Eight out of 10 movie cats prefer Blu-ray format

A survey being hawked round by the Blu-ray Disc Association claims that eight out of ten people polled would prefer the Blu-ray blue laser DVD format over the rival HD-DVD.

Not that it really means a lot pre-launch.

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  • bicentennial76

    ive ot a question, i know its probably a dumb idea, and would require too much power…But!

    What if Companys like Sony Who make the MD player ( MiniDisk ) incorporate Blu-Ray into their players such as the Mini Disk Player? I just thought this would be such a cool idea, and it would be overall cheaper than say getting an ipod when the technology improved and such. But again, im not sure on the power requirements so its all just a crazy ass thought i had since i own a Minidisk player and such. – Alicia

  • megazone

    BD and MD and so different that you couldn’t incorporate BD into MD – it would no longer be MD at all. There is work on a 8cm BD disc which could be used in smaller portable systems.

    But Sony has already launched what they see as their replacement for MD – the UMD system used in the PSP. UMD discs, like MD, are in a cartridge. They’re small, and they handle music, video, and games. Right now they’re only used in the PSP, but Sony is hoping they’ll be used in other devices as well.

  • bicentennial76

    i guess well see how it comes out. Hopefully theyll be cheaper than the ipod. Cause Mini disk players are just awsome.

  • megazone

    Well, I don’t expect media based devices to be market leaders again for portable audio. Flash and hard drive based devices control the vast majority of the market, and their market share is growing. Even Sony is focusing on iPod-like devices. Basically the market for portable devices that need media – CDs, MDs, tapes, etc – is shrinking rapidly, at least for audio. As hard drive costs drop it becomes a question of why you’d want to carry a stack of MDs, or UMDs, or whatever, around when you can pay about the same for a hard drive based player that is smaller and holds more music? the iPod Shuffle starts at $99 for 512MB, that’s hard to beat today on the price/performance curve. 1GB for $129 too.

    An iPod Mini starts at $199 for 4GB – checking SonyStyle.com they sell their cheapest MD player for $100, with MD at 177MB capacity. So you have to buy more media and carry it for the same capacity – though for $150 you can get a Hi-MD player. Hi-MD holds 1GB and the player is backwards compatible with the old MD discs.

    I’m very familiar with MD as well, but even Sony, the primary backer of MD, believes MD is dead and hard drives (and flash memory for lower-end devices) is where the market is. Sony’s new players that use hard drives do more than their MD products – not only do they support the ATRAC3 format used by MD, but other audio formats as well, making them more flexible. (I know some of their newer MD players added MP3 support in addition to ATRAC.) Sony is really looking at MemoryStick and drives as the future right now. It remains to be seen what they do with UMD – it isn’t a user-recordable format, at least not at this time, and it is unlikely there will be commercial music released on UMD.

    I remember when MD was launched – the first time – along with DAT and DCC. None of them managed any significant market penetration. DCC died completely. DAT found a niche as a data backup medium, and for some pro-level audio gear. MD basically went away, and then was re-launched later as a consumer recording format for making personal mixes, etc. (The first launch it was pushed with pre-recorded media – but Sony was really the only studio to push it.) MD found a fairly loyal following, but still a very small one. Unfortunately for MD, CD-R became very cheap, very fast, about the same time it relaunched – and since so many people had CD players at that point, CD-R/RW was far more useful to most people than MD – no need to buy new gear. And you never saw MD included in a car, etc – only in after-market systems. A couple of my friends are *rabid* MD fans. Of course, one of them also still uses an Apple Newton as his PDA too. :-)

    I considered MD many times over the years, but I couldn’t justify it to myself. I stuck with a Discman until I got my iPod. I think that physical media has outlived it’s lifespan for music. I believe that CD will be the last generation for pre-recorded audio. DVD Audio and SACD have both failed to make any significant penetration, while electronic sales are exploding. I believe CD will be it, and it will be replaced by increasing direct digital sales. While flash memory and hard drives will become the portable formats. Instead of giving a friend a mix-CD/MD, you’ll give them a mix-SDCard or mix-MemoryStick, or even a mix-microdrive as costs drop.

    Video, being much larger as a file, still has some life left – but as hard drives continue to grow in capacity, and shrink in size, and broadband spreads, I think more video will be sold electronically and Blu-ray may be the last generation for pre-recorded video.

  • bicentennial76

    Wow, haha Yeah i guess youre right there. Plus Flash is a million times faster than MD.
    i know that the UMD’s have movies being released, and like you, dont think theyll do music on it either.

    “A couple of my friends are *rabid* MD fans. ” – I love that! haha!
    i really love my Player too.
    How long do you think blu-ray’ll last anyway? im not thinking super long when they can get faster/larger flash devices and such right? i mean, if you can speed them up.

  • megazone

    The problem with Flash is cost – it is several times as expensive, for a given capacity, as a hard drive. Costs continue to drop – but then, so do hard drive costs. It will be a number of years before Flash can close the gap and we see it replace drives. Where Flash wins is size and at the lower capacities. Since there is a fixed costs for drives, and the smallest are .85″ and it is unlikely to get much smaller, Flash can be used in devices with lower capacities and smaller sizes. Right now basically anything under 4GB belongs to Flash, and anything smaller than about the size of an iPod Mini would be Flash.

    I don’t see pre-recorded media going to Flash any time soon. Even DVD is usually sold as a dual-layer disc with about 8.5GB capacity. Blu-ray will be 25GB/50GB. That’s well into hard drive territory, and it would be extremely expensive for Flash. When a DVD costs about $.03 to press, and BD is supposed to cost less than $.05 to start, and come down to DVD costs rapidly, there is no way Flash or a HD can compete for the manufacturer.

    Conversely, on the consumer’s side, if the cost of storage + the cost of content is about the same as buying media, then digital delivery is a win. The danger, and I bet most people don’t think of it, is that – baring physical abuse – CDs/DVDs will live nigh-forever. Hard drives wear out, and if a hard drive full of content fails – everything goes. If a single DVD fails, you’re out that movie.

    I think as digital delivery grows more people will look for specialized home storage devices – systems with *large* drives setup as a RAID array for redundancy, to protect against loss. And probably backup systems. I’m planning to turn one of my old PCs into a RAID file server for my music and shows I saved from my TiVos. Right now my music lives on my laptop, and I have an external USB drive as a backup for safety.

    Even with today’s broadband speeds it could take many hours, even days, to transfer one BD’s worth of content. Even five years out, with the spread of things like Verizon’s Fios fiber network, faster cable modems, etc, that’ll only penetrate a smaller part of the market. It not only has to be *possible*, it has to be economic. Today my DSL is 6.0/768, but I’m planning to drop back to 1.5/768. I had the lower speed until a couple of weeks ago when I moved. The higher speed is a promo – 2 months at a lower cost. But I would have to start paying an extra $40/month for the higher speed, and I can’t see justifying that since I don’t download huge things all the time. Delivering HD video content as data will require another 5-10 years of price/performance curve moverment on broadband, I think. To the point when 50-100Mbps connections are common.