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Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 1) 460

- 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.

Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 1) 460

I'm not positive, but pretty sure the blu-ray spec can support more. The problem is (like with deep color) that the whole production range needs to support it, the player needs to decode it, and your display needs to be able to display it. I don't think there is any reason why this can't happen with the current disc format.

Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 1) 460

But how much do these things cost to manufacture? How hard is it to actually get a movie onto one at the factory. You can just stamp out millions of identical discs one after the other. For most solid state memory, after the thing is manufactured you have to copy the data to it. 60gig of data transfer per memory card is not the fastest and is not trivially cheap.

We've had solid state media with plenty of room for an album for quite a few years, and there has been no push to start selling retail music on the cards. There's simply not a benefit to the studios to deliver it in that format.

Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 2, Interesting) 460

This, on the other hand, I seriously doubt. Even if all the holographic storage doesn't pan out, something will be the next big thing. Unless 'always' is defined as 'for the next ten years or so'.

I'm not sure why this would be though. Blu-Ray already has enough space to fit the movies in quality that is good enough. A newer media format really only would improve the amount of stuff you can hold. But the amount of stuff that makes up a movie isn't likely to increase, so why do we need more space? Sure it would be really cool to buy a holographic disc that contains all the Stanley Kubrick films (just to use an example), but the cost of that kind of collection is going to be to great (Hundreds of dollars for one disc). Unless the studios drastically reduce the prices they're willing to sell copies of video for, I think we're going to be stuck with the one movie per disc paradigm for most cases (TV series being the exception). And since Blu-Ray has more than enough space for the movie on the disc, why upgrade? Upgrading for space would only be useful for box sets and TV series. And if the upgraded media has a higher manufacturing price and/or licensing costs, you're spending the money to upgrade everything just because you want to put the whole season of a TV show on one disc.

I think it would be at least 10 years before we can manufacture anything cheap enough, portable enough, and with high enough data transfer rates and capacity to really rival blu-ray. Some sort of solid state storage or holographic media would be the contenders. But at that point, if the people buying physical media are a small enough niche (as I expect them to be), is there really a point in trying to introduce a new physical format?

I think the fact that retail physical music is still delivered on CD is a good justification for my argument. People are becoming much more willing to forgo physical media and only purchase downloads, but there is no drive that I've seen to replace CD's with anything. They are large enough to hold enough music in good enough quality and are cheap to produce; and the players are ubiquitous. There was a drive to replace them with DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD, but since the quality of CD is good enough (and blu-ray is more than good enough) they didn't take off. And I'd wager that as long as there are people that are willing to buy a physical copy of music, CD will be the provider of it.

The only way I see blu-ray not being the physical format I buy for the rest of my life time is if it simply fails to become adopted wide spread enough. Then off course we'll probably be stuck with DVD.

Comment Re:The summary is missing something... (Score 3, Insightful) 460

But I don't think there is any logical successor to Blu-Ray except for downloads. Blu-Ray provides 1080p video. Unless you have a massive screen and a projector, moving the resolution up isn't going to improve the perceivable quality at all. For 99% of the people 1080p will be the highest resolution you ever need. Blu-Ray provides 7.1 channels of lossless audio at 96 kHz/24bit (and in some cases 192 kHz). You'll never need higher quality audio than that, and the number of channels is more than sufficient for the foreseeable future. It's already had to fit a 5.1 channel system in a lot of rooms. A 7.1 channel is do-able in most places that you can put a 5.1, but I can't see a time where anyone but the most obsessive people are putting more than 8 speakers in their homes (assuming there isn't a radical change in speaker technology). This isn't like the 640k is enough for everyone argument either. With the quality of Blu-Ray we've basically surpassed what we can perceive with our natural senses.

Maybe at some point we have OLED wall paper with hundreds of point source ultra sound speakers. In that case you could possibly use more channels of audio and higher resolution, but that kind of stuff is still mostly just theoretical at this point. Or maybe we all start augmenting ourselves, and we gain the ability to perceive higher quality. I just don't don't think either is likely in my lifetime. Even if I could affordably make an entire wall into a TV, my wife would never let me.

So, I'd wager that Blu-Ray is the last physical format for home video that we ever see. The world will eventually move to downloads for everything. Eventually the bandwidth will become cheap enough for Blu-Ray quality movies to be delivered digitally, and the majority of consumers will move to that. However, there will always be a small minority of people who want a physical copy and that's probably always going to be Blu-Ray. The disc is small enough (do you really thing a smaller disc would be enough reason for people to switch, because I don't especially with the infrastructure in place for the standard disc size.), cheap enough to manufacture (I think it will always be cheaper to press a disc than to create some sort of flash memory), and we've already covered the quality. About the only argument for a different physical format would be the speed at which the movies load (reading data off a disc has a maximum speed), but each generation of players is faster than the last, so I don't see that as a compelling reason to upgrade. If DVD was good enough for a large chunck or consumers, Blu-Ray is good enough for 99% of them. I just can't envision any other physical format ever surpassing it. It may end up as a niche product when downloads get to that quality, but I don't think it will ever go away.

Comment Re:BluRay? (Score 1) 417

What movies do you have in your collection, because your statement doesn't seem to make sense. Almost all movies and TV shows are shot on film. Only the cheapest TV shows and live events were shot on video, and even then almost all the video for TV for at least the last 5 years has been HD video.

