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Do we need Blu-ray drives?

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Tribble 2nd March 2012, 13:33 Quote
I have blu ray drives in all my computers, so i think i still them.
mystvearn 2nd March 2012, 14:08 Quote
A PS3 (for me) and a toshiba laptop (wife) are the only blu-ray players we have. So far each of us only bought 1 BD movie for the drives. I'm fine with that. On the software side, yes its ridiculously expansive, I end up just downloading the free software version and use it. When I need to use use the software again, uninstall, resinstall it again as it is rarely played on the pc and ps3.

Places/countries without good/fast internet will need physical media-no running from that fact. So driveless DVD/BD is only useful if you have good uncapped internet.

Most of the games I own are on disc, purely because Steam sells it more expansive than I can find it on ebay. Even some steam deals can't match what I got from ebay. Also after playing, I sell the disc back, so its not that I'm hoarding it just for collection purposes. Most of the BD disc formats I have are PS3 games which also cost cheaper than whatever sony is offering on their PSN store. That is until I want to play that DLC which I need to get a PScard which is downright annoying.
azazel1024 2nd March 2012, 14:18 Quote
Yeah for me optical drives get little use for actual movie watching just because they are saddled with too much "mandatory" crap. With the occasional exception of wanting to watch the special features of something or want THE BEST quality possible, I don't pop the disk in. I've ripped all my DVDs and about 1/3rd of my Blu Rays. It would be 100%, but HDD prices are too high right now (I need a couple new disks to keep up with my balooning storage requirements as is) and I am stuck with an old Core 2 duo, so a BR rip downconvert to high bit rate 720p takes about 6-8hrs right now using high quality settings in handbrake.

I don't go the pirate route, I buy all my stuff and rip it.

That said, things like those FBI warnings, mandatory previews, etc piss me off. When I put the disk in I damn well want to be watching my movie/show in 60 seconds or less including boot time of the watching device. With my media player I can be in the subfolder that holds the video file in question and it'll have buffered the video in maybe all of 30-45 seconds if I am fast with the remote. BR player, depending on mandatory previews and what not, I am lucky if I am watching my movie in 2 minutes. With some disks and their mandatory crap, it might be 3-6 minutes.

I also refuse to be constrained on not being able to take the content I have paid for with me...which isn't an option with my ipad 2, or not being able to play it on the devices I want (itunes movie DRM not compatible with anything non-apple...which means not my media players). Streaming is all nice and fine, but not as high quality, and doesn't help me on the go (no cellular data plans and damned if I'd pay the price on download caps if I did have one just to stream a movie).

Now if I had decent HD H.264 DRM free purchase and then download options that were legal, I'd be more than willing to go that route. I am lucky to have a good high speed interent connection, so a 2-4GB movie file isn't that much of an impediment (30Mbps up and down for my connection).

However, such an option doesn't exist. So for the quality and utility I want, it means buying BR on an optical disk and ripping it to harddrive and converting it to high quality H.264 (720p).
law99 2nd March 2012, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Blu-rays which were purchased with the movie already on them, which you then ripped to your PC. ArthurB's purpose seems to be taking large files which are presently only in a digital format (home videos, perhaps) and burning them to Blu-rays for transfer via physical media. Such uses aren't exactly common.

Can't say I have noticed much difference. Certainly not enough to come anywhere near using the full capacity of a Blu-ray disc. As to whether cross platform games such as Skyrim would be bigger if Blu-ray was a standard media for games? That's certainly a good question. One which I don't have an answer to, but I'd suggest looking at the sizes of cross platform games, PC exclusives, and (if possible) PS3 exclusives. That'd give you a good idea of game sizes on single DVD, possible multiple DVD, and Blu-ray respectively.

Yeah. Those users are uncommon. They are made less common by the fact that you can just lend a frend a blu-ray. I'm guessing it would be illegal to lend my friend a rip of a movie I bought unless it was on storage I own. Or something similar from a technical standpoint.

