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Hardware Do we need Blu-ray drives?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 28 Feb 2012.

  1. Zener Diode

    Zener Diode User Title

    13 Sep 2009
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    I think it's a bit of a silly question. I mean, do we need SLI/Crossfire? A good portion of computer users would say no. Do we need hexacore processors? Do we need soundcards? Who knows, but obviously somebody wants them.

    I personally have a Blu Ray drive that I use a lot. I use it to play DVD and BD. My internet connection is not up to the task of streaming HD content, and with data caps being brought in streaming might not be the best solution for everybody. If we didn't need/want them, they would die I think. That's how it is i think, it's like evolution by natural selection, the weak will naturally fall. Do you think Asus, Samsung, LG etc. would bother manufacturing them if people weren't buying them?
  2. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

    20 Jan 2007
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    I use my DVD drive.. because I try to buy big in file size) games, due to internet bandwidth quotas that we have in Canada. It's the time of situation... do I download Call Of duty MW 2 and not use my internet for the rest of the month (no joke), or do I buy at the store for the same price. So my DVD drive does get used.

    BUT getting a blu-ray drive? No, or at least not now. And it's not even a question of "Oh I have a PS3, so I don't care".. like I genuinely don't care about Blu-ray. But that might be because I still use a CRT TV (supports up to 720i via S-Video and Component).

    The day I would get a Blu-ray drive, is when they'll be priced as DVD burner now, and no need to purchase a blu-ray codec.
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2012
  3. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

    14 Jan 2009
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    Physical media is obsolete only until your ISP has a hiccup. Or your content provider goes bust (or just plum decides you don't get to have things anymore). Or you want better quality than a dodgy stream or a poorly encoded pirate copy (with the exception of direct rip/pure remuxed files, it appears the vast majority of 'scene' encoders wouldn't know QRF from their own arse, and still try and shoehorn files into subsets of a CD ISO like it's the 90s).
    Of course, there are plenty of shitty looking Blu Rays too, just as there are plenty of rubbish DVDs. No amount of technical capability can protect against incompetent mastering. But while I can point to any number of BDs that look better than their streaming counterparts, I cannot point to a single instance of the streaming version looking better than, or even comparable to, a BD. Like the megapixel wars with cameras, you shouldn't be looking at the resolution of HD content as an arbiter of quality: look at it's bitrate, and it's source (i.e. not upscaled, not futzed around with by DVNR).

    Finally, I'd just like to clear something up:
    If anything, Blu Ray is Panasonic's format. It being the majority patent holder and main developer of the technologies involved. Like DVD, BD was a consortium developed format. The "it's the new Betamax!" cries were as accurate as they were prophetic (i.e. not very).
    digitaldunc likes this.
  4. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

    2 Jul 2004
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    Still have to use optical drives here, as we were told last week that no ISP is interested in EVER running high speed where we live. We asked them to remove the boxes from our property then. It wasn't pretty.

    The optical drive is not dead. Not so long as people like me are refused access to high speed (and our neighbors can get it.)
  5. tranc3

    tranc3 ADHD Modder

    16 Jul 2007
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    instead of a disc, we should either switch to all streaming/digital content. Or use a solid state storage, like a write protected SD HC card.
    Just my two cents.
  6. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc New Member

    4 Oct 2010
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    Agreed, we've all seen the horrendous macroblocking as a result of low bitrate video.

    I've said it before with regard to digital delivery -- quality (not shaped), uncapped bandwidth isn't ubiquitous enough to render optical media obsolete yet, but it's getting that way.

    Additionally, I'm glad VLC is making progress with blu-ray -- I've tried it myself but it doesn't seem to like the sound in my BSG box set. I'll be overjoyed when we can finally dump the likes of powerdvd -- why release such bloated crap?
  7. ssj12

    ssj12 Member

    12 Sep 2007
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    Yes we do, I dont own a 1080p monitor, GTX480, 7.1 channel sound card, and a 7.1 surround sound system for no damn reason. I enjoy watching to my movie on my 24" monitor in HD with 7.1 channels of audio. And there are many others like me, but with 5.1 surround.

