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The Internet Media

Broadband to Kill Off DVD? 609

Elteto writes "Just when we thought the DVD could not be any more ubiquitous, Serge Tchuruk at the Alcatel Forum in Paris announces that the days of the rapidly adopted medium are nearing their end. The increasing availability, affordability, and speed of broadband will contribute to a more efficient delivery method of media content. Will DVD join LaserDisc in obscurity?"
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Broadband to Kill Off DVD?

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  • Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by useosx ( 693652 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:56PM (#11896524)
    Yeah, when people stop being interested in physical objects.
    • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jarich ( 733129 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:59PM (#11896542) Homepage Journal
      Yup... DVDs will be gone right after the books!
      • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:47PM (#11896885) Homepage
        Yup... DVDs will be gone right after the books!

        And backups!
      • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:34AM (#11897089)
        Comparing DVDs to books doesn't quite work... People buy books because they'd rather read from paper than a screen. People don't buy DVDs because they'd rather watch movies directly off a plastic disc than from a screen.
        • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kbw ( 524341 )
          People buy DVDs because they don't want to have to keep paying to each time the movie is watched.
          • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mrak and swepe ( 799450 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @07:10AM (#11898283)
            And with a physical disk, at least you have some control over how much advertising you have to watch before the movie starts (although analogue tape wins hands-down on this issue).

            Call me cynical, but I can't help but believe that streamed movies will be prefixed with 20 minutes of un-skippable ads.
        • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

          by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @06:29AM (#11898194) Homepage
          Nah..
          People buy DVDs because:

          1: They hve pretty covers (and usually extra bits on the DVD).

          2: They're viewable in guaranteed high quality on a cheap piece of hardware.

          3: You don't have to be connected to the net to watch a DVD.

          4: You don't have noisy cooling fans in the background when watching a DVD.

          5: If you hate the movie, at least you get a great coaster for your money.

          A competing format may well help lower the cost of the disks though, which would be a great boon to us all.
          • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @09:14AM (#11898564) Homepage Journal
            6: I have the right to watch that movie as many times as I want, for as long as the DVD exists (decades).

            7: I can watch the movie without some 3rd party knowing I'm watching the movie.

            8: I can resell the movie if I don't like it or if I grow tired of it.

            9: I can lend the movie to my friends.

            10: We can watch 3 different movies in 3 different rooms at the same time without fear of running out of bandwidth.

            11: It is easier for my 2-year-old to choose a movie by looking at physical cases than by browsing things virtually in a computer.

            12: The movies are explicitly protected by my home-owner's insurance from theft or wholesale damage, because it is tangible. What happens when some .com that you purchases online movie rights through disappears? Who knows.

            13: The movie is protected from editing (including censorship, for countries like China). Imagine if the only versions of Star Wars (original trilogy) you could access were the "special editions", because that is the only thing Lucas wants you to see.

            Dan East
        • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rob_squared ( 821479 )
          Pardon me, but some people do like reading books off of a screen, because it lets me keep hundreds of books in my pockets, and not even the mightiest of cargo pants can boast that for physical books.

          Besides, with screen that are beginning to have the look of paper, I imagine ebooks will become much more popular.
        • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mrdaveb ( 239909 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @06:44AM (#11898231) Homepage
          A DVD collection is similar to a music collection - it's a significant investment of time and money. If it doesn't fill up a shelf and people can't browse it and admire/laugh at your taste, then it seems less worthwhile.

          It's still very difficult for a lot of people to attach value to 1s and 0s that don't come in a pretty container. It's obviously more convenient if you you have all your movies on a hard-drive, but it's definitely lacking something.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:4, Interesting)

        by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:35AM (#11897096) Journal
        Yup... DVDs will be gone right after the books!

        Actually, I don't think it's physicality that's stopping books from going, but: * DRM (I can lend a friend a book, I can't lend a friend an e-book (without breaking TOS))
        * e-book readers at a decent size (the small screen of a PDA is somewhat disuasive)
        * cheap e-book readers
        * Cheaper e-book prices: Why should I pay the same for an e-book as a normal book? It doesn't cost the same to make.
        * Availability (more and more books are being offered as e-books, but many books also aren't).

        Having said that, when available, I buy the e-book.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:13AM (#11897251) Journal
        DVDs will be gone right after the books!

        Terrible comparison. eBooks COULD have taken over the world, but technology is holding them back. Screens are still poor technology for reading, every e-book reader out there is propritary, and DRM is a sure way to stop adoption of anything.

        If videos are offered without those impediments, they have a good chance of replacing physical media.
    • by RootsLINUX ( 854452 ) <rootslinux@gmai l . com> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:00PM (#11896561) Homepage
      Reminds me I saw/heard something on Dr. Phil the other day about a guy who's relationship with his wife was failing because he turned to pr0n for pleasure instead of her. Is this the beginning of the end? Will all boobies get digitized and become virtual entities for our pleasure? Only time will tell...
    • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DustyShadow ( 691635 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:01PM (#11896572) Homepage
      How often do you buy CDs? Since mp3's got popular, I barely buy any physical CDs anymore. I think last year I bought maybe 5. Once DVD's are able to be downloaded quickly and easily, I probably won't purchase very many, though I already don't these days because of my netflix subscription.
      • Rentals are one thing, but for some reason that is just so...elusive...people still seem to want to buy movies [leesmovieinfo.net].

