Ultra HD and Physical Media - A New Optical Format War Brewing?

Discussion in 'Movies, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs & Theatricks' started by admin, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    Sony and Panasonic have teamed up to create a new optical disc standard. So far the claim is that its for a next-generation standard for professional optical discs. We can't help but wonder if this is the birthing of a new format war to provide a new media to support Ultra-HD. The 300 Gig storage capability of this new format dwarfs the current 25 Gig Blu-ray disc by a 12:1 margin (assuming single layer).

    [​IMG]

    Ultra HD 4k and Physical Media - A new Format War?


    Do you think this has commercial implications to eventually lead to the next digital format war?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
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  2. SaviorMachine Enthusiast

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    There was a format war between blu-ray and HD-DVD, but I'm not familiar with such a war at the introduction of DVD and I feel the same about the introduction of CD (I could be completely wrong about this--I'm not an expert by any means.) Also, both CD and DVD content and players persist in the marketplace to this day. I guess what I mean is that the introduction of higher-capacity optical media hasn't always been a disaster, nor has it proved mandatory, except in the very long term, for consumers.
  3. tmurnin Audioholic

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    There will never be another physical format war because consumers won't buy another physical media product, regardless of quality. If we can't get streaming speeds to support 4k, then 4k won't make it as a platform. Blu-Ray is an endangered species as it is now.
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  4. gracilism Audiophyte

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    I'll take a war.

    War in business terms means competition. Competition is a wonderful market pressure to help drive down prices. Now, I won't jump on the bandwagon until a victor is assured, but half the audio/ video-philes may get tuck with a dead technology.

    And as 4K goes, I believe it will have to have some sort of disk format, at least in the beginning. Our broadband infrastructure will not be able to handle 4K streaming in the short term. Having a disk that can provide the highest fidelity of video and sound if worthwhile.
  5. gracilism Audiophyte

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    I think you're mostly right. But it will have a place even if its for re-writable media. And if streaming can't handle it (and it can't), digital downloads will still be available, but those are highly copyrighted that moving those from your device to your HT will be a hassle. And that's where the disk will find a market, the HT crowd. Small, but devoted.
  6. dingus48 Enthusiast

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    Wow, I'm a bit disappointed to say what a fragmented, disjointed piece. I love the intent and content of Audioholics, but the grammatical structure and paragraphing of this editorial really messed with my ability to understand its key points. I believe I figured out the following, eventually, and only after googling a bit:

    - No one has proposed a new optical standard
    - Blu-ray can accommodate 4k video (and would be a good thing compared to creating yet another standard), provided more layers are added, and provided any new compression methods used can be adapted for Blu-ray
    - Adapting Blu-ray to handle 4k may or may not allow existing Blu-ray players to read 4k discs, depending on laser, firmware and hardware requirements, and depending on the ultimate video resolution of the Blu-ray player's output display resolution.
    - Competing standards in markets that can only support one standard generally sucks
    - HDMI sucks (especially compared to far more robust serial communications methods that could have easily handled DHCP and anything else intended for HDMI)

    If those were the author's key points, then I completely agree. Just please write in a more coherent manner to reduce the decoding effort :). And if I completely missed key points, please clarify.

    As an aside, if existing Blu-ray players can't be retrofitted to play 4k discs regardless of the method or standard, does it matter of a new standard is developed, especially if nothing is created to compete with it? Put another way, if backward compatibility can't be maintained, then disposing of legacy Blu-ray attributes to best accommmodate 4k (essentially creating a new standard but maintaining the blu-ray brand) seems most practical. Call it "Blu-Ray 2.0" or whatever. I don't think this is a minor or arbitrary perspective: as I understand it, the key crippling factor in HDMI was the decision to maintain backward compatibility with DVI, despite the fact that DVI was designed only for very short runs.

    Again, I very much enjoy Audioholics, so any clarification on the potential or options to extend Blu-ray to 4k would be great.

    Keep up the great work!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  7. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    Given the size of screęns that most people buy, and how far they sit from them, most people don't need any more resolution than 1080p, as most people are not even getting the full benefit of that. For example, if you have a 60" TV, you need to sit only about 7.8 feet from it to see all of the detail of 1080p if you have 20/20 vision. Most people sit much further away, so most people will get zero benefit from an increased resolution. And to benefit from an increased resolution, you would have to want to sit closer than 7.8 feet from a 60" screęn.

    Here is a calculator you can use to see how close you need to be to your TV to see all of the detail if you have 20/20 vision:

    HDTV Viewing Distance Calculator + Guide | Articles - Digital Digest

    Frankly, I think 4k is going to be a hard sell for most people. You have to really want a huge screęn (or sit really, really close to a small one) for it to make any difference at all.
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  8. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    Is this just not another effort to sell the same movies.... over again, another time on another physical media type.
    Sony does everything in their powers to keep consumers off the digital stream and I reckon the reason is quite simple, it gives them opportunities to package the same product in different wrappings
    Geez, I heard about a guy who bought Pink Floyd, The wall... in 17 different formats
  9. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    Hey guys, can you try to submit this article to Slashdot.org? I think its newsworthy for that site. Thanks.
    gene,
  10. Todd Sauve Audiophyte

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    I just can't see this 4k format taking off in any big way. Consumers, as a whole (and I'm not talking about the highly enthusiastic "enthusiast" segment), are not interested in upgrading to a new format that requires a much larger screen in order to be appreciated. As was written earlier in the thread, it will require a TV screen or projector screen of probably 80 inches or more for a person to even be able to see the difference in quality as compared to a 1080p copy of the same film.

