Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blu Ray Disc is a Con!

Every time I hear some one go on about how good Blu Ray is, I hear this:

“blargh blargh blargh my valve amp is better than transistor based ones, my quadraphonic stereo is better than stereo, my 8 track is better than compact cassette, my beta max is better than VHS, by Blu ray is better than everything else... blargh blargh.."

I just not buying into it, Don’t get me wrong I have a top notch set up at home, a brand new 55INCH Bravia and a mid level Blu ray player (gladly it was free), I am just not convinced its much a progression beyond DVD. And its not just me , 68% AND 65% of the US public respectively said (in two independent surveys in 2009 and 2010) they cant see the difference between BLU Ray and DVD or wouldn't invest in it, as there is not enough of a difference to justify the costs to get the best out of it. I agree with the majority!

When we went from VHS TO DVD we all got:

1. much better picture
2. much better sound
3. Random access to content
4. Special features
5. Different languages, and commentary tracks
6. The vision doesn't wear out no matter how many times you play it

DVD to Blu ray we get

1. Slightly better picture...

and for the publisher you get:

1. licensee agreements that cost a fortune, DRM licenses etc... thus preventing anyone but a Hollywood film studio to produce content for it....

Not worth it IMHO, nor the upgrades that you have to do to FULLY appreciate it all, the public are not going for it in masses either, they are not going to throw out all those DVD's etc just to have one questionable feature? Its too little to late, and its all moving to downloads in HD, so why bother? Like the Sony mini disc it will die off and only be in the hands of the audiophiles.

I haven't seen a compelling reason why BLU Ray is better than DVD, however I have many reasons why its worse than DVD, so if a technology actually restricts how you use it, how is it an upgrade? I see blu ray as nothing but a money waster and a downgrade!

Blu Ray is, lots of pain for everyone else, drm means you cant do jack with it, no media shifting, no backups, you pay more for it, due to the license agreements, and less profit for everyone, interesting definition of vastly superior!

Quadraphonic stereo and 8 track all sounded better than what's playing in your iTunes library, it doesn't mean its a better technology, convenience will win over better looking or better sounding any day.

Why hasn't apple adopted it? The same reasons I suspect its a downgrade for consumers and a backward step!

HD is not deemed as important by the average consumer, shown time and time again in many studies for the past 3 years, here , the USA and the Uk (the only places I have data on), content is king, and that means getting it, and watching it on what you want, where you want. Also with the rapid uptake in the independent producers of video and content these days, Blu Ray is not the way forward.

Online, without DRM is the way forward. Blu Ray heralds back to an old area and is more locked up than DVD so not seen as any progression from the consumer or the producer.

Many people enjoy their 8 track, record players, valve radios, and amps, even quadraphonic stereos or quarter inch video tape, or laser disc! Each to their own, they are again not what I call mainstream, or convenient or even practical solutions to enjoying media

Blu Ray was a crock way before apple said it was, and again the amount one has to spend to enjoy blu ray's slightly better picture isn't justified IMHO, its not like the big shift we had when we went from VHS TO DVD!

I am just not accepting any decisions to move anything to blu ray, I have had a HD TV for a few years now, and I have a blu ray and a brand new 55inch Sony set, I enjoy much HD content just not from Blu Ray

Thus in Summary:

positives for blu ray:

1. picture


1. DRM
2. licenses
3. unable to backup
4. unable to media shift
5. many new titles have lock codes for extra content
6. having to have online access for your player to play content
7. The media can be damaged
8. cost of media and associated equipment to enjoy the picture
9. Region locking

Thus my reasons for saying its a step backwards.

Both BLU Ray and download (legal models) both suffer the drm issues right now. However, the download model is the best way for any content provider right now, and until such time as places like iTunes get rid of DRM, as they did for music, the current download models don't offer many more advantages over blu ray (except convince, and having a backup method.. a legal one..and no big hoops that Sony make you jump through).

