- 3D anyone? Wouldn't that double the bandwidth (one image for each eye)
I just don't see 3d taking off at home. To get a good experience you need new TV's, new players, new discs, and glasses. It's one thing to do it every once in a while at the theater, quite another to do it at home.
- What about cine freaks demanding different cuts for their films? or the original footage for several cams (like the "directors comments audio track in today's DVDs)?
With seamless branching this can already be done. The Watchmen Directors cut is almost 4 hours long, and provides a crazy video commentary option on the disc. Only the most extreme cases are going to need more space than this, so it just doesn't make sense to release a video format just for these niche circumstances.
I think that definetly there's always room to increase bandwidth *and* quality, so I bet that Blueray isn't the end of the road.
And yes, your post looks like 640kb is enough.
I'm not saying their isn't room to increase quality and bandwidth. What I'm trying to get across is that we are at the point where any boost to the quality becomes very hard to perceive, and for 99% of people we are at the good enough stage. SACD and DVD-A were both better than CD. FLAC is better than MP3. But, people still buy their music with lossy compression and on CD. With CD we reached the point of "good enough" and every other format introduced since then has basically failed. I'm trying to get across that Blu-Ray is the CD of video media.
We are going to get better media. We will have writable holographic discs, and better and cheaper flash memory. But I truly believe by that point people who insist on physical media will be such a minority, that it just won't make economic sense to try to introduce it as a home video format.
I don't think the 640k analogy is a very good one. I think a better analogy is the floppy disc. 1.44MB is as big as it ever really got. You could probably make it bigger today (and I recall some computers that could read 2.88MB), But it's been passed by other things completely. In that case it was other media, but in Blu-Ray's case its downloads.
If blu-ray lasts 10 more years (and I think it probably will because the studios won't want to put out another new format so quickly), downloads are going to dominate so much that the physical format is going to be too small a market to chase with a new format.