    Few people want anything that size occupying and utterly dominating their living rooms. 50 or 60 inches is probably as large as the vast majority of people will allow in the house, outside of a dedicated home theatre--and how many people have those? Or are willing to build one? Very few ...

    It will take decades for the TV broadcasters to be convinced to upgrade from the current 720p and 1080p standard to 4k. If then.

    It is destined to be a tiny niche product and segment of the population that will spring for the considerable added expense of seeing their films in greater detail on a much larger screen than they currently own.

    Ain't gonna happen. Sorry folks. :(
  11. tmurnin Audioholic

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    I completely agree that today's broadband won't accommodate 4k, which is why I doubt that format has a chance, long term. Most consumers don't want to own physical media anymore, and they are perfectly willing to make quality sacrifices in order to buy instantly via their remote on the cloud rather than deal with going to the store or Amazon. Perhaps it will have a niche appeal like laserdisc, but it just won't be profitable for many studios to produce physical discs for their movies.
  12. ruzveh Audiophyte

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    Consumers are fools

    I have been continously using the title words again and again. We really are. First we spent on VCD's then on DVD's and then BluRay's. So for one more how much money did we spent and what we got in return? Now shall i blame those who support piracy?

    I have already stacked up my collection with BluRay, now i wont be changing my player nor buy new disc format anymore and thats final. If incase the new format comes in does it gives us the guarantee that we wont have to upgrade that later on when 8k with 3D and 14bit + 120hz support?

    Why talk about new format when some agency have already developed a 1TB disc which is cheaper to make as well as produce and store. Why not look at those disc format rather then making a new one and then charging royalties for the same and make double income, right sony?
  13. Coult_45 Audioholic Intern

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    backward compatibility?

    I am not sure if this is part of what was intended. But if the disk was a blu-ray with more layers it would be perfect. They wouldn't need to make different disk for different players. If the cost could stay the same to produce the multi layered disc. Everyone still buys blu-rays that work just as they always have. Then the few who buy the 120in OLED in 4k can use the same disk in their 4k player. I don't think you need to make the current players have 4k output. The few who buy a 4k TV can buy a new player.
    This would work like the SACD that can play on any CD player.
  14. skizzerflake Audioholic Field Marshall

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    The next step in electronic technology always seems to happen eventually, but I can't really see 4K happening very soon. The jump from old, low-def TV to 1080P was huge, but most people are not going to buy a monitor big enough to justify 4K and a lot of people won't even see the difference. In recent years a lot of tech movement has centered around portability and convenience (streaming, cloud apps, multi-platform services, etc) and NOT quality. Watching movies on laptops, tablets and smart phones, not huge hi-rez TV's has been advancing. Granted, there's always someone that needs the bleeding edge and eventually 4K will work its way down the price ladder, but I doubt that many people will be in the mood for a big $$ upgrade and most will not care, as long as they can watch stuff conveniently.
  15. Casey01 Enthusiast

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    4k?

    I would tend to concur with everyone in that unlike the move from VHS tape to the "new" digital media(DVD and then Blu-Ray)any move to 4K is very incremental in quality improvement which ultimately the masses just wouldn't buy in to because they wouldn't notice the difference anyway. At best, a niche product for videophiles willing to spend the money and of course, the problem with broadcasters who, for the foreseeable future. aren't going to be the least bit interested in providing the bandwidth for such transmissions.
  16. scott911 Full Audioholic

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    hard to believe some folks are saying - no one needs 4K.

    people have been saying - no one needs analog tape, no one needs color on their tv sets, no one needs a TV set bigger than 27", no one needs anything more than 720dpi...

    people hanging out on a site with a tech bend like this one can surely recognize how silly that position is! It's been proven wrong time and time again - people will fall hook line and sinker for the next thing if the marketeers make a compelling argument, and/or they think their neighbors will be impressed.
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  17. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    It would be hard to believe if most people were actually saying that, but that is not what most have been saying. I stated above that MOST people will not benefit from it. That is very different from saying that no one would. Additionally, your analogies (that I have not bothered to quote) are flawed, as there comes a point for EVERYONE when no more resolution is necessary. At some point of resolution, a screęn will be perfectly clear for the entire field of vision of a person with the best human eyesight ever, and at that point, no one will need anything better. It is the same in audio; once distortion is below what any human can ever hear, any better for distortion is not needed.
  18. Boerd Full Audioholic

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    Unless you hug your TV, 4k will not make a difference. I wonder if some eye fatique will set in when you sit too close to your tv... There are other things I'd like to see first in TVs: full aRGB (true 10 bit color) AND IPS TVs. Then we can talk 4k.
  19. dalumberjack Audioholic

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    Has it become cost affective yet to maybe use SD card style storage for movies? I always imaged ever since I was a child an saw my first sim card / storage card that would be the way of the future. Small, wont scratch, and think of the cost cutting for places like netflix if it sent those through the mail instead of disks. I just assume that it has not become reasonable yet as costs are to high to make a profit. Plus, you have to think of the human factor as it doesn't look as pretty as a disk and its hard to put a cool label on a small piece of plastic.
  20. cwall99 Full Audioholic

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    Wait, wait, wait... I think no one's asked the important question: What the heck was Tom doing at Pacific Rim? Without a doubt, the stoopidest movie made since guys in rubber suits stopped trouncing around miniature models of Tokyo.

    Took my son to see it on IMAX 3D. What an unbelievable waste of money. I suspect the person asking whether there was a 2D showing knew he was about to waste a bunch of money and just wanted to minimize the damage.

    I sure wish I had (but there were extenuating circumstances!!! Honest, there were!)

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