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Author Topic: Is Blu Ray dying?  (Read 50274 times)
samirkharusi
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« on: January 08, 2009, 12:12:11 AM »
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Is it just my imagination or is Blu Ray Disc technology dying? Now that it has won over HD-DVD one would have expected a major take-off. I haven't noticed any. Players are still expensive, blank discs excessively so, recorded material does not seem to be lording it over normal DVDs, BD burners still expensive, people seem to be downloading movies more and more (mostly pirated? yet of remarkably good quality on screens under 40" at under 4GB for a 2-hour movie). Perhaps Michael is right, yet again? Electronic delivery is the near future, despite of quality that is quite lousy compared to BD quality, clearly so on a 50" or larger screen. After all, audio CDs also seem to be dying, as the masses seem quite happy with mediocre MP3. Saw an interview with the inventor of MP3. He was absolutely astounded that MP3 has gone so mass-market, given that he had designed the quality at a level that would be web friendly, not as something approaching HiFi. It also seems that currently there is more MP3 music in use than all other forms put together. Pity for those who are keen on the best quality that current technology can deliver, be it audio or video. Views?
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free1000
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 06:18:53 AM »
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Quote from: samirkharusi
Is it just my imagination or is Blu Ray Disc technology dying? Now that it has won over HD-DVD one would have expected a major take-off. I haven't noticed any. Players are still expensive, blank discs excessively so, recorded material does not seem to be lording it over normal DVDs, BD burners still expensive, people seem to be downloading movies more and more (mostly pirated? yet of remarkably good quality on screens under 40" at under 4GB for a 2-hour movie). Perhaps Michael is right, yet again? Electronic delivery is the near future, despite of quality that is quite lousy compared to BD quality, clearly so on a 50" or larger screen. After all, audio CDs also seem to be dying, as the masses seem quite happy with mediocre MP3. Saw an interview with the inventor of MP3. He was absolutely astounded that MP3 has gone so mass-market, given that he had designed the quality at a level that would be web friendly, not as something approaching HiFi. It also seems that currently there is more MP3 music in use than all other forms put together. Pity for those who are keen on the best quality that current technology can deliver, be it audio or video. Views?

The hard drive has killed blue ray for data storage as surely as solid state memory will destroy the winchester disk within the next decade!

Get a few external SATA drives and stop worrying.  I now send HD's to my clients if a job won't fit on a DVD. Dead easy and they even return them.

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Ray
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 06:18:59 AM »
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I'm also disappointed in the speed of uptake of the Blu-ray format. One blank 25GB disc is still considerably more expensive than three 8.5GB dual layer DVD discs, which in turn are considerably more expensive than 6 single layer DVD blanks.

When I recently bought a 50" plasma HD display, I enquired about a Blu-ray player whilst I was in the store. I was amazed to discover that none of the blu-ray players on offer were region-free. That means, if they were not region-free for blu-ray discs, they were also not region-free for standard DVD movies.

Is someone crazy here? I have a stack of DVDs from many regions. The first DVDs I bought many years ago are all Region 1. I have many operas and ballets encoded as Region 2. The first operas on blu-ray are likely to be productions from the Metropolitan Opera Company, encoded in Region 1.

Which sane person thinks that region coding is a good idea? In Australia it was established long ago that this is an anti-competitive practice.
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 06:40:48 AM »
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Quote from: free1000
The hard drive has killed blue ray for data storage as surely as solid state memory will destroy the winchester disk within the next decade!

Get a few external SATA drives and stop worrying.  I now send HD's to my clients if a job won't fit on a DVD. Dead easy and they even return them.

I've been recording on CDs and DVDs for the past 10 years. I've not yet come across any that are unreadable that I also know were recorded properly in the first instance. I know that many people claim that they have had experiences of optical media failure, but I would question whether or not they are really sure that such images were once readable, and whether or not they really tried to read such images on other systems and DVD readers, or indeed whether or not such failed discs had been stored properly, away from harmful chemicals such as label adhesives, sudden changes in temperature and humidity, and strong sunlight.

However, apart from its archival use, blu-ray is also the medium for HD movies. I've been buying audio CDs and DVD movies for much longer than 10 years, yet have never come across one that used to play but now doesn't. However, I have come across faulty recordings which I returned to the store within a few days of purchase.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 06:42:50 AM by Ray » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 10:14:58 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
I've been recording on CDs and DVDs for the past 10 years. I've not yet come across any that are unreadable that I also know were recorded properly in the first instance. I know that many people claim that they have had experiences of optical media failure, but I would question whether or not they are really sure that such images were once readable, and whether or not they really tried to read such images on other systems and DVD readers, or indeed whether or not such failed discs had been stored properly, away from harmful chemicals such as label adhesives, sudden changes in temperature and humidity, and strong sunlight.