Maybe they will come to their senses and loose the DRM, and on that day BLU Ray is doomed, (if not already) or even if Australia, had a big Netflix online library for wii, Xbox and ps3 or your new internet connected Bravia TV or any other media streaming box, then the shinny disc of blu ray and DVD will both look like they will go the way of the dodo !

Some things you can Google...

Consumers Putting Off Blu-ray Players?

“Consumers were happy to embrace standard DVD when that format arrived because the improvement in quality over VHS videotapes was dramatic,” noted ABI Research analyst Steve Wilson, in a statement. “Standard DVD didn’t require the purchase of a new TV, either.”

or this...

Study: even at $199, consumers still don't care about Blu-Ray - Boing Boing Gadgets

"One of the biggest problems? The cost. Even though the Blu-ray players have dropped in price, in order to actually get the benefit of Blu-ray you need to own an HDTV, which is still a very expensive investment (though Sharp has unveiled an HDTV with a Blu-ray recorder built in). Then when you consider that each Blu-ray movie costs about double the price of a DVD the numbers don't add up in Blu-ray's favor"

or this...

How can we expect Blu-ray to succeed? | The Digital Home - CNET News

laser disc is calling you... Is Blu-ray the next Laserdisc? | Where the Long Tail Ends

Don’t buy into the Sony Blu Ray con!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


1: There isn’t enough content.
It is true that in an effort to lure people back into theaters, the studios have been pushing 3D hard lately. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple to produce a 3D live action film as it is a 3D animation. To achieve 3D in animation, one instructs a computer to render a second channel of video slightly offset from the first.This is not significantly more onerous than creating an ordinary 2D CG animation. For live action films, however, 3D requires special cameras that are heavy and inconvenient to use. The practical upshot of this is that most of the 3D films being produced today are animated. This, of course, has implications for watching 3D films both in the theater and at home. If 3D continues to fail in winning over live action filmmakers, there simply won’t be much to look at. And while the studios have promised a handful of (mostly animated) 3D Blu-ray releases for 2010, there’s just isn’t enough content available now to make it a must-have home theater technology.

2. The upfront cost of 3D hardware is too steep.
The reintroduction of 3D into mainstream movies has seen a modest degree of success over the past few years. Theaters have been able to charge more for tickets to 3D screenings, which has helped them in offsetting the exorbitant cost of upgrading their projection hardware. But 3D still accounts for a mere fraction of overall ticket sales. This is because even with higher ticket prices, exhibitors cannot afford to make all of their screens 3D-ready. The cost of upgrading is also a problem in the home theater market, where HDTV’s have finally made their way into a majority of American homes. The vast majority of these households have only recently bought in. Is it really reasonable to expect people who just shelled out serious money for their new flat screens to go out and buy another $3000 TV? The value-add, especially considering the endemic lack of 3D content, is just not enough to justify the purchase. Even if the consumer in question did have the money, they would be wiser to spend it on upgrading their sound system, before going to 3D.

3. The quality of the experience is inconsistent and problematic.
I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D, which is the oldest of the 3D technologies currently in use. I then went and suffered through all 172 minutes of it again in RealD. The IMAX 3D experience was not great. First, the glasses were recycled and although I was seeing the film on opening day, they seemed somewhat warped. Even after I had changed glasses, the 3D illusion was broken every time I moved my head. It was exhausting to have to hold one position for close to three hours, but it was either that, or stare at a blurry image. I walked out of the IMAX 3D screening with a crick in my neck. The RealD screening did provide a better overall 3D experience. The illusion was not broken by head movements and so I was able to watch it in a more comfortable position. Unfortunately, when I left the RealD screening, I had a headache that lasted for an hour and a half (more on this special 3D headache later). Suffice to say that even the most recent implementations of 3D leave something to be desired.

