The End of Blu-ray

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    Catastrophic thinking, perhaps, but Samsung’s recent decision to discontinue its Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players has evidently convinced some enthusiasts the format is finished and on its last legs. ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols, for one, bluntly stated this week “Blu-ray is dead,” justifying that thought by relaying Samsung’s market dominance. He also believes DVD is (finally?) on the way out, as Netflix hasn’t spent a cent to keep its physical rental business afloat. While streaming will only grow, aficionados argue studios will always make room for a high-quality format, even if it does stumble into a niche.

    The numbers speak for themselves. According to the Digital Entertainment Group 2018 home entertainment report, we spent more than ever on video last year, $23.3 billion, up 11.5 percent from 2017. Of that, subscription streaming -- led by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu -- took the lion's share, with a 30 percent year-over-year rise to $12.9 billion. We also bought and rented another $4.55 billion worth of online movies and TV shows. Blu-ray? Even with the growing popularity of 4K Blu-ray, movie, and TV show sales only came to $4.03 billion. That's a 14.6-percent drop from 2017.
  2. Jumpem

    Jumpem Gawd

    Dec 1, 2000
    There is still no easier and cheaper way to see many new releases than with Netflix Blu-ray service, or perhaps Redbox. I am still impatiently waiting for either of them to offer UHD Blu-ray rental.
    AceGoober, mikeo, JokerCPoC and 10 others like this.
  3. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

    Jun 20, 2012
    If they cared and rushed bluray to ultra hd then maybe... At this point I think I have to agree... Its dead
  4. mullet

    mullet [H]ard|Gawd

    Aug 19, 2004
    Give me a break, I have over 500 Blu Rays and I will not stop. I have no cable TV just Antenna and I never go to the theater. So the money I save from no cable bill and no theaters, I take that money and buy ONLY movies I will watch more then once and I am still money ahead. I love having a hard copy.

    Better Audio 7.1 Atmos....
    Better Video quality.
    Watch it as many times as you want.
    Special features,...
    No data usage.
  5. SilverSliver

    SilverSliver Beat It To Deformation

    Feb 23, 2004
    I love streaming. I also, however, love super high bitrate UHD HDR blurays. You can't stream that from Netflix.
    nightfly, eclypse, blade52x and 20 others like this.
  6. xinco

    xinco [H]Lite

    Jul 8, 2001
    The death of a physical medium would really be bad news. The quality of streaming vs a Blu-ray is just no comparison.

    Maybe the masses just have a cheap flat screen and a soundbar. Or just a mobile phone or a tablet. But for anyone with good equipment, it matters.

    There is no technical reason that streaming couldn't be just as good. But today, it isn't. In today's world, there is always pressure to minimize bandwidth.

    I believe the day will come, even if we don't want it. They'll want control over the content. And it is all about money. Ever noticed an e-book is always more than the mass market paperback? It is because they can.
    drescherjm, jeffj7, opfreak and 17 others like this.
  7. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

    Feb 21, 2005
    lol Bluerays are going to be the new Vinyl and make a comeback one day.

    I do agree - that there is definitely a pretty big market for people that have a home theater. Streaming compressed files just won't cut it for someone that put $10-30k into their TV + Sound system.

    I know that one day I'll probably make that level of investment. It won't be in the next year just because I'm not that rich (yet), but it will happen... And when that does, I won't allow compressed streaming files when I use it.
    Darth Kyrie and eclypse like this.
  8. Snowdensjacket

    Snowdensjacket Limp Gawd

    Apr 10, 2017
    I buy new blurays every week. Samsung stopped making bluray players and that's supposed to mean what? I'm not supposed to buy new movies anymore? Samsung bluray players were total trash anyway so who care?
  9. Loop242

    Loop242 [H]Lite

    Jun 8, 2015
    Just when MakeMKV was coming out of beta :)
  10. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Sep 8, 2007
    I've got fiber optic streaming, a pretty good home network (hardwired)...and I think streaming sucks. The compression artifacts distract me. Bluray is what I use/buy for "good" movies.
    kalston, AceGoober, mikeo and 12 others like this.
  11. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

    Jan 26, 2015
    The studios would just love for physical media to go away. Once that happens then expect the cost of streaming to go WAY up and expect to pay for EVERY viewing. Those with small children would pay enormous fees so that their children can watch the SAME movie over and over again.