You asked me this somewhere else and I forgot to answer.

The discs were recorded properly.  Readable on both the original DVD drive and a second.  (Although both were in the same machine.)  In the case of the failures they were unreadable even in the original drive.  I'm not sure I've ever had a DVD+-R die but I have had a lot of double layer discs give up the ghost.  Storage and labeling should have been fine.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 10:15:05 AM »
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This is just a personal opinion but apart from data storage and backup uses, from my amateur consumer point of view, upgrading movie-watching equipment is low on my priority list. I was a late adopter of DVDs and only did so when my local video rental place stopped stocking VHS tapes. By the time I bought a DVD player, they were selling for $50. The picture was much better than that of VHS tapes, of course, but to my mind not an important improvement. In contrast, I was an early adopter of VHS equipment because being able to record TV programs to later watch at my leisure was an important improvement to my life. Along that line of thinking, the improvement of HD over SD is real and obvious to the eye, but the picture quality on my 12-year old Panasonic GAOO when watching a rented DVD is still plenty good enough for me. And the move to 16:9 from 4:3 isn't something I was clamoring for either.

I suspect that wanting/needing large screens and the newest toys may be something that is losing its allure, or maybe it's just that it is NOT that important to as many people as it used to be. I don't claim to know or to represent the views of anyone else, I merely find myself questioning the necessity of upgrading more and more. For example. my D-SLRs are 8 and 10 mpix, respectively, and I have no urge (or need) to spend money for newer bodies.

I understand the need and (or) the desire to improve technology, but I also understand the feeling of consumer resentment at being forced to adopt yet another new generation of toys that I didn't really ask for, let alone need.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 07:30:28 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
You asked me this somewhere else and I forgot to answer.

The discs were recorded properly.  Readable on both the original DVD drive and a second.  (Although both were in the same machine.)  In the case of the failures they were unreadable even in the original drive.  I'm not sure I've ever had a DVD+-R die but I have had a lot of double layer discs give up the ghost.  Storage and labeling should have been fine.

Very strange! If only I could be so lucky winning the lottery   .
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 08:31:51 PM »
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Quote from: Robert Roaldi
I understand the need and (or) the desire to improve technology, but I also understand the feeling of consumer resentment at being forced to adopt yet another new generation of toys that I didn't really ask for, let alone need.

I understand what you mean, but Blu-ray is part of a major transition from very low 'standard definition' (640x480) to much better 'high definition' (1920x1080). Large screen, full HD plasma sets sell like hot cakes in Australia. The prices are very competitive and the retailers' profit margins are very low, but they still make decent profits because of the huge volume of sales.

It therefore might be puzzling why blu-ray recorders and players, both stand-alone and for the computer, are not more popular. I don't think it's because the consumer resents being forced to adopt yet another generation of toys. I think it's because the manufacturers and promoters of this new technology are not doing their job well. They are throwing too many hurdles, doubts and difficulties in the path of the consumer.

The blank BD-R discs are far too expensive compared with DVD-R. The first blu-ray recorders for the computer were not able to play blu-ray movies. The software had to catch up. Currently in Australia there's only one make of Blu-ray player that claims to be region free (marketed by Kogan). It's new on the market and at this stage it's not clear whether it automatically plays any disc from any region, or whether one has to enter secret codes through the remote.

It's already been established in Australia (by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in accordance with the Trade practices Act) that region coding is an anti-competitive measure which can not lawfully be upheld. For this reason, major electronics companies such as Pioneer have been selling DVD players that don't even have to be modified to play a disc from any region. Nor do they require a secret code to be entered to change the region. They automatically play a disc from any region. This is what I'm used to. Do you think I would be interested in going backwards and buying new technology which is incapable of playing half my existing collection of DVD movies and musicals?
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NikosR
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 10:55:06 PM »
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C'mon Ray admit it. You're defending Blue Ray just because its your namesake.
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Nikos
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 03:13:03 AM »
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C'mon Ray admit it. You're defending Blue Ray just because its your namesake.

You mean because it's a technology I developed in my backyard in my spare time when I was feeling a bit blue?  

I find it a bit paradoxical that the increasing pixel count of all digital cameras, including the popular P&S, seems to be much appreciated by the public at large and especially by most readers of this forum, yet increases in video resolution and quality seem to be moving as slow as molasses.

I once bought a standard resolution videocam, but after the initial novelty had worn off I stopped using it because the technical quality was pretty awful compared with a still camera and awful even compared with a good quality 'standard definition' broadcast. I find it difficult to ignore the technical quality of video whilst simultaneously obsessing about the technical quality of still images.

