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Do we need Blu-ray drives?

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CarlT2001 28th February 2012, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
We don't own anything that can play blu-rays in our household.

Why?

Because the only 1080 screen in the building is my U2311H, all of our TVs are still good old fashioned CRTs and will be until they stop working!

Once again I am amazed at the amount of luddites on the site :(
azazel1024 28th February 2012, 14:24 Quote
Frankly blu ray playback support needs to be added in to windows media player. It was annoying that WMP took a few years to add DVD play back support back in the day and just as annoying now that Blu Ray support isn't standard.

For me I have a Samsung BR player in my computer, in part to replace the noisy DVD drive I had previously. This sucker is maybe 1/3rd the volume and is about 50% faster and is SATA over IDE as well.

Frankly I think I have watched about 30 minutes of BR on my computer to test it out and see how it looks (pretty good, but not as good as watching it on my 42" LCD). Mostly I just use it for 720p rips of BR movies I own to load up on my file server for my media players and ipad for convenience sake...in which case it works flawlessly.
azazel1024 28th February 2012, 14:34 Quote
On the note of SD or microSD distributed video content...it would be interesting, but to darned expensive. A BR disk pressing probably costs less than 50 cents to manufacture in bulk quantities. At best a 2GB SD card is going to cost in the range of $1 to manufacture and at best you could have anywhere from okay to very good quality H.264 SD video content on a 2GB card. If you want DVD quality low loss compression you'd need to spring for a 4-8GB SD card, which would be $2-4 to manufacture. For Blu Ray full 1080p quality H.264 feature length movie, you are looking at least a 5-8GB movie for acceptable quality for most people, which means minimum 8GB card and ~$4 to manufacture, or 8x the price of a blu ray disk (or more).

If you want lower loss video compression at 1080p you are going to need more like a 16-32GB SD card, which is probably going to be $8-20 to manufacture, or 16-40x more expensive than a Blu Ray disk.

Even at higher loss video compressions, if you are going to distribute it on physical media, it is going to take costs to come down more on NAND flash to move away from optical disks (and frankly most people aren't going to mind good quality H.264 video, heck I rip most of my stuff at good quality settings with 720p and upconvert for my TV/PC to 1080p and it looks very nice, if not quite BR 1080p quality levels...but I have to toggle between them to really notice a difference). You would still have to compromise on video quality at least a small amount and some people WILL care.

I do think it is a good option once micro SD card slots are de facto standard in basically all tablets and phones (thanks for that Apple, you douches). You could then look at DRM for the micro SD cards that the movie is coming on and then people can't complain as much about not being able to take their movies with them. Sure having a bunch of micro SD cards isn't super convenient, but it isn't that bad. A dozen micro SD cards and their cases probably wouldn't even take up a medium sized pocket in a tablet case/bag or your pocket for that matter. Once memory prices get low enough, a $1-3 premium isn't that much to add to the cost of a $10-20 movie.
Hakuren 28th February 2012, 14:36 Quote
No, we don't (most definitely) need BR. Me personally, I did burned maybe 3 or 4 CD/DVDs over past decade. Times changed. Send optical media where it belong - into dustbin of history. It is about time.
CarlT2001 28th February 2012, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuren
No, we don't (most definitely) need BR. Me personally, I did burned maybe 3 or 4 CD/DVDs over past decade. Times changed. Send optical media where it belong - into dustbin of history. It is about time.

So how would you propose to distribute high definition movies?
To rule out optical media would be madness. Yeah, you may not use it for your PC, but for other applications, it works and its reasonably cheap.
javaman 28th February 2012, 15:24 Quote
Short answer no, long answer "its nice to have".

I got a laptop and a netbook both lacking any form of disk based media reading format. There is occasions where I miss a dvd drive but only for reading disks like older games I haven't repurchased on steam and copying music. Now apps like deezer have rendered my music CD's obsolete since I can download to my phone, the only problem, Once my subscription is up its lost. Save with lovefilm and netflix. As for blu ray, again BR-ROM is all that is necessary. Being able to rip films and go on my merry way. I'm never gonna write to disk, either the files are too small ie. usb stick or too big, portable HDD. Sitting waiting on a disk to burn is slow and no where near as easy as a USB stick or portable HDD. This leaves blu ray in limbo, not fast enough, relatively expensive and not as reliable. I've been burned with so many DVD's failing I won't risk burning to disk. Dropbox has largely made USB useless but I still carry a USB stick for on the go quick saves since uploading to dropbox can be slow with so many clicks. Everything will go digital download, or on demand monthly subscription. I prefer the former for games, movies and music where I occasionally go back to and want to watch say on my phone. Internet streaming is still a no go there relatively. Orange where kind enough to offer 2 swapables with my contract and deezer is an awesome idea (app sucks mind). On demand music is brilliant since its relatively low bandwidth. Then arises the problem of cost, £5 a month for orange customers (if not in your contract). If your into music and buy new albums on a weekly basis, it pays for itself, For me, if it wasn't included I wouldn't use it.

