back to article Blu-ray Disc a 'bag of hurt', says Jobs

Want a Mac with a built-in Blu-ray Disc drive? You're in for a long wait - Apple's waiting until the technology becomes more firmly established with consumers. Speaking at the launch of Apple's new notebooks yesterday, CEO Steve Jobs described Blu-ray as "just a bag of hurt" - this despite the company's membership of the Blu- …


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  1. Paul

    Prefer a middle non-optical method for HD?

    With the price of flash coming down and the size of the flash cards with it I would be far more interested in a system that allowed me to 'own' films in HD on small cartridges (say a similar size to DS cartridges, not too big, not too small). The idea of downloading and renting films does not appeal but being able to have the films in a more robust and compact digital form does.

    I would also like to see such a system where by default the case you bought included the HD card with all the extra's, bonus features etc on it AND a vanilla DVD so I can watch the film on other players until I could upgrade all the players.

    You could also imagine 'home hubs' that contained an expandable number of slots into which you could place your cartridges, each being instantly available on your home network once it has been inserted.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Firmly established... like the Mac ?

    "Apple's waiting until the technology becomes more firmly established with consumers"

    Umm... most consumers and companies may well wait before buying a Mac until OSX and the Mac are more firmly established...

    Muppets. What would have been the harm of offering a BD Reader for a few dollars more ? The 17inch MacBook Pro looks like it's got a screen and graphics capability that would have been shown off very with BD movies...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I want a writer damn it

    I don't want a blu-ray player in my mac so I can't watch movies. What loser watches movies on their desktop. I want a Blu-Ray recorder so I can archive off my raw video, 50GB at a time. Maybe then I can free up some space on my HDD.

    In other words Steve, don't look to your 'joe iTunes user' market for thoughts on Blu-Ray. Look instead to the creative media users for thoughts. You know - the people who have propped you up all these years? We want a recorder.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    and yet

    I can burn them with Toast Titanium.... and preview them with toast titanium....

    so i can preview them but not actually play them?

    paris because im rather confused like her.

  5. Mark

    Lets be realistic here.

    ‘Blu-ray Disc a 'bag of hurt', says Jobs who recently launched his competing AppleTV HD service.

    'Xbox360' is fantastic says Microsoft.

    'Titanic is unsinkable' says White Star..

    And so on... Does Jobs really believe consumers are that stupid not to see through his plan (I know he must believe so, as he has managed to sell crappy second rate MP3 players to so many people it's untrue).

  6. Simon Painter

    Sony are still desperate... win a format war. They beat out HD-DVD but that was mainly because nobody wanted either yet. They have got the uptake numbers because they forced the PS3 owners to have a BluRay drive rather than offering it as an optional extra for people who want it but they still have not beaten the download guys to the finish line.

    Sony got beat on Betamax and they have never quite gotten over it, they have always done well with other peoples formats but whenever they try to create their own format they balls it up because someone else offers a cheaper alternative that does not have to be licensed by Sony. Minidisks were great but they were unable to compete with MP3 because anyone could make an MP3 player without having to pay a license to Sony. BluRay might be the one that finally wins a format war for them but I doubt it. To get a benefit from BluRay you need to have a full HD TV, a player and a bunch of disks which you can't play on your laptop while you are on the plane. My first DVD drive (and CD for that matter) was in a computer and the stuff in the front room followed from that so if Sony want to get BluRay out there they need to make cheap drives for computers, laptops and also get the BluRay tech into the xbox (else the xbox users will just turn to downloading HD content like I do).

  7. Stephen Usher

    Downloads not the answer.

    I keep reading all the hype about how downloads will kill the uptake of HD physical media in the home. I can't see this happening in the short or medium term, at least within the UK.

    There are small islands of high bandwidth data connection to homes currently, mostly within restricted metropolitan areas. This bandwidth is necessary for reliable HD download which doesn't look like a patchwork quilt due to compression artifacts. This isn't going to expand much more widely or that quickly.

    BT's Fibre-to-the-Cabinet and 21st Century Network roll-out isn't likely to be anywhere useful for at least a decade, so large chunks of the UK will be fixed at <2Mb/s for the foreseeable future.

    In other words, downloads are, and will continue to be a niche market.

    As for Blu-Ray. You can blame two things for the failure to take off quickly. Firstly, onerous licensing terms and a death-grip DRM system. Secondly, most films don't look much better in HD that they do in upscaled DVD. Indeed, the films at the cinema seem to be *LOWER* resolution and grainier than DVD, at least at the multiplexes.

    That's not to say that Blu-Ray won't be a success in the end. It took DVD a very long while to become mainstream, at least 8 years, and that was only when players cost less than £100 and the media was on the "3 for £20" shelves.

  8. Jon G

    Problem, Solution - Solution, Problem.....