    Just because one does not need a writer, does not mean one doesnt enjoy having a reader. Games is not the only thing that benefits from Blu-ray or optical discs with higher storage.

    Also, I might have 40mbps down, 5 up for internet speed, but I sure as hell not downloading many 40GB movies. Heck, I try to avoid pirating 7GB movies because of lack of seeders to get content fast.
  8. NethLyn

    NethLyn Member

    24 Apr 2009
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    The PS3 Trojan Horse has worked, in the same way that the previous generation of consoles all played DVDs, but that's what has helped slow down the takeup of BD Burners.

    Ripoff price of Cyberlink's software aside, the PC's too open a format for Sony to dominate in the same way it did when it contributed to FDD drive development and the 3.5in disks ages ago. I've been using a second hard drive to backup for 7-8 years and had USB sticks for a year. DVD has crashed down to the point here I've got a reader and two writers lying around until they go in the next build.

    To be fair, maybe some people might look at a BD Burner and think it would last longer than the average price-crashed DVD Writer. That's the only way I see people bothering with BD Burners in the next 18 months.
  9. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Fully armed and operational.

    15 Sep 2007
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    I wonder what the new format that supersedes HD will be delivered on, will blu-ray discs have a large enough capacity?
  10. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

    15 Jan 2010
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    When the optical drive in my pc failed I did buy a blu ray one just for the sake of it, there has to date however never been a blu ray disc in it. Also my Sony notebook had a blu ray drive, but I ripped that out and put in a second hdd (which I needed due to the ssd not offering enough capacity), so personally I don't need a blu ray drive for my pc, I do however have a blu ray player connected to my tv and that gets used frequently for movies.
  11. Grimloon

    Grimloon New Member

    4 Sep 2008
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    Agreed. "high speed internet" happens to other people, there are days when I'd have a faster and more reliable connection on a V92 modem and the best I ever got there was 33,600 BAUD. No, I'm not joking. It really is that dodgy.

    However, I've not yet found a use for a BD drive. Yep, main monitor is more than capable of 1080P playback but as I've never really used it I don't miss it. My main optical drive is an external USB DVDRW, I don't see the need for anything more yet. Backups are made to an external HDD so other than movies I don't use the DVD drive much.
  12. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

    8 May 2010
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    You mean like NHK's UHDTV? I'm sure there'll be a hugely expensive player only available in Japan with a limited selection of titles, but I see it principally being a streaming service only available to those with the right flavour of fibre.
  13. nilesfoundglory

    nilesfoundglory New Member

    16 Sep 2008
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    "The reason the PlayStation 3 is in third place in this round of the console wars... is due squarely to Sony’s desire to use it as a Trojan horse for the Blu-ray format. It was that decision that delayed the console’s release for nearly two years, and it was that decision that also lumbered it with a £400+ asking price at UK launch."

    Really? As I recall, it was the awful yields on the ridiculously complex Cell processor and trying to get said processor to play nice alongside the Emotion chip for PS2 backward compatibility that jacked the price up and delayed launch. Blu Ray had been in development for 6 years prior to the PS3 retail release in Japan, and the first generation of stand-alone players had been on the market for nearly a year prior to the European release.

    If anything, having BD playback capability *helped* BluRay proliferation because, after availability eased up in 2007, the PS3 was the cheapest and most widely available BluRay player... with the added benefit of being able to play games (just as the PS2 had helped proliferate DVD back in the late 1990's).

    The problem with Blu Ray, in my opinion, is simply this: It's a physical disc media in an increasingly disc-less world. I turn on my 3 year old Blu Ray player about once a month these days, mostly because I watch most of my movies via streaming or on-demand services on a 'smart' TV. The rare times that I power on the thing is to watch movies that aren't available in the two previously mentioned formats.

    I've found that I don't like using discs, and the monthly cost of a streaming service with a wide selection of instantly available entertainment that can be played almost-literally anywhere is far more appealing than paying for - or even renting - a disc that only has one film that requires a compatible player wherever I go (at the time of this writing, 2 disc rentals = 1 month all-you-can-eat streaming; 1 disc purchase = 2 months, maybe 3 depending). It also doesn't help that I find - regardless of any advancements in UI friendliness - computer video playback is still more awkward than a simple remote. That might have something to do with why I have no plans on putting a BD-R drive in any current or new PC build.