Even very old movies look really great on Blu-ray because you get high resolution scans of the original negatives or film stock. Most people agree that 35mm film has an effective resolution of somewhere between 1.5x - 2x Blu-ray, so pretty much any movie is going to look better on Blu-ray than DVD (unless the film stock was badly damaged or something). About the only example I can think of where the quality wasn't leaps and bounds better than DVD is my Firefly Series. It was shot on film, but all the special effects were rendered in 480p (because Fox wasn't broadcasting in real HD at the time). Because of this, the effects shots don't look much better than the DVD run through a good up-converter. However, the non-effects shots look much better.

I also don't think the costs are exorbitant. You basically can't get a TV anymore that isn't HD. I tend to be on a 5 year or so TV upgrade cycle, even if you are on a longer cycle; most people are going to have an HDTV shortly. Blu-ray players are still a little too pricey, but if you wait around you can get one in the $150 range. And you can get a pretty good one with profile 2.0 and netflix for less than $250. I paid around $500 for my first DVD player, so I think the price of the players is a little overblown by people who didn't start buying DVD players until they were under $100. By this time next year I expect players to be under $100. I also don't think the movies themselves are that expensive. I never pay more than $20 for a movie I purchase. Sure it might retail for $39, but Amazon and other places discount the heavily. If you wait for sales and also look for used copies the movies aren't bad at all. Plus it costs me more than $20 to take my wife to a theater, so the purchase price of the movies actually seems like a good deal.

Comment Re:What people DO is take photos and video (Score 1) 515

This is nothing like 640k ought to be enough for everyone.

Once you get lossless audio, there is simply no need to ever improve upon it. Maybe you could add another channel or two, but realistically Dolby TrueHD is always going to be more than good enough. It provides 24 bit audio in up to 8 discrete audio channels at 96 kHz. Unless you start modifying the human ear, there simply is no need to improve upon it. The fact that 128 kbps MP3 sounds fine for most people is just more evidence to support this.

People aren't going to radically change the size of their homes any time in the future. If anything, home sizes are going to be getting smaller. Screen size is limited by viewing distance and the size of your largest wall, for 99% of the population 1080p is more than enough. Once you get to 10 ft+ screens, you may see a slight improvement, especially if you are sitting closer than 16 ft. But realistically, how many people have the space to do that?

Comment Re:What people DO is take photos and video (Score 3, Insightful) 515

Still camera and video camera resolutions are on the increase, not decreasing.

Not really. The megapixel wars are basically over. We've just about topped out what people realistically need in a camera. Video is the same. There is really no need to ever capture more than 1080p for home use, the human eye simply can't perceive any quality improvements on screen sizes that are realistic for the home. So basically if you're computer can play 1080p video with 7.1 channel lossless audio, you're pretty much at the end of the tunnel for most people.

Operating Systems

MoBo Manufacturer Foxconn Refuses To Support Linux 696

Noodlenose notes a thread up on the Ubuntu forums, where a user is questioning the practices of hardware manufacturer Foxconn. The user describes how his new Foxconn motherboard caused his Linux install to freeze and fire off weird kernel errors. He disassembles the BIOS and concludes that a faulty DSDT table is responsible for the errors. Even though the user makes Foxconn aware of the problem, they refuse to correct it, as 'it doesn't support Linux' and is only 'Microsoft certified.' The user speculates darkly on Foxconn's motives. Read the forum, read the code, and come to your own conclusions. "I disassembled my BIOS to have a look around, and while I won't post the results here, I'll tell you what I did find. They have several different tables, a group for Windows XP and Vista, a group for 2000, a group for NT, Me, 95, 98, etc. that just errors out, and one for LINUX. The one for Linux points to a badly written table that does not correspond to the board's ACPI implementation.' The worst part is Foxconn's insistence that the product is ACPI compliant because their tables passed to Windows work, and that Microsoft gave the the magic WHQL certification."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Leaving Vista for Ubuntu

An anonymous reader writes: Tanker Bob blogs over at about his increasing frustrations with Windows, DRM and the like. So he details how he jumped ship to Linux (Ubuntu with KDE). It's got a blow-by-blow that's technical yet useful for newbies thinking of making the switch. The article is here: t.php?Cat=&Board=tankerbobblog&Number=26899&page=0 &view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1
Linux Business

Submission + - Quebec dumps Unix for Linux

BDPrime writes: "The province of Quebec is taking hundreds of Oracle databases off Unix machines and moving them onto a virtualized mainframe running SuSE Linux on z/VM. They saved $800,000 in Oracle licensing costs during the first phase of the project last year."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Good linux distro for Mac Powerbook DVP?

gmc5050 writes: "The inevitable chaos of life has left me in a situation where I have an older Mac Powerbook 400MHz sans OS as the sole digital video output device at my disposal. So many distros, so little patience. As a longtime windows user with only work related experience with Linux I find myself overwhelmed with the knowledge it seems I must acquire to make an intelligent decision regarding which distro to choose. I'd like to just get it done and not look back. So, specifically, I'd like to play DVDs and video files on the Mac hardware running Linux through a standard television using the s-video and audio out. No frills necessary, performance is king. I believe the hardware can manage just fine with regard to my need for quality (or lack thereof). I expect to burn an ISO, install, grab a copy of VLC of the net, pop some corn and enjoy. Any suggestions?"

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