        I bought 2 CDs yesterday. I am uninterested in DRM or lossy-only formats.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LocoSpitz ( 175100 )
        Well, I buy about 10 CDs a month, even though I have a digital music player and I could use Napster to get my music at a lower price.

        I like my physical media, and I'm willing to pay more for it.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:12PM (#11896656)
        Way to generalise based on your own experience...

        No, CDs will not die off. At least not quite yet. There is something more rewarding about having an LP or a CD as opposed to pointing to a folder which represents a a few sectors of your hard drive in such an order that they can play 'Blueberry Hill'.

        DVDs have been able to be downloaded quickly and easily for the past couple of years, but you're right, burners are not the norm yet. At the very least, you will still want to back up your music.

        I still buy a LOT of CDs. My appetite for new music is insatiable to only several degrees below financial ruin. I usually buy the CD, convert it to MP3, then listen to that. I'm still uncomfortable buying albums on iTunes because, well, I just paid money for a file. Paying $0.99 for Guerilla Black's 'Compton' is basically a drop in the hat, so I don't mind. But I'd rather keep "important" works in a format which is at least already backed up. Even if I keep all my CD cases in a box in the basement and all my discs in binders.

        The problem then, is not so much with CDs as it is with iTunes - economically, it makes sense - but for $0.99 I'd like to get more than what amounts to a really good FM recording.

        • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sTalking_Goat ( 670565 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:36PM (#11896824) Homepage
          I'm the exact opposite. I stopped buying CD's years ago. I stopped burning my MP3s to CD when I bought my Rio Karma. I don't buy DVDs either. Thats what DVD mail rental is for. I do buy books though, so I do agree with you. Why would I pay 8.00 for a paperback I know I'll probably only read once and then stick on a shelf or on a pile, when I can probably borrow the book for free from the Library? Psychology is fascinating...
          • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pekkak ( 840639 )
            Because books look cool and you can really impress people with a decent bookshelf. Usually the two most interesting dead things for me in anyone's apartment are their books and cd's. Oh yea, someone could object that I could also impress people with a great personality but they don't sell those in stores. Books I can buy though.
        • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

          by FuturePastNow ( 836765 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:12AM (#11897247)
          I think you've hit on the reasons for CDs to exist. A pressed-disc CD will probably last longer than you will, as opposed to a burned disc that will deteriorate in a few years.

          Also, a 128kbps download will just not please some people. Audiophiles want the maximum quality they can get, and if they want it digital, they will rip it themselves to their own specifications.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:15PM (#11896686) Homepage Journal
        Since mp3's got popular, I barely buy any physical CDs anymore.

        Hmm, this seems to go against the Slashdot dogma that MP3 downloads increase CD sales.
      • I can get a song on my 'broadband' connect (DSL, 1.5Mb/s down 256Kb/s up) in about 30 seconds on a bad day.

        If I tryed to download a DVD, let us be generous and say it's a single sided dual layer of data so what 9.4GB?

        That'd take what, a day or so?

        I don't know what 'broadband' these guys are talking about but until I can click a button and have a movie in a few seconds it will not stop me from using Netflix or buying a movie
      • Ok, so, let's pretend for a moment that *tomorrow* we magically all have the technology to download enormous video files of DVD quality in a reasonable time.

        Where are you going to put it?

        Okay, so you've got a nice fat hard disk on your computer. That's just great for storing your first 10 or 20 movies that you buy for delivery via network. But where do you store all this data after that?

        I have, at a guess, about 500 DVDs (and increasing rapidly), and really my collection isn't that big compared to a lot
    • But people love not owning things. Look at iTunes. Thats all the proof you need people love to rent.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

        by plover ( 150551 ) *
        SOME people.

        I hate renting. I would much rather purchase something to use at my pleasure than to rely on some promise that the thing I want will be there five years from now when I want it again.

        That desire falls off, of course, at a price point. While I might like my own tile saw, for the four times I've needed them I've rented them at $50/day, rather than spend $900 on a comparable quality tool (mostly because they're large and I don't want to store them.)

        However, I definitely see it as a price po

    • Re:Physicality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ratsnapple tea ( 686697 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:35PM (#11896816)
      Well, not necessarily. The problem is that physical media are going to be much better as delivery mechanisms for video than broadband, for the foreseeable future. I'll let Steve Jobs explain [alwayson-network.com], for you Apple fans out there. :P

      People are much more attuned to visual quality than audio quality. This is the most amazing thing that happened in the music industry to me: We had the cassettes and then the CD, which raised the quality supposedly, right? The next format after the CD should have been a higher-quality format just like we got television going to high-def, but it wasn't. SAP and DVD audio have totally failed.