    Most people are perfectly happy with the current DVD format. Blu-Ray appears to be yet another solution looking for a problem - a problem that the public just doesn't perceive that it has. There is also a danger that the public feels bombarded with different "new" technologies - to the point where they are simply switching off from the whole subject. Mos people are too busy going to work, worrying about the mortgage and whether they can feed the kids tonight to care if Blu-Ray gives a slightly better picture quality or not.

  9. Dan Atkinson

    That's because quality isn't the reason we left VHS

    The tech industry seems too hung up on us wanted improved quality - that's rot and the rise of MP3 as a format has proved it.

    Most punters went from tapes to DVDs because it was a much much more convenient product to use. Ditto from vinyl to CDs. The (questionable) quality improvement was a bonus.

    Consumers have moved from CDs to MP3 for convenience of menu screens, despite the deterioration in sound quality

    Blu Ray to DVD is what Vista is to XP. Unless you take away people's choice most won't see a reason to switch.

  10. EvilGav


    Have a long way to go before anyone serious about their home cinema will take notice. You still cant download a film in 1080p with a True HD soundtrack, the "best" so far is 720p with a stereo soundtrack.

    Add to that that the number of people who are willing to have media centre type equipment in their lounge is even lower than the number who would be willing to have a second disc player and it makes downloads even less appealing.

    And yes, before anyone suggests anything, I do have a BD player, I also have a media centre for streaming films and the former is far and away better than the latter.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe Joe Public has wised up?

    I for one try not to buy anything sony. The last good things to come out of that company were Betamax and Walkmans. Since that time all trading ethics have gone out of the window.

    Forget capacity - HD DVD was an 'open' standard and therefore superior. Blueray is closed. Apple calling it difficult is the pot calling the kettle black. Yet another company with little or no ethics.

    I hope Blueray dies a slow lingering death. Maybe...... just maybe.... it will teach sony a lesson.

    As soon as I read about the demise of HD DVD I started buying HD DVD software for £2 a go for my laptop (basic spec had HD DVD dive). Ripped into x264 and stored on my AV server............

    I am always ahead of the curve. Give it a few years and every connected household will contain a media server of one type or another and content will either be slow or fast streamed depending when the viewer wants to watch - this includes HD material.

    My only hope is that DRM has also died a horrible death by then too.

    AV Junkie.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    a 'Bag of hurt'?

    I think he's being too kind.

    The less charitable amongst us could rightly call it a 'crock of shit'.

    No doubt Mark will be along in a minute to tell us that we are all just bitter HD-DVD fanboys....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Haha -- AppleTV - Haha

    As he runs the company which sells AppleTV he is intimately familiar with the fact that there is very little difference between properly upscaled good quality DVD running at the native screen resolution and Blue Ray. So nothing to gain there.

    Also, there is still no way for consumers to move a Blue Ray asset onto AppleTV for watching (both legal or illegal). So lots to lose for pushing blu as it will destroy his target market for an entertainment network in the home where the consumer uploads once and watches anywhere without having to carry the physical media around.

    So frankly, I am not surprised in the slightest. His position makes a lot of sense.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor Sony....

    Perhaps they'll now realise that squashing the opposition with money isn't always a good idea. Actually beating them with the better tech would have been but they didn't. Consumers are still confused with the 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 firmware options and fact that the majority of players aren't upgradeable. Your average punter doesn't want to be messing about with firmware upgrades to be able to watch Rambo anyway.

    Also cost is still a massive issue. Theres still no upgradable player in the region of £100 and yet you can buy an upscaling dvd player for about £30 or less so joe schmo still can't see why he should buy Blu.

  15. Andrew Roberts
    Jobs Halo

    I'd agree with Jobs if everyone had fast broadband

    " the "best" so far is 720p with a stereo soundtrack"

    That's what I thought too, but I rented a HD movie off AppleTV last night and was surprised to find a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack...

    I'm fortunate to get an actual 16Mbps broadband connection where I live and the movie was ready to watch in less than 30 seconds and didn't skip a beat the whole way through.

    With that quality (no 1080p matters not to me as fast moving movies don't benefit from it and it just takes longer to download) and fast broadband I can see it *is* the future. I certainly have no interest in BluRay.

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: ...quality isn't the reason we left VHS

    "The (questionable) quality improvement was a bonus."

    I think for the average punter, quality most definitely was a factor for CDs and DVDs. Most of us didn't have the kit to play vinyl or VHS at the technical limits of the medium. On the other hand, the step from DVD to HD (although clearly observable) somehow matters less. I, for example, recently upgraded my telly simply by wiping off all the snot left there by my small children. No-one is going to sell *me* HD anytime soon. (I realise this probably makes me rather odd amongst El Reg readers, but I think it might be typical of a fair proportion of the population.)

    And yes, as an AC mentioned right at the start, Blu-Ray won't take off in the computer world until they start selling it. How hard is *that* to understand. ("It" in this case is a writer.)

