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Is Blu-ray starting to become popular?

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sundayx    127

VCD - DVD - BD logical progression for physical media? How obvious!

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seta-san    1,354

actually i think that blu-ray is more popular than dvd when you consider how long it took DVD to get to the same level of popularity.

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DaDude    46
May mean the film ends up on your hard drive and the Blu Ray on a shelf, but that's fine with me till digital distribution sorts it's act out. I'd rather own two copies of my movie and go through the hassle of ripping the movie to my hard drive than own some "contracted" digital film I only have a license to watch and can't watch on anything else other than my PS3/360/set top box.

What's wrong with that? Think of the physical copy as a backup. I hate to have only one digital copy of a movie. Yikes! If my hard drive gets wiped or something happens where the movie gets accidentally erased, what do I do? Purchase another digital copy??

actually i think that blu-ray is more popular than dvd when you consider how long it took DVD to get to the same level of popularity.

+1

At least, three years into the format we're seeing some $9.99 movies. When DVDs were three years into the format, we were lucky if we found a $20 movie. And I know because I bought my first DVD player when the format was three years old. It was soooo hard finding a good movie for a decent price. I had only 2 movies on my shelf for a very long time.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
What's wrong with that? Think of the physical copy as a backup. I hate to have only one digital copy of a movie. Yikes! If my hard drive gets wiped or something happens where the movie gets accidentally erased, what do I do? Purchase another digital copy??

You can redownload digital copies as many times as you want.

That scenario though is the best way to do it right now, you end up with a physical copy of the movie and a DRM free digital for probably less than the official digital anyway (digital prices are terrible and shops often have sales on actual Blu Rays).

However the issue for me is encoding, doing a 1:1 rip of a Blu Ray ranges around 20-40GB per movie - Yeah it only takes 30 mins or so to rip the disc, but the space usage is high. If you encode to H264 you can get a completely transparent video file around 7-20GB depending on the quality/size of the source. Encoding takes ages though on my system, we're talking like 7-9 frames a second at times meaning hours, even over a day to encode one film.

That's a pain in the arse since encoding is heavy CPU orientated, even if you run in a low process mode. Where as if I could download a transparent 1080p DRM free digital copy I could easily do that in the background, or through my PS3/360 which wouldn't even interfere with or hog my PC. Not to mention you can pause a download, pausing an encode is not as simple.

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Azusa    930

Am i the only one who is kinda saddened by the prospect of a medialess future IE no discs and what not?

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seta-san    1,354
You can redownload digital copies as many times as you want.

That scenario though is the best way to do it right now, you end up with a physical copy of the movie and a DRM free digital for probably less than the official digital anyway (digital prices are terrible and shops often have sales on actual Blu Rays).

However the issue for me is encoding, doing a 1:1 rip of a Blu Ray ranges around 20-40GB per file - Yeah it only takes 30 mins or so to rip the disc, but the space usage is high. If you encode to H264 you can get a completely transparent video file around 7-20GB depending on the quality/size of the source. Encoding takes ages though on my system, we're talking like 7-9 frames a second at times meaning hours, even over a day to encode one film.

you can redownload digital copies for so long as the download service continues. but we have seen so many problems with digital downloads shutting down, or the DRM servers being shut down. nothing beats physical copies.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
Am i the only one who is kinda saddened by the prospect of a medialess future IE no discs and what not?

It's not going to be compeltely media-less for a long time, so no need to worry, just enjoy it the way things are.

A dual approach of physical/digital is the best way to make money as some people simply can't support digital only, and other people will always have sentiment in owning something physical. Cutting off either stream drops revenue.

I think that's quite easy to see, but others think we're going to hit digital only fairly quickly for whatever reasons. To me it's pro-consumer to have choice, not to be forced down one avenue.

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Boz    1,324
you can redownload digital copies for so long as the download service continues. but we have seen so many problems with digital downloads shutting down, or the DRM servers being shut down. nothing beats physical copies.

Wait.. so how are mp3s working then? It's the same thing that's happening with movies, no different.

This is beside the point because people won't own movies in the future anyways. You will have all you can eat subscription and watch movies as much as you want for a fixed amount. That's why everyone is working super fast on increasing the quality of 1080p movies through streaming services.