      What was the successor to the CD format? MP3, a lower-quality format, but one that provided a convenience of being able to transmit music over the Internet that no other format had. So convenience won out and people settled for lower quality. The first time I've ever seen that in my life.

      But that's not going to be the case with video. No one is going to go back to VHS quality just because they can download it faster over the Internet. It ain't going to happen. The download of DVD-quality movies takes hours over most people's broadband connections, and we're going to high-def in 2007, let's say. That's going to add bandwidth and get even slower as we go to high-def. To download a high-def movie is going to take you half a day if the bandwidth increases. Is that instant gratification like a song that takes just a minute to download? No.

      Therefore, the threat to Hollywood--of which we're a small member at Pixar--is very different than the threat to the music industry. Actually, the biggest threat to Hollywood isn't the Internet; the biggest threat to Hollywood is DVD burners.

      • Re:Physicality (Score:2, Informative)

        by Orestesx ( 629343 )
        Ever heard of movielink.com? I can rent a movie with decent picture quality and start playing it 5 minutes after I click download. And no, I don't have an ultra fast connection, just 1.5 Mb. Sure, it's not as good as DVD quality but its a heck of a lot better than vhs. Jobs seems to think that any movie worth watching is going to be 4 GB in size. With wmv video a 650 MB 2 hour movie is extremely watchable, and the ~1200 MB enhanced quality movies approach DVD-quality. The main thing that they lack is
      • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

        by filmmaker ( 850359 ) *
        Not quite true, Mr. Jobs. The first time people accepted lower quality for the convenience of portability and copy-ability was when we accepted cassette tapes as substitutes for hi-def LPs.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:4, Insightful)

        by brogdon ( 65526 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:28AM (#11897330) Homepage
        "What was the successor to the CD format? MP3, a lower-quality format, but one that provided a convenience of being able to transmit music over the Internet that no other format had. So convenience won out and people settled for lower quality. The first time I've ever seen that in my life."

        This would be a fine point, except for the fact that in most situations, with the speakers and headphones that most people use, the quality of the two formats is almost indistinguishable. The average user has a $300 iPod hooked up to a $15 pair of headphones. The relatively minor difference in quality is going to be muddled over by the poor output of his cans.

        Hence mp3 won out because convenience was all that John Q. Public knew to judge by.
      • Re:Physicality (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pollardito ( 781263 )

        "So convenience won out and people settled for lower quality. The first time I've ever seen that in my life."

        it's funny that he should say that given that the Apple argument has always been that their "higher quality computer" is only losing the PC arms race because of interoperability/price issues (both could be seen as convenience)

        "But that's not going to be the case with video. No one is going to go back to VHS quality just because they can download it faster over the Internet. It ain't going to happ

  • Laserdiscs (Score:5, Funny)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:57PM (#11896526)
    I still collect Laserdiscs you insensitive clod!
    • Re:Laserdiscs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Suburbanpride ( 755823 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:03PM (#11896598)
      collect being the key word. Laser discs never caught on beyond big movie fans a hobbiests. back in the arly/mid 90's I knew maybe 3 people who owned laser dsc players. Now I don't know anyone who doesn't own a DVD play.

      I do however, know plenty of people (my parents included) who don't see a need for board band, but still go to blockbuster to rent a dvd every once and a while.

      DVD's aren't going anywhere.

      • Re:Laserdiscs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bsgk ( 792550 )
        How many people do you know have cable? Boom, done. Everything is there for the digital download of content (all types) straight to the set-top box. Your parent's will never know they have broadband. The will just get the box from the cable company and have full access (PPV or subscription, I don't know, but I like subscription) to Netflix / Blockbuster / movie label content.
  • Netcraft (Score:4, Funny)

    by Umbral Blot ( 737704 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:58PM (#11896531) Homepage
    Netcraft confirms that the DvD is dying.
  • laserdisks and beta (Score:3, Informative)

    by cyrax777 ( 633996 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:59PM (#11896546) Homepage
    it wasnt till about a couple years that Pioneer discountined making LD players and around the same time period Sony stopped supporting beta as well. They were in use for a long time in the proffesional market long after considered dead in the consumer world.
  • Everyone I know has at least one DVD. I know nobody who has ever owned a laserdisc.

    If given the choice to pay for and download movies online, I'd be all over it.

    When I buy a game or a movie at a store I download it at home, because it's easier to mount an image than find and insert a CD or a DVD.

    It's so much easier to manage files on my computer than CDs and DVDs in meatspace.
    • Re:Maybe.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Purdah ( 587096 )
      "If given the choice to pay for and download movies online, I'd be all over it."

      And I suspect that the movie companies would be all over you too, or would that be own you, as you would be one of the first to accept the fact that on-line movies will have DRM written all over it....
  • CDs aren't dead... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jxyama ( 821091 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @10:59PM (#11896550)
    ...and music/audio are already much more widely dissiminated in digital form, legal or otherwise, today.

    i guess it's "hip" to try to be a visionary by predicting an early death of something.

    • Reminds me of the CD-ROM Acronym joke that circulated way back when...

