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 £45If 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.
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 .....
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.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.
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.
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.
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
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.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.