  17. Tim Croydon

    It's complexity and cost holding it back

    DVDs are great and simple. Any DVD plays on any player, through any TV (region coding aside). Even without the BluRay/HD-DVD silliness consumers are confused by HD (720/1080, p/i) and the choice is not made easier by the variety of HD broadcast mechanisms which all cost too much for too little content.

    Also, consumers are out of the habit of buying physical media. Look at a typical high-street retailer (Zavvi, HMV, etc.). The space that was used almost exclusively for CDs a few years ago is now used to sell CDs, DVDs, BluRay, Console games, accessories, t-shirts, posters, mobile phones. The only time most people buy physical product is through bargain websites and when they're £3.99 in Tescos.

    Until I can get a reasonable blu-ray player for under £100 (to try out the technology) and media for less than a tenner, I'm holding on.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to do with

    Blu-Ray's low uptake rates certainly don't have anything to do with a near total absence of decent movies being produced. I haven't purchased a copy of ANY movie for more than 3 years. I haven't been pirating them either, I'm just not interested.

    Also, sony kinda shot themselves in the foot by letting the PS3 upscale SD content from DVD. Why would I pay more for a BD, when the PS3 will upscale the cheaper disks for me?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great News

    The scum at Sony deserve everything they get.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Pro vs Consumer

    That is the main difference here, not the licensing costs of the Blu-Ray format. Pro users want the capability to have lots of audio/video data to use on their machines and to be able to share it around amongst each other. For this they have firewire drives, network drives at work etc etc etc, and the macbookpro still has firewire 800, as does the macpro and the imac. Yes there may be some that want to archive it to Blu-Ray or want to ship something to a customer in Blu-Ray format - but media shops will have some kind of external functionality to do that, and those will be few in number.

    Consumers want to watch Blu-Ray/HD movies. So Apple has made their choice for them. Consumers cannot buy an HD movie in a physical format, which they can watch a year from now or however frequently between, share with their friends, sell on to someone else. Instead, everyone is forced down the route of buying another piece of kit (apple-tv) and then "renting" films, which if they feel like watching again six months from now...they have to "rent" again.

    If you have an HD-TV, live in a fast broadband area and can get fast broadband (don't forget the market in Europe, Asia, and soon US is going to get multi-megabit downloads via Fibre....Virgin UK) queue-time will hopefully be removed as an issue. You then buy an apple-tv device, connect it to your router, and can watch things on your tv or on your laptop over their N-speed wireless etc etc etc.

    Apple is trying to do with the consumer macs, what is has successfully done with consumer ipods, create and dominate in content delivery to consumers. They are ahead of the game in simple-to-use devices in this respect. It's better to sell tens of thousands of devices which then enable you to get extra revenue from consumers by selling them value-add services - like movie rental - than it is to maybe sell a few thousand more macs based purely on the fact they have Blu-ray. Let's face it, no-one is going to buy a mac because it has a blu-ray player are they?

    In this way, they create and extend the market for music, movies, and more all delivered through iTunes/apple-tv interfaces. Then when mass-market adoption of movie rental over net becomes a reality, they can say they have the most integrated mechanism for delivering which point they will probably bung a new 100GB version of Blu-ray writer in their machine so that the consumer can "own" the content - same as they do with putting music onto CD now via itunes.

    It's all about the long game for apple, create the content and they will come to the platform!!

  21. Vincent
    Jobs Horns


    "Indeed, Jobs' lieutenant, Phil Schiller, was quick to say that iTunes is Apple's HD content platform."

    Because we all want to download their DRM-riddled crap. And downloading HD content shouldn't really become mainstream, not with the way ISPs are currently acting.

    I think that there IS a demand for Blu-Ray disc drives. Apple could make it an optional extra at least.

  22. thomas k.

    re: loser ...

    "What loser watches movies on their desktop."

    That would be me, I guess.

    Standard DVDs look good enough on my 22" WS monitor - I doubt I'd see much

    difference from a BD drive.

  23. Bassey
    Thumb Down

    Maybe it's just me

    I live in a very rich part of the world. Most people I know earn £40k+ and a lot of them are tech-savvy 30 somethings. In other words, my friends and I are the target market for BluRay. I don't know a single person who owns a BluRay player. Okay, I know one person who owns a PS3 but that was bought for the latest version of singstar and buzz, they don't own any BluRay discs. I also know one person who went out and bought a HD-DVD player and a shit load of discs just after that format went tits up.

    I don't know why, but people don't want BluRay!

  24. Monkey

    @ AC claiming HD-DVD was open

    No it wasn't. You, like most the other pro HD-DVD people misquote some very key facts. HD-DVD had region protection, DRM and the equivalent of changing profiles embedded in the disc spec. They simply didn't switch the region protection on to start with which happened to give the impression it wasn't a factor. Then the HD-DVD consortium never actually corrected people when they claimed no region protection. The discs also had DRM virtually identical to that in Blu-Ray, but they never fully enabled it because again, they were happy for the public to get the wrong impression.

