Blu-Ray blues, Hello ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kbunch, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. kbunch macrumors member

    kbunch

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #1
    The average price for a Blu-Ray player has risen to $400 because they no longer have to cut prices to compete with HD DVD. This makes my decision to skip the format war and go with ATV for HD even better. Sure it is not as good quality as Blu-Ray but it is good enough for me.

    Site where I got the avg price:
    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/36428/113/

    It was Slashdotted
     
  2. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #2
    It depends if your system can handle the 1080.

    Most are only 720p, and I rented "Transformers" and was pleasantly surprised. "Star Trek: Enterprise" on XBox Live in 720p is great too...
     
  3. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    I've seen HD downloads from XBOX marketplace on a 720P 42" tv, and it looked good enough to me. I assume that if one were to sit 8-10 feet away from a 720p, 42" set, they'd be just fine. I posit that that ATV HD downloads will function the same way.
     
  4. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #4
    "...all of these players will reach a certain level of obsolescence later this year, as soon as the new BD Profile is released.

    Later this year, Blu-ray movies will carry a new slate of advanced features, most notable being the ability to connect to the Internet. However, none of the Blu-ray players on the market today (with the exception of the PS3) can connect online. This means that not only will they be unable to access Web-enabled features in the future but they also cannot receive firmware upgrades."
    -- TG Daily
    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/36428/113/

    I think that about sums it up. What's anyone's rush?

    Burned by Beta VS VHS, LD vs Everything Else, I decided to sit this last one out.

    I'm still sitting.
     
  5. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #6
    It's pretty safe to assume that Blu-ray player prices will drop by the end of the year. I've been seeing numbers suggesting that they'll get below $300 and maybe as low as $250 by the holiday season.

    The Blu-ray camp cannot keep prices high just because they've won the format war. They have got to get Blu-ray players into households. There are a lot of people who think DVD is plenty good enough, especially with all the misleading hype concerning upconverting DVD players. A lot of people just don't understand that upconverting does not make their DVDs high definition.

    I'm not ready to jump into Blu-ray just yet, but I might change my mind when the prices get down to $250 or $200.

    I am, however, curious to see how the download market evolves. Right now, I am not ready to trade NetFlix for iTunes downloads. First, the prices are too high for downloads. They need to come down by at least $1 across the board (we've got an old NetFlix plan that lets us have four discs out at a time for the price of three; we average about 8 discs a month). And they need to allow at least 36 hours to watch a rental (two full evenings)

    Furthermore, they need to allow renting of TV shows. A lot of our rentals are TV shows. With one NetFlix disc, we get anywhere from 2 to 8 TV episodes. Compare this to $1.99 per episode to buy from the iTunes store. We don't want to own most TV shows, just watch them once.

    So, for me, Blu-ray prices have to come down. And it better be fast, because the movie download market is ready to explode and I think it could become a viable alternative to discs.
     
  7. acrafton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    #7
    The solution is to buy a PS3 which gives you the blu-ray player (upgradeable), a game machine, internet tool, etc. You can buy them new for $400 or used on ebay/craigslist for $300.

    I have never owned a game system in my life until I bought the PS3. Both me and my kids enjoy games (Rock Band, Madden, Ratchet & Clank) as well as jaw-dropping blu-ray movies.

    It make little sense to me to buy a stand alone blu-ray player. Buy a PS3 even if you don't game - if nothing else it can be upgraded and the resale will be much higher.
     
  8. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    I also got the PS3 as it isn't just a gaming console, it's also a multimedia hub. Right now, they are still in the process of adding content, just as the ATV. I love watching BR movies on it, as well as gaming, listening to music, photo slide shows, surfing the internet, etc. It's a beautiful piece of hardware, but not nearly as compact as the ATV. I rent BR movies from Netflix, and have only purchased a few, since the PS3 also does DVD upconverting better than the standalones, and is firmware upgradable in the future. Pretty awesome for $400.

    OP, on the other hand, If gaming isn't a consideration, I think purchasing the ATV now, and waiting for BR prices to drop in the future is a financially wise option, as well. Granted Apple hasn't come through with their 1000 movies, they still have a fine selection, and I am confident their library will continue to grow until it encompasses far more selections. Unless you sit too close to your TV, you won't notice the difference between 720P and 1080P anyway. They are both outstanding compared to regular DVD. Good luck! :)
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #9
    Same here.

    And now with the convenience of downloads, I may just skip BluRay.
     
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #10
    That's misleading. Current Blu-ray players can receive firmware updates via a disc, just like current DVD players. Many manufactuers offer firmware updates on their Web site including Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Philips, LG and Panasonic.

    Not to mention, interactivity is highly overrated. People rent/buy Blu-ray discs for the same reason they rent/buy DVD discs—to watch movies, not experience some sort of sudo-level of interactivity (movie games, trivia, group viewing, etc). I personally place Blu-ray's interactivity features in the same category as "DVD-ROM content" and "Web link" for DVD and "Enhanced CD" for CD. It's there. Some may consider it a value-add, but in reality it's not really important.
     