      Q. What does CD-ROM stand for?
      A. Consumer Device - Rendered Obsolete in Months.

      Who needed CD's now that we had Zip disks? 100 megabytes, and rewriteable!
  • in a word, No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:00PM (#11896557) Journal
    People like to have something tangable when they buy something. also DVD allows you to go pretty much anywhere with a DVD and a DVD player and watch your movies, online services would require you either recodr your files onto some kind of removable storage or have a haigh bandwidth connection anywhere you want to watch movies.
    • But a *RELIABLE* one also. if you have the dvd it doesn't matter if you dsl/broadband is slow or dead.

      I'm amazed that people will use online only solutions for mission critical applications. I am aware of agency management software for insurance agents that is completely data offsite. If the dsl goes down, they would be playing solitare on the computers.

      eric
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:00PM (#11896563) Homepage
    How many people used LaserDiscs or had LaserDisc players at the height of their popularty?
    How many people have used DVDs and DVD players? Or have a DVD drive in their computer?

    They may be going the way of VHS or casette tapes (or at worst 8-tracks), but they're not going the way of LaserDisc any time soon.

  • TV noobs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crypto55 ( 864220 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:00PM (#11896564)
    People will never be able to figure out how to run a VoD file on their TV...
    "Honey, why won't the ethernet cable fit in the coaxial input?"
    Wait, that would be MPEG, not NTSC streams...
  • HA! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yuriismaster ( 776296 ) <tubaswimmer@NospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:00PM (#11896567) Homepage
    I don't even need to RTFA for this one...

    Broadband cannot replace DVD's. I don't see a day where accessing large amounts of data is as guaranteed as having a disc with everything accessible right then and there. I know I would rather have my DVD available than rely on some server that may or may not go down when they feel like it.

    I also enjoy being able to boot a device not connected to the intarweb with a DVD. I don't see DVD's going anywhere, unless Blu-Ray/HD-DVD manage to oust it (this will still take many a year for the prices to even out)
    • Re:HA! (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheWanderingHermit ( 513872 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:08PM (#11896639)
      I have to agree with this. My cable supplier (Comcast) has On Demand. While it is nice to catch up on Monty Python when I feel like it, only a few episodes are available, and I have no idea if one day they'll drop it as a choice.

      I like a lot of foreign and art films. Even for a director like Alfred Hitchcock, there are a lot of his films I can't get from On Demand or haven't been shown on cable (unless hacked up and notably abridged on commercial networks) in years. I'll keep buyin DVDs as long as I can get films like "La Strada" on DVD, but have trouble finding it on cable. While this may be a small market, I think the overall idea is a reason why people will always by some type of physical media, even if it's a memory stick with music or video on it. If you buy it, you've got it forever, and aren't dependent on a cable system or other content provider for it.

      A few years ago, Hurrican Isabel hit and many people in our area had no power for 2 weeks (it was 9-10 days for me). I spent a lot of time doing yard work I hadn't had time to do (I do programming at home, as part of my own business, so my hours are funky), and in the evenings I'd go out to bookstores, just so I could go some place with lights that felt civilized. For me, being able to put a CD in my boom box during the day and hear music I liked was a small part of what kept me sane. If I had only downloaded music to my hard drive, I would have had a much smaller selection to listen too.

      Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I know I really like having a physical media that my music and movies are on, so I can play what I want when I want.
  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GerbilSocks ( 713781 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:01PM (#11896569)
    HD DVD or BluRay will kill off DVD.
    • Re:No (Score:3, Informative)

      by adam31 ( 817930 )
      PS3 will have BluRay, so that will be many people's first BluRay player. Then, the masses will gently migrate as the question is no longer to buy the player but rather which format disc to purchase.

      So, it'd probably be more accurate to say that Blu-Ray will kill off DVD Players, but not DVDs themselves.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:00AM (#11896959) Homepage
      The problem with BluRay taking off as a medium is that DVD is already "good enough" for the vast majority of people. The quality of a DVD already surprasses what a normal SD-TV can produce. Until the prices of HD-TVs start going down to be similar to the price of a normal TV, most people are still going to have regular SD-TVs.

      So don't plan on BluRay replacing DVD anytime soon. Consumers have a long history of resisting format changes until the benefits outweigh the costs. To complicate matters even further there's still a battle over which standard, BluRay or HD-DVD will win the battle. Unless one or the other deals a knockout punch early on, they'll both end up losing to the old format of DVD. As I've already said DVD is "good enough", and there's a large segment of the market that doesn't want to get burned with useless equipment (i.e. Beta, and 8-track).
  • by gkuz ( 706134 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:01PM (#11896574)
    ...under the Christmas tree? Weren't e-books going to replace physical books by now, too?
  • by bburton ( 778244 ) * on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:01PM (#11896575)
    Will broadband kill off the DVD?
    Short answer: No.

