Monthly Archives: January 2009

Blue-ray Won the Battle but Lost the War

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It is already one year since Sony signed with the four big movie studios and knocked out Toshiba in the war for the high-definition video format. Seagate’s CEO said then “Blue-ray won the battle but lost the war”, referring to hard-drives as the end winners that will store HD movie downloads. Time is predictably confirming his point, as broadband speed grows, movie downloads gain popularity and storage costs drop.

As NYT writes in Blu-ray’s Fuzzy Future, DVD was a big step forward compared to VHS, but Blue-ray quality improvement versus a DVD is not enough to compel consumers to invest into it, less in the middle of a recession. And time plays against Sony’s format. A Blu-ray disc (BD) has 25 GB capacity,or 50GB for two-layers BDs. By next year memory cards of 32GB will be available, and that will kill the adoption of BD-ROM units in computers. The Mac Air and all netbooks already said good-bye to DVD-CD discs. The popularity of external Terabyte drives makes the use of a 50GB Blu-ray disc irrelevant for back-up too.

Not even Microsoft is considering anymore to include Blue-ray in the Xbox 360. Why would they make it more costly when the 360 already has an Internet connection to download movies and games?

With the growth of  broadband speed and cheap storage, do not be surprised if Blu-ray is not in the picture(s) in ten years. As flash get cheaper, even SanDisk could venture into SlotMovie to distribute movies in micro-SD cards, as they did with SlotMusic.

Online Movies 2019

uhd

In 2019, while Music downloads are mostly free, people is ready to pay for Movie downloads.

The Music industry has changed in the past ten years and artists make their work known by distributing it for free. Their revenues come from fans fees, live performances, merchandising, ad endorsements and downloads of live concert videos.

Movie producers maintain theaters as their main source of revenue, but they also cash on HD downloads, at a few dollars each, and TV-rights from Pay-TV broadcasters. TV movie channels have survived due to the high number of people that still find “zapping” as the way to discover what to watch this evening.

With set-top-boxes powered by 128 cores CPUs, 250 GB RAM and flash drives of  32 TB, fed by a broadband connection of 8 Gbps, the premium content is now delivered in Ultra-HD at 4320p with 20.2 audio channels and 60 frames per second. HDTV 1080p is the standard quality, except from some lower resolution user-generated-content sites at 720p.

The Immersive Game Consoles just announced promise to deliver a new genre of  immersive games, but also immersive movies and immersive communications within a 3D virtual reality environment.

TV shows continue to be ad sponsored, and also available streamed from the Net with the option to download them for only $0.99,  free from inserted and overlay ads. 

The cash cows for Pay-TV operators are live sport events, broadcasted in HD and Ultra-HD and enriched with interactive features like multiple-angles and “watch-with-friends”. 3D VR immersive live events broadcasts are not available yet, but it will come in the next ten years before 2030.

This post is a fictitious prediction of what could be written about online video and movies in ten years from now. I can not guarantee it will happen but I am ready to take bets of $1.29, $0.99 or $0.69

 

Welcome 2009!

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Year 2008 will be remembered for the financial crash but also as the year when

And despite the gloomy economic outlook, Technology might be one of the sectors that suffer the less in 2009, as Governments are likely to incentive investments mainly on two axes: green tech and Internet infrastructure.

Making Internet access universal and reducing the carbon footprint of Information and Communications Technologies are tasks at hand in the coming years, and this is the right time for governments to stimulate the economy by committing to these goals.

Year 2008 saw a few ISPs trialling metered Internet access and opening a debate that I hope 2009 will close as government incentive investment in building a better and ubiquitous broadband access. Fiber in the developed world and wireless broadband (WiMAX and 3G) in the emerging markets where copper does not exist will bring a better Internet to more people.

Telcos should worry about stimulating demand for communications rather than capping it. Wouldn’t telcos be happier in a world where telepresence is used in all enterprises and HDTV is the standard for movies downloads? Telcos should not worry about over-the-top players like YouTube or iTunes making business on their infrastructure, but rather on how to better serve them by adding more value than pure connectivity.

My wish for 2009: Universal unlimited Internet everywhere.

Happy New Year. May the Net be with you.