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Great article on all the post format war doomsaying...


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#321 of 335 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted March 22 2008 - 05:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Yea, yea, downloads are the future. Well, Microsoft WOULD think that, wouldnt they? From where i sit, in Tulsa Oklahoma a good download system, for movies, and not just in high def, is a damn long way away. I will be happy with DSL that doesnt lock up, and COX cable was only good at streaming viruses for the few months i had it. I am glad they say it will be sooner, and not later. Is that like, in the next 100 years, and not 200?
True music downloads are big! But i cant take my TV out of the house. I also know most people MY age dont want to watch TV on a 2 inch screen. Until the people that like to own physical media die of old age, i dont see it going away.


I can already watch full NTSC resolution films streaming on Netflix. It takes all of about 15 seconds of buffering for the feature to start. Less time than it takes to power up my HD DVD or Blu-ray players.

My cable bandwidth frequently exceeds 1.5 mbps. So downloading lets say a 15 gig movie file would probably only take a few hours. Something that could be done over night.

I don't see physical media going away either, but I can clearly see downloads replacing the rental market.

Doug
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#322 of 335 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted March 22 2008 - 05:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
My cable bandwidth frequently exceeds 1.5 mbps. So downloading lets say a 15 gig movie file would probably only take a few hours. Something that could be done over night.

I can make a roundtrip to the nearest Blockbuster for a rental in 15 minutes or the nearest Best Buy for a purchase in 30 minutes. It's going to have to be a lot faster than overnight for a download to be more popular than instant gratification.

And actually, 1.5mbps is megabits, not megabytes, so your calculations are off by a factor of 8. A 15 gig movie is going to take roughly 80,000 seconds, or 22 hours, not 3 hours.

#323 of 335 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted March 22 2008 - 05:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolesrule
I can make a roundtrip to the nearest Blockbuster for a rental in 15 minutes or the nearest Best Buy for a purchase in 30 minutes. It's going to have to be a lot faster than overnight for a download to be more popular than instant gratification.

And actually, 1.5mbps is megabits, not megabytes, so your calculations are off by a factor of 8. A 15 gig movie is going to take roughly 80,000 seconds, or 22 hours, not 3 hours.

I said it frequently exceeds 1.5 mbps. 1.5 is the low end of what I get.

I just downloaded an image file of a 4 gig DVD (a fan film perfectly legal, and it was actually a little over 4 gigs) and it took me about 18 min. So downloading a 15 gig file would be just a little over an hour, assuming the download speed stays at that level.

And a service could easily have a cue where films would download say while you are at work, ready to watch when you get home.

Doug
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#324 of 335 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 23 2008 - 12:43 AM

I download movies, both SD & HD, from iTunes using Apple TV. It works very well. The sound (on HD) is usually 5.1 and more than adequate, although it would not satisfy anyone demanding 7.1 or true audiophiles. The picture is perhaps a bit better than satellite HD, but is not of the quality of Blu-Ray.

My DSL service is not particularly—even on the best days fast (and I don’t have the latest, fastest wireless router), so a HD movie download takes a while (usually 12–20 hours), but as the download happens in the background, I don’t find this disturbing. iTunes only allows 24 hours to watch the movie once you start watching and this may be an unacceptable limitation to some. You also only have 30 days from the time the download takes place to watch the movie—but I expect that would not bother very many.

Rental prices range from $2.99 for an older SD movie to $4.99 for a newer HD movie—reasonably competitive with B&M stores. Given that the main option here is buying ripped off, poor quality SD DVDs and renting a very small selection of SD DVDs (no HD available at all), downloading (even with its limitations works very well for me). The main drawback is the limited selection (especially HD) in the iTunes library. I’d like to see some older, classic movies in HD made available, as well as a few more foreign and independent films, but at least a good number of these are available in SD on TCM and IFC.
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#325 of 335 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 23 2008 - 01:27 AM

And just as I complain about my download time, downloads on two HD movies that I began last night were done this morning: about 7 hours for the two (and possibly less as who knows when the downloads finished). This might be too long for some, but very adequate for me.
¡Time is not my master!

#326 of 335 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted March 23 2008 - 02:50 AM

Doug, Lew, can you watch these movies on your TV? Or do you have to sit in front of the computer? I have a real nice computer screen myself, but it doesnt compare to either TV i have.
The only thing i have watched on here is trailers from Apple, or the occasional YouTube video, i have had lag time with both. If the file is to big. But of course i am watching it as it happens. I have seen that NetFlix would let me "watch now" a few items in my Q. I just have no interest in watching a movie on my computer.

#327 of 335 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted March 23 2008 - 05:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
I said it frequently exceeds 1.5 mbps. 1.5 is the low end of what I get.