    The DVD format will be nothing more than a flash in the pan, according to the chief executive of Alcatel.
    Come on people. This article is just plain stupid. I can see the DVD being upgraded, for more storage capacity (see blue-ray [blu-ray.com]), I can see the DVD fading away gradually (like VHS); but saying that Joe Sixpack will suddenly stop buying DVDs and use, say a broadband connected Tivo-like-device, is ludicrous. Technology lingers. That's why Microsoft has to build in special modes in their OS to run older programs. People still use legacy technology! Hell, I still have a tape player in my car. :-)

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. The article doesn't talk about Tivos, Internet TV streams, or some new emerging technology. In fact, it doesn't really mention anything!

    I'm not sure how articles like this end up on slashdot. I should write an article: New Power Source will replace Gasoline!

    Hey, put me on slashdot!
    • by danila ( 69889 )
      Nope. You are an idiot and that guy is a chief executive of Alcatel. His job is not looking out of the window and saying "DVDs are popular". No, it's about looking 10 years into the future, realising that communications in 2015 are going to be very different from what we have today, and then steering the company into that future, using the opportunities and avoiding the threats to maximum shareholders' satisfaction.

      Consider this. Whenether any technology is relatively unpopular (aviation in 1899, video dow
  • The question is when..

    But I have a feeling i will be buying the Blu-Ray HDTV DVD extended version of LOTR ... well ......... before then...

    In fact i'd be the shire on it...
  • No, you're wrong. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kuj0317 ( 856656 )
    wow, i just saw this, and already the 3 stereotypical posts have been made.

    Anyway, No, it will not pass into obsurity anytime soon. The reason is, unlike laserdisc, DVD actually has a sizeable installed base. That means, that the next gen format will support DVD, and the gen after that will probably do so aswell.
  • by gregmac ( 629064 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:03PM (#11896597) Homepage
    Broadband is not everywhere yet, and never will be. I can take a dvd and watch it in my laptop or a portable player in the car or train (while driving through a tunnel through a mountain), on a plane, in the middle of nowhere, etc..

    Furthermore, people have large collections of DVD. Why I want to wait even a few minutes to download something when I can just stick it in my DVD player. More likely, by the time that DVDs take a few minutes to download, I will have my entire DVD collection sitting on a massive harddrive in a media jukebox anyways (provided some corperation doesn't make that illegal, anyways) and I can watch on demand, just like downloading. Except I don't have to pay extra bandwidth fees (if applicable) or anyone else any money who wanted to charge per viewing (since they can).
    • You are missing the point.

      There are people today that watch "live" TV through their ADSL connection. Forget about downloading, or waiting minutes. This is an Mpeg-2 stream, at a few Mbit/s, except it's true video on demand over ADSL.

      DVD will survive for all the portable applications mentioned above, but if you look at how many people just want to watch movies from the comfort of their living room, that's the ADSL market.

      The funny thing of course is that for whatever obscure reason, the ADSL bandwidth i

  • If this is the future, then ISPs need to stop putting caps on everything. I mean, imagine the frustration of what could happen. Companies start streaming full DVDs ISPs say "Use our hispeed to watch DVDs!" User downloads a few DVDs ISP: You downloaded a lot of bandwidth. Probably illegal. Here's a big bill (or in the case of Rogers Hispeed here in Canada, they just terminate your service).
  • ...considering the interest/market of the company the guy's representing.

    it sounds more like what he wished would happen instead of what he really believes will happen.

  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:05PM (#11896611) Homepage
    Streaming content via major broadband in quality high enough to compete with dvd would be a media company's wet dream. Total control. They'd charge you by the view or on a subscription basis.

    The truth of the matter is, people enjoy having physical copies of their media to represent their collection. And its a good backup. I don't think the medium will be replacing the media anytime soon. Just expect storage to get larger in capacity, and smaller in physical size.

  • Yes and... (Score:5, Funny)

    by mbrewthx ( 693182 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:06PM (#11896622)
    Video killed the radio star!!!!
  • No freakin way (Score:2, Informative)

    by foldedspace ( 463615 )
    I own 0 MP3s. I own about 100 CDs.

    I own 0 downloaded movies. I own about 40 DVDs.

    I have broadband and the cable company still makes me think twice before downloading big files because of their usage caps. If the cable company sold the movies directly it would be closer to functional, but watching movies on a computer sucks. It's basically just PPV on demand.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@a[ ]com ['js.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:07PM (#11896632) Homepage Journal
    There are three reasons this is bunk:

    First, the idea that we will throw away out current media has been floated since the days of the floppy. It's always a correct prediction, but only because a better physical medium comes along.

    Second, the idea that we're going to be OK with just using storage on the Net and not having any physical media on which to store our data sounds good, right up until the first datacenter fire that loses me last week's data storage. It's also a terrible idea to keep your wares and copyrighted porn on someone else's servers ;-) and that bring us to:

    Third, PRIVACY. There's no single reason why networked media will never win over good-old local storage that beats the desire for privacy.
  • Yeah, and they said vinyl died.