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #11
    I've kind of decided this too. I'll still buy regular DVDs as I like to have them in my hand but I got an ATV so I'm sitting with that.
     
  12. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    I wouldn't say "risen", they were never below $400 (at least not at any mainstream retailer I've ever heard of), and many still sell for upwards towards $1,000.

    Many have dropped as much as $200 since BR was declared the winner (I, for one, picked up a gem of a Panasonic BR player earlier this week, a day after it dropped from $799 to $499. It still sells for $799 at Amazon and other retailers). The prices will continue to drop - you just have to be on the lookout.

    And, I'm sorry, until ATV offers 1080p content, it can't hold a candle to the quality of BR. That said, I'm still going to pick up a ATV, because I just can't ignore it's convenience :)
     
  13. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #13
    It's highly unlikely that any online movie rental service that delivers via download will ever offer 1080p downloads. The file sizes would be prohibitive for download delivery and very few people will have the bandwidth to download a 1080p rental in any reasonable amount of time. I wouldn't recommend holding my breath if you're waiting for this.

    For my viewing, the 720p movies Apple offers for rent look great on my Samsung and it only takes about 3-5 hours to download a rental depending on what else is going on on my local network.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  14. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    I ust got my ATV and haven't played with the rental feature yet. Does ATV do progressive download or do you have to wait until it's complete before watching? If you have to wait then TiVo and Amazon's Unbox have an advantage as within five minutes of selecting a movie you can watch it.
     
  15. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    I have a PS3, and this thread is totally tempting me to also buy an ATV! Waiting on Sony to update their content, and waiting on Netflix Blu-ray disks (3 of which have arrived cracked and unplayable in the last few months) is getting old. The option of downloading on demand, even if it will likely take several hours on my crappy DSL, is appealing. Hm.. ;)
     
  16. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #16
    It's progressive download. The :apple:TV will let you know when you can start watching a download, but many people have reported that Hi Def downloads can stop and have to fill the buffer. I don't usually watch my rentals right when I rent them. Since I've got 30 days to watch them I've been renting a couple then watch them when I have time.

    If you're renting a standard def movie from iTunes then your experience will be the same as with your TiVo. However Hi Def movies can take longer since the files are much bigger than standard def. In general hi def movies can be 3-4GB while a standard def is about 1-2 GB depending on the length of the film.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  17. skrutzen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #17
    I just got my PS3 a couple of weeks ago. I have a HD DVD player as well as an ATV (since 3/22/07) and they are all great. I think as a whole, the PS3 is where it's at for movies and games. The ATV is the media extender I have been waiting for. My HD DVD player has been a pleasure to use as well and I will continue to enjoy it until it breaks. My whole house is Mac based and so the media capabilities of the PS3 fall short for me but it is one amazing game console! The PS3 single handedly put me back into the game arena because of the experience. I love that every game I've played so far have had PCM 7.1 audio tracks on them. I don't use rentals on the ATV because I don't like the restrictions. But what I LOVE about the ATV is now it streams all of my movies w/DD flawlessly from the other side of my house. I can't rip my movies fast enough!

    I bought the PS3 because of it's Blu-Ray capabilities (primary)as well as the games (secondary). The XBOX 360 was not an option for me, because A) I had the HD DVD player and B) I had the media extender and online rental service in the ATV. It just so happens the the gaming experience on my PS3 has completely taken me by surprise.
     
  18. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    I'm not holding my breath, nor am I waiting for it -- just bringing up a point. Though 1080p isn't that far off with Fibre-Optic - probably the new broadband standard - just around the corner (and it's relatively cheap, if you can believe that). I'm getting 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up and can start watching 720P downloads (4-6GB file from XBOX Live) in a few heartbeats. IMO, an equally important question is how many people can actually take advantage of 1080P to make its support worthwhile. Sure, from this point on, most TVs are going to be capable of 1080p, but few will notice the difference between 720p and 1080p unless their TV is 46"+ and not everyone wants a behemoth TV in their living room. Then again, I'm probably just rambling again and stepping outside the scope of the thread :eek:
     
  19. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #19
    I saw a blu-ray demo today playing cars and was just amazed at the quality, I think that it's worth the $400 for a blu-ray player to watch movies. Hopefully soon i am going to get a PS3, just been waiting for the new TV first :)
     
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #20
    Another faux business lesson on MR...

    Now if you personally like ATV over a BD player, kudos. But as someone who owns both and has seen both on a 1080p DLP television with 5.1 surround, it's still not a comparison.

    First of all, Blu-ray Disc players went below $300 during the holiday crunch (I got one for $300, some hit $279). Many other gadgets dive in price during December. BD still has to compete with standard DVDs and all the download services. They have to convince people that it's worth it. Over time, all that stuff will drop in price.

    The main reasons Blu-ray will probably have a decent decade (or more) of life are this: Many people don't have broadband, and it takes at least 4GB to store an HD video. That's fine for renting movies, but what happens when you want to purchase one to own (not to mention take it somewhere else)? Such video will flood the iPhone and iPod Touch, likely to be the players Apple would first make HD capable at some point (just of playing the HD video, not actually having HD screens).
     