    And also, if you read the specs of a lot of HD-DVD players with ethernet ports they were for "over the air delivery of content and firmware upgrades" when the disc profiles changed. Be very sure about it, there were disc profiles for HD-DVD, they just never got chance to update and change it because the format was killed. Also be sure of the fact that had the format survived, a profile upgrade was planned for the higher capacity layered discs and over the air bonus content delivery.

    Read some specialist press and find the FULL HD-DVD format technical specs you ill informed idiot. I'm not pro BR either (I bought HD-DVD!), I simply am aware of some key facts about what HD-DVD was really about and it bugs the shit out of me when people make such stupid statements when the real facts are so easy to find.

  25. Steve Kay

    Stephen Usher has it spot on

    When Blu-Ray stops acting like such a c**t, we'll buy it.

  26. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    At the moment it is cheaper to buy USB HDD's than to buy a BluRay writer and the equivalent storage writable disks.

    I see BluRay and HD-DVD as a last desperate attempt to persuade everyone to buy their movies on YET ANOTHER medium, before it all becomes just stored data. For those who don't understand, most people call it a CON!

    Most people just don't have that much data on their PC's to need that kind of archiving capability so IMHO BluRay will stay expensive due to low volumes right up to when it is replaced with S-RAM or Super-Flash or whatever it will be called.

    BluRay, the last gasp of the optical medium>?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Gotta laugh at Sony.

    They gambled on people wanting the PS3 so much they'd be willing to pay the high price of Bluray and Cell to use it as a vessel to decrease the price of these technologies for their other business areas.

    They didn't gamble on the Wii and the 360 being runaway successes in comparison to the PS3 being absolute last place. But then things changed, the PS3 started beating the 360 ever so slightly on weekly sales, they won the format war, Bluray was king and it was looking up again.

    But then as it turns out no one still wanted Bluray, no one still wanted the PS3 and it has once again slipped far behind in terms of weekly sales of software and hardware leaving it's clear last place position an ever increasing distance behind the 360 and PS3. With it's major exclusive, Final Fantasy XIII lost despite Sony owning a 17% stake in Square Enix, with PS3 dropping even further into last place, with it having such horrifically low software sales figures to the point they can't even make up for the loss on hardware sales and with Bluray sales on the decrease one has to wonder if it's perhaps time that Sony took a hint from Toshiba's book and dropped out of the high definition market before their company which is already heavily in the red hemorrages even more cash without anything up and coming to change the game for them.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Too expensive.

    I'd be happy to adopt Blu-Ray, but not until they're *at least* half the price they are at present. Currently they're far too expensive and not good value for money.

  29. Elsie

    Blue Ray will not take off until ...

    ... a majority of the population have HD TV sets. Anyone with a CRT TV and a DVD player can still watch great quality movies. You only notice a differnce when yoy upgrade to a HD set and even then, a DVD still looks very good.

    As I still own a good 32in Sony and a huge DVD collection (a lot of which I used to own on VHS), I do not feel compelled to buy into Blu-Ray. I suspect many others feel the same.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @Maybe it's just me

    Curiously, how many of your friends have a 1080p HDTV ?

    Without HD content I won't go and buy a HDTV, my 32inch widescreen CRT does me just fine and I hope it'll last a couple more years. By then, Blu Ray will be cost effective, I doubt by then BT's 21CN FTTK (let alone FTTH) will be rolled out to even 1% of the population so downloading HD content will still be a pipe-dream. For broadcast, I'll opt for HD Freesat (I won't give the Dirty Digger any of my money).

  31. Watashi

    Backup plan

    Certainly the need for Blu-Ray as a backup medium is pretty much gone. Compare storage costs:

    DVD-ROM - approx 5-10p per Gb

    USB Hard Drive - approx 10-20p per Gb

    BR-RAM - 25-50p per Gb

    Obviously BR-ROM prices will drop significantly, but it has a long way to go to catch up with other storage methods (esp considering how quickly HD prices are dropping). If you want to save messing around with all those DVD-ROM disks, go for a 1Tb USB drive, if you want to stick with disks, you probably still want to be able to play the movies you've backed up on a DVD player, so the higher capacity of BR isn't a benifit.

    BR is just an improvement on an existing technology, and the only people who want it are those who will notice the improvement. At the moment, this is basically just people with big 1080p TV sets. Both CD and DVD allowed the consumer to gain significant quality improvements whilst being able to use most of their existing AV equipment. All you needed was a DVD player to go wth your old TV, or a CD player to go with your old amplifier set-up. BR requires the buying of a whole new TV, so has a much higher entry cost than CD or DVD ever did.

    The race is on between the spread of fibre broadband and big 1080p TVs to see whether BR or downloaded content dominates the market. As we all know broadband will get there sooner or later, the sensible consumer will probably just hold out and ignore BR.

