Why HD Downloads won't be HD Optical - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:38 PM
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Default Why HD Downloads won't be HD Optical

HD Downloads will not be overtaking HD Optical anytime soon. People seem to think that downloadable content is going to take over soon, but there are several factors why I extremely doubt it.

First is space, HD media takes a LOT of space. Even with TB drives coming out for people that own hundreds of movies are going to have a hard time storing it locally. In addition hard drives fail. The average consumer does not want to back up their media, certainly not when it's HD and taking up tons of space.

Now a on demand downloadable service is iffy. There's a lot of good and bad things about purchasing movies and just watching them on demand. First it requires an internet connection, and a fast connection (esspecially if you're talking about streaming HD media).

Retail stores also love optical formats, and since retail stores are where the average consumer purchases their electronics, they'll keep optical media in style. Retail stores do not want people buypassing them and going to purchase movies online. And as the recent Google Video Store incident has taught us, online video purchasing is a risky thing. Unless it's completely DRM-free you're tied to the company you bought it from, and if they say no more, then no more it is.

And last is portability. Right now it's easy to take a disk to a friends house, but it's not exactly easy to transfer downloadable content. Optical formats are just convenient.

This is all coming from someone who has a device to allow me to download video and play it on my TV. I love downloadable video, but it's going to be niche and it's not going to replace optical anytime soon. Optical has at least one more generation in it, and I'd bet it has several. Until someone makes an iPod like device for storing massive amounts of downloadable HD media, that is standard and can be quickly docked into most TVs, AND computer hard drive space becomes large enough that maintaining multiple copies of an HD-Media library is easily possible by 95% of consumers... downloads won't go beyond niche.
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