  21. albusseverus macrumors 6502a

    albusseverus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #21
    If TV is good enough for you, best of luck.

    Some people don't really care. And that's the market Apple is carving out for themselves at the moment. It worked for mp3, in a big way and it will work for video.

    Kudos to Steve Jobs for getting people to pay money for mp3s. Basically you're paying for the shopping convenience (you sure aren't paying for the music, it sounds like s---). And the same will work for movies, although I suspect people will want to OWN rather than rent, but that will come with time. However even at 1-2GB per movie, that's a storage problem in the making (much less how to back it up).

    I just bought my first Blu-ray Disc player, at almost half the price I paid for my first DVD player and the quality is OUTSTANDING. You get 10x the data rate of TV and at least 4x the very best HD TV. Less compression = better quality. And when I pay money, I expect to get quality.

    What does that mean to me? Gorgeous sharp picture and with uncompressed PCM surround sound (forget about DD & DTS), an order of magnitude sweeter sound. And at 30GB+ per movie, I'm glad I don't have to store & back that up! A stack of discs is fine by me. I don't see any point in watching any of these films on an iPod and if I bought an TV I'd still need to buy a server to put my media library on/back it all up with... never really saw the point, unless you want to pay a couple of hundred US$ for an HDMI output!

    Apple is looking to create ANOTHER market for video, just like it did for music. So, if highly compressed 720p looks good enough, and you're not that fussed about your sound, as long as it's surround. Congratulations, you're going to make Steve Jobs very rich.

    And anybody who gives Apple a leg-up, is a friend of mine!
     
  22. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #22
    Here in good old NZ, there are download caps on typical broadband services. I started with a 3GB cap which I shot through so upgraded to 10GB. Even at that level I would really only be able to download 3 or so HD movies a month along with the rest of my internet use. Also, at best I am seeing about 1Mb download speeds which is pretty slow when you are looking at 1.5GB downloads. I've considered trying an HD download from Xbox Live but the size does scare me and most of the films they have up in HD I already have on HD DVD.

    As for Blu ray, the cheapest player I have seen here was a Samsung BP1400 for NZ$600 (down from $1000) which is about US$490 for a profile 1.0 (obsolete) player. The PS3 here is NZ$799 which is US$652 for the 40GB unit which is the only one on offer. Also, for either of those I would be locked to region B BDs which means I would miss out on all the releases in the US of which there must be 10x as many as we see here in NZ.

    My plan at the moment is to buy a cheap region A player from the US and import my films from Amazon like I have been for the last year or so for HD DVD.

    HD DVD does look fab on my 120" HD DLP projector so Blu ray will too but the price is still too high and region locks bother me.

    Sadly, HD downloads are a long way off for those of us who live off the edge of the map. Still, there are other benefits I suppose :)
     
  23. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #23
    Several scientific studies have demonstrated that 128kbps AAC is perceptually identical to CD audio (i.e people can't ABX the two sources with any better accuracy than they'd get by chance).

    I think you're making the sort of extreme audiophile argument that just doesn't matter to most people. I don't believe that on most people's TVs, at the viewing distances most people use, with most people's surround setups, there's really that much difference.
     
  24. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #24
    True for many people on average hifi gear. I certainly can tell the difference and so encode all my AAC as 256K VBR which definitely sounds better to my ears and I would be happy to take a double blind test to prove it. Actually, easily done, encode a track in a bunch of different bit rates and then burn the lot back onto a CD along with an uncompressed version. Have some one else (who doesn't know which is which) play them in a random order and note the order played while you listen and note which ones sounds good or bad. If possible, rank them from best to worst. Then compare notes. Should be interesting to see where your perception threshold lies between over-compressed and indistinguishable from uncompressed.

    Most peoples TVs at normal viewing distances can barely show the difference between 480p and 720p let alone 1080p. On my small set (28" 720p) running an HD DVD down converted to 480p I can barely tell the difference versus full resolution. It looks better than a DVD of the same film at 480p though which may sound odd but isn't. One of the things that makes HD look better than DVD is the vibrancy of the colour and that survives downconversion to 480p and so looks better.

    Anyway, 720p on my 120" projection system looks excellent from 15' back. I have tried my older 480p projector at the same size and distance and I can easily see the pixels, whereas I can't on the 720p. 1080p wouldn't gain me much if anything. If your set is 60" you would have to sit 8' from it or less to have the slightest chance of seeing a difference between 1080p and 720p. If you sit further away and your screen is smaller, don't sweat it.

    The only worry with downloads is the higher compression which tends to lead to a softening of the picture and other artefacts which may mean that a 720p download doesn't look any better than a 480p DVD.
     
  25. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #25
    That was not me saying that, it was TG Daily. I read the article and posted a piece of it that was relevant. When you quote me, quote me -- not the article. Thanks.
     

Share This Page