Originally Posted by kennyt
I still think they will both be dead in five years. Sorry for being a pessimist, but once downloads and servers take off, in full 1080p with uncompressed audio, they are done. A few stalwarts like myself will keep players for both formats or universal players for the discs we own, but most people will simple download their content.
Look at the new MacBook Air, NO optical drive..... Some might think it's crazy, but it is likely the wave of the future.
The thing that's holding back download of HD content is bandwidth cost. 1080i with compressed and recompressed audio is one thing but 1080p with uncompressed audio is a different ballpark. We're talking 20GB+ downloads. Even at 15Mbps it would take over 3 hours to download. So then that leaves streaming it. Then you run into net congestion problems and having your movie stop or stutter at the most inconvenient times.
If the disc formats are going to be replaced by something it will be flash media of some sort. The only thing holding that back is cost and backward compatibility. a 30 or 50GB solid state memory storage device is going to cost a lot more than pressing a disc. You also won't be able to use it on your old DVD player and can't play your DVDs on the new player. Of course you might be able to copy your DVD to a flash stick but then you get into DRM issues that the studios will not endorse.
Once cost is not a big issue I say junk the DVDs and HD/BD media just like we did with vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, VHS and cassette tapes. A non scratchable, ultra portable media is what we need and want. Thing is I bet we'd still have a format war when something like that happens. Look at Memory Stick and miniSD currently.
What we really need is a standards board like the IEEE (just as an example) to step in and take control of deciding on a media format that would be adopted world wide. Manufacturers like Sony or Toshiba could put forth design proposals but let a board consisting of 1000's of professional members decide.