I think you'll find a lot of games do use the extra space on Blu-ray for audio. Maybe for other things as well. Obviously exclusive PS3 games will use the space which sort of proves that devs will use what they are given. So if you agree with that statement you'll see that disc space was an issue, no matter how well disguised. (There used to be an argument about transfer speeds also, but as far as I am aware the speeds were only better on single layer DVD which I doubt happened very often Also, MS use a chunk of the DVD for their own garbage so devs don't even get a full 9gb) < This is all so old hat I can't remember hardly any of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Now if I had decent HD H.264 DRM free purchase and then download options that were legal, I'd be more than willing to go that route. I am lucky to have a good high speed interent connection, so a 2-4GB movie file isn't that much of an impediment (30Mbps up and down for my connection).

Problem is, if you watch a lot of movies you hit your threshold for fair usage policy on most connections. Unless you are willing to go the route of other providers lik A&A
AstralWanderer 2nd March 2012, 15:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
But back to the PC. Game publishers there would rather release a title on multiple DVDs or download instead. To my knowledge, there’s never been a prominent PC game that’s been published on the Blu-ray format, nor will there ever be. Certainly not a successful one, anyway.
PC publishers will be conservative over the media they use and with good reason - when you choose a minority format, you reduce your potential market.

A similar situation existed with DVD - no-one released on DVD until several years after its release and the first example that I recall was Baldur's Gate, which offered a DVD-ROM option after its initial release on 5 CDs.

However BluRay doesn't provide the upgrade over DVD that DVD did over CD (you only need 4 DVDs for the same capacity as one BluRay-disk compared to 14 CDs for one DVD) so it could well happen that no-one uses it for software release until capacities increase further. Even the most recent games rarely need more than one DVD for now.

The initial format war with HD-DVD certainly hasn't helped either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flong
You don't mention the new high capacity blu-ray disks that are coming out and you neglect also to mention the "M disks" that are coming out in both blu-ray and DVD...
But will these work with existing BluRay drives? Almost certainly not, in which case you're effectively talking about another format with another upgrade cost. Added to that, even 100GB isn't much for full image backups - mine now exceed 400GB so an extra hard disk is the only feasible (and much faster) option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flong
One could argue that cloud storage may supplant this option, however, with cloud storage you are entirely dependent on a third party storage system. If their system goes down ALL of your data could be lost - and yes I know that they have redundant backup systems.
Agreed - but data transfer rates are likely a bigger killer for most. A top-notch ADSL connection isn't going to allow more than 200KB/s upload (that's with Annex M - without this you'll get half that) compared to 120MB/s for a "typical" hard disk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
...One of the things that made a big difference to my hearing with music especially was bi-wiring the speakers.
You do realise that bi-wiring does nothing for sound quality don't you? What it does to is provide a small increase in volume (due to lowering the resistance of the cable between your amp and your speaks) and small increases (1 dB or so) in volume are perceived as quality improvements ("sharper bass", "fulsome midrange", "sibilant treble").

I won't be touching BluRay with a bargepole myself due to its DRM issues (it's ridiculous to expect people to tolerate BluRay disk loading times in excess of a minute, only to then have to watch multiple non-skippable trailers and I don't care to invest in hardware that could be rendered useless due to HDCP key revocation) while I do have a large DVD collection, both games and films. Once a player arrives that is completely region-free (UK buyers are being shafted on region B BluRay prices, just as they are on region 2 DVDs - Dark City on BluRay costs £40 compared to just £10 for the US region A version) with the options to disable HDCP and skip trailers, then I'll reconsider.
mikemorton 2nd March 2012, 18:07 Quote
For gaming? No. I'd be happy never to have to install a game via disk again.

But for actually watching Blu-Rays? Hell yeah.

My monitor wees all over my TV.