Vudu just revamped their system to allow progressive/streaming structure for their HDX movies. So you don't have to wait 4 hours to download.

Netflix is already doing the system and they grow at a pace that's simply amazing.

most other VOD are following this moment.

It really begs the question. If you have all-you-can eat subscription where you can pick what movies you want to watch at your convenience.. why would you buy any movies?

Keep this in mind:

Subscriptions for online video downloads generate 20 times the revenue and three to five times the monthly fees of comparable pay-per-download (PPD) business models, according to content aggregator Versaly Entertainment.

The Seattle-based company, which operates video clip site Vmbc.tv, said monthly subs download 25 times more clips than PPD consumers. The same cannot be said for mobile phone consumers who Versaly said could be paying less with an a la carte system.

Versaly said monthly views to Vmbc.tv increased about 60% in the second quarter, compared the same period last year.

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Vice    1,593
Wait.. so how are mp3s working then? It's the same thing that's happening with movies, no different.

This is beside the point because people won't own movies in the future anyways. You will have all you can eat subscription and watch movies as much as you want for a fixed amount. That's why everyone is working super fast on increasing the quality of 1080p movies through streaming services.

Vudu just revamped their system to allow progressive/streaming structure for their HDX movies. So you don't have to wait 4 hours to download.

Netflix is already doing the system and they grow at a pace that's simply amazing.

most other VOD are following this moment.

It really begs the question. If you have all-you-can eat subscription where you can pick what movies you want to watch at your convenience.. why would you buy any movies?

Keep this in mind:

I like the all you can eat subscription idea. But I want to consume it in my way being able to watch it on any device, anytime, anywhere and at the quality I want. I can buy a Bluray and rip it for all my devices and store it on my Media server so I can access it from anywhere in the world at any quality I want on the fly.

I don't want to use Vudu's Box. Also my ISP (like pretty much all ISP's these days) have bandwidth caps. If I download more than 3.5GB in the day time I'll get capped. And Vudu's 1080P content will be more than 3.5GB.

Internet delivery just doesn't work and no mater how much more capacity they build in to the Internet it always gets consumed. We will never be able to get on top of internet delivery for everyones needs. Maybe some consumers can be satisfied with the quality and the access methods but no one can get around their providers speed issues and internet caps.

EDIT:// Also I just wanted to add that if any type of All you can eat system would be successful it would be the kind that Netflix run. Internet instant watching for those who want to do that and Bluray/DVD discs for people that want physical media.

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DaDude    46
Wait.. so how are mp3s working then? It's the same thing that's happening with movies, no different.

But look! CDs are still being in sold in stores. The success of memory-based media doesn't necessarily mean that physical media is going away.

you can redownload digital copies for so long as the download service continues. but we have seen so many problems with digital downloads shutting down, or the DRM servers being shut down. nothing beats physical copies.

You got that right. BTW, I love your avatar! :)

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Boz    1,324
I like the all you can eat subscription idea. But I want to consume it in my way being able to watch it on any device, anytime, anywhere and at the quality I want. I can buy a Bluray and rip it for all my devices and store it on my Media server so I can access it from anywhere in the world at any quality I want on the fly.

Actually you can with digital downloads/streaming. You already can. I watch all my amazon purchases and TV shows along with many other content on any device I have. When everything is in the cloud you can.

Don't forget, you are in fact breaking the law by ripping the Blu-ray disc. The same was with DVD, not to mention the fact that only 10% of people actually knows or is willing to do it.

I'm not arguing that optical has some benefits, but in the overall picture optical media is old technology and the ability to buy plastic to have it sitting on the shelf for your convenience is a model that has already proven to be disliked by more and more people.

Also, you have to wait a long time until you see something on optical media because it has to be prepared, pressed, distributed etc etc. I watch shows for example pretty much day after it was aired and in HD. Sure, it's not Blu-ray but hey it's still great and that's what most people want.

I don't want to use Vudu's Box. Also my ISP (like pretty much all ISP's these days) have bandwidth caps. If I download more than 3.5GB in the day time I'll get capped. And Vudu's 1080P content will be more than 3.5GB.