  32. Adrian Jackson

    It's a shame...

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have articles about BRD occasionally *without* the games console and HD media format zealots crawling out of the woodwork?

    How do you even *become* a fanboy of a particular HD disc format? Do people have nothing better to do with their lives than become emotionally attached to a specification set down by a bunch of companies that want to make money out of them? The mind boggles.

    Mine's the one with the HDDVD player in the left pocket and the BRD player in the right pocket, and the 360, PS3 and Wii in the inside pockets. Yeah, the heavy one. :(

  33. Tim
    Thumb Down

    Oh Really Steve Jobs? what else should I be thinking?

    I hate Jobs. He is such a retard. I like Bluray. i like that it is a non-enforced option on the PS3 (it plays DVD too and will also play downloaded content), but i like having a disc in my hand that can play HD content. Now Eff off jobs and leave us Non-Apple people to do what we want without interference from you!

  34. Rune Moberg

    flash alternative?

    How far are we from 25GB flash devices (or plain old fashion ROMs) that would cost less than BR and take less physical room? Surely discs are old fashion for distributing digital content? Thanks to "AnyDVD HD" I can safely continue buying content. Otherwise I would have been forced to pirate the lot. (my 30" Apple monitor does not support DRM...)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    A title,

    Cooor, the microshills must have struggled over this one

    do they hate high definition more than they hate steve jobs? looks that way

    blu ray is just a method to get 50gb into your front room, and in most cases its faster nipping into town to buy the disc than it is waiting for the download, for a lot of people its quicker waiting for an amazon delivery

    but anyhow jobs could have kicked blu ray into touch but he didn't he left it nicely open for a snow leopard release especially putting in a hdcp compliant connector and saying its the best medium to watch movies in.

    at least he's not as stupid as microsoft's xbox guy who says high definition is not needed and then tries to sell you a high definition device...doh!

  36. Speedy

    We want BD

    I hate Apple for this, been waiting for Apple to support BD Play. So i could kick the PC and get an Apple and an Apple Air. Now i'm forced to stay were i am, on winblows.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buying physical media

    "The only time most people buy physical product is through bargain websites and when they're £3.99 in Tescos."

    Speak for yourself. Why would I want to download dodgy quality mp3s from a website which I'll have to back up myself onto a blank CD or USB stick (which also cost money!) and have to give my credit card details to boot, when I can go to a shop and buy a CD for cash? Jesus , if you can't afford a tenner or less for a CD you're either skint or tight or both, in which case why are you on a forum about new media anyway? Also like a lot of people I find browsing a record shop much more pleasant than browsing endless websites.

    As for downloading a DVD , gimme a break. I've better things to waste my bandwidth and 4 hours of my life on when I can walk down to blockbuster and buy a DVD in 10 minutes.

  38. Steve

    HD-DVDs ARE region free

    "HD-DVD had indicated the possibility of, but never announced a specific Region Coding for its format. As a result, HD-DVD disc titles were never region coded."

    I have just read the white paper on the HD-DVD spec and it never mentions region coding, at all.

  39. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft paid shills are upto their usual FUD tactics.

    "Consumers are still confused with the 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 firmware options and fact that the majority of players aren't upgradeable."

    LOL, 99.9% of Blu-ray players ARE upgradable, and already are, at the final Profile 2.0

    Honestly, does ANYONE believe the tripe that the Xbox fanboys/HD DVD losers post here?

    I find it hillarious that people claim they can't see the difference between updated SD and proper Blu-ray HD. Are you seriously saying these look the same to you?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two points

    First. Steve Jobs, his company and products can fuck off and go to hell.

    Second. As pointed out by other posters upscaling is the way many are going. I have a PS3 and its ironic that the upscaling capability it has makes my existing DVD collection look bastard brilliant. So much so that I don't intend to buy any BR titles. Well that plus the 8 quid on top of a conventional DVD price!

  41. Tim Hale

    We need a resolution

    I think people can't see the benefit of HD until they have HD.

    'Upscaled DVD is as good as HD'? Please, it's a good picture but it's no comparison. Personally, I decide on a case by case basis whether to get the blu-ray or DVD version.

    Sky run ads where they show HD as being the same thing, only slower, which isn't what they mean and it doesn't make anyone want to buy it.

    As far as I know, no-one the general public are likely to see has ever said (making-up numbers here) "HD is 100% higher resolution that SD, here's what your SD picture looks like at 50% resolution, see the difference?"

    People generally don't care about politics, DRM, ethics, etc. they care about how much it costs and what they get for their money (quality / convenience / street cred. / whatever their hot button is. So far, no HD service has made a compelling argument.

  42. EvilGav

    @AC @ 10.11

    You, sir, are an idiot.

    Console sales of the 360 and PS3, world-wide, are broadly the same - MS sells most of it's stock in North America and Sony in Japan, in Europe both formats have sold broadly the same amount. Both formats pale into insignificance compared to the unit sales that Nintendo have with the Wii.

