Blu-ray Technology Reconsidered

Sony should stop underestimating the transformational capacity of internet technology. At some point, the overpriced standalone Blu-ray disc players will have to decrease in price. Theoretically, increases in production over time should realize a certain economy of scale. Technology prices typically decrease over time. Prices on most Blu-ray players have hit a plateau of around three hundred dollars. The true unrealized price point for widespread Blu-ray player adoption by the public is somewhere around one hundred dollars.

Apparently, Sony has not developed a truly healthy fear of video on demand (VOD) services. If the Sony executives were paying attention, then they would want to flood the market with Blu-ray players before the widespread adoption of VOD technology occurs. Everyday technology enthusiasts receive additional exposure to developing VOD services from cable providers, satellite, and internet based companies. The market for Blu-ray discs could realistically evaporate within the next five yeas.

Perhaps a full disclosure of sentiments would expand the discussion at this point. As a technology enthusiast with futurist tendencies, purchasing a Blu-ray player feels like expanding the baseball card collection. Realistic people know the technology is swimming upstream looking to establish a position within the market. At some point, everyone will use VOD technology. Most people will probably never own a Blu-ray player. A futurist might speculate about the potential for Blu-ray technology to replace DVD as a data storage medium. Unfortunately, the price of individual Blu-ray discs precludes the possibility of a data storage business.

DirecTV VOD

Nels has decided to test the DirecTV video on demand downloading system. The system allows free video on demand access to various content including the 1981 Ivan Reitman film Stripes. Access to the DirecTV video on demand system requires an active internet connection. Access to the content is completely separate from the satellite system. Given the bandwidth considerations, the internet connect has to be separate form the DirecTV satellite dish system. Over a standard DSL internet connection, the movie Stripes took about three hours to download using the video on demand system.

This type of system does not provide instant access to on demand streaming video. At some point in the future, a significant increase in bandwidth available to the system will create the possibility of true on demand video streaming. True streaming internet video will fundamentally alter the current business model implemented by broadcast television stations. At some point in the future, people will have the option to select content based on individual preferences. Individual preferences will always trump a broadcast schedule. Entertainment content providers are about to face a deconstruction of traditional business models.

Overall, the DirecTV video on demand system shows true potential for future development. Requiring a combination of internet bandwidth and satellite dish contracts will limit the total number of potential participants. Internet access will eventually be nearly universal. Satellite access will probably never be universal. However, given the nature of the video on demand system having satellite access is not actually required.

Summer Movies

Nels went to see the Watchmen motion picture on the IMAX screen in Colorado Springs. Sometimes the Hollywood industrial complex produces entertaining content. Most of the time movie studies expose viewers to derivative content that produces low quality and poor entertainment value. For the most part the quality of television writing equals or surpasses the much more expensive production values of major motion pictures. However, this summer the Hollywood industrial complex has ramped up production. Structurally, major studies will introduce several science fiction and fantasy films within a matter of weeks. Given the increasing cost of attending a motion picture, the movie studio is assuming the general moving going audience will be willing to pay for a minimum of five highly priced tickets. Avid movie goers might attend each of the movies. To attend all the summer movies a theater patron would have to allocate disposable income into the entertainment category.

May 1, 2009 —– X-Men Origins: Wolverine
May 8, 2009 —– Star Trek XI
May 21, 2009 —– Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins
June 24, 2009 —– Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
July 17, 2009 —– Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Thinking Hulu

Nels watched some classic episodes of Highlander on Hulu the free streaming internet video service. File sharing services allowed people to illegally access copyrighted content. Certain online organizations have resolved the copyright problem. Instead of spending ridicules amounts of money to purchase classic television shows on DVD, people can find a large amount of content is now available through streaming internet video. Hulu focuses on a business model based on supplying streaming internet video content supported by advertisements.

STARGATE Movies

Like many fans of science fiction, Nels will be watching both Stargate the Ark of Truth and Stargate Continuum this evening. Tonight the Science Fiction Channel will be televising the broadcast premier of both Stargate SG-1 movies. The marketing campaign for both 2008 movies involved direct to DVD sales followed by broadcast television. Stargate the Ark of Truth and Stargate Continuum will be premiering on broadcast television. People who followers the Stargate franchise have probably already seen the movies. A large number of people will probably watch the Science Fiction Channel tonight.