Question Is the end of DVD/blu-ray players upon us?

next010

Distinguished Member
If a physical format is to still exist in the future perhaps re-purposing something else is a viable path.

For example aside from the costs SD cards are far superior to the archaic optical disk format, especially in terms of capacity & speed. Perhaps some coalition of companies might be able do something with it to keep the flame alive for physical media.

A 32GB SD card is currently £8 with improvements to video compression like AV1 & VVC you could still get much better that streaming quality video from it. A 128GB SD card (BD tops out at 100GB) costs £19.

Of course developing a player eco-system wont be cheap but a selling point of being able to use SD card readers in many future devices from set top boxes to smartphones could make it worth while.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
If a physical format is to still exist in the future perhaps re-purposing something else is a viable path.

For example aside from the costs SD cards are far superior to the archaic optical disk format, especially in terms of capacity & speed. Perhaps some coalition of companies might be able do something with it to keep the flame alive for physical media.

A 32GB SD card is currently £8 with improvements to video compression like AV1 & VVC you could still get much better that streaming quality video from it. A 128GB SD card (BD tops out at 100GB) costs £19.

Of course developing a player eco-system wont be cheap but a selling point of being able to use SD card readers in many future devices from set top boxes to smartphones could make it worth while.
The point about optical is they cost pennies to churn out so the markup is for the content. A £19 SD card is then going to have a similar content markup as a UHD giving a likely cost around an eye watering £40 to £45 :eek:

Add in the inconvenient fact that SD isn't archival quality so you could expect data corruptions within a fairly short period of time. I can't think of anything more likely to kill of physical media than expensive, short lifespan, self destructing SD cards....
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I now they are cheap that's why I said long term as costs get lower (not years but decade).

I cant find anyone working on new optical disc technology in the market, it looks a dead end to me.

The masses will go with digital, I think physical if it still exists will be for premium collectors and SD card or something like it is much better supported by current and future hardware than optical discs and reliability concerns can be overcome.

To justify the cost of making such new physical media you need as large a player base as possible and no-one is going to be integrating optical drives into future TV, smartphone, STB hardware.
 
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Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
It depends on whether studios see any real value in flogging their output on physical media. Streaming is making inroads into that market, but disc is still a great way to reach a segment of the market that likes to collect physical media. Something like an SD card would work, the player would be cheap to make. However, getting everyone to agree to yet another new physical medium is I think unlikely. I think that the status quo will remain until the likes of Sony and Panasonic pull out of the player market, at which time they’ll be a push to get deals done with the streaming companies to get their content to the masses. I don’t think that we’ll have long go wait ...
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
SD cards, USB flash and SSDs only store data for so long.
For SSDs without power, data retention is 1-2 years.
 

uk1

Member
It seems to me that once the streaming compression disdvantage reduces to the extent that streamed content is as good quality as local disk content then irrespective of the media used the point of a player is extinct except for the protection of personal legacy media investment - and perhaps nostalgia.

Perhaps this is the strategy of studios who now offer a code for online content of the disk content purchased.
 

rogercw

Active Member
One day - some decades from now - it will be technically possible to stream full-quality films to most subscribers, but that won't happen. Why? Because it's not a technical issue as the success of the likes of Netflix shows that most people prefer the immediacy of low-quality streaming to waiting for high-quality Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. And as most people can get the 25Mbps that Netflix recommends for UHD streams they do so as the quality is good enough for them (although not good enough for some of us).

So, I foresee physical discs being around for a long time - so long as they are enough of us to keep demanding them.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Us being able to buy them depends on their availability, and of course releasing stuff that we want to watch.
 

uk1

Member
One day - some decades from now - it will be technically possible to stream full-quality films to most subscribers, but that won't happen. Why? Because it's not a technical issue as the success of the likes of Netflix shows that most people prefer the immediacy of low-quality streaming to waiting for high-quality Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. And as most people can get the 25Mbps that Netflix recommends for UHD streams they do so as the quality is good enough for them (although not good enough for some of us).

So, I foresee physical discs being around for a long time - so long as they are enough of us to keep demanding them.

You're view of the speed of progress is imho unduly pessimistic.

There has been more technological progress in all technolgies in the last ten years than in the last 10,000 years. The rate of change is accelerating. This is across all technologies.

The ability to either compress and decompress or send "raw" will be with us within probably five years at most. At the moment I'm seeing extraordinary quality of Netflix content which still seems for me at least, throttled back at 15.25mbps. When you think of what Dolby Vision actually does compared to not having it then progress in compression and/or stream speed looks like a tame challenge by comparison.

Of course there will always be a diminishing group that will always see or eventually claim to see subtle differences between what they believe they see on side by side comparisons. That group will diminish. That will be largely carried forward in the future by elitism rather than genuine discernment. Other factors such as new replacement Dolby Vision protocols and the internal chips in TVs have as much influence over the end-user experience as line speed. In the same way that 8k is irrelevant to most people with decent 4k at normal viewing distances so will line speeds above say 50mbps (or whatever) for true full 4k streaming.

In simple terms there will always be a group of people that when viewing output from a studio will be looking at nits,. detail in black areas and dynamic range and all the detailed nerd data and others who simply say "gosh .... wow .... isn't that film really great and looks wonderful on my TV".

I think that once the quality of streamed improvement brings 4k neutraility between disk and stream - which might be at most imho within five years or probably less - then the market for disk rapidly dissapears. In the same way no normal people need 8k no normal people will need more than genuine streamed optimum full 4k.