4. The glasses are a literal barrier to entry.
While there have been many advances in 3D technology over the years, one thing that has not changed is the need for glasses. Depending on the particular type of 3D technology, these glasses work in slightly different ways, but the reliance on them to send offset images to the brain is still a mainstay of any 3D viewing experience. This is also true of the latest 3D HDTV’s which, we learned at CES, will ship with battery-powered 3D glasses. This is an annoyance at the theater, but can you imagine having to put on a pair of glasses to watch TV in your living room? And what do you do if you wear reading glasses? How about when friends come over to watch the Super Bowl, or theOscars? The glasses make a hard sell even harder.

5. Filmmakers, James Cameron included, do not really understand 3D.
Film, like photography and perspective painting, is already a three dimensional medium. Monocular cues like linear perspective, occlusion, and shadow, to name but a few, all provide the same sense of depth perception in a film, photograph, or painting as they do in real life. It is true that binocular cues add dimension to the other depth cues (when looking at objects up to 100 feet away), but it is a subtle effect and not the only way we see depth in the world or in film. While many filmmakers have an intuitive understanding of the principles of human perception, it’s not something that they study formally. Most get by in 2D, because there are established filmmaking conventions that they conform to which happen to play well with human perception. Unfortunately, 3D hasn’t been around long enough for such conventions to develop. 3D filmmakers end up using 2D film techniques that induce depth cues which are then contradicted by some of the 3D binocular cues that are layered over everything. When your brain is presented with such conflicting depth information, it will choose one version over the other, but when such conflicts happen many times over the course of a few hours, you end up with a perception headache.
There are many other factors that influence our perception of 3D, including the focal length of the lens, the composition of the shot, and the movement of the camera, but modern filmmakers don’t seem to be aware of the effects of these important factors on the perception of their films. This is why watching a 3D movie doesn’t really feel like being there, it just feels like its own, somewhat annoying, thing.

The push for 3D comes from a confluence of the old desire to create a more immersive cinema experience and the contemporary need to get people excited about going to the movies again. Unfortunately, the current 3D technology fails to deliver on the former and so it is destined to fail at the latter. A much more fruitful approach would be to adapt Douglas Trumball’s Showscan technology. What Trumbull demonstrated was that by shooting and projecting film at higher frame rates, he could create a much more immersive and realistic experience than what we get with a traditional 24 frames per second projection. His system, which involved 70 mm film shot and projected at 60 frames per second was dismissed as impractical and excessively expensive. In the digital age, this objection is no longer relevant. It is already possible to design reasonably priced digital cinema cameras and projectors that shoot and project at high resolutions and fast frame rates. This, it seems to me, is the next logical step in the evolution of cinema. Not the gimmick that we now call 3D.

..... may it die a quick death!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Australia's NBN IS GO! Warp Speed ahead!

I am now very glad that the current government got re-elected so that this great network can go ahead!

It is clear that internet connectivity regardless of location is essential for future technology development, wether this is done by combination of fibre optic, wireless, satellite, it needs to be cheap, reliable and very fast , to support the multitude of devices from iphone type devices, to cars, to homes to business, educational institutions to medical facilities, be they rural based, or in our capitals.

The current market forces are not supporting the rural or new estates. We are still getting new estates in rural areas and metro areas fitted with ADSL 1 only rims, and poor wireless coverage, which is criminal in 2010 , YES I AM LOOKING AT YOU TELSTRA, there is no excuse for putting in ADSL1 ONLY RIMS in new estates! This is why the government needs to do it, as the corporate market wont!

The adoption of any future technology, the way people work and the development of our regional areas is very dependant upon a state of the art affordable network by telecommunication companies. If communication companies do not put in this type of infrastructure for all Australian's we will create a digital divide that will resemble the difference between a modern world in the cities and a 3rd world in the rural areas. People in new estates or rural areas with poor connectivity will be at a massive disadvantage, not just from a quality of life but from education, to medical care. It will drive the ever expanding population to Metro areas with good communication infrastructure, and put extra pressure on the already overtaxed infrastructure in those areas, and continue to drive the exodus from country areas.