I wondered years ago why Canon did not produce a DSLR with video capability since most P&S cameras have always had this feature. Now that Canon have at last got around to providing a video capability in the 5D2 (and Nikon too) it's disappointing that both companies have not provided full manual control in video mode, including choice of ISO and aperture.

I'm genuinely impressed with the quality of Blu-ray on a large plasma screen. I've recently been watching some of the "Planet Earth" wildlife series from the BBC (narrated by David Attenborough). The footage recorded with professional HD videocams is stunning. Unfortunately, not all of it was recorded in high definition, but it's all on Blu-ray, a 5-disc set that cost only US$12 per disc. Amazing value!

Perhaps part of the problem is, you do need a large screen to fully appreciate high definition video. I would say 50" diagonal is a minimum.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 08:10:43 AM »
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Perhaps part of the problem is, you do need a large screen to fully appreciate high definition video. I would say 50" diagonal is a minimum.

That is one of my problems. The room in which we watch TV is not large enough for a 50" screen. Having to buy a larger house to accomodate it would seriously increase the cost of HD for me.
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 09:27:01 AM »
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Quote from: Robert Roaldi
That is one of my problems. The room in which we watch TV is not large enough for a 50" screen. Having to buy a larger house to accomodate it would seriously increase the cost of HD for me.

Your room is not big enough to hang a 50" picture? These plasma screens can be fixed to the wall. They are only 2 or 3 inches thick. My 50" plasma replaced a bulky 33" CRT TV. The room now looks bigger.
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samirkharusi
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 11:46:02 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
Your room is not big enough to hang a 50" picture? These plasma screens can be fixed to the wall. They are only 2 or 3 inches thick. My 50" plasma replaced a bulky 33" CRT TV. The room now looks bigger.
With 1080 HD I find that a "correct" viewing distance is around 2x the screen size. The numbers also agree if you consider human vision  as good for one arc-minute (to use per pixel). So you can easily fit a 50" screen in a common-sized room and still sit 100" away. Of course, this will be too close for SD. With BD it's very pleasant and sharp, a nice cinema experience.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 04:18:29 PM »
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Quote from: samirkharusi
With 1080 HD I find that a "correct" viewing distance is around 2x the screen size. The numbers also agree if you consider human vision  as good for one arc-minute (to use per pixel). So you can easily fit a 50" screen in a common-sized room and still sit 100" away. Of course, this will be too close for SD. With BD it's very pleasant and sharp, a nice cinema experience.

Thanks, that's interesting. Having never really watched one for any length of time, it never occurred to me that the higher quality HD image would be easier to "get close to", relative to what I can tolerate with SD. It's a shame that hanging around shopping centres is so annoying or I'd go to a store and watch one for a while.

Our room is large enough to contain the thin screen, but the layout does not currently permit being 3 yards away (roughly 100 inches) to watch. If anything, we've been considering getting a smaller TV because of our viewing distance. Since I seem to be turning into a late adopter, by the time I will seriously contemplate spending money on this stuff, it will be so inexpensive that the decision will make itself.

My apologies for the digression, I am not addressing the original question.

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Ray
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 08:40:58 PM »
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Quote from: Robert Roaldi
Our room is large enough to contain the thin screen, but the layout does not currently permit being 3 yards away (roughly 100 inches) to watch. If anything, we've been considering getting a smaller TV because of our viewing distance. Since I seem to be turning into a late adopter, by the time I will seriously contemplate spending money on this stuff, it will be so inexpensive that the decision will make itself.

Such recommended sizes are not inflexible. A viewing distance of about double the diagonal seems reasonable and might apply also to any print you have on the wall.

Since your room seems rather small, a 42" plasma screen might be more appropriate, in which case a viewing distance of just 7ft would be about right. Don't tell me your room is so small you can't get as far away as 7ft from a wall. So you really have no excuse, Robert   .

If you do consider a 42" screen, make sure it's full HD (1920x1080). Many smaller screens are sometimes described as being HD but in fact are not full HD.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:43:11 PM by Ray » Logged
daws
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2009, 03:50:12 PM »
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Quote from: Robert Roaldi
This is just a personal opinion but apart from data storage and backup uses, from my amateur consumer point of view, upgrading movie-watching equipment is low on my priority list....

...I understand the need and (or) the desire to improve technology, but I also understand the feeling of consumer resentment at being forced to adopt yet another new generation of toys that I didn't really ask for, let alone need.

Bingo. For anyone who wonders why Blu Ray isn't hot (and IMO isn't going to be), multiply the above by 100 million, and you have your answer.

