years at least physical media will remain the number 1 player. There isn't the infrastructure in enough places to support HD media downloads as the defacto standard and even if net connections were there 95% of home entertainment centers aren't setup to accept digital media direct throug hthe TV without requiring an intermediate burning of the downloaded movie.

When movies can be downloaded in a few minutes in the majority of homes AND home entertainment centers are linked to a net connection then it will be a viable option. Also Storage atm will be an issue for mainstream users. I doubt most PC's have more than 300 - 400GB of HDD in your average family so again, storage will be another area that is and will need to continue to develop.

In the future but, I think it will have it's place. In the meantime it'll be used by a few individuals but won't go mainstream nearly as fast as some thing and bluray will be dominent for that period.

I agree, I don't think the bandwidth is here, really. For high quality True HD movies as digital downloads, the USA would need that domestic fiber optic network down to the common man, for example. Maybe it could happen a while before if the market is large enough, but it won't be optimal until that happens, since Blu-ray will always work at full market penetration. At least the consumers are able to easily purchase a player if they want to play these movies -- it's another problem with getting up to the speeds necessary, and many don't even have the option available in their area for a decent price.

Over here in Sweden, we have 100 Mbps lines pretty common now, at least in cities, but digital downloads are still not big, even in DVD quality. This seems like it will be a slow change.

same **** every day in real world bitch and moan about every little aspect of life, if you ****ing hate reading bs article just don't read or click it... if you really wanna bitch and moan write a letter to your lazy congress why they ass rape us with taxes, or whatever you wanna bitch about..

Utter nonsense.

Digital distribution of games (whether it be from say Steam or TotalGaming.net) lets usres re-download their games unlimited. It's your game. It's not like renting in any way.

Thats not necessarily true with consoles and heres why: Say I buy 40 games through Nintendo's Virtual Console and they up and decide not to support VC and discontinue it with their next console. Whats the consumer to do? You can't resell digital downloads and you can't buy a VC game and use it on another Wii in the house because its locked to the console you purchased on. Nintendo (and other companies) can change the terms anytime they wish. If I bought the cartridge its mine to do with as I please. Yea, technically they can say a digitally downloaded game is yours, but only for as long as they see fit to let you use it.

Keep the console like you would have had you had physical games. If you don't want them anymore sell the console taking into account the fact you have 40 games on it (assuming you can clear out any personal identification/billing info). It's not perfect I know and doesnt address all your issues. But Frogboys statement does stand, I think all the major game services offer unlimited downloads. If bandwith ever becomes an issue they could just use a torrent like system to distribute the files anyway and require authentication on a completed download.

Besides, digital downloads have a far greater chance of being portable to new hardware than a physical copy so hopefully (I really do hope), this won't be an issue.

I think digitally downloaded content is the future, but companies REALLY need to get it through their heads that people want nothing to do with DRM restrictions and want product of the same quality as they would get if they bought a hard copy from the store. Music is coming around to this, but the gaming and movie industries are still hellbent on absolute control.

"In short the digital download is renting or leasing where as Blu-ray is buying. Until they change that, I will be purchasing hard copies of all my media."

Exactly!

No, sir. Digital downloads are the Future. The words used in the title make the article irrelevant, because everyone know that digital downloads are the future. How far into the future? I dunno.

The article title should read "Blu-ray vs Digital Download: Why Blu-Ray is the best option now."

Like a lot of other people, I too am tired of reading these "opinion" blog posts in place of actual news.

In short the digital download is renting or leasing where as Blu-ray is buying. Until they change that, I will be purchasing hard copies of all my media.

Both are the same. And to be more precise you buy the right to watch the film. You own the physical disc, not the contents. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with buying online and burning a backup copy.

I still say who ever has the pr0n industries support is who is going to win this. It happen liked that with VHS and Betamax and it will be like that for HD and Blu-ray.

(Gotenks98 said @ #15)
I still say who ever has the pr0n industries support is who is going to win this. It happen liked that with VHS and Betamax and it will be like that for HD and Blu-ray.

