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01-04-2013, 12:14 PM #1
How Downloads, Not Physical Media, Is The Solution For UltraHD
Originally published on Andrew-Robinson-Online.com
I’ve 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 you’d like to see with regards to UltraHD’s eventual launch. While I love the discourse and ideas, I must say I’m not certain another physical disc format is the answer at all -even if that is ultimately what we’re all going to get.
You see it’s not like Blu-ray has to be radically re-invented in order to be compatible with UltraHD -it doesn’t. 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 doesn’t require radical changes. Data is data, and since the powers that be don’t 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 needn’t 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 “full UltraHD experience”. The reason why I believe we’ll 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. I’ve recently discovered that I’ve purchased seven copies of the film Se7en over the years and I’m confident New Line, or whomever owns the rights to the film now, would LOVE to sell me another. Another reason we’ll ultimately have an UltraHD disc format has to do with our relative comfort with discs -we love ‘em. While discs do make it so that every man, woman and child is able to see the best quality image (and sound) possible it isn’t the best, most trouble free format anymore.
As much as Hollywood wants to sell you additional copies of your favorite films it doesn’t mean they like discs. In truth they abhor them for discs equal piracy -supposedly -and if there is one thing Hollywood hates it’s pirates, at least those not named Johnny Depp. Offering bit-for-bit downloads to consumers is one sure fire way...
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01-05-2013, 03:29 AM #2
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
01-05-2013, 10:09 AM #3
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"
01-05-2013, 10:18 AM #4
01-05-2013, 10:28 AM #5
01-05-2013, 10:38 AM #6
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.
01-05-2013, 10:45 AM #7
01-05-2013, 10:52 AM #8
Last edited by k0rww; 01-05-2013 at 10:54 AM.Richard
01-05-2013, 12:04 PM #9
01-05-2013, 01:11 PM #10
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.