    Mono vs Stereo [monovsstereo.com].
  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speter@NOspAm.tedata.net.eg> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:10PM (#11896652) Journal
    1) Quality. Sorry, but DivX doesn't come close to quality. It works like an MP3 works: it's portable and playable, but it's not the best in terms of quality. I'd rather pop a DVD into my player and enjoy it with my wife on a 27" TV with a DTS surround sound system than have the two of us huddled around a 17" monitor and a pair of $20 speakers (sure, we could upgrade to surround on the PC, but 5-channel output is not programmed in DivX...but if I'm wrong on this, feel free to give me a swift kick to the mod points).

    2) Ease. Buy a player. Rent a DVD. Put it in. Play. And there's no crossing your fingers that it doesn't crash, no reconfiguring of the stupid screen saver to not interrupt the movie, and no stupid "remote control" that keeps getting in the way of playback every time the mouse gets bumped.

    3) Physical portability. MP3s finallybecame famous and widespread when you could move them around in a player no larger than a pack of cigarettes. Granted, DVD's are physically larger, but you can carry 20 DVD's in a portable CD-wallet...Come to think of it, I suppose you can do that now on some portable DivX players (100 min. movie = 700MB * 20 movies = 14 GB 20GB players). But DVD's are (right now) less cumbersome, but I don't think they'll stay that way for long.
    • 1.) Divx is a video codec. AC3 is a sound codec (quite popular), and 5.1 surround sound.

      2.) Downloading a dozen movies requires less brainpower (for those who have done it before) then operating a large, sharp metal machine, driving it a quarter mile, and returning.

      3.) DIVX encoded movies fit more on a DVD than MPEG2 movies.

      But you make some good points.
    • MPEG wich is the video codec for DVD's is a pretty old one. Modern hardware can do much more crunch work so can use a thighter compression method. DivX and others can easily be setup to not loose any image information. It would be like saying RLE encoded images are not as good quality as BMP let alone GIF. Different encodings. Exactly the same image IF you convert with lossless settings.

      Further more during the encoding you can enhance the image wich would be to costly to do during live playback but doesn't

  • Market penetration for DVD's is too common to simply fade away quickly. Also, it has proven a convenient medium of distribution for data that a copyright holder wants to maintian some control over.

    Things to keep in mind:

    DVD's do not require an internet connection to work.
    DVD's are portable (watching a movie on a laptop during a flight?)
    DVD's are not lost when your hard drive fails.
    DVD's are paid for once.

    I think that DVD's will continue to be the medium of choice for poeple that buy movies. But for ren
  • by bacon55 ( 853395 ) <mikesm@shaw.ca> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:13PM (#11896663)
    http://www.alcatel.com/ [alcatel.com] http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_02 /b3865705.htm [businessweek.com] *ahem* I don't think this really needs discussing any further. People have interests, these interests are financial - people will say things to support these financial interests. Obviously the CEO of a NETWORK company would like to convince people that physical storage of data is a thing of the past.
  • ...that media format no longer matter. At least for me. I have personal data going back to 1985 that I've migrated from floppies, to HDs, to CD-Rs and now to HD arrays and DVDs. The point is that the data is the only thing that matters. This is true of non-personal content as well. As long as the content is in a standard protocol (MPEG, MP3, AAC, FLAC, Vorbis, Theora, etc...) it doesnt' matter what it's stored on. Unfortunately, a lot of people out there still have this bizarre attachment to physical
  • Not in the UK... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kaemaril ( 266849 )
    This article presupposes that broadband is 1) Available everywhere and 2) Unmetered

    In the UK at least, where BT's infrastructure seems to be roughly analogous to a whole lot of pieces of string and lots of tin cans, neither case is necessarily true. BT is currently implementing broadband caps (15gb is one of them... plenty for lots of email and webbrowsing, DVDs? Not so much). Whilst other companies are holding off sooner or later I see broadband once again being a metered service. Damn BT. Crap infrastruc
  • i mean look at newspapers and magazines and mail, they're all gone now right? they disappeared years ago didn't they?

    who the hell is this guy? he's a freakin loon.

  • Movies on Demand (Score:4, Informative)

    by KrackHouse ( 628313 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:38PM (#11896833) Homepage
    I can rent high definition movies through my cable box and pause, rewind, etc. No Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player required. Net distribution is beating the hardware version for the first time. Plus I can't (theoretically of course) use DVD-Decrypter to backup a bunch of movies to my computer which is plugged into my HDTV (1280x720progressive if you're curious). It makes Netflix' distribution model look archaic.
  • by tidewaterblues ( 784797 ) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:48PM (#11896891)

    The DVD format will probably die out (and by DVD format, I mean the current DVDs and all their logical sucessors, like BlueRay, etc). It will not be convienence of broadband that will kill them, however, it will be our changing consumption habits.

    When my parents first starting buying CDs in the 80's (they were around $25.00/disk then) they accumulated them carefully, picking what they like, and checking carefully that what they were buying coresponded directly to the LP orignals they were used to. They listened to them one at a time in an old Pioneer CD player (25+ lbs, lasted over 20 years before it died). By contrast I, and others I know, like to have our music quickly. I find and download files, burn tracks, buy CDs on a whim, digitize them and deemand that they all be available to us at once on small portable MP3 players. I keep my music on my laptop and it follows me wherever I go. My parents and I use music in fundamentally different ways, and we expect different things from our music.