Then you're one of the lucky ones. Most people don't have a connection with a 1.5 mbps low end. They're lucky if they get that as a high end, even when the connection is advertised as 2 mbps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen
And just as I complain about my download time, downloads on two HD movies that I began last night were done this morning: about 7 hours for the two (and possibly less as who knows when the downloads finished). This might be too long for some, but very adequate for me.

Lew, what's the resolution and bitrate on those?

#328 of 335 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 23 2008 - 06:24 AM

720P Joe—I have no idea as to the bitrate—unless that is you are referencing my download rate—that is, in theory 1 mps but Telmex in my location often delivers far less. Not a complaint as I could pay for a higher service—and I’m just pleased to be able for my wife and I to both be using the Internet, talk on a local phone, talk on a Vonage phone and download a HD movie from iTunes all at the same time,
¡Time is not my master!

#329 of 335 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted March 23 2008 - 06:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen
720P Joe—I have no idea as to the bitrate—unless that is you are referencing my download rate—that is, in theory 1 mps but Telmex in my location often delivers far less. Not a complaint as I could pay for a higher service—and I’m just pleased to be able for my wife and I to both be using the Internet, talk on a local phone, talk on a Vonage phone and download a HD movie from iTunes all at the same time,
You've just highlighted why enthusiasts are a long way from accepting downloads as an alternative--and at the same time, providing the perfect analogy to music downloads for the masses.

Enthusiasts will NEVER settle for 720p and basic 5.1 lossy audio as the best available option. And even at your current download rates (much better than the vast majority has at its disposal, even with high-speed), 1080p with LOSSLESS audio would take A LOT longer to download.

On the flipside, just as 128kbps mp3s from iTunes more than satisfies "the masses", the kind of of "HD LITE" you describe will seem more than amply fine.

Essentially the debate isn't whether downloads will supplant HDM on optical disc (in the short to medium term--the long suggests it will, but when is an open question) but rather whether the dominant form of HD content will be "FULL HD" (including lossless audio) or "HD LITE". Sadly, I expect the latter (if music is any guide). But I don't have to like it.
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#330 of 335 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 23 2008 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Doug, Lew, can you watch these movies on your TV? Or do you have to sit in front of the computer? I have a real nice computer screen myself, but it doesnt compare to either TV i have.
The only thing i have watched on here is trailers from Apple, or the occasional YouTube video, i have had lag time with both. If the file is to big. But of course i am watching it as it happens. I have seen that NetFlix would let me "watch now" a few items in my Q. I just have no interest in watching a movie on my computer.
Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer:

Apple TV is just a special purpose computer with a hard drive and network capabilities, an Ethernet port, component outputs, an HDMI output and an optical audio output. Typical connections to your TV and receiver and you are good to go. You need your computer for the initial setup (including iTunes if you don’t have an account), but after that you can use iTunes on your computer to download music, movies, podcasts or whatever to your computer and then (assuming that you don’t want to watch the movies on your computer) you can choose to sync your iTunes library with Apple TV (lots of sync options). Then you can watch movies on TV. Also you can have iTunes gobble up a movie or TV show (or music or pictures) that reside on your computer HD and then sync from iTunes to Apple TV (so far, I’ve not found a one step process for non-iTunes material, although one may exist).

Also the latest Apple TV software allows (after the initial setup) you to download movies, music and so forth directly from iTunes to Apple TV.

If you have a wireless router, you won’t need to physically connect Apple TV to your computer or network, otherwise you will have to connect via an Ethernet cable.

The disadvantages of using the computer to download are that you can’t download HD movies and also you need first to download and then sync. The advantages are that for non-HD material, iTunes is far easier to use in searches and looking at lists of items than the displays on Apple TV.

You can’t purchase movies using Apple TV (you have to use iTunes directly for that), you can only rent. But it is nice to be able to just use one step.

You can also choose to keep items in your iTunes library on your computer hard drive, and only sync some to Apple TV (and you can change that all the time).
¡Time is not my master!

#331 of 335 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 23 2008 - 07:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
You've just highlighted why enthusiasts are a long way from accepting downloads as an alternative--and at the same time, providing the perfect analogy to music downloads for the masses.

Enthusiasts will NEVER settle for 720p and basic 5.1 lossy audio as the best available option. And even at your current download rates (much better than the vast majority has at its disposal, even with high-speed), 1080p with LOSSLESS audio would take A LOT longer to download.

On the flipside, just as 128kbps mp3s from iTunes more than satisfies "the masses", the kind of of "HD LITE" you describe will seem more than amply fine.