It comes down to two pints, Owning media or having the right to access what you want where you want. Personally I prefer owning and downloads (itunes, amazon) allow me to do this at great prices that content on disk cannot provide. Stream works if your content heavy and lack storage. I don't think its one or the other, its both. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but together, they will eventually make all forms of disk irrelevant. Steaming needs a quality boost (LTE, infinity etc will eventually provide that) where as downloads are more cost of storage dependent be it at home or the mystical cloud.
ADJB 28th February 2012, 16:07 Quote
My PS3 is in the living room for the misses to use as a blu-ray player.

I have replaced the DVD players in 3 of my machines with Blu-Ray as they die. Why? Because my computer screens are higher native resolution than the TV in my office and with 5.1 connected to my gaming machine its ideal for watching movies. Having said that I have about 15 Blu-Ray movies against about 600 DVD's so it doesn't get that much use. (BTW - VLC coupled with AnyDVD works really nicely) My laptop has a full HD screen so that's good for a couple of films when I am working away.

Why do my DVD players die?. Because, unlike it seems the majority of people here, I use them a lot. I buy cheap DVD's (Ex rental 3 DVD's for £4 or £1 each without the cover) and rip them to my network server for playback anywhere in the house. I have to burn a lot of iso's for work (OS install discs, rescue CD's / DVD's, Boot discs, image discs etc) and the average DVD player lasts between 3 and 6 months. Hence I will keep at least one machine with a DVD and eventually replace the others with Blu-Ray players (not writers, far too expensive both up front and for media)

Also, thinking about it, I still have a lot of legacy games which need the DVD in the drive to play. I know I can get round that but I can't really be bothered.
ADJB 28th February 2012, 16:11 Quote
Edit to the above - Before anybody asks, I can't use a USB stick or external drive where I am using DVD's for work as most of my (corporate) clients have locked down machines which won't allow writeable media to be used for security reasons - hence finalised session DVD's only.
Gradius 28th February 2012, 16:14 Quote
BD still fails due to high media costs, scarce of good and easy BD authoring, that's all.

Burners are cheap now.
Zener Diode 28th February 2012, 16:22 Quote
I think it's a bit of a silly question. I mean, do we need SLI/Crossfire? A good portion of computer users would say no. Do we need hexacore processors? Do we need soundcards? Who knows, but obviously somebody wants them.

I personally have a Blu Ray drive that I use a lot. I use it to play DVD and BD. My internet connection is not up to the task of streaming HD content, and with data caps being brought in streaming might not be the best solution for everybody. If we didn't need/want them, they would die I think. That's how it is i think, it's like evolution by natural selection, the weak will naturally fall. Do you think Asus, Samsung, LG etc. would bother manufacturing them if people weren't buying them?
GoodBytes 28th February 2012, 17:04 Quote
I use my DVD drive.. because I try to buy big in file size) games, due to internet bandwidth quotas that we have in Canada. It's the time of situation... do I download Call Of duty MW 2 and not use my internet for the rest of the month (no joke), or do I buy at the store for the same price. So my DVD drive does get used.

BUT getting a blu-ray drive? No, or at least not now. And it's not even a question of "Oh I have a PS3, so I don't care".. like I genuinely don't care about Blu-ray. But that might be because I still use a CRT TV (supports up to 720i via S-Video and Component).