    The same thing will happen with DVDs. The easier something is to use the more people will use it. The day will come when our culture comsumes such a quantity and variety of media that streaming, downloaded, or otherwise transmited movies will make much more sense for our livestyles. We will wants LOTS of movies, want them now, and want them everywhere we go. DVDs are nice, but they are also bulky. Our whole collection can't travel with us around the globe or fit in a hand-held player, or a car theater system. But these things are in development and in small circles in active use. These lifestyle changes will be the driving force toward a new file-less format.

    That doesn't mean that disk are dead. That day will come when we have a 100% reliable, superfast, globally accessable storage and transmission network that you could feel cofortable uploading media to and knowing that it would still be there is a couple of centures. (I'm not holding my breath). Until then there must always be a hardcopy of some kind, if only because encodings change so quickly that we need a "master" to rip from.

  • I first thought "No" but how about this idea.

    A lifetime liscense to a virtual DVD, backed by the right to make personal copies and make unlimited downloads with copyright fees waived.

    You can have your DVD and buy it in a brick and mortar store if you want to drive there and pay for their overhead. You can get a physical DVD like now but you are also paying for pressing, color printing, distribution and inventory costs.

    You can download to your hard disk but don't have to worry about burning it at home, though you would be able to do so for all content with open source tools, nor do you have to worry about renting a data center or keeping a RAID jukebox in the basement.

    Your purchase would give you a transferable, resaleable, unlimited right to the product, for all resolutions/file sizes up to that of the purchased product, though you might have to pay a one-time encoding fee if the format you desire is not on the publisher's server.

    You could likewise easily order rights to various printed materials, audio interviews, bromides, "making of shows", television versions, etc. linked to it, whether by the same publisher/distributor or not (thanks to automated searching over google, blog listings, or other mechanisms). Some people may opt to only purchase time-limited liscenses but smart people will go for a "lifetime" or better yet perpetual liscense, and no company except maybe the biggest mega studio will begrudge it, considering that if they have higher quality masters they can remaster for even better than DVD quality.

    To me this is far superior to what is currently available. The current problem is you do not know when the DVD you buy will deteriorate, and publishers similarly have ticking time bombs. I don't happen to use DVDs but I do buy the same books over again.. just like I rent the same VHS tapes many times, and know I can do so again for a few bucks even if my player eats one (happened before), I have bought the same (scifi) books many times over the years as I move around and am unable to carry them all with me. So I would definitely pay for a lifetime right to a work, plus the guarantee of durability.

    Such a system would also allow us to show dvds to friends or trade with them at no charge. In fact I believe it would be cheaper to have no copy protection at all, and simply guarantee that a given customer id would always be able to get a fresh copy of a work, even if issued by someone else. We would all win.

    I envision studios making a deal with insurance companies to put digital masters in escrow, and one day these will all end up in one place and accessible freely to the public (when copyright expires) minus perhaps distribution fees (if indeed the fee is not negligible by then). When you consider that even TV is going or has gone digital, but there is just too much of it to archive or it has been too hard to do so, you can easily envision the same system being applied to TV and other media. Also considering the costs that broadcasters will have to pay to go digital, this is a good way to finance it (better than the hostile takeover being financed by U.S. a securities company that is being played out in Japan this past week).

    I have been waiting an awfully long time to be able to access past years of TV shows and if I can easily "bookmark" a scene I am watching on live TV instead of rushing to hit the record button and missing bits of it, that would be worthwhile. Then a whole genre of websites would spring up to index the shows and scenes that could be accessed, and we would be bathed in a real digital ocean of our shared cultural history, which would be as broad as the entire world and as deep as the earliest decades for which the media have survived.

    In this vision, broadband access to the Internet could indeed be said to have beaten the dvd, itself an evanescent instantiation of a physical specification, since broadband will ensure that the physical item you purchase and treasure will remain with you for the years to come.
  • No bloody way (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spacejock ( 727523 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:22AM (#11897051) Homepage
    1. I treasure my boxed sets of old UK television shows. I like to have and to hold, and having them available any time for a fee is NOT the same as choosing, buying, owning.

    2. When my ADSL connection goes wonky and I can't get on the net I pop in a DVD and waste some time waiting for it to come back up. If they deliver my entertainment over ADSL I'm going to be foaming at the mouth when the damn thing falls over.

    3. I will never put all my eggs in one basket.

    4. I can browse DVDs on the shelf and pick up a couple when shopping. On the net I'm already bombarded with crap so how am I going to choose what to watch? Sometimes all you need is 3 bad movies and 1 good one to decide what to watch.

    5. Never underestimate the power of impulse buying and a physical product. Many dotcoms did exactly that.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:48AM (#11897143) Journal
    Look. It's 2005. OK? And I live in the MIDDLE OF FUCKING SAN FRANCISCO. Draw a big X over the city, and I live about 1500 feet west of that, roughly.

    I have Broadband - YOU FUCKIN BETCHA!!!!

    And what is my precious bandwidth?

    All of 326k!!!!

