I’ve been thinking.
A very dangerous thing, I know. But I was wondering how the likes of VUDU (see my review), AppleTV, the Blockbuster (see my blog entry) and NetFlix (see my blog entry) streaming video players will effect (hmmm, is that right? effect, affect?) the life of Blu-Ray.
A few weeks ago, I posted a more formal written opinion that I have copied below.
Let me know what you think.
1. Streaming of movies (and other content) over the Internet will grow in the coming years.
2. High speed digital services to the home (DSL and cable modem) continue to increase.
3. High definition movies can be viewed at home without the need to rent a DVD or Blu-Ray DVD.
This is an important future direction that could shorten the life of Blu-Ray or at the very least lessen the impact Blu-Ray could have in the home.
Tel Bit Consulting’s View
Several companies are now offering high definition movies over the Internet. These movies can be viewed on a high definition TV and require only a DSL or cable modem connection to the Internet, and a player. There are technical issues the homeowner must overcome (for example they will need to bring DSL or Cable Modem Internet connectivity to the Family Room) but, the ability to rent a movie and watch it in high definition two to eight hours after renting it (without the need to go to the store) is compelling.
Apple TV came out with a set-top box over a year ago. Although that required a computer to work properly, the latest versions do not, thus, in my opinion increasing the usability for the average person. In the past year, more (non-computer based) devices (or players) have been introduced: VUDU has advanced rapidly from standard definition and a small selection of HD movie titles to a significant number of high definition movies that rival the quality of Blu-Ray (they call their latest HD technology HDX). More recently, NetFlix, Sony, and Blockbuster have announced players or Internet streaming of movies, or both. Comcast (and other cable companies) have their own on-demand services.
In short, as these new Internet streaming players come into the marketplace, and more movies become available in high definition, the need (or desire) to purchase, or rent, a Blu-Ray DVD could diminish or never reach its full promise.
One stumbling block for Internet streaming of video concerns the fact that Internet providers have been clamping down their connections (i.e. restricting the number of bits). If that practice remains in place, or increases, that could spell trouble for Internet streaming of movies.
But, if free and open Internet connectivity remains, and Internet streaming technology improves and more widely available, the life of a “Blu-Ray DVD” may be shorter than the life of the old, original “DVD”.