Essentially the debate isn't whether downloads will supplant HDM on optical disc (in the short to medium term--the long suggests it will, but when is an open question) but rather whether the dominant form of HD content will be "FULL HD" (including lossless audio) or "HD LITE". Sadly, I expect the latter (if music is any guide). But I don't have to like it.
Obviously I’ve just been eliminated from the enthusiast club as this is my ‘best available’ option. BD hardware is not the issue, but purchasing disks is a big problem—mostly not available here for purchase (so far I’ve not seen any, but there might be a few somewhere) and none for rent—at least in my area. Buying via mail has the disadvantage of paying very high import fees. And the mail service is far too slow for Netfilx (and I suspect that one would pay import fees for those disks also).

I would suggest that for very many movies (probably most) 5.1 DD is better than what was on the original soundtrack and that the difference between 720P and 1080P (though real) will not be seen on any but the highest end displays.
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#332 of 335 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted March 23 2008 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Doug, Lew, can you watch these movies on your TV? Or do you have to sit in front of the computer? I have a real nice computer screen myself, but it doesnt compare to either TV i have.
The only thing i have watched on here is trailers from Apple, or the occasional YouTube video, i have had lag time with both. If the file is to big. But of course i am watching it as it happens. I have seen that NetFlix would let me "watch now" a few items in my Q. I just have no interest in watching a movie on my computer.

My video card has DVI out so I can watch them on my HDTV.

Doug
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#333 of 335 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted March 23 2008 - 09:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen
Obviously I’ve just been eliminated from the enthusiast club as this is my ‘best available’ option. BD hardware is not the issue, but purchasing disks is a big problem—mostly not available here for purchase (so far I’ve not seen any, but there might be a few somewhere) and none for rent—at least in my area. Buying via mail has the disadvantage of paying very high import fees. And the mail service is far too slow for Netfilx (and I suspect that one would pay import fees for those disks also).

I would suggest that for very many movies (probably most) 5.1 DD is better than what was on the original soundtrack and that the difference between 720P and 1080P (though real) will not be seen on any but the highest end displays.
No, you're not eliminated "from the club" because what you describe is YOUR best available option. However, all else being equal, would you "settle" for what you're getting now if you could just as easily get "full HD" (to borrow a hokey marketing phrase--useful shorthand, though)? That is my point. I distinguish an "a/v enthusiast" from a "non-enthusiast" based on choices made where convenience/indifference trumps quality and where price is not really an issue. (And, in my opinion, anyway, there is a difference between an "A/V enthusiast" and a "movie/film enthusiast".)

Clearly, the situation you describe means that you are going with the best option available to you. But if you take a poll in here, and remove price from the equation (leaving only convenience vs. quality), the "A/V enthusiasts" will NOT settle for less than "full HD" when available, as a general rule (there are always individual exceptions).

IF the best available option to me was less than "full HD", then I would go with that, obviously. AND IF "full HD" was only theoretical (much like the SED displays I once wanted to wait for before taking the "HD plunge"), then "A/V enthusiasts" would also accept it (grudgingly, perhaps, but still--they accept 1080p when, if they really wanted to, they could hold out for even higher resolutions).

As for the other points (720p not all that different from 1080p--real but only "high-end" gear can appreciate it; DD 5.1 better than the original soundtrack, etc.)--those are things that I believe will ultimately satisfy "the masses" (among whom there are many "movie enthusiasts" but, on a percentage basis, far fewer "A/V enthusiasts" than you would find, say, at HTF, AVS, and a plethora of other boards). I will say, though, that on my modest (1100$ 720 projector with a DIY screen that cost me under 100$ in time and material) display, I have compared 720p to 1080i/p and the latter (using the same player and disc) looks better. But, in fairness, not everyone who has seen both on my gear finds all that much difference (but then, they aren't "A/V enthusiasts" Posted Image ).

Don't get me wrong. Being an "A/V enthusiast" doesn't require one to be as anally retentive about spotting the most minute flaws (audio or video) that appears to be the case among some. But it does represent an interest beyond simply "seeing the movie". My wife loves movies (at least, certain genres of them)--she would qualify (on my personal little scale) as a moderate "movie enthusiast". She is not at all an "A/V enthusiast". I consider myself a moderate "A/V enthusiast" in that, within comparable price, I favour quality over convenience (I don't buy music downloads, I buy CDs--and hi-res audio when it is available and matches my tastes; I buy or rent HDM versions of films under the same conditions. I DON'T avoid music or films that are not available in hi-res audio or hi-def video, though I do avoid (except when I have no other choice) lo-res audio or video.).

Ultimately, my (long-winded) point is simply this--IF there is no NEED to settle for less than "full HD" (for whatever reason), then doing so indicates that one is less of an A/V enthusiast than someone else might be. It's not a moral judgment (if I only remained friendly with A/V ethusiasts, I'd be a lonely guy) but simply a statement of fact.
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#334 of 335 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted March 23 2008 - 10:35 AM

Thats a nice post Paul.
Say that 3 times fast.

#335 of 335 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 23 2008 - 09:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Thats a nice post Paul.
Say that 3 times fast.

Posted Image

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