The day I would get a Blu-ray drive, is when they'll be priced as DVD burner now, and no need to purchase a blu-ray codec.
edzieba 28th February 2012, 17:17 Quote
Physical media is obsolete only until your ISP has a hiccup. Or your content provider goes bust (or just plum decides you don't get to have things anymore). Or you want better quality than a dodgy stream or a poorly encoded pirate copy (with the exception of direct rip/pure remuxed files, it appears the vast majority of 'scene' encoders wouldn't know QRF from their own arse, and still try and shoehorn files into subsets of a CD ISO like it's the 90s).
Of course, there are plenty of shitty looking Blu Rays too, just as there are plenty of rubbish DVDs. No amount of technical capability can protect against incompetent mastering. But while I can point to any number of BDs that look better than their streaming counterparts, I cannot point to a single instance of the streaming version looking better than, or even comparable to, a BD. Like the megapixel wars with cameras, you shouldn't be looking at the resolution of HD content as an arbiter of quality: look at it's bitrate, and it's source (i.e. not upscaled, not futzed around with by DVNR).

Finally, I'd just like to clear something up:
Quote:
it’s [Blu Ray is] Sony’s format, after all
If anything, Blu Ray is Panasonic's format. It being the majority patent holder and main developer of the technologies involved. Like DVD, BD was a consortium developed format. The "it's the new Betamax!" cries were as accurate as they were prophetic (i.e. not very).
KayinBlack 28th February 2012, 17:19 Quote
Still have to use optical drives here, as we were told last week that no ISP is interested in EVER running high speed where we live. We asked them to remove the boxes from our property then. It wasn't pretty.

The optical drive is not dead. Not so long as people like me are refused access to high speed (and our neighbors can get it.)
tranc3 28th February 2012, 17:41 Quote
instead of a disc, we should either switch to all streaming/digital content. Or use a solid state storage, like a write protected SD HC card.
Just my two cents.
digitaldunc 28th February 2012, 18:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
Like the megapixel wars with cameras, you shouldn't be looking at the resolution of HD content as an arbiter of quality: look at it's bitrate, and it's source (i.e. not upscaled, not futzed around with by DVNR).

Agreed, we've all seen the horrendous macroblocking as a result of low bitrate video.

I've said it before with regard to digital delivery -- quality (not shaped), uncapped bandwidth isn't ubiquitous enough to render optical media obsolete yet, but it's getting that way.

Additionally, I'm glad VLC is making progress with blu-ray -- I've tried it myself but it doesn't seem to like the sound in my BSG box set. I'll be overjoyed when we can finally dump the likes of powerdvd -- why release such bloated crap?
ssj12 28th February 2012, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
No we don't.

/article page 2.

I own ONE DVD drive just in case, but I haven't used it since I played Dirt3 last summer. I have NEVER owned a Blu-ray and never used one personally (on the job I did HDHQV tests)

Yes we do, I dont own a 1080p monitor, GTX480, 7.1 channel sound card, and a 7.1 surround sound system for no damn reason. I enjoy watching to my movie on my 24" monitor in HD with 7.1 channels of audio. And there are many others like me, but with 5.1 surround.

Just because one does not need a writer, does not mean one doesnt enjoy having a reader. Games is not the only thing that benefits from Blu-ray or optical discs with higher storage.

Also, I might have 40mbps down, 5 up for internet speed, but I sure as hell not downloading many 40GB movies. Heck, I try to avoid pirating 7GB movies because of lack of seeders to get content fast.
NethLyn 28th February 2012, 18:57 Quote
The PS3 Trojan Horse has worked, in the same way that the previous generation of consoles all played DVDs, but that's what has helped slow down the takeup of BD Burners.

Ripoff price of Cyberlink's software aside, the PC's too open a format for Sony to dominate in the same way it did when it contributed to FDD drive development and the 3.5in disks ages ago. I've been using a second hard drive to backup for 7-8 years and had USB sticks for a year. DVD has crashed down to the point here I've got a reader and two writers lying around until they go in the next build.

To be fair, maybe some people might look at a BD Burner and think it would last longer than the average price-crashed DVD Writer. That's the only way I see people bothering with BD Burners in the next 18 months.
Apocalypso 28th February 2012, 19:07 Quote
I wonder what the new format that supersedes HD will be delivered on, will blu-ray discs have a large enough capacity?
Anfield 28th February 2012, 19:35 Quote
When the optical drive in my pc failed I did buy a blu ray one just for the sake of it, there has to date however never been a blu ray disc in it. Also my Sony notebook had a blu ray drive, but I ripped that out and put in a second hdd (which I needed due to the ssd not offering enough capacity), so personally I don't need a blu ray drive for my pc, I do however have a blu ray player connected to my tv and that gets used frequently for movies.
Grimloon 28th February 2012, 19:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack
Still have to use optical drives here, as we were told last week that no ISP is interested in EVER running high speed where we live. We asked them to remove the boxes from our property then. It wasn't pretty.