    I don't buy the argument of 'it's the increase of available disk space' argument. Streaming services don't require disk space, otherwise a lot of Wii, XBox 360, and PS3 users would be out of luck when VOD services landed on their preferred gaming platform. You may say, "That's comparing apples and oranges," in regards to the PC, but it does indicate that the increase of available HDD storage has nothing to do with the decreased importance of disc media.
  14. leslie

    leslie Just me!

    19 May 2009
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    Blue Ray?
    I only hook up an external dvd-drive when I absolutely need to read some old disk or burn one for a customers older computer. Now that I have a "boot from usb" cd, it has become even more rare. My desktop and sever has been optical free for years. If I could easily remove it from my laptop, I would do that too.

    Hard disks hold more and are much cheaper in the long run, invest in a good backup/nas/file server, and forget the disks. Too much hassle, cost, risk and clutter. I would rather just buy another thumbstick or 2Tb drive instead.
  15. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

    26 Mar 2006
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    If I buy a laptop with optical drive it must have bluray, I have bluray for all machines mostly readers with one writer, can't beat the quality for my home movies etc

    Don't use them a lot besides making the vids from HD cam and watching bluray but that's it all I need it for, every few months i'll do an archive of the important stuff on the NAS on to BDR, doesn't hurt to have some data redundancy
  16. debs3759

    debs3759 Was that a warranty I just broke?

    10 Oct 2011
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    I've never had a BD drive. I don't feel like I'm missing anything either.

    I have one two complete systems, a third waiting for Ivy Bridge, and am setting up several bench systems, all with it's own optical drive (DVD readers and writers are both so cheap these days, why make benching any more difficult?). I'll buy a BD drive when prices are comparable to DVD drives.
  17. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

    14 Apr 2004
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    That's the funny thing about the tech world - Mention a particular fruit-themed computer company and the whole place jumps up and down about toys for muggles. "I require all of my computers to be ridiculously complex machines capable of meticulous programming and configuration," they say. Mention Blu-ray drives, and all of a sudden we get a number of comments from people who don't really care about hardware. "Why get a BR drive, or a BR player at all? Simple DVD upscaling works just fine on my monitor."

    I recall when the Macbook Air first came out, and one of the biggest complaints was the lack of an optical drive. Now that a lot of people are promoting digital downloads and external storage, perhaps those complaints were just a lack of foresight.

    As to the central question of the article, I guess the answer ultimately depends on the users. I have a BR drive for ripping movies to portable formats. I also have a PS3, HDTV, and a good receiver capable of managing my 5.1 surround sound. Of course, I don't like going to the theater anymore (cost and clientele are factors), so my mileage varies.

    I don't think Blu-ray is going to replace DVD in the same sense that DVD replaced VHS (for video) and floppies (for data). I see BR as an intermediary format as the tech industry continues to make advancements in digital downloads and cloud storage.

    SMIFFYDUDE Supermodders on my D

    22 Apr 2009
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    I don't own a Blu-Ray drive or player and the DVD drive probably gets used less than ten times a year, for intalling Windows, motherboard drivers and the odd game which I then download a no cd crack for.
  19. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

    20 Jul 2010
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    As a storage medium Blu Ray may be a bust, but movies on Blu Ray can be amazing.

    No one with the slightest interest in, or knowledge of high definition films would ever put forward a digital download as an alternative in terms of picture quality.

    All of the software providers for Blu Ray software have regular sales and promotions and you can normally pick up something like Power DVD far below RRP.
  20. ArthurB

    ArthurB New Member

    17 Jul 2011
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    Without large capacity optical discs like Blu-ray, how exactly do people send large amounts of data (25GB-50GB+) to other people?

    * Broadband is out of the question because upload speeds are generally too slow in the UK.
    * You can't put a 32GB or 64GB USB flash drive in the post because they are still too expensive to give away to people. I don't know anyone who would send me a £20-£60 flash drive and not expect it back.
    * You can't use USB HDDs because they are even more expensive than UFDs and might get dropped/damaged in transit.
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