Re: Blu-ray Wins! But The Real Format War Has Only Just Begun
I'm amazed - a thoughtful and accurate tech related article from the NYT! This is the first time that I can remember an article that spoke the truth about A/V quality from the Times. I do agree w/ the author much of this, but everyone seems to speak as if "there can be only one".
I own 2 Blu-Ray players and a Vudu box, a Linn Unidisk, and also use DirecTV PPV. You better believe that I will purchase/have purchased the BD versions of The Lord of the Rings, Unforgiven, Blade Runner, Ratatouille, etc. But for some movies, the compressed 720p Vudu version is just fine when I need instant gratification, or when my kid wants to watch TMNT (again!), or when the wife just *must* see the latest RomCom formulaic dreck. And I always record some of the great older flix on UniversalHD, MGMHD, HDNet Movies, etc. Remember when you just couldn't find ANY HD content? Finally, I've arrived a place where there is far more content than time to enjoy it.
In fact, regular DVD is still quite satisfying for the library of stuff that I already own but don't adore, or to get from Netflix to try new and adventerous stuff. For the unwashed masses, DVD will remain the dominant consumer format for quite some time due to bandwidth, cost, lack of education, the quality of inexpensive upscaling DVD players, etc.
Likewise, downloadable, overly-compressed, but uber-convenient downloadable content will find a large market beside DVD, without replacing it for many years, if ever. This will take a lot longer than tech pundits seem to realize. Anecdote is NOT evidence, so don't think that because you or I own Vudu or AppleTV and rock the FiOS that the Big-Mac scarfing public does, or even cares that they exist. There are a lot of people that think that downloads herald the end of physical media...just not true, for a long time at least.
Likewise, Blu-Ray will eventually find a comfortable market beside DVD and downloads. It will be the connoisseur's choice, like vinyl and SACD/DVD-Audio, but thankfully with a much more meaningful (but not overwhelming) market share. Remember, sitting 15' away from the average size TV, with the mediocre, uncallibrated av equipment that most people use, hi-def discs don't offer the difference from DVD that DVD did from VHS. We can only hope that substantial success for BRD will up the quality ante for downloads, and slow the train ride to mediocrity we are stuck on. That train rides on the rails of compressed MP3's and is powered by the engine of dynamic compression.