The optical drive is not dead. Not so long as people like me are refused access to high speed (and our neighbors can get it.)

Agreed. "high speed internet" happens to other people, there are days when I'd have a faster and more reliable connection on a V92 modem and the best I ever got there was 33,600 BAUD. No, I'm not joking. It really is that dodgy.

However, I've not yet found a use for a BD drive. Yep, main monitor is more than capable of 1080P playback but as I've never really used it I don't miss it. My main optical drive is an external USB DVDRW, I don't see the need for anything more yet. Backups are made to an external HDD so other than movies I don't use the DVD drive much.
Guinevere 28th February 2012, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoca1yps0
I wonder what the new format that supersedes HD will be delivered on, will blu-ray discs have a large enough capacity?

You mean like NHK's UHDTV? I'm sure there'll be a hugely expensive player only available in Japan with a limited selection of titles, but I see it principally being a streaming service only available to those with the right flavour of fibre.
nilesfoundglory 28th February 2012, 19:57 Quote
"The reason the PlayStation 3 is in third place in this round of the console wars... is due squarely to Sony’s desire to use it as a Trojan horse for the Blu-ray format. It was that decision that delayed the console’s release for nearly two years, and it was that decision that also lumbered it with a £400+ asking price at UK launch."

Really? As I recall, it was the awful yields on the ridiculously complex Cell processor and trying to get said processor to play nice alongside the Emotion chip for PS2 backward compatibility that jacked the price up and delayed launch. Blu Ray had been in development for 6 years prior to the PS3 retail release in Japan, and the first generation of stand-alone players had been on the market for nearly a year prior to the European release.

If anything, having BD playback capability *helped* BluRay proliferation because, after availability eased up in 2007, the PS3 was the cheapest and most widely available BluRay player... with the added benefit of being able to play games (just as the PS2 had helped proliferate DVD back in the late 1990's).

The problem with Blu Ray, in my opinion, is simply this: It's a physical disc media in an increasingly disc-less world. I turn on my 3 year old Blu Ray player about once a month these days, mostly because I watch most of my movies via streaming or on-demand services on a 'smart' TV. The rare times that I power on the thing is to watch movies that aren't available in the two previously mentioned formats.

I've found that I don't like using discs, and the monthly cost of a streaming service with a wide selection of instantly available entertainment that can be played almost-literally anywhere is far more appealing than paying for - or even renting - a disc that only has one film that requires a compatible player wherever I go (at the time of this writing, 2 disc rentals = 1 month all-you-can-eat streaming; 1 disc purchase = 2 months, maybe 3 depending). It also doesn't help that I find - regardless of any advancements in UI friendliness - computer video playback is still more awkward than a simple remote. That might have something to do with why I have no plans on putting a BD-R drive in any current or new PC build.

I don't buy the argument of 'it's the increase of available disk space' argument. Streaming services don't require disk space, otherwise a lot of Wii, XBox 360, and PS3 users would be out of luck when VOD services landed on their preferred gaming platform. You may say, "That's comparing apples and oranges," in regards to the PC, but it does indicate that the increase of available HDD storage has nothing to do with the decreased importance of disc media.
leslie 28th February 2012, 21:32 Quote
Blue Ray?
I only hook up an external dvd-drive when I absolutely need to read some old disk or burn one for a customers older computer. Now that I have a "boot from usb" cd, it has become even more rare. My desktop and sever has been optical free for years. If I could easily remove it from my laptop, I would do that too.

Hard disks hold more and are much cheaper in the long run, invest in a good backup/nas/file server, and forget the disks. Too much hassle, cost, risk and clutter. I would rather just buy another thumbstick or 2Tb drive instead.
sandys 28th February 2012, 21:32 Quote
If I buy a laptop with optical drive it must have bluray, I have bluray for all machines mostly readers with one writer, can't beat the quality for my home movies etc

Don't use them a lot besides making the vids from HD cam and watching bluray but that's it all I need it for, every few months i'll do an archive of the important stuff on the NAS on to BDR, doesn't hurt to have some data redundancy
debs3759 28th February 2012, 21:42 Quote
I've never had a BD drive. I don't feel like I'm missing anything either.

I have one two complete systems, a third waiting for Ivy Bridge, and am setting up several bench systems, all with it's own optical drive (DVD readers and writers are both so cheap these days, why make benching any more difficult?). I'll buy a BD drive when prices are comparable to DVD drives.
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