    There is no way streaming will ever match the quality of a 4k disc. Some of the peak data transfer rates exceed 100 Mb/s when I stream my ripped 4k movies ( with HDR and Dolby Atmos/DTS:X ) from my NAS.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  12. Galvin

    Galvin 2[H]4U

    Jan 22, 2002
    And here I thought people didn't want to spend the cost of blurays. But streaming can't match the quality of bluray though. So streaming is suppose to be the replacement?
  13. xmadror

    xmadror Gawd

    Feb 13, 2012
    I don't mind too much for the picture quality of a good stream but I'm often unhappy with the sound.
    On Blu-ray the sound is nearly always great so I prefer the format.
  14. lollerwaffle

    lollerwaffle Gawd

    Feb 3, 2008
    Please tell me if I am being ignorant but IME this started with DVDs and got much worse with Blu-Ray: I have to sit through commercials for other productions etc before I even get to a menu where I can start a movie. I've had a bunch of DVDs like that and eventually said fuck it. Streaming oftentimes does not have this issue. Quality is worse, absolutely true, but I see completely RED when I have to sit through commercials.
    I paid for the damn media, I do not tolerate commercials.
  15. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

    Sep 24, 2001
    If they can figure out some form of digital distribution I'm all for it. Prime, Apple, and even Netflix have created the ability to download media and watch it offline. If that media was higher bitrate and included all the things blu-ray does now, I would say that's a perfectly reasonable alternative that costs the studios near nothing to implement (as it doesn't run on physical media) and then they would save on the cost on printing all the physical media as well on top of it.
  16. che

    che Limp Gawd

    Apr 18, 2003
    I have yet to buy a Blu-ray player, still just DVDs. So I must be part of the problem. Streaming is just too easy, and my van still has a DVD player, so that is what we purchase for the little ones.
  17. Hielo_loco

    Hielo_loco [H]Lite

    Jan 27, 2015
    Nahhh... the market is not what it used to be, sure... but having physical copies has a lot of advantages. I find that I am more discerning of the movies I buy, and the audio quality is way better. Also, I loved the Cosmos series and watched in on Netflix, but I wanted to watch it again late last year and it was gone. No such problem with Bluray!
    jeffj7, mikeo, JokerCPoC and 3 others like this.
  18. Term-X

    Term-X 2[H]4U

    Apr 21, 2001
    I have gigabit internet. But the reality is that it generally speaking, makes zero difference in the quality of streaming I can do. I still get kicked down to lower bit rates and I don't see any streaming service able to compare to the picture and sound quality options that come with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray. And with some digital lockers closing down... I don't trust what I can't store locally.
    GoodBoy, JokerCPoC, jeffj7 and 6 others like this.
  19. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

    Sep 2, 2004
    I think part of the issue is that Blu-ray didn't really keep up with the rather quick jump from 1080 to 4K. 4K players are still way too expensive and the library of 4K BR titles still seems limited.
  20. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

    Mar 4, 2013
    The sad problem is most folks don't know what even 1080 is supposed to look like. A lot of cable providers default the lower channels to 720 and many folks won't bother to try the higher numbered channels with the 1080 HD content. They find the first channel that has their show and go "Cool, it looks great on my new 60 inch TV" Now they try streaming and that 480/720 stream looks like what they are used to and they think "Cool, I am watching HD streaming on my new 60 inch TV" So now they think, "Why do I need Blueray or DVD if when I have HD streaming for my new 60 inch TV?"

    I bet there are a lot of folks that got 4k TVs this Christmas that are convinced they are watching 4K content when what they are really watching is 720 stuff because that is the channel numbers they are used to selecting.
  21. akaliel

    akaliel Limp Gawd

    Feb 7, 2007
    Yeah, doesn't sound like you're niche at all ;)
  22. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

    May 7, 2007
    The end of x86-64 might be nigh, but the end of Blu-ray?
    Yeah, no, not in this decade or the next...
    Darth Kyrie likes this.
  23. N4CR

    N4CR [H]ardness Supreme

    Oct 17, 2011
    I can't elaborate due to nda but the best lossless streaming 4k video tech, is more bandwidth than a vast majority of connections I've seen benched here.
    Physical media is the only way for now, sadly.
    nightfly, Darth Kyrie and nilepez like this.
  24. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

    Mar 10, 2004
    The first part of your statement is not true. If studios hated physical media they’d just stop making them. That said, even if physical media vanished tomorrow it wouldn’t mean anything since it’s fear of piracy keeps prices in check.

    If it weren’t for piracy we’d still be paying $15 for a CD and Blockbuster would still be around.
    nightfly, XBarbarian and Darth Kyrie like this.
  25. Eyeball Kid

    Eyeball Kid Gawd

    Jan 31, 2002
  26. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 [H]ard|Gawd

    Jun 5, 2015
    Well....if their connection supports it most streaming services (YouTube Netflix Hulu) all default to the highest resolution possible even if they don’t fiddle with the settings for max quality. They’ll just have more quality drops without messing with the settings but they’ll still get streams at 1080/4K/HDR.

