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!