    According to data released regarding sales of both BD players and media, they are both better than at the same point in DVD's life-span and increasing.

    @everyone complaining about the price

    I can only assume none of you were involved in DVD in the early days. I was, I paid ~£500 for a multi-region DVD player, at a time when most had never even heard of the format. Disks were typically £15-20, even imported from the US when we had $2 to the pound.

    10 years on and BD players are now sub £200 (there are two that can be got for ~£160) for profile 2.0 players and you can get disks for under £10 (admittedly, a lot of the films in question are utter shite) and new releases can be bought for a not very significant premium over their DVD counter-part.

    Finally, as another has pointed out, HD-DVD was no more open than the DVD format, it was even owned/run by the same DVD Forum. BD is owned/run by the BD Association. It's for this very reason that China has come up with it's own HD format, as they didn't want to pay the licensing fee's involved.

    It should always also be remembered that regional coding and HDCP DRM are both in existence because of the movie studios - do you honestly believe that a hardware manufacturer wants the additional hassle of adding in chips for all this stuff ? If you want to point your ire and vitriol at someone, at least make it the right group of people.

  43. Liam

    at the blu-ray haters

    if you cant see a MASSIVE increase over upscaled content either get new eyes or throw away that shitty cheap ass TV. if you have decent TV (1080p) 24fps dropdown (on decent tvs) and hdmi 1.3 you will see a MASSIVE difference - as well as hearing a noticable increase in sound quality and depth.

    the problem is too many people are using BR on crap equipment. you can get new BR movies for £15 now - as opposed to ~£10 for a dvd. for films like transformers there is a massive difference over the dvd!

  44. andy gibson


    he was thinking of his other Apple products when he said "bag of hurt". Sorry, my mistake that's "bag of shite"

  45. Mark

    re: lolfail

    "They didn't gamble on the Wii and the 360 being runaway successes in comparison to the PS3"

    Hang on, the 360 is very close to losing it's lead, despite it launching 18months before the PS3. In other words, PS3 = 18m 360 = 21m consoles.. That's not a runaway success, that's abysmal 360 sales over the last 18months allowing PS3 to all but close that gap.

  46. Mike


    For the same reason that nobody (important) bothers with SACD, CD is 'more than sufficient', nobody (important) can tell the difference between SACD and CD and even if you could it doesn't make bad songs good, VCD was not good enough, DVD is more than good enough, even a good quality 700Mb DivX is fine on my upscaled 37" TV, the point is a rubbish film won't become a good one on BluRay and good film will be enjoyable *even with artifacts*.

    It's also not a good general storage medium, with a 1Tb harddrive less than £70, BluRay is just a gimmick.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    A word of advice, Mr. Jobs ...

    >"We're waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace."

    ..don't hold your breath while you're waiting. Particularly not in your current state of health!

  48. Kevin Eastman

    Download Limits

    It's all well and good to say that the future of movies is via streaming, but for a lot of people that is not an option thanks to their ISP's. Yes, the bandwidth is there, but the ISP's are putting a cap on what one can download. After streaming a couple of movies, you will be close to reaching your limit, if you haven't already exceeded it.

    Personally, I like having a physical copy that I can watch anytime without having to pay again to do so. I have an HD-DVD/Blu-Ray combo drive in my computer that I found onsale for over half the cost it normally would. I have watched one HD-DVD and one Blu-Ray on it, on my 22in WS monitor connected via DVI to my computer. Yes, it looked nice, but not enough to warrant paying up to three times the cost of a regular DVD which also looks good on my set up. Also, when I go to rent a movie, there are maybe 24 Blu-Ray available compared to the hundreds of regular DVD's. Not all of the new releases are available in Blu-Ray either.

  49. Reg Varney

    Ditto Too Expensive

    I was in the market for a new DVD machine, and was dead keen on a BR player, until I scoped the prices of the discs - £25 for a movie??! F*ck that! I bought a DVD recorder instead - I might consider BR when the discs are £3-5 in Tescos. Until then, no chance.

    The mass market (including me) have got used to films being available for 3-5 quid in Tescos, if you wait long enough, but the movie vendors have not yet realised that the world has moved on - DVD movies are ripped to internet sites within days of release and are available for nothing - the era of being able to charge whatever they liked for a new format is gone, given that most people can't see any great difference from an upscaled DVD (or downloaded rip)

  50. Jon H
    Thumb Down


    I can buy a DVD burner for £15 but a BD burner is £120.

    Blank DVDs work out at about 15p each, even dual layer are little over 50p each, but a single BD disk is 6 or 7 pounds each!

    They will be cheap one day but until then, I simply can't afford to go Blu-Ray.

    Refusing to put a BD drive in your machines is not going to help drive the cost down and increase consumer demand!