Nobody is forcing you. LG just signed with Vudu to offer streaming of HDX movies directly from your TV. It is a valid point that you might have caps now. Nobody is disputing that. Streaming/DL/VOD in general have some kinks to work out and it's still growing but the caps and those issues will be resolved. When there is money there's a will to expand. If you read that article thing I posted streaming/subscription services already make 20 times the money then traditional pay-per-view model. It is really not hard to see that studios will actually support this and invest money into and cable companies will catch up and will have to losen the cap issues. It's all about the $$.

Internet delivery just doesn't work and no mater how much more capacity they build in to the Internet it always gets consumed. We will never be able to get on top of internet delivery for everyones needs. Maybe some consumers can be satisfied with the quality and the access methods but no one can get around their providers speed issues and internet caps.

I don't know.. I disagree.. Internet delivery does work for me. I enjoy all the HD from various sources (Vudu, Netflix, XBL, PS3) without any issues and I'm very satisfied. Sure, I still rent and watch Blu-rays for some movies I want the best quality but over the course of past year the quality of streaming and downloads have increased several times in my eyes and what I see.

As I said, it's all about the money. Caps and bandwith throttling with some providers is out of fear and inertia to upgrade their infrastructure, but I've already read many articles where everyone (from government to studios and others) are pretty much forcing them to stop doing it. I have no reason to believe that this problem will not go away.

I personally have not had any issues. I have a 25mbps connection, I download HD all day long and use legal services and never had a cap or anything of sorts. And I"m on Cox Communications.

EDIT:// Also I just wanted to add that if any type of All you can eat system would be successful it would be the kind that Netflix run. Internet instant watching for those who want to do that and Bluray/DVD discs for people that want physical media.

That's where everything is going. Netflix model. I don't mind pay-per-view either, but it has been shown that it's pretty expensive and subscription model is much more successful.

Blu-ray or DVD will not go away for a long time but in the next 5 years I'm pretty sure we will see equal amount of consumers using VOD/Streaming subscriptions/DL as Blu-ray and DVD together. So about 50% maybe and as that model grows eventually it will overcome optical media.

The point of this thread though is that Blu-ray is growing, but IMO will not have a chance to reach the level of DVD and by 2013 DL will start overtaking optical media (I think I read somewhere).

The reality though is that by the latest reports DL/VOD/Streaming have made more money ~$1 billion while Blu-ray made around $400 million. It's fairly logical to see where the next wave on investments will go.

Here, I'll give you another very interesting article. It seems that on Sony PS3 (which is the major Blu-ray driving force) is seeing incredible surge in VOD/DLs. It's actually most likely that a lot of people are starting to use VOD/DL thorugh PS3 then actually getting Blu-ray.

Sony's PlayStation 3 hasn't moved as many Blu-rays as Hollywood had hoped it would, but the videogame console has clearly established itself as a lucrative platform studios can use to distribute their films and TV shows.

A year after launching its PlayStation Network, Sony has digitally delivered more than 500 million pieces of content to owners of its PS3 console and PSP handheld device.

That includes sales and rentals of movies, TV shows and original video programming.

Altogether, the video delivery service, available through the PlayStation Store, has registered more than 25 million users since launching on July 15, 2008. It saw a surge of subscribers around E3 in June.

The PlayStation Network initially bowed with 300 movies and 1,200 TV episodes. At the time, it had signed up most of the major studios, including Sony, Warner Bros., Fox, Disney, Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate.

It now has all of the majors onboard and boasts more than 2,000 movies and over 10,200 TV show episodes, both new releases and library fare, from 38 different content partners. An estimated 35% of the movies on the network are in HD.

The numbers are notable at a time when studios are keen on creating ways to generate revenues from homevideo now that DVDs have reached their earnings peak.

Helping to put financials in perspective are recent reports from analysts that suggest digital downloads are starting to appeal to mainstream audiences.

The sale of online videos is expected to generate $3.8 billion this year, according to digital media analysts at Strategy Analytics. That would surpass the $3.5 billion that ad-based videos are expected to earn this year.

Digital distribution is up 21% during the first half of the year, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, generating revenue of $968 million. That compares with $407 million for Blu-ray sales.