    Shit on the masses if you want but I doubt they’ve never seen actual 1080p content unless they’re going out of their way to be obtuse. Especially when you use the qualifier “new” in regards to the TV. Many these days don’t even include analog connections.
  27. Sharps97

    Sharps97 Limp Gawd

    May 12, 2000
    Good quality streaming is nearly visually indistinguishable from blu-ray, even 4k UHD. There have been lots of side-by side quality comparisons, and anything modern (Netflix, Prime, VUDU, and even Apple) provides incredible visual quality. If you are sitting at normal viewing distances, you won't see any streaming artifacts (assuming you have a stable connection). I think the big reason why blu-ray and UHD discs are failing is due to pricing. DVD had it right with the pricing tier - it was priced to move volume and it showed. Hollywood got greedy with blu-ray and UHD and it shows. HDTVTest has done some good videos on the quality perspective which I found particularly interesting. Totally agree on the entire "ownership" front - but then again, even if you have a disc you technically still don't own the content...
  28. LeftSide

    LeftSide Limp Gawd

    Nov 14, 2003
    A 4 billion dollar industry is dead? Shrinking yes, but dead no.
  29. harvestor

    harvestor [H]Lite

    Apr 21, 2009
    Well its a good thing that the blu-ray format isnt tied to samsungs shitty products, About 60 percent of the media in my house is streamed but of that the vast majority is kids content.

    When it comes to good movies theres no comparision to the quality of physical disks picture wise and audio.

    Until the quality of 4K streaming increases i dont think it will completely replace physical media.
    N4CR likes this.
  30. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

    Jan 26, 2015
    Maybe. But the 4k pricing isn't too far out of line considering the higher level of work that has to go into a 4k disc to offer up superior video and audio. Most of my 4k purchases have been around the $27 mark with some as low as $20 and a few higher than $30. Not really that bad since most, if not all, 4k packages come with the 2k BD and a digital copy. The appeal for me on 4k is not the video but the audio. Think about the hours that have to go into creating an Atmos mix using a 6-channel master audio track.
  31. MarkVI

    MarkVI Limp Gawd

    Sep 30, 2014
    Don't forget, blu-ray isn't just for movies. If you're concerned about cold storage, blu-rays are supposed to be much, much better than other optical media. I'm paranoid enough that I back up my important stuff on M-disc blu-rays. It isn't cheap, but it beats the heck out of explaining to my wife where all of our wedding pictures went if my RAID setup crashes.
    Todd Walter likes this.
  32. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

    Jun 18, 2014
    It is disappointing but not surprising. As I and many others have mentioned the quality that comes from physical media cannot be matched. I know many can't see, hear or don't care enough about the difference between streamed content and physical media, for me poor quality streams and limited to 5.1 drives me nuts. Although I do appreciate seeing HDR/Dolby Vision content on top of 4k. Still the quality just isn't there. I'd rather run down to redbox and rent the movie than stream it. My wife is the opposite, she appreciates the instant readiness of digital content.

    As long as my fav movies are on bd or uhd bd I do not mind.
  33. $trapped

    $trapped [H]Lite

    Jan 18, 2012
    As long as my local libraries carry physical media, I could care less. It's not like the writing is getting any better and once you've seen a variety of decent flicks anything later rarely makes an impact.
  34. ordray

    ordray n00b

    Sep 20, 2018
    I'm calling absolute BS on the medium dying. I'm sure that it has taken a hit lately, however since there are still large swaths of the US and many other countries that don't have access to broadband internet I highly doubt that blu-ray is going anywhere in the next 4-5 years at least.
    JokerCPoC and kamikazi like this.
  35. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

    Jun 14, 2011
    I can't stream due to my capped internet and slow throttled speed once quota is reached (64kbps). Physical media is the only way I consume my movies. Besides that, I don't want to waste my hard earned home cinema.
  36. JSumrall

    JSumrall Limp Gawd

    Jan 19, 2011
    I definitely prefer physical media. Problem with big companies like Samsung is if something isn't making as much as their biggest profit maker, they don't want to mess with it anymore.
    IndyJoe1977 likes this.
  37. misterbobby

    misterbobby 2[H]4U

    Mar 18, 2014
    I have never bought a blu ray disc and rented maybe 5 blu ray movies ever. I am not paying what they cost for something I will likely never watch more than once and prefer to just instantly stream something instead of driving to go rent it.
  38. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

    Aug 28, 2008
    Very nice. Besides your logical points, which are all solid, I agree we all need a system where we get to keep and collect a HARD COPY!
    It is the essential element to collecting.
    IndyJoe1977 and mullet like this.
  39. Mchart

    Mchart 2[H]4U

    Aug 7, 2004
    I just wish they would offer streaming that was on par. Some of us have the bandwidth, it’s BS that I have to buy a physical disc when I can download 700 mbps sustained no problem.
  40. HAL_404

    HAL_404 Limp Gawd

    Dec 16, 2018
    $6 to $10 (for used) on eBay
    GoldenTiger, nilepez and mullet like this.