  51. vincent himpe

    bag of hurt...

    time for steve to read the licencing agreement for the iPhone devkit. can;t tal about it , can't share code , can;t even write how-to guides. talk about a bag of hurt.

    having a slice of your own cake then are we ?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Yeah but no but

    "It should always also be remembered that regional coding and HDCP DRM are both in existence because of the movie studios - do you honestly believe that a hardware manufacturer wants the additional hassle of adding in chips for all this stuff ?"

    Unfortunately in this case one of the manufacturers also owns a major movie studio.

    And actually, now I think about it, the other manufacturer's CEO pretty much owns Disney.

    It's a messed-up world.

  53. TimM


    "if you cant see a MASSIVE increase over upscaled content either get new eyes or throw away that shitty cheap ass TV"

    That's the point though. The vast majority do either have dodgy eyesight or (far more likely) a shitty cheap ass TV.

    You can jump up and down raving and foaming at the mouth about how gobsmackingly amazing Blu-Ray is. It makes no difference to Joe "shops in Currys, Argos and ASDA" Public, and they aren't about to buy a spanking new HD set up even if you grabbed them by the neck and shoved their face in an HD demo display to show them how amazing it is. "Yeah, nice, but I have a mortgage and kids and a life. DVDs look great on my telly".

    I don't get this delusion that Blu-Ray will replace DVD. It won't. It has to be forced on the consumer, and there's no way that can be achieved. What can force "HD" on the consumer is broadcast and download TV through the phasing out of SD. That will take decades to achieve, but even then as HD telly is phased in, broadcasters will be eyeing up ways to deliver movies on a pay per view basis in HD to the consumer, be it VOD, near-VOD, traditional net downloads, dedicated streaming services from ISPs that run in parallel to traditional broadband, or (as in Tosh's plan) flash media distribution.

    The latter sounds all the more interesting the more I think about it. Imagine a credit card sized media card with flash storage enough to store some HD movies. In 5 years, flash memory will allow the average Joe to have 5 to 10 HD movies of Blu-Ray bitrate sizes on such a card. They pop into a shop, bank, post office, cash machine, whatever and order up some movies, then pop it into their player. Those with serious broadband can have a device to download them overnight (quicker than it takes to ship a DVD).

    How about, you go to the cinema and watch the latest film, plus you can stuff a few other not so recent films on your card whilst you're there?

    In fact the card could even double up as a credit card.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why would non-Apple people care if Macs came equipped with Blu-ray or not?

  55. MarkJ
    Gates Horns


    Jobs is probably referring to the infamous AACS strictures that Vista operates under. Presumably forcing this kind of crap into the Unix derived OS X is not trivial.

    Things like SACD/DVD-A, BR and HD-DVD are for discerning people who care. We're a minority and yes, we can easily tell the difference.

  56. Bassey

    Re: @Maybe it's just me

    > How many have 1080p TV's

    Good point. Most have LCD TV's. A couple have 1080p. I would say half have HD TV's of one kind or another but the majority of those probably have 1080i/720p, not 1080p. It just isn't something most people care about. I'm a techy and even I'm not that bothered. When FreeSat PVR's are launched I'll probably pick one up (assuming you can get a decent capacity for around £150) but the cost of HD content is just way too high at the moment and the picture quality really does not justify it.

    Yes, for certain stuff it looks a lot better but, really, Transformers? If that's the pinnacle of HD content then is it any wonder it's failing?

    As a guide, here's the last several films I've rented;

    There will be Blood

    No Country for Old Men




    Out of those, the only one that might have benefited from HD was Jumpers and, frankly, that would have benefited more from being sent back before I watched it - awful piece of shite.

    So, in summary, HD is too expensive at the moment, there haven't been many decent films, everyone has huge DVD libraries and they don't want to buy them again in a new format and people just aren't that interested.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't see why I'd want bluray...

    My pc has hdmi out, and an internet connection, it also has 1.75TB of hard disk space, and it looks great on my 37"TV (which is more then big enough for my living room.)

    So what does this BR bring to the dinner party that I do not already have? I've been watching high def shows this way for almost a year, mmm mkv h264 softsub numnumnum.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Two points

    "First. Steve Jobs, his company and products can fuck off and go to hell."

    well, I'm always open to a reasoned and rational argument ...

    Jobs doesn't give a shit about tech only about control - if he says its hard to license, he means it's expensive for Apple to dominate. His company makes nice looking, easy to use products that are as expensive as people are prepared to pay (doesn't make them idiots, or him any worse than any other business man, imho).

    Same goes for Sony, come to that.

    Anyone thinking they are somehow directing the market through their choices (of format etc) is unlikely to be doing so - the lowest common denominator drecktoids are the ones doing so and they probably don't think too much.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @HD-DVDs ARE region free @Maybe Joe Public has wised up?