Porn has moved online, my friend.

(C_Guy said @ #15.2)
Yeah but who has the patience to download that content in HD?

Do you really need p0rn in HD? There are some things and people that you don't want to see in 1080p.

Uh the porn thing is an urban myth/old wives tale.
It's 100% incorrect.
-Betamax has/had loads of porn released on it(just like Blu-Ray does) it was only a production plant that decided not to manufacture it(just like Blu-Ray). Nothing to do with the format or rules imposed on the format.
-The porn industry covers such a *******TINY*******(I cant no emphasis that enough) it plays zero role when considering a mass consumer take up of a format.

VHS won in the end with longer record times and more manufacture support(more companies made VHS than Betamax). Record times dont seems to play as big a role any more, but the company support does. Blu-Ray is owned and run by a mass amount of companies, many companies make Blu-Ray products, where as HD-DVD is all rebadged Toshiba. HD-DVD has less choice and selection when it comes to buying the player and that will kill it even if the studio support doesnt outright kill it.

Digital downloads will fail if ISP's keep pushing more and more limits on the connection... heck a True HD movie in good quality will run you 20+GB notice I sad GOOD quality.. I am talking the same quality as the physical Blu ray disc here... and ISP's in parts other then the USA could have caps as low as 10GB.. doesn't work there...

I was an HD-DVD supporter, until i noticed blu-ray was going to win, and I switched over to pro blu-ray, basically because it's the superior adapter, and the consumers really take to "blu-ray" (if you can't beat'em, join'em).

Now that blu-ray has the lead, why must people bash blu-ray, saying it's only due for a quick death? Blu-ray has won, give it up. Enough is enough already.

I was an HD-DVD supporter, until i noticed blu-ray was going to win, and I switched over to pro blu-ray
lol lets all jump on the sony bandwagon! weee.

(darkpuma said @ #12.2)
lol lets all jump on the sony bandwagon! weee.

Are you saying then you won't ever own a BD player to avoid jumping on this "bandwagon"?

SK[ said,#12.3]
(darkpuma said @ #12.2)
lol lets all jump on the sony bandwagon! weee.

Are you saying then you won't ever own a BD player to avoid jumping on this "bandwagon"?

People avoid products simply because of the company who invents them. I hope no one owns a CD player here that is anti-BD. Reason being, Sony was the first to release that too...

Source

Does it matter one way or the other, and the whole BD vs HD-DVD thing is getting old. I'll pick the format with more movies... right now I have a BD cause I got it for free, in some ways I wish HD-DVD would win, the region-free and lighter encyption is more filling, less calories kind of thing.

At any rate, news without sources is like tofu without spices... plain, boring, and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

(CrimsonBetrayal said @ #12.4)
SK[ said,#12.3]
(darkpuma said @ #12.2)
lol lets all jump on the sony bandwagon! weee.

Are you saying then you won't ever own a BD player to avoid jumping on this "bandwagon"?

People avoid products simply because of the company who invents them. I hope no one owns a CD player here that is anti-BD. Reason being, Sony was the first to release that too...

Source

Yes, but given Sony's recent track record (rootkits, etc) I dont see why I should support them. I will wait until the format war is finally dead and buried before I actually decide what to get.

(darkpuma said @ #12.2)
lol lets all jump on the sony bandwagon! weee.

Enough about this too...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc_Association

Yes, Sony was first to launch a consumer Blu-ray product, but they're quite far from "Sony" anymore. Besides, how is Microsoft a so much better option, given their business practices? They haven't done the rootkit thing, but pretty much anything else anticompetitive in the book instead.

The Gunslinger
Yes, but given Sony's recent track record (rootkits, etc) I dont see why I should support them. I will wait until the format war is finally dead and buried before I actually decide what to get.

It's already dead. There's now two HD formats on the market, but no war.

(CrimsonBetrayal said @ #12.4)
People avoid products simply because of the company who invents them. I hope no one owns a CD player here that is anti-BD. Reason being, Sony was the first to release that too...

