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Ken S 09-28-2010 02:24 PM

Blu-ray superseded by digital downloads, says Microsoft executive
By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
Published: 8:40AM BST 26 Sep 2010

A senior Microsoft executive has claimed that Blu-ray will be a ‘passed over’ format, as people make the leap straight from DVDs to digital movie downloads.

People are making the leap from ordinary DVDs to digital downloads, says a senior Microsoft executive, leaving Blu-ray's future uncertain.

Stephen McGill, director of Microsoft’s Xbox and entertainment division in the UK, said that consumers don’t need Blu-ray.

In an interview with fan site Xbox360Achievements, McGill said that adding a Blu-ray drive to the Xbox 360 would not help to extend the games console’s shelf life.

“I think people may have spoken about that originally, but that’s long gone,” he said. “Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format. People have moved through DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full high-definition 1080p Blu-ray streaming instantly [through the Xbox 360], no download, no delay.

“So who needs Blu-ray?”

Microsoft famously backed rival high-definition disc format HD-DVD. The company sold an optional HD-DVD drive that could be connected to the Xbox 360 so that it could double as a DVD player. Sony’s rival console, the PlayStation 3, features an integrated Blu-ray player.

However, many experts believe there is still a place for high-definition DVDs, particularly as few homes have the fast, stable internet connections needed for seamless, high-quality movie streaming.

Sales of Blu-ray discs in the UK have grown by 50 per cent in the last year alone, with around 15.6 million of these high-definition DVDs sold to date. The British Video Association estimates that Blu-ray sales account for around 20 per cent of any given title’s total sales amount.

James Cameron’s sci-fi epic, Avatar, recently broke the British record for highest first-day Blu-ray sales, with fans snapping up almost a quarter of a million copies on the day of launch, more than previous record-holder The Dark Knight sold in its first week.

rbinck 09-29-2010 07:07 AM

Re: Blu-ray superseded by digital downloads, says Microsoft executive
There is a place for the Blu-ray now and will be for several years. While I agree with the issue of there not being enough homes with high speed internet to cause Blu-ray to come to an end anytime soon, in the long run I do think it is a transition format.

With the fairly new IPTV providers (FIOS and U-verse) they deliver really good, albeit not Blu-ray quality, movie streams now. I have U-verse and the quality is of a level for me that I don't use my Blu-ray or my HD-DVD discs much any more. I have been making my movie collection via my Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR Video Capture device instead of renting or buying. Yeah I have to wait a month or so, but if I really want it when the discs come out it is only $6 for PPV.

Also on there is a Hauppauge HD PVR Review. Check it out.

docrings 10-06-2010 08:23 PM

Re: Blu-ray superseded by digital downloads, says Microsoft executive
I own both an XBOX 360 (which used to have an external HD-DVD player) and a Sony Playstation 3.

Guess which unit gets powered up almost daily? Yup, the PS3 so we can watch Blu-Ray movies. Guess which one, then, gets games bought for it? Yup, the PS3. Why put money into games for the XBOX360 which doesn't even get powered up much these days?

Guess which one has wireless built in? Yup, the PS3. The Xbox360 wireless dongle retails for a wallet-gouging $99 (!). You might find it cheaper for $60, but why even that much??? (I used a $20 router as a wireless access point, but most people don't know how to do that)

Guess which one can now play 3D movies with the recent firmware upgrade? Yup, PS3.

Guess which one can stream Netflix movies without an additional monthly Gold membership? Yup. PS3.

Guess which one has very advanced HD video control settings for calibration, etc.? Yup. PS3.

Why M$ has chosen to hamstring their flagship gaming rig is beyond me... but in my particular case, it has cost Microsoft over $500 in games NOT purchased in the XBOX format.

Hmmm. Which business model is smarter? In my humble opinion, NOT Micro$oft's.

Here's my plan to get M$ back on track:

1) External Blu-Ray player accessory
2) New 360's with a Blu-Ray players ... wholesale these are cheap nowadays
3) Eliminate Gold Membership requirements completely. Just open up the flood-gates for users to actual USE their product to its full potential. They will reward M$ 10-fold with other purchases.

CliffH 10-10-2010 08:34 AM

Re: Blu-ray superseded by digital downloads, says Microsoft executive
I think that owning a physical copy of movies will still be around for years to come. I agree that services like VUDU do a pretty good job streaming Almost Blu-ray quality but if I purchase a movie for my collection I want to know that I w;ll still be able to play it 10 years from now. I have had too many Hard drives crash over the years to feel safe with them holding any collection of beloved movies. with the size of high def movie files the redundant back-up would require to much expense. ( raid aray)
Plus there is still something comforting about being able to own a hard copy of your favorite movies. I may just be old fashioned in this respect, even though I am a very "high tech IT person"

docrings 01-08-2012 08:34 PM

Re: Blu-ray superseded by digital downloads, says Microsoft executive
Looks like some 5$41thead has hijaccked the thread with prostitute spam... shees. Get a life, Bata10200, and stick to the streets....

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