Or take me -- a lifelong video/audiophile with shelves of Beta tapes, Beta Hi-Fi tapes, hundreds of LaserDiscs and hundreds of DVD's. After closely watching the corporate greedmongering during the Blu Ray/HD wars, I'm utterly ambivalent to Blu Ray. Not that I no longer lust after higher res, but the marketing macho has killed my enthusiasm to upgrade.

*shrug*

Eh.

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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2009, 04:08:21 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
I've been recording on CDs and DVDs for the past 10 years. I've not yet come across any that are unreadable that I also know were recorded properly in the first instance. I know that many people claim that they have had experiences of optical media failure, but I would question whether or not they are really sure that such images were once readable, and whether or not they really tried to read such images on other systems and DVD readers, or indeed whether or not such failed discs had been stored properly, away from harmful chemicals such as label adhesives, sudden changes in temperature and humidity, and strong sunlight.

However, apart from its archival use, blu-ray is also the medium for HD movies. I've been buying audio CDs and DVD movies for much longer than 10 years, yet have never come across one that used to play but now doesn't. However, I have come across faulty recordings which I returned to the store within a few days of purchase.
The longevity and fragility of CDs/DVDs you write yourself is quite different from those mass produced from a master method, which is way more permanent.
I only buy good media and have had it fail on me and yes it did work and then it didn't. No labels, in good CD folders, avoid sunlight etc and I always treat CDs as carefully as I would vinyl. I've heard others complain, that even after folowing best practive guidelines, they too had optical media fail.
They do fail, even if it hasn't hapened to you. Yet.

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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2009, 04:13:30 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Perhaps part of the problem is, you do need a large screen to fully appreciate high definition video. I would say 50" diagonal is a minimum.
Shame that nearly all broadcast TV [SD] will look dreadful on such a large screen.
I've yet to see a flat screen as good as my CRT in how the image looks [for normal viewing], so I'm not too fussed about buying one for the main TV.
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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2009, 09:01:11 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
The longevity and fragility of CDs/DVDs you write yourself is quite different from those mass produced from a master method, which is way more permanent.
I only buy good media and have had it fail on me and yes it did work and then it didn't. No labels, in good CD folders, avoid sunlight etc and I always treat CDs as carefully as I would vinyl. I've heard others complain, that even after folowing best practive guidelines, they too had optical media fail.
They do fail, even if it hasn't hapened to you. Yet.

I accept that that may be the case. I just find it very odd that despite my being a sucker for a bargain and buying all sorts of good value unfamiliar brands of both CD-R and DVD-R, I just don't have any that I've found to be unreadable after many years of storage.

However, initially I accumulated a lot of failed discs. I once had a pile of over 100 failed recordings sitting on a shelf, before I threw them out. I still occasionally get failed recordings, usually it seems, because I attempted to record at the maximum speed, which I think is not advisable.

The only reasons I can think of for my extraordinary luck, is that I've never bought recordable CDs or DVDs over the internet, but only from local 'bricks & mortar' retailers who presumably have a reputation to protect. I get the impression that on the internet there are a lot of 'fly by night' operators who are out to make a quick buck from batches of recordable media that they acquired very cheaply because the discs did not pass the QC tests in the factory.

Another consideration might be air quality. I live in a non-polluted environment with clean air. I've not seen any research on the effects of industrial pollution on optical media longevity, but it seems reasonable that the more sulphurous, acidic air and fog that often hangs over many cities could affect DVD longevity (as well as your own health, of course, which is surely even more important).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 09:03:51 PM by Ray » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2009, 09:29:02 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Shame that nearly all broadcast TV [SD] will look dreadful on such a large screen.
I've yet to see a flat screen as good as my CRT in how the image looks [for normal viewing], so I'm not too fussed about buying one for the main TV.

Ideally, you should adjust your viewing distance according to the quality of the source, and the same applies to a print on the wall. Broadcast quality in SD varies enormously. If you were able to adjust your viewing distance beforehand, in accordance with the quality of the broadcast, you would presumably not be aware that the quality had changed, just as you wouldn't see any image quality difference between an enlargement from a 35mm film and MF film from a sufficiently great distance.

I also had a very good quality CRT until recently (a Loewe Calida). I was concerned that even the best LCD TVs would not match the quality of a good CRT, especially with regard to contrast ratio. I thought that I might be satisfied with only the most expensive plasma set, such as one of the 9th generation Pioneer Kuro models. But the 11th generation Panasonic plasma sets have been getting very good reviews. They are considered to be very close to the Pioneer Kuros yet much less expensive. Since I'm not a perfectionist, I opted for the very slightly inferior product at the much better price   .
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