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  1. #1
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    How Downloads, Not Physical Media, Is The Solution For UltraHD

    Originally published on Andrew-Robinson-Online.com

    Iíve gotten a lot of feedback on several of my recent stories having to do with physical media and downloads. It seems many of you are for downloads however are unwilling to part with the quality typically associated with physical media -i.e. a disc. Some have even gone so far as to outright suggest what type of physical media or adaptation of Blu-ray youíd like to see with regards to UltraHDís eventual launch. While I love the discourse and ideas, I must say Iím not certain another physical disc format is the answer at all -even if that is ultimately what weíre all going to get.

    You see itís not like Blu-ray has to be radically re-invented in order to be compatible with UltraHD -it doesnít. Much of the eco-system, from a physical standpoint, needed to usher UltraHD into our homes is already in place. New Blu-ray players may have to be purchased, however, the format itself doesnít require radical changes. Data is data, and since the powers that be donít seem too concerned with changing much of our current HD format when looking ahead to UltraHD the only thing new players need to be able to do is output QFHD resolution, which many already can -albeit upscaled.

    A new Blu-ray disc neednít even be developed as the storage capacity of our current ones are sufficient for UltraHD should everything go as planned. The compression schemes being discussed (thus far) call for more compression, not less, in order to bring you the ďfull UltraHD experienceĒ. The reason why I believe weíll make a pit-stop at yet another disc format is because discs, like any format, are cash cows for all involved. Hollywood and the powers that be love it when you have to buy your favorite movies all over again- not to mention new players. Iíve recently discovered that Iíve purchased seven copies of the film Se7en over the years and Iím confident New Line, or whomever owns the rights to the film now, would LOVE to sell me another. Another reason weíll ultimately have an UltraHD disc format has to do with our relative comfort with discs -we love Ďem. While discs do make it so that every man, woman and child is able to see the best quality image (and sound) possible it isnít the best, most trouble free format anymore.

    As much as Hollywood wants to sell you additional copies of your favorite films it doesnít mean they like discs. In truth they abhor them for discs equal piracy -supposedly -and if there is one thing Hollywood hates itís pirates, at least those not named Johnny Depp. Offering bit-for-bit downloads to consumers is one sure fire way...

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  2. #2
    Senior Member k0rww's Avatar
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    I agree, the hand writing is on the wall. How fast this happens and what draconian copy protection Hollywood comes up with remains to be seen.

    Companies will have to adapt or fall by the wayside which is always true for the constant evolution of technology. I wish my crystal ball knew the timeframe for the transition. Rationalization for the purchase of new equipment will be easier .
    Last edited by k0rww; 01-05-2013 at 03:34 AM.
    Richard

  3. #3
    Senior Member TheMoose's Avatar
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    My problem is bandwidth, not everyone has 30meg internet speeds & can you imagine how long it would take to download all 169 min of the Hobbit in 4K over DSL!?
    Then there is bandwidth caps, what will you do when your ISP throttles your connection because you you download a whole collection of 4K movies?
    It will happen one day, but we need to fix internet speeds before you completely get rid of discs.
    "Racing is........Life.......Everything before & after is just waiting"

  4. #4
    Senior Member k0rww's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMoose View Post
    My problem is bandwidth, not everyone has 30meg internet speeds & can you imagine how long it would take to download all 169 min of the Hobbit in 4K over DSL!?
    Then there is bandwidth caps, what will you do when your ISP throttles your connection because you you download a whole collection of 4K movies?
    It will happen one day, but we need to fix internet speeds before you completely get rid of discs.
    I'm in complete agreement about bandwidth. The industry is already pushing streaming and I have little hope of anything but 10Mbps. I don't expect to see fibre. I don't bother with the digital downloads in todays Bluray packages due to the download time.
    Richard

  5. #5
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0rww View Post
    I'm in complete agreement about bandwidth. The industry is already pushing streaming and I have little hope of anything but 10Mbps. I don't expect to see fibre. I don't bother with the digital downloads in todays Bluray packages due to the download time.
    Most digital downloads or copies in today's Blu-ray discs are NOT downloads at all but rather codes to stream a high-res version through a service like Vudu.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    A little download movie "math" for those who may be curious about the time it takes to download a bit-for-bit movie @ 10Mbps Internet speed.

    Most Blu-rays are between 20 and 30GB on average (just the movie) so we're going to go with the higher end of that spectrum -remember, UltraHD films will most likely NOT be much (if any) larger than their HD counterparts in terms of file size due to new compression schemes. So, 30GB it is.

    1GB = 8,192Mbps

    30BG = 245,760Mbps

    245,760/10(Mbps) = 24,576 /60sec = 409.6min/60min in an hour and you get a time of 6.83 hours to download a 30GB file at 10Mbps.

    Is nearly 7 hours a long time? Sure, but if you had a system designed to download in the middle of the night (say at midnight) your movie would be ready by dinner that evening no problems. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, or that bit for bit downloads aren't still a little ways off but even now it is feasible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member k0rww's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Robinson View Post
    Most digital downloads or copies in today's Blu-ray discs are NOT downloads at all but rather codes to stream a high-res version through a service like Vudu.
    Thanks for reminding me.
    Last edited by k0rww; 01-05-2013 at 10:57 AM.
    Richard

  8. #8
    Senior Member k0rww's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Robinson View Post
    A little download movie "math" for those who may be curious about the time it takes to download a bit-for-bit movie @ 10Mbps Internet speed.

    Most Blu-rays are between 20 and 30GB on average (just the movie) so we're going to go with the higher end of that spectrum -remember, UltraHD films will most likely NOT be much (if any) larger than their HD counterparts in terms of file size due to new compression schemes. So, 30GB it is.

    1GB = 8,192Mbps

    30BG = 245,760Mbps

    245,760/10(Mbps) = 24,576 /60sec = 409.6min/60min in an hour and you get a time of 6.83 hours to download a 30GB file at 10Mbps.

    Is nearly 7 hours a long time? Sure, but if you had a system designed to download in the middle of the night (say at midnight) your movie would be ready by dinner that evening no problems. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, or that bit for bit downloads aren't still a little ways off but even now it is feasible.
    I'm not trying to be argumentive, but feasible would only be true until a lot of people started downloading at night and the Internet would slow down to a crawl. I'm familiar with the math and it tells me that an order of magnitute, and better compression may be necessary for the Internet.
    Last edited by k0rww; 01-05-2013 at 10:54 AM.
    Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0rww View Post
    I'm not trying to be argumentive, but feasible would only be true until a lot of people started downloading at night and the Internet would slow down to a crawl. I'm familiar with the math and it tells me that an order of magnitute, and better compression may be necessary for the Internet.
    Compression is everything which is why UltraHD files are more than likely going to be MORE compressed than our current HD ones in order to get file sizes down even further. There are good compression schemes out there beyond what we have, or are using mainstream, but here's to hoping. I'm not opposed to compression if it works and looks good but so far MPEG stuff just looks like ass to me.

  10. #10
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I can't imagine a 30GB download, then once you download it how about long term storage? I know that hard drive prices have dropped again, but I can't see keeping that kind of data going forward. Also, what happens when you have a hard drive crash? I will happen.

    Or, if the new 4K video purchases are streamed, instead of kept locally; imagine what a pain that would be if you can't watch a purchased title right away. Lots of questions, yet to be answered.

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