If we have a state of the art communication system for all Australians, it will dramatically shape the way this country will develop, educate, care, and work, regardless of people's physical location.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coolest looking cases for iphone 4 I have seen

These are so cool looking, WHY can you not get them in this country!?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Optus speeds on 3G with an iphone 4

I never got speeds like this, but now I do... amazing, its faster than my ADSL at home!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Why the Android will fail.

Piracy problems undermine Android's growth against iPhone

It seems android have replicated the PC games market, massive pirating, little to no controls over their apps, poor quality coupled with a poor user experience. Apple is often critiqued for being over controlling in its apps store, but the developers love it, as they get their return on investment. The android will not encourage anyone to develop on its platform when it does nothing to stop developers hard work being exploited by pirates.

This is why the game consoles of today have much more development on them than ever before, and why the PC games market is near death. Games consoles have a tight control over what can be run on them, and you try and run a pirated game on them , it either doesn't work, or the console maker bricks your console. The only way the PC market can make any money is from monthly online subscription fees (World of Warcraft monthly frees for example to play online).

Sometimes a loss of loss of some flexibility is a good thing for all. So don't go ripping off apps on your iphone, pay the developers for their good work, and encourage better app development, even if you do jail break your iphone, otherwise we will all end up with the android broken model!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The iphone 4 antenna issue, is bullshit!

Having a new iphone 4 on the Optus network in Australia, I and many others have tried the so called death grip, and we cant replicate it!! In fact many times the signal bars go up, so it looks like this entire story can be summed up as AT & T network as total crap, and the rest of it as a media beat up. Go ahead Aussies and buy your iphone 4's and enjoy the much better signal stregth.

I have compared the signal bars to my old 3G and it gets twice the reception quality that the old 3G got. Once again media totally screws up the real story.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I just rang Telstra and got the most disinterested sales guy out! I was ringing to see of Telstra might be competitive enough to move my accounts to, and to get a new iphone 4, it went like this....

I said I have 3 accounts with optus, and I get free calling between my accounts, and I pay this much, get this much data, calls and free sms' and mms, on this plan with optus, and I can order over the phone and get it delivered to my house, as I live 100kms from a Telstra shop, can you match the prices etc.... OR even offer me something thats competitive to that to switch my accounts,

he said, "NOPE, cant do any of that or even close sorry, AND YOU HAVE to come into a shop, we are not doing online sales till September"

Me: "Ok thanks for your time, I will be signing with Optus again then"

he wasn't even interested in giving any deal or incentive or anything, and even said "take it or leave it"!

With that attitude I wont be calling them back again, I havnt talked to Telstra in years, and I guess I wont be again.. good to see nothing much has changed!

They are still not competitive!

I have good coverage and speed with Optus, so the line of we have better speed and coverage doesn't wash with me !

Monday, July 19, 2010

iPhone 4 Antenna issues.. not a real issue

You may or may not have been reading stuff on the net about the iphone 4 having antenna issues.

But there has been a disturbing trend with this whole story, something missing, what is missing you may ask?

Investigative journalism is what has been missing from this whole story since it started. It started out as a beat up by Gizmodo, and 1000's of bloggers took that ranting with no fact, as thruth, thus a whole storm in a thimble started.

This is not a real issue like the one that RIM had that email bug in their phone for months before they did anything about it, and to this date they never admitted a fault. Or Microsoft had stuffed xbox 360's for years and have only just done something by releasing a new xbox, and yet put all their users through pain (40% return rates and repairs) of constant fixes, I myself have had 5 xbox 360's fixed! How many car companies or builders would stand up to this? I never saw this much ranting on the net, on blogs and forums with those above mentioned issues.

Is it a Major issue... no, its it a minor one.. yes, but no more or no less than every other phone out there. Its like complaining your car gets stone chips, and that the car maker is some how responsible for not putting enough paint on the car to stop getting stone chips, stupid! And now that car maker is giving you a free car bra, and yet some people still complain? It must be a slow news week, this is such a NON STORY!

The fact that Apple even had a press conference about it, is amazing, and UNPRECEDENTED in the tech community.