Source

Does it matter one way or the other, and the whole BD vs HD-DVD thing is getting old. I'll pick the format with more movies... right now I have a BD cause I got it for free, in some ways I wish HD-DVD would win, the region-free and lighter encyption is more filling, less calories kind of thing.

At any rate, news without sources is like tofu without spices... plain, boring, and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

You conveniently left out a major point. Sony was part of a consortium that created the industry standard CD Audio format. Sony did NOT invent the CD. They were a contributor. Whether or not they were the first to put a unit on the market is irrelevant. With BlewRay, Sorny decided to screw the market by shunning an industry-wide standard (Google the news from a few years ago when Toshiba & Sorny were on the table discussing merging of the formats). Sorny unleashes rootkits on its paying customers and in the case of BlewRay, needlessly screws with the botched format so that newer revision discs will not play at all on prior gen units.

I'm never buying a BlewRay player, ever. I say that with complete assurance because I get all my HD content online and it works great for me.

Soon there will be a new news article stating "Recent stats show that less and less users are visiting the tech site Neowin.net" lol

this sort of thing belongs in the forums... not in the main news. This isn't news. It's commentary and opinion. not worth anyones time.

Not necessarily. It depends on where the opinion comes from, and this particular opinion is of a predictive nature with reasoning to back it. It's different from saying, "I think Blu-Ray is crap!" The author is suggesting a contrary view to the suggestion that digital distribution could send physical media the way of the dinosaur. The source is from a fairly major tech web site and presents a view contrary to one we've read about recently, so I don't see why it's not worthy of being listed on the site.

The danger of loosing a digital copy is really not existant; especially if they implement a system such as steam. You by the game, and enter a CD-Key.. your account is your library, you can crash all the PC's you want, you can just re-download without worry.

The issue I believe is bandwidth. There's no way people will download 10GB+ per movie when their ISP's either a) Throttle Speed, b) Charge Outrageous prices for anything of decent data transfer, and c) have caps of how much you can download a month.

You download 6 Hi-Def B.R. Quality movies, and you basically have eaten your Rogers Hi-Speed Express cap of 60GB, for example.

well, your basing the assumption that digital downloads wont win over the consumer on the idea that digital downloads will be "renting" and not purchasing. which i call BS on. there are more then a few systems in place now where that simply is not the case. the File Planet's Hit Points and digital download services logs your purchase to your account and you can download it when ever you want. the Steam product is the same. in fact, i PREFER to buy my games of Steam if i can because if i loose the CD or cd-key i have to re-purchase. as long as i remember my login and password i dont need to keep track of anything physical. which i prefer. Steam also gives you the option to backup any purchased games to media if you prefer to own.

so yeah, if the options are buy a physical disk or buy the one time download for the same price the decision is obviously a physical disk. but any company that runs this model will soon find out from irate customers who dont read the fine print its a loosing enterprise. just follow the Steam model, what else could the consumer want? its the best of both worlds.

Studio support is irrelevant to this 'format war'. Idiot "reporters" need to stop their ignorant yellow-journalism.

delete 'almost'

and yes i agree, i'm getting sick of it, whereas a lot of actual good news is never making it to the front page. I dunno why i still bother with neowin, its one of two websites i visit every day (second one is mininova lol)... i should replace this news site with a better one for sure....

Why don't you make microsoft.com your homepage and just get it over with?

Find a site where Vista isn't being bashed. There are none, except microsoft.com, because Vista is a massive disappointment and the entire world knows this.

George W. Bush and Microsoft Vista - two of the worst things to happen to America since Bill Clinton.

The main reason vista is "bashed" so much is because people want more... not because there is actually much wrong with Vista.

"Many people, myself included, want to actually own a physical copy of their media"

What a waste is all I can say, so much for the enviroment! As for the digital download's vs blu-ray, whats that gotta do with gaming? PC games won't come on blu-ray anytime soon, if ever, and PS3's don't have enough hard drive space for game downloads to be an option.