I say this as somone who bought an 820 in the last week or so ..... :)

imho. :)
 
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rogercw

Active Member
There's another factor, namely the availability of a TV show or a film for streaming. There's no shortage of examples where for one reason or another what you want to view isn't available. I know I'm not the only one who likes to know that a physical disc is within easy reach. And isn't it also nice to have a film in the correct aspect ratio with bonus features, things which you don't always get from the streaming services.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
You're view of the speed of progress is imho unduly pessimistic.

There has been more technological progress in all technolgies in the last ten years than in the last 10,000 years. The rate of change is accelerating. This is across all technologies.

The ability to either compress and decompress or send "raw" will be with us within probably five years at most. At the moment I'm seeing extraordinary quality of Netflix content which still seems for me at least, throttled back at 15.25mbps. When you think of what Dolby Vision actually does compared to not having it then progress in compression and/or stream speed looks like a tame challenge by comparison.

Of course there will always be a diminishing group that will always see or eventually claim to see subtle differences between what they believe they see on side by side comparisons. That group will diminish. That will be largely carried forward in the future by elitism rather than genuine discernment. Other factors such as new replacement Dolby Vision protocols and the internal chips in TVs have as much influence over the end-user experience as line speed. In the same way that 8k is irrelevant to most people with decent 4k at normal viewing distances so will line speeds above say 50mbps (or whatever) for true full 4k streaming.

In simple terms there will always be a group of people that when viewing output from a studio will be looking at nits,. detail in black areas and dynamic range and all the detailed nerd data and others who simply say "gosh .... wow .... isn't that film really great and looks wonderful on my TV".

I think that once the quality of streamed improvement brings 4k neutraility between disk and stream - which might be at most imho within five years or probably less - then the market for disk rapidly dissapears. In the same way no normal people need 8k no normal people will need more than genuine streamed optimum full 4k.

I say this as somone who bought an 820 in the last week or so ..... :)

imho. :)

I'm not sure what capacity and speed is required for full ATMOS audio and 4K 4:4:4 at 60 fps, but thats should be the minimum target, having said that what about this silly 8k..... you should see an improvement with a good disc on the 820
 

gibbsy

Moderator
In the same way that 8k is irrelevant to most people with decent 4k at normal viewing distances so will line speeds above say 50mbps (or whatever) for true full 4k streaming.
Perhaps the real question should be when will the UK get broadband speeds to all parts of the country that is quick enough and reliable enough to watch 4K, a minimum of 25mpbs. My friends currently have 1mbps, if they are lucky and have been promised a fibre connection for the last five years.

Open Reach will have to lay 16 miles of fibre cable to serve a total of six houses. It's the same in many rural areas of the UK. Streaming services may be getting better very quickly.and looks like the future just a shame that Open Reach has the same pace as a snail.
 

uk1

Member
There's another factor, namely the availability of a TV show or a film for streaming. There's no shortage of examples where for one reason or another what you want to view isn't available. I know I'm not the only one who likes to know that a physical disc is within easy reach. And isn't it also nice to have a film in the correct aspect ratio with bonus features, things which you don't always get from the streaming services.

I'm certainly in that boat.

I was desperate to obtain the limited catalogue of Jacques Tati films which have been recently restored but couldn't find any other way than buying the discs and my new 820!
 

uk1

Member
Perhaps the real question should be when will the UK get broadband speeds to all parts of the country that is quick enough and reliable enough to watch 4K, a minimum of 25mpbs. My friends currently have 1mbps, if they are lucky and have been promised a fibre connection for the last five years.

Open Reach will have to lay 16 miles of fibre cable to serve a total of six houses. It's the same in many rural areas of the UK. Streaming services may be getting better very quickly.and looks like the future just a shame that Open Reach has the same pace as a snail.


True, but it might be that in a relatively short time the remaining cables will be made redundant by 5g or perhaps satellite or a combination fo something or other.
 

uk1

Member
I'm not sure what capacity and speed is required for full ATMOS audio and 4K 4:4:4 at 60 fps, but thats should be the minimum target, having said that what about this silly 8k..... you should see an improvement with a good disc on the 820

Thanks, yes already extremely pleased with it. Justified solely on being able to view Jacques Tati but now the challenge is to decide a set of rules for myself ie a disciplain which decides what content I buy and what I don't.

I have decided on the following criteria which will undoubtedly change.

1. Content I'm desperate for that I cannot see any other streamed source eg Jacques Tati catalaog.

2. 35mm/70mm fully painstakingly restored classic stuff that I will want to view more than once. In that category I have The Godfather set, Gone With The Wind, The Shining and a few more.

3. Complete sets of other stuff that's affordable and easy to keep and slot in. I include in that the full Cheers set which I think is around 11 series (my early morning indulgence) around 60 Ealing films that seem not to be around and loads of stuff my wife told me to buy.

An expensive week.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
True, but it might be that in a relatively short time the remaining cables will be made redundant by 5g or perhaps satellite or a combination fo something or other.
They do rely on satellite for the TV at the moment, no Freeview signal. Same goes for mobile phone. No signal. If they want or need to use the mobile network then they jump in the car and drive half a mile up the mountain to the neighbouring farm and then they can get a signal.

Although I do watch a lot of streamed TV from Netflix and Prime in 4K it's not until you put a 1080 blu ray and see it upscaled to 4K on a 65'' OLED it's then that you notice just how poor the vast majority of 4K streams are. Well below blu ray standard.
 

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