a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

Blu-Ray: Is It Time?


#1

I've been monitoring the progress of high-definition video playback on the PC for quite a while now:


This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/12/blu-ray-is-it-time.html

#2

The problem with this new generation is not the player itself, but the screen. The DVD worked on all televisions, blu-ray doesn’t. Not until everyone has high def TV will the blu-ray win over DVD.


#3

I went the PS3 option. I haven’t used it much as I refuse to pay $25 for blu ray movies.


#4

You’d want to connect your living room computer to your receiver/television via a single HDMI cable.

I believe the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD is the only sound card that will output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio via HDMI.

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_hometheater_hd.php

It is scheduled for the end of January.

You’d use the following ports:

HDMI Input
HDMI or DVI-to-HDMI cable with video from the graphic card

(even better: internal HDMI from a future NVIDIA card)

HDMI Output
video and audio to your receiver/television


#5

Hey Now Jeff,

Is it time?

Coding Horror Fan,
Catto


#6

To get any of it to work, though, I think that your disc player, video card, sound card, receiver, and television/monitor all need to support the right version of HDMI and HDCP DRM copy protection. What a P in the A.


#7

I’m a naysayer. For me it’s all about who’s the one behind the curtains; Sony. Just look at Sony’s history with their other formats; Beta vs VHS, memory stick versus CF and SD, MD discs (remember those?), UMD (those discs for the Play Station Portable), ATrack (their music compression format), etc. ad nauseum.

Blu Ray burners are still hideously expensive, as are blank discs. And the movies are way more than dvd movies.


#8

Comments like: Blu Ray burners are still hideously expensive, as are blank discs. And the movies are way more than dvd movies.

Displays your lack of actually seeing a bluray as compared to a regular dvd.


#9

Only $99!?! Meanwhile, read-only dvd drives are $14.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106086

And then compare the Blu Ray burner at $230 versus the dvd burner at $25.

I’ll pass.

The other thing I’m wondering about is the agreement between Sony and Toshiba where Toshiba agreed to drop HD DVD. I read that Toshiba is still aggressively marketing HD DVD in China. My guess is that it’s got a time limit on it whereupon when it expires Toshiba will be back with something better, and by then everyone will be tired of waiting for Blu Ray prices to become reasonable.


#10

Displays your lack of actually seeing a bluray as compared to a regular dvd.

No, it just displays my lack of wanting to throw away money on another potentially failed Sony format.

I have an xbox 360 and a 1080p tv, and I’ve downloaded HD movies from xbox live. And the xbox games are all HD. But, to be honest, I prefer reading to watching movies. And to be really honest, I don’t watch tv; I don’t have cable and where I live you can’t get anything without it and it’s not hooked up to an antenna. The tv is only for the xbox. I don’t rent that often.


#11

My only comment after reading all these comments is: was the (dis/mis)information as rampant when DVDs had just come out?


#12

The DRM built into Blu-Ray doesn’t bother you, Jeff?

No more than the DRM in the Xbox 360, or the DRM in the iPhone. Obviously I’m not excited about DRM (who is?) but if they can keep the prices low and deliver products that just work and aren’t overly consumer hostile, then sure. Why not?

You’d want to connect your living room computer to your receiver/television via a single HDMI cable.

Not in my case; I send audio to the receiver via optical out and video to the display via HDMI. The motherboard in my HTPC build has both of these outputs built in, which is nice. Have I mentioned how much I love that system? Man. It’s a dream box.

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001107.html

IMO, part of the enjoyment of Blu-Ray is the ability to hear 7.1 uncompressed sound

Dolby TrueHD, mandatory for HD DVD and optional for Blu-Ray
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/technology/trueHD.html

DTS-HD Master Audio, optional for both
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS-HD_Master_Audio

Looks like LPCM is a standard Blu-Ray audio format and it is lossless?
http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#bluray_audio_codecs


#13

No, it just displays my lack of wanting to throw away money on another potentially failed Sony format.

Your other points well taken and entirely valid, but I don’t think bluray is failed. It looks absolutely stunning for some movies like Ratatouille or Cars or (hate to say it) the new Rambo. The sound is incredible for any movie as well.

I too hate the $25 price tag for movies, but sometimes you can find them reasonably priced.

Perhaps just the marketing is failed? Or perhaps Sony’s history is questionable?


#14

I don’t think I would specifically buy a blu ray drive I will just wait until I next upgrade my computer. Can’t see it as worth it since I can buy a couple of terabytes of hard drive space and have all my media accessible over my home network at the touch of a button. No messing with discs and any room I want.

Surely this is the point internet video downloads surpass disc.


#15

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/multimedia/display/20081205152250_Blu_Ray_Movies_to_Maintain_Premium_Pricing__Sony.html

What can I say except can you say Sony!


#16

I have this drive and an ATI card with HDMI out. I cannot play anything back through the included PowerDVD because of HDCP.


#17

I meant to add, I am unaware of a video card that does support HDCP. Infact, ATI was sued over the issue.


#18

Hold on partner: the EDTV is still a perfectly good choice, especially if you don’t have Blu-Ray yet. I would recommend it for at least another year or so. Save yourself a bundle (if you can find one, I guess).


#19

Blu-Ray doesn’t have much time left. I always thought the HD formats were doomed to die because consumers respond much more to an increase in convenience than an increase in quality. Look at the music industry: the record format changed to a double-sided format, even though it sounded worse, then to cassettes that could be played anywhere that sounded worse, then to CDs that didn’t sound as warm and finally to MP3s that sounded worse. The consumer that cares about quality is the minority. Most consumers only care if it’s unusable, and upscaling makes DVDs perfectly usable on a HDTV.


#20

The (relative) lack of comments this entry has gotten is interesting–how often do geeks pass up an opportunity to bicker with each other about media formats?

The truth, I think, is that Blu-Ray seems quaint now: with Netflix downloads available over both Xbox 360 and TiVo, spending hundreds of dollars on a machine that plays shiny discs feels very three years ago. We’re still a few years away from the kind of bandwidth that will make regular HD downloads to the home feasible, but considering that a sizable percentage of HDTV owners don’t even know they’re not watching HDTV (http://www.pcworld.com/article/154428/HDTV.html), I have a hard time believing that 1080p and 7.1 sound is going to matter to a lot of people before then anyway.