Who is doing the downloading from Sony will be key in helping to determine just how lucrative videogame consoles will become as a future revenue stream.

While males 18-34, the traditional game-playing demo, unsurprisingly comprise a majority of its user base, Sony said it's been happy to see that more women are embracing the service and influencing which movies and TV shows are downloaded, broadening the reach of the console.

The trend of moving from early adopters into the mainstream fits in well with Sony's efforts to promote the PS3 as not just a game system but an entertainment hub in consumers' living rooms.

Getting there wasn't necessarily easy. It took time to develop the network -- but then it also took some time educating Hollywood on the benefits.

Having Sony Pictures as the initial partner helped sell the service, but studios "had to be convinced that it was a good place to be and that their content was safe and secure," said Eric Lempel, director of operations for the PlayStation Network. "There were lots of discussions, a lot of roadshows, a lot of technical and business evaluations," he said.

That process also involved coming up with a proper release window for programming.

Movies are released through the video-on-demand window, which is typically a month after pics bow on DVD. The films remain available for up to two months. Studios are increasingly releasing films day and date on DVD and VOD, however.

Sony is hardly the only player in the vidgame space to offer digital downloads. Rival Microsoft has also scored well with movie and TV shows offered to its Xbox Live account holders.

To date, Xbox Live has 30 million subscribers who can digitally access movies via Netflix and other video downloads, using their Xbox 360s.

But look! CDs are still being in sold in stores. The success of memory-based media doesn't necessarily mean that physical media is going away.

True. No argument there, but it will be on decline until it goes away. CDs are still popular in many places but do you really know a lot of people who still buy them? I sure don't, but maybe I'm around different people.

I mean everyone (I mean analysts and others who are objective) claim the same thing. Optical media as it is going to remain a player for a long time but the decline will continue until it's extinct just like any other technology. VHS took time to get phased out and even today you have Panasonic making Blu-ray player with VHS :)

So yes, you are right, you will still be able to buy optical media but as more and more people switch to internet based delivery thorugh their TVs and other devices you will find less and less need to buy discs. It is still valid to make discs for those who don't have the ability to enjoy internet based access but those numbers will keep shrinking IMO.

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Boz    1,324

Here's also an interesting article on recent happenings and a large movement towards digital distribution from pretty much all major players:

The quest to delivering digital media to consumers' TVs is the space race of the 21st century.

The competitors are Netflix, Best Buy, Amazon, Apple, TiVo, Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, Vudu, Yahoo!, ZeeVee and countless others.

It may be the custom electronics professional (CE pro) who ends up making sense of the joint-ventures and co-branding and ultimately helping customers land content on their TVs.

Overview:

* Samsung Offers Blockbuster Digital Library

* Blockbuster Partners with TiVo

* Netflix Partners with TiVo

* Best Buy Partners with TiVo

* Amazon and TiVo Join Forces

* Best Buy Teams with Samsung, LG Electronics

* Amazon Reportedly Looks to Acquire Netflix

* Sony Bravia Connected HDTVs Get Netflix

* ZeeVee's Zinc Browser Delivers Hulu, Netflix, Much More

* Boxee Buddies Up with Netflix, Pandora, Much More

* Vudu Partners with Vizio

* Vudu Partners with LG

* Panasonic enabled Amazon VOD on all of their 2009 players and TVs.

and much more

As you can see, there seems to be a lot of companies that are now working together. It's not hard to predict that they all might merge under one umbrella, especially if Amazon buys Netflix.

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djesteban    4
Don't forget, you are in fact breaking the law by ripping the Blu-ray disc. The same was with DVD, not to mention the fact that only 10% of people actually knows or is willing to do it.

That's not true for everybody, I hate when people generalize! It depends in which country you live; we are not all Americans you know, laws differ from one country to another.... Here it is totally legal to make backups of your Blu-Ray/DVD.

Also, I would NEVER pay for a streaming service.... never ever... and for multiple reason:

First, I can't see streaming going as high as Blu-Ray goes regarding bitrates. Most (respectable) Blu-Ray release idle at around 25+Mbps at 1080p. I certainly don't want to go back to stone age and get lower bitrates than this, or even worst, like 720p/1080i crappy resolution. Quality is the main reason why I was not buying DVD's before and that is making me buy Blu-rays now; I just don't want to take a step back in this aspect.

