DVD Player = Trash Bin

My nearby Hollywood Video shuttered its doors this weekend. My MVP membership was automatically canceled by the company. As far as the personalities go, I enjoyed all of the folks there, it was nice to get real recommendations from real people. As I stood in line with my son to purchase a few stray DVDs I talked to my son that in 3-5 years he would never step into a video store again. I got a few stray looks in line. The more I told him about never being in a video store or a music store again, the more I realized what a foolish purchase those plastic cases and metallic disks in my hands were.

I convinced my son we didn't need the DVDs and I promised he could login to Amazon Unbox on the Tivo and rent a movie when we got home. We set the DVDs down, left the line, and I walked out of a video store with my son for the last time ever.

We went home, rented "Mr Bean's Holiday" at home (no, it wasn't my choice) and I'm boxing the DVD player and putting away whatever movies I do have.

And here is a message for Blu-Ray. I haven't looked at a Blu-Ray player, I'm not looking at a Blu-Ray player and I swear I will never have one in my house, period (unless I purchase a video game system with one but then I won't get movies for it anyway). Revel in your victory oh Blu-Ray backers, but it will be short lived, physical media for content is short-lived. I actually think Microsoft XBox is fine if they can get the video downloads working ASAP on their platform. These are pro-gamers, renting online will not be a problem and I doubt pro-gamers show off their DVD collection.

When I don't have my Tivo with me, I can download to my Media Center PC and plug it into the TV through the S-Video port, works great, portable media, very nice.

One less black box in my house is a good thing. Thanks for your time of service DVD player, I'll show you to the door.

Comments:

This is all fine in principle, however some people (like me) prefer to own the content they like rather then rent it. There is allways the content one have invested it. There are allways obscure content sources, including those from the countries that do not have infinite bandwidth (last time I checked US was in that list). That's why I have (and use regularly) the following items under my TV:
- a regular DVD player
- a multi-system DVD/DivX player with region-free hack
- a world-wide multi-system transcoding VCR

And last time I checked, Casanova - one of Fellini's masterpieces was only available on the original 70s VHS tape.

Posted by Alex Maclinovsky on February 25, 2008 at 07:42 AM MST #

Funny you cite content that you can't find anywhere but on the media source...its one of the reasons that I have a record player underneath one of my stereos! I may not be as inclined to have video as yourself...one thing with the online sources I've noticed is that there is too much disparity, iTunes has some content...Unbox has other content...its a little frustrating.

You raise an incredibly relevant point though, the movement of content to digital, global and accessible form: it simply doesn't happen as quickly, as accurately, or as completely as one would hope. So, you have me on several fronts...a life without a DVD player is not for everyone but I'm giving it a whirl ;-)

Posted by Paul Monday on February 25, 2008 at 08:57 AM MST #

I hope you're never planning to get an HDTV either. At present and for the next 10 years there will only be one viable mechanism for displaying content on your HDTV that exploits its full capabilities: Blu-Ray. Everything else on the market supports a fraction of the bitrate necessary to display H.264 compressed HD video free of compression artifacts. It doesn't matter what the resolution indicator says on your HDTV when you hit the "info" button on the remote; every HD download, cable tv, or satellite service today has quality less than standard definition DVD.

Posted by thefullcatastrophe on February 25, 2008 at 10:02 AM MST #

10 Years?????

Looking at the Blu-ray FAQ (http://www.blu-ray.com/faq), I see that a single-layer disc holdes about 25GB and a dual-layer disc can hold 50GB with the format extending to 100GB to 200GB. But, on a 50GB disc, you get about 9 hours of HD so you're talking about 15GB for a movie (roughly).

Using a handy download time calculator I found (http://www.martindalecenter.com/AATimeCalc.html) it is showing that it would take about 5 hours, 33 minutes and 20 seconds on my current cable provider (a bit less since I think the bounced me to 7 meg). I don't think it will be 10 years before the average household has access to the bandwidth necessary for a resonable download speed...I would imagine that to be about 12 Mb / Sec, roughly double what I have today (this would allow the streaming to keep up with the viewing of the video).

Yes, there are folks who will not be "fully" connected, but there shouldn't be a barrier to downloading HD content in many houses today, let alone 2-3 years from now. Do services allow the download of "true" HD content today? Hmmm, it doesn't seem they do....obviously this needs to be reconciled.

Nonetheless, you are right, if I stick to my guns I may not be getting "true" HD content for a while, though I'm not going with the 10 year prediction ;-) And, there is a percentage of the population that will NEVER get to 12 MB / sec and for them, Wal Mart will have to be the solution. For my life style, it just isn't going to happen though. Further, and I'll go out on a limb here, I predict Blu Ray will NEVER see the broad adoption that VHS / the original DVD player saw and, further, video stores are in their waning years (I blogged about this last year).

Posted by Paul Monday on February 25, 2008 at 02:12 PM MST #

Paul,
Your going to need a Black Box to store all of your stuff and Black Ice to manage it all.
Cheers

Posted by Victor Walker on February 28, 2008 at 07:02 AM MST #

Here's the way I see it. Besides Peter Jackson and Kevin Costner flicks, most videos are only about 1.5 hours (I'm a notorious fan of movies without any substance). So, I should have sufficient storage left from my x4500 packed SunMD unit to lease the space in a simple utility model. I'm hoping that will help subsidize the cost of storing my entire Jessica Simpson movie catalog (I'm kidding, of course...I'm more of an Indiana Jones type).

Posted by Paul Monday on February 28, 2008 at 11:12 AM MST #

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