    Yep. And that's on a good night. Tonight is fucked -I'm barely pulling 280 right now.

    Now: it's 2005, and I can barely get 326 on DSL, thanks to SBC. And these clowns want to pump 1080i into my house? Even if you compress the living fuck out of it, you're still nowhere NEAR what I can do on DSL. And Cable is BETTER?

    Well, let's see: Cable's kind of dodgey around here, thanks to a 900 foot tall TV tower cluttered with all manner of telecommunications transmitters. My wife can't even open the door to her car with the remote...

    But: It's a Nice Place to Grow Yer Kids Up, only without the churches and liquor stores...

    So Cable sucks.

    And these clowns want to put HD over broadband.

    Bunch a' maroons I TELL YA!

    By the time I can get enough bandwidth into the Spoilsport rat hole to do that, I'll be too old to fuckin care, and it'll be TO HELL WITH THE LOT A YOU - YA YOUNG PUNKS!

    I'll be sittin' there with my DVD collection on my multi-terabyte RAID array entertainment computer, which will be in the form of the Lenovo Home Pro, which was sold to me for 99$ at Fry's 2 (the original was burned down 20 years earlier, during the food riots of 2015, during the second American Civil War.) and it frickin ROCKS - my entire music collection and video collection on a raid. I bought them, ripped then (there is NO perfect crypto) and now I get to see and hear whatever the fuck I want, when I want.

    but, I hate it when i get unstuck in time like that.

    And I'll still clean all the seeds out of my pot using the gatefold cover to "Close to the Edge" by Yes. Even when I'm 90.

    RS

  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @02:38AM (#11897553)
    The argument that Broadband downloading will greatly reduce the demand for DVDs is rather flawed. It assumes that Broadband will be widely adopted. It assumes that an extremely wide variety of movies will be available for download from somewhere. It assumes that entertainment consumers will prefer a pay-per-view format over a physical disk recording that costs the same or less.

    None of these arguments are reasonable. {note to grammar eagles, I'm assuming the word 'none' is an adjective of the noun 'arguments' so the verb 'are' must be plural. Please don't tell me 'none is' should be the correct form.}.

    -DVD players sell for $30-$50, which is less than a single month of broadband. DVDs sell for the same as a pizza.

    -Studios are in the process of converting every film in their archives into DVDs for sale or rental. Speciality video stores in every city will have titles that will never be available on-line. Broadband pay-per-view will always have the Star Wars flick from two years ago, but suppose you want to see Brian De Palma's The Fury or the original version of Swept Away (which is so much better than Madonna's version)?

    -A physical disk means something. It has value. You can play it over and over without damage. Stop it and play scenes again. Sell it, trade it, lend it. Broadband distribution of films will never have this characteristic.

    DVD's are challenged not by Broadband pay-per-view, but by the physical limitations of getting the physical disks of ten of thousands of movie titles distributed. Partly this will need a change in mindset. Filmmakers have to be willing to distribute their work on DVD. They have to be willing to accept that the vast majority of people who will see their work will see it on a video screen, not in a theater.

    For example, every year my fair city has a 'film festival'. Prints of a hundred or so films are brought from all over the world and shown once or twice in a local theater for $10 each admission. Then they disappear; most never to be seen again. Suppose for $10 you could buy a six-pack of DVDs of your selection from this list of 100 films. Rare and interesting films would get much wider distribution and acknowledgement.

    This is where the natural advantages of the DVD format will become apparent. The people who say that Broadband pay-per-view will wipe out DVD in the near future are just making wild statements to get their names exposed in the media.
  • by incal ( 728144 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @03:14AM (#11897681)
    Two weeks ago I've bought a simple, but nice DVD/XVID player Wiwa HD228. This little thing plays nearly all DIVX/XVID encoded media, from many possible sources: CD, CDR, VCD, SVCD, DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW..., on big TV screen, with 5+1 audio. Without clumsy connections with PC and its noise.

    Having a complete set of the Ghost in the shell episodes on one DVD is great. What is the point of using comercially available discs and/or media broadcasting services, when their content is usually not very different from DVD rental shops?

    If I wish to watch some Nick Zedd videos, or something with equally unusual content, I have no chance to find them outside p2p community. So, what these media CEOs could offer me? They're outdated already.
  • Downwho? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AliasMoze ( 623272 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @03:23AM (#11897709)
    Half the people in the country will have a hard time moving from DVD to download. The DVD player still fits the old VCR model - stick something in the front of the box, and it plays. DVD is really just a more advanced VCR, as far as most people are concerned.

    Downloading, of course, is a foreign concept to most people. While my dad is computer literate, my mother has never touched a computer, and she wouldn't know what the f*** a download is. Literally, she has no concept of it.

    If downloading becomes the norm, it will happen through the cable box. Again, the cable box is a box hooked to the TV, a concept everybody understands.
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @10:23AM (#11899206) Journal
    Only someone who wanted to have 100% control over your access would say something like that. You can't lend someone a broadband feed, you can't watch it again any time you want (you are at the mercy of availability), and they can edit the content, etc.

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