Second, I barely watch American movies. Now, some will say, what does this have anything to do with this topic... well, I bet you that most of those streaming service will only offer a very small catalog of foreign movies, and that the flix offered will very much resemble what is being offered today at Blockbuster (and others). I want to be able to watch any Chinese, Korean, Japanese and French movies I want, but I am pretty sure that streaming services will be very limited on that side.

In conclusion, I really don't mind if I have to go with digital copies, but I want to be able to own a copy on my Hard Drive and I want decent bitrate and resolution... no the kind of thing I see now with the current streaming services.

My 2 cents :)

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+StevoFC    21
Most (respectable) Blu-Ray release idle at around 25+Mbps at 1080p. I certainly don't want to go back to stone age and get lower bitrates than this, or even worst, like 720p/1080i crappy resolution.

1080i is the exact same resolution as 1080p, 1920x1080...just so you know. ;)

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chevyordeath    1

The players are still pretty expensive. And you need an HDTV to view one properly as well... so I think it will be a while yet. I think eventually they will be mainstream, but as I said, it will be a while. I buy Blu-Ray whenever I can. I have my PS3 hooked up to my HDTV in my living room. I also have a Blu-Ray drive on my PC, along with an HDTV tuner, It's pretty nice.

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NeoFyle    0

Although I got a SONY laptop that has Blu-Ray I honestly have not seen much of a difference in in the quality of the media to be compelling enough to replace my existing library of standard DVD's. Honestly I rather buy content online rather than buy the disc's anymore. Yes it's nice to have the hard copies but the technology is getting so reliable that it's almost not worth the additional cost's of buying physical media. My laptop is not brand spankin new but it's not too old either. It's a SONY VGN-AR730 but no slouch either.

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CentralDogma    145

Boz, I think you?re forgetting a major player in order for Digital Distribution to take off. The ISPs. And every indication so far is, their having none of it. ISPs are actually moving backwards technologically. Rather than updating their aging infrastructure, their imposing limits and stifling the technology that would make DD a viable option. Fois internet service is very limited right now and DOCSIS 3 has only hit 20% of the US. 40% of US homes don't even have brodband!

Unless the FCC gets on ISP's backs, the internet is going to rot.

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NeoFyle    0
Boz, I think you're forgetting a major player in order for Digital Distribution to take off. The ISPs. And every indication so far is, their having none of it. ISPs are actually moving backwards technologically. Rather than updating their aging infrastructure, their imposing limits and stifling the technology that would make DD a viable option. Fois internet service is very limited right now and DOCSIS 3 has only hit 20% of the US. 40% of US homes don't even have brodband!

Unless the FCC gets on ISP's backs, the internet is going to rot.

You got that right, rather than invest they like the cellular companies want to bilk the consumer's out of the most money for as long as they can without investing in new technologies and infrastructure because it's "good enough" that's not the answer but with the global economy in shambles they are putting this stuff on the back burner until the economy pick's up, at least I hope so.

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djesteban    4
1080i is the exact same resolution as 1080p, 1920x1080...just so you know. ;)

...but interlaced thus not full frame... interlaced footage is :x One of the main reason why I never went for the DVD format.

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Boz    1,324
Boz, I think you're forgetting a major player in order for Digital Distribution to take off. The ISPs. And every indication so far is, their having none of it. ISPs are actually moving backwards technologically. Rather than updating their aging infrastructure, their imposing limits and stifling the technology that would make DD a viable option. Fois internet service is very limited right now and DOCSIS 3 has only hit 20% of the US. 40% of US homes don't even have brodband!

Unless the FCC gets on ISP's backs, the internet is going to rot.

That's the thing.. from articles I have read they will start regulating cable companies in terms of capping access to internet. It will happen but even if they don't the economy of the market will force them to. I have no doubt about that.

As for 40% of US Home not having broadband, that's still higher then the number of households in the States that have HDTV which is now 50% ;)

As I see it broadband is growing faster then HDTV because it is a necessity and this administration is making it a priority for various reasons.