And having a Blu-Ray means my wife can watch Downton Abbey & ER on telly, while I can retire to my sanctuary and watch something worth watching.
l3v1ck 2nd March 2012, 21:04 Quote
When I bought a new laptop two years ago, I deliberately went for one with a 1080 screen and BluRay drive. I knew Blurays would be affordable over the life span of the laptop (4-5 years) and that I could plug it into a HDTV at home (when I bought one).
At the time BluRays were very expensive, now you can buy double/triple play boxes for not much extra cash over DVD's (except with new film releases, which are still expensive). In the last year HDTV and BluRay player prices have dropped a lot. I've now invested in them at home and started buying BluRays rather than DVD's. For me, BluRay players in PC's are now a must, and as prices drop I think other people will want them too.
However it's a different matter when it comes to BluRay burners. I have no need to burn data to optical disks anymore. I prefer external/networked HDD's etc. They are just overpriced and unnecessary.
I genuinly do think than in the next five years BluRays will overtake DVD's, but only if the price difference between formats continued to drop and if TV shows are released on BluRay too. At the moment many TV series are only available on DVD. On PC's newer systems easily have the power to run the software, so most peoples PC's will be up to the job in the next few years.
nuc13ar 3rd March 2012, 15:04 Quote
i have a sony bd0x10s, it doesn't even work with all discs! yes, i have upgraded the firmware that was available. plus the cyberlink software that came with it doesn't work with windows 7! huge fail. it would have been better if they had done nothing.
k4p84 3rd March 2012, 21:21 Quote
I have a drive but the software for watching films is soo buggy for me atm it is annoying. Will be getting a home cinema set up at some point and since it is back compatible I dont see why not going BluRay
Splooshiba 3rd March 2012, 21:24 Quote
Only reason i have ever used my optical drive is to install windows or boot stuff like memtest
Fizzban 3rd March 2012, 22:25 Quote
Easy answer to this. If you want to watch BlueRays or rip them on your PC, then yes. And if you don't, then no.
l3v1ck 4th March 2012, 03:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Easy answer to this. If you want to watch BlueRays or rip them on your PC, then yes. And if you don't, then no.
Can you even rip a BluRay?
Fizzban 4th March 2012, 04:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Can you even rip a BluRay?

Of course.
boltonuk007 4th March 2012, 10:08 Quote
I think that blu ray drives will eventually match the current price of a dvd drive and it will be just a natural choice to buy one as part of a new build. I burned something to disc yesterday (windows 8) and felt a little retro. I think it would be a welcome option to buy Windows on a USB stick in the future.
PabloFunky 4th March 2012, 10:11 Quote
I bought a bluray drive for my pc and have an hdav soundcard, so was pretty setup for watching a bluray.

However it was a bit of a let down really, somehow running blurays on a pc monitor and using a pc, just doesent come close to using a proper tv and separate bluray player.

It is adequate and the drive was fairly cheap, so it is what it is.
spolsh 4th March 2012, 12:35 Quote
I bought a blu-ray drive when i built my PC ... if i was doing it again, i'd spend more on the gfx card instead.
pbryanw 4th March 2012, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Can you even rip a BluRay?

Of course.
Yes, you can rip to an MKV file, and the MKV will be the same quality as the original Blu-ray, as MKV is just a container for the video.

I don't know the legality of doing this, but I assume it's more legal then downloading a rip off a torrent which will be inferior to Blu-ray quality.
ssj12 4th March 2012, 19:41 Quote
I think people's arguments are lacking on one point. I made my PC's 7.1 surround sound "system" for under a $100. I used a cheap walmart 5.1 system and a 2.0 system. Only expensive parts were the $60 Bluray reader and $180 audio card. Still cheaper than a 7.1 system for a TV which is normally over $500. Plus gaming with full surround is amazing, I can hear everything behind me!
ssj12 4th March 2012, 19:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbryanw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Can you even rip a BluRay?

Of course.
Yes, you can rip to an MKV file, and the MKV will be the same quality as the original Blu-ray, as MKV is just a container for the video.

I don't know the legality of doing this, but I assume it's more legal then downloading a rip off a torrent which will be inferior to Blu-ray quality.

