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The Blu-ray disc (BD) format has enjoyed steady growth after its rival HD DVD threw the towel in early 2008. Sales of both players and movies have been increasing pretty rapidly and the quality provided by BD is now considered as reference for high-definition video. But Steve Jobs, the chief exec of Apple, believes that Blu-ray will eventually become another Super Audio CD or DVD Audio.

“Blu-ray is looking more and more like one of the high end audio formats that appeared as the successor to the CD – like it will be beaten by Internet downloadable formats,” said Steve Jobs in an email exchange with a user, reports MacRumours web-site.

The end-user was complaining that Apple’s latest Mac Mini, which is based on Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40GHz (with 3MB cache, meaning that it is slower than the four years old model E6600) microprocessor and an Nvidia core-logic along with GeForce 320M graphics core, did not feature  a Blu-ray drive despite rather whopping price of $699.

Even though Apple is a part of the Blu-ray disc association, it has never released a single product that supports Blu-ray out of the box. The end-users can still acquire an external driver from a third party and enjoy Blu-ray technology without Apple’s help.

It is pretty understandable that Mr. Jobs does not want to have another physical format: Apple makes tremendous amounts of money on its iTunes business, which sells music and which lends movies. Regrettably, neither iTunes nor competing online platforms allow watching movies with the same quality and bit-rate as Blu-ray does, but for Mr. Jobs even 720p resolution seems to be enough. In fact, the head of Apple does not see any value in the physical formats at all nowadays.

“The downloadable movie business is rapidly moving to free (Hulu) or rentals (iTunes) so storing purchased movies or TV shows is not an issue. […] We may see a fast broad move to streamed free and rental content at sufficient quality (at least 720p) to win almost everyone over,” added Mr. Jobs.

But despite of criticism from various parties, physical video formats – Blu-ray and HD DVD – enabled a great progress for the high-definition home entertainment industry. The BD and HD DVD essentially brought high-quality 1080p video to homes back in 2006, something online services cannot do even now, the Blu-ray 3D is set to bring stereo-3D experience and the standards that will follow are likely to take advantage of ultra high-definition resolutions. Will online services be able to compete head-to-head?

Tags: Blu-ray, Apple, Hulu, iTunes

Discussion

Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 07/01/10 09:23:16 PM
Latest comment: 07/06/10 10:31:09 AM

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1. 
This is another one of those speeches where Jobbs convince apple fanboys "you don't need that!" and stalls till they install the Drive to a new Mac!

Wait and see guys, the same person will give you a speech saying.."now apple incorporates the latest of HD technology" after the change!

0 0 [Posted by: tdevinda  | Date: 07/01/10 09:23:16 PM]
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2. 
Whatever, Steve Jobs. His big mouth certainly does attract some media action, but he's not always the genius. Whenever Bill Gates talks about something, the media talks about it. Whenever Steve Jobs talks about something, the media talks about it.

Time will tell anyways. Truthfully.
0 0 [Posted by: Bo_Fox  | Date: 07/02/10 02:31:19 AM]
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3. 
Yes it will fall eventually, but it will take a long time. TVs need to become internet-connected and HTPC-like.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 07/02/10 03:35:40 AM]
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4. 
Steve is such a genious...NOT!

I predict that the 3.5" floppy disk will eventually be replaced by a new media. Hey, I'm a tech prophet now!

With all of the major players placing caps or high penalties on high use downloaders I think we can plan on the Blu-Ray disk being around for a while. Particularly on Apples devices since they are RF bound.
0 0 [Posted by: fdunn  | Date: 07/02/10 03:51:47 AM]
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5. 
Just wait for the holographic disks to became mainstream. 10TB on a disc the size and format of a regular CD/DVD will blow it's prediction. What's next? Quad HD stereo 3D movies on that. Probably...
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 07/02/10 10:58:15 AM]
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6. 
Steve Jobs seems to forget that about 30% of internet users in the U.S. are still on Dial-up and about 15% are using Satellite based service at 1.5Mbps with either a daily download limit of around 500MB or a monthly limit of around 8GB depending on the service you subscribe to. Furthermore, about 60% of DSL users are using a speed of 768Kbps or lower due to being at the limits of the range of the technology. This means that as much as 60% of the U.S market currently are unable to (or not reliably able to) stream normal video much less HD video. These are the people who depend on Blu-Ray and DVD's and they are also the reason that the media format will not die until broadband connections of at least 3MB+ become more widely available.
0 0 [Posted by: MisterScott  | Date: 07/06/10 10:31:09 AM]
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