Edited by Boz

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djesteban    4
Although I got a SONY laptop that has Blu-Ray I honestly have not seen much of a difference in in the quality of the media to be compelling enough to replace my existing library of standard DVD's. Honestly I rather buy content online rather than buy the disc's anymore. Yes it's nice to have the hard copies but the technology is getting so reliable that it's almost not worth the additional cost's of buying physical media. My laptop is not brand spankin new but it's not too old either. It's a SONY VGN-AR730 but no slouch either.

...on a laptop...... yeah, obviously if your running at a ridiculous resolution you won't really see the difference. Though, if you were watching on a 46+inch screen, then that would be another story.

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TDQuiksilver    3

Ugh... here we go again.

Blu-ray is here to stay.

Digital distribution is still a ways out... don't start banging the drum quite yet. Atleast we got a few of you to quit clinging to HD-DVD. :laugh:

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Boz    1,324
That's not true for everybody, I hate when people generalize! It depends in which country you live; we are not all Americans you know, laws differ from one country to another.... Here it is totally legal to make backups of your Blu-Ray/DVD.

Well I wasn't generalizing.. I was just responding to Vice's comment about ripping Blu-ray and I think he is in the States or Canada. Maybe I'm wrong but I think he is.

Also, I would NEVER pay for a streaming service.... never ever... and for multiple reason:

First, I can't see streaming going as high as Blu-Ray goes regarding bitrates. Most (respectable) Blu-Ray release idle at around 25+Mbps at 1080p. I certainly don't want to go back to stone age and get lower bitrates than this, or even worst, like 720p/1080i crappy resolution. Quality is the main reason why I was not buying DVD's before and that is making me buy Blu-rays now; I just don't want to take a step back in this aspect.

Second, I barely watch American movies. Now, some will say, what does this have anything to do with this topic... well, I bet you that most of those streaming service will only offer a very small catalog of foreign movies, and that the flix offered will very much resemble what is being offered today at Blockbuster (and others). I want to be able to watch any Chinese, Korean, Japanese and French movies I want, but I am pretty sure that streaming services will be very limited on that side.

In conclusion, I really don't mind if I have to go with digital copies, but I want to be able to own a copy on my Hard Drive and I want decent bitrate and resolution... no the kind of thing I see now with the current streaming services.

My 2 cents :)

Well considering that you can have Netflix and other services for like $10 a month or less, I don't see why you wouldn't want it. A lot more people are using Netflix on XBox or Roku or through their BLu-ray players or their TVs.

One thing that's important to mention is that obsession with bit-rates is unwarranted. In the format war days, HD DVD had actually about 20mbps usable bitrate and every single reputable review site showed that quality was equal to Blu-ray.

I mention this because you don't need 50mbps bitrate to get top quality with the new compression technologies. They are achieving same quality as Blu-ray through VC1 or other encoders at 12-15mbps and 8-10 mbps is pretty much transparent on 30-55" displays.

It's technological progress, just like you don't need uncompressed audio when you listen to optimized and compressed DTS-MA or True HD without loss of quality but at a much lower bitrate.

In another example, there are plenty of Blu-ray discs that look stunning and have gotten 4 to 5 star reviews and their bitrate for video was around 15mbps. One example from the top of my head is Forgetting Sarah Marshall or 10,000 BC (4 stars and 4.5 stars for video quality) and there are quite a bit of movies like that. I know because I also do backup my Blu-ray discs and make them available for streaming through my PS3. So that's proof that you don't need 30+ mbps bitrate to have excellent HD transfer.

Edited by Boz

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DaDude    46
True. No argument there, but it will be on decline until it goes away. CDs are still popular in many places but do you really know a lot of people who still buy them? I sure don't, but maybe I'm around different people.

Same here. I don't know anyone that still buys CDs, but regardless, they're still being sold even though sales are very poor. This is because it's the only physical format of music. What I'm getting at is that even though physical media sales may be poor, they still want some format of it available as an option for the few people who want it.

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DaDude    46
1080i is the exact same resolution as 1080p, 1920x1080...just so you know. ;)

Correct. Except one is interlaced and the other is progressive. In slow moving images, they should look identical, but in 1080i, you can see jaggies during fast moving images. But yes, 1080i will look better on a 1080p TV than on a 720p one due to the resolution match.

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