I think it falls under the "backup" part of copyright law. Just never get rid of the physical copy or share the file and you are completely legal.
l3v1ck 5th March 2012, 00:27 Quote
So assuming it's legal to do as a backup, what software could I use to do it?
Fizzban 5th March 2012, 00:48 Quote
You can use something like MakeMKV to rip the disc and then use Handbrake to alter the size and quality of the encode ect.
law99 5th March 2012, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer

You do realise that bi-wiring does nothing for sound quality don't you? What it does to is provide a small increase in volume (due to lowering the resistance of the cable between your amp and your speaks) and small increases (1 dB or so) in volume are perceived as quality improvements ("sharper bass", "fulsome midrange", "sibilant treble").

But whilst that is true, there isn't much to say whether my amp is by wiring or bi amping. Either way, it sounds better as is now and it was noticable even though it is most likely passive bi-amping or whatever. But that could be that there was not a good bridge in there.

But that's the point isn't it. I could tell the difference... whether or not it's a placebo. YUMMy echinacea
boiled_elephant 6th March 2012, 00:55 Quote
I only bought into blu-ray for the films themselves, and after being beaten senseless by an endless barrage of condescending, unskippable adverts and anti-piracy warnings, DRM limitations and hardware incompatibilities, software woes (**** you, Cyberlink, eat a dick in space) and absurd usage restrictions (how the Hell is my screenshotting from a blu-ray going to hurt movie makers?), I now wish I'd stuck with piracy.

I know piracy is unpopular and against the rules to advocate, but I wish I'd just stayed a pirate, because the legitimate alternative is like paying to have your balls chewed on by a rottweiler. Sony and Cyberlink have proven so out of touch with the rest of humanity, and their customers in particular, that I'm not even sure they're on the same planet as us.

If there were a paid, legal solution to do what I'd been doing illegally - downloading 10-12GB well-compressed Matrovska versions of films - I'd be all over it. But one never emerged, because Sony owns Blu-Ray, and by extension Sony owns HD film production through a variety of mutual back-scratching manoeuvres, and Sony will never tolerate an online distribution equivalent of Blu-Ray, so it'll never happen while the format's alive.

I really hate Blu-Ray, now I think about it. I love HD films, I still watch them, but it's bittersweet, because the format is just an awful restrictive DRM-packed mess.
flong 6th March 2012, 08:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemorton
For gaming? No. I'd be happy never to have to install a game via disk again.

But for actually watching Blu-Rays? Hell yeah.

My monitor wees all over my TV.

And having a Blu-Ray means my wife can watch Downton Abbey & ER on telly, while I can retire to my sanctuary and watch something worth watching.

You make some good points - however you miss my point about the M-Disk backup. With the upcoming blu-ray M-Disks, you will be able to permanently backup any data on YOUR OWN disk that will last several lifetimes. You have no intermediary to depend on. As long as you have a blu-ray player you have access to your data. Cloud storage and HDDs / SSDs cannot offer this security. With the new M-Disks I would not be surprised if 1TB disk become possible. 100 GB disks will be available in the near future. Also, the new M-Disks are easier to store than HDDs. So it will be an interesting archive tool.

Also, at least with my blu-ray player, load times are about equal to DVDs (I have a really fast computer and a blu-ray player). You are right about the player having to "decode" the blu-ray but it only takes a few seconds on my computer (I-7 2600K with a 120 GB Corsair GT running the operating system).

Blu-ray disks in the USA have dropped to $5.00 - $10.00. I recently bought the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for $8.00 apiece at Costco Wholesale. Blu-ray movies are also very cheap on Amazon. New releases are more expensive but if you wait a few months, they drop dramatically in price. I can rent blu-ray movies of the new releases for $1.60 from Redbox.

When you consider that my entire blu-ray setup cost me $160, the cost is really not that much. The LOR looks absolutely stunning in HD. With such a beautiful movie I would be greatly disappointed with DVD resolution. Until streaming services are able to offer better sound and resolutions, blu-ray will be around if only just because it is by far the best quality tech to play and enjoy movies on.
flong 6th March 2012, 08:22 Quote
Sorry I posted the wrong quote for my comments above. I apologize.
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