    The best things that downloads can bring us is the demise of Region Coding in BD. Once the good people of Tokyo, Stockholm, Baltimore, Paris and Ebbsfleet use their FTTx broadband to download the same movie from the same server in Cupertino, and play in different regions, the concept of the studios trying to stop US DBs from being sold in Spain goes out of the window.

    Yes, I know I can already wait overnight to download a torrent, but that's a business case the studios and BDA wish to ignore. When legal downloads push new releases globally in minutes, region coding becomes a thing of the past.

    I tried to swap my aging UK DVD player for a BDP-S350, and found that the North American version can't be set to multi-region/region-free even for DVD! So it went back as my legally purchased kids DVDs are what matters most.

  60. J

    Re:I hate Jobs. He is such a retard.

    True. I wish I was as "retardedly" rich as he is too...

  61. Iain

    Oh dear LORD...

    Read Jobs's comments again. He quite clearly states that it's the complexity of obeying the licensing that is causing the current problem, not that he wants to sell you Apple TV files. Blu-ray continues to be a mess of different video and audio codecs, and the DRM requires all sorts of obfuscation on both the memory and outputs. Sounds to me that isn't playing nicely with OSX at the moment, and until they can make it 'just work', they don't want to go there. The current state of Blu-ray playback on the PC is an utter mess, if you doubt it.

    Oh, and Mark is at the kool-aid again, I see:

    "LOL, 99.9% of Blu-ray players ARE upgradable, and already are, at the final Profile 2.0"

    The PS3 is. Now, I admit that it equates to 95%+ of the market all on its own. But standalone players, while upgradeable in the sense that they can have their bugs patched, don't have the ability to upgrade Profile. 1.0 players simply don't have the second video decoder hardware, and 1.1 players don't have enough memory to meet the 2.0 spec, or they would out of the box.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I normally....

    don't agree with Jobs, but this time I do.

    If you want a BluRay burner, here, wait for it. Buy one!

    He may want to stick it on high end systems for that Ooooo, look factor, but why would most people want to subsidise this?

    I may be flamed on a Techy site for saying, but I reckon for 99% of Joe public, DVD is "good enough". Personally I don't give a toss if I can watch a movie from 376 angles, in 40 languages, with outtakes, commentries, trailers etc. I just want the bloody film!

    Maybe it because I'm over 30, I've long given up on the latest and greatest, let the young and foolish burn their money I say, I'll reap the benefits when I can get the payer for £15 from Tesco.

    One day, may even get rid of my CRT.....when it dies....

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Stop a hole in the head.

    WHY would I volunteer to buy this stuff and end up being sued by god knows who for using these things once I've bought into it?

    That's what they do these days, right?

    Forget it. Complicated licensing = corporate loopholes to sue users for using what they have bought. Not me, I'm out.

  64. alan

    I have a BR Dive!!!

    Just thought I'd mention it. theres alot of BR bashing going on here.... and tbh I can't fault anyone for that.

    Personally I like it, and I think the extra detail (on newer films, most noticable on cg shots) can be good eye-candy.

    Apart from that I'm convinced that the HDTV and bluray formats are just a scam fathered by the conceived need to have 50 inch TV's in your living room.

    Get a 50" LCD and plug in a dvd that you watched on your old CRT 20". It looks awful in comparison because its stretched to fit the bigger tv....... so, you need a full HDTV and sky hd and bluray players just to have a decent picture on your grotesquely gluttonous oversized starescreen. Thats all it is, just a decent picture on a giant screen. Its not proportionally any better than a dvd on a much smaller screen IMHO.

    I think that if you're loaded enough to afford a 2 grand tv for no good reason then you can afford a bluray player or skyhd to go with it and if you cant then DONT BLOODY BUY ONE.

    otherwise, if dvds are good enough then why moan about it? no-one can make you buy it.

    the br player in question is actually on my new laptop, an acer <insert model number here (woops i peeled the sticker off last week)>. It's a nice high spec one, the bluray drive wasnt a factor in whether i bought it or not, however there is something reassuring about supporting all the current optical formats on one drive :)

    and no, I havent bought any brd movies, nor would i. due to the points listed above, the detail difference is negligable on a 15.4" lcd (it came with a BR demo disc).

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Odd that

    Given that most people I know here (Working class / blue collar) are trading up to HD, why....because its new and shiny and takes up a ton less space than the old CRT. But they dont have Bluray...why....because no one has explained the concept properly in normal terms, and the media is too damn expensive right now.

    DVD was the same, VHS is good enough, I can wait while it rewinds, It'll scratch too easily, costs too much

    Give it a year or 4

  66. Michael

    Downloads ??

    Downloads , streaming HD content ??

    You must be joking if on ADSL infrastructure !! Wait till fibre to the home if that ever gets to the masses,.

  67. Captain DaFt

    Ack! Jobs is right!

    Those of you stating that'd you'd want a writable Blue-ray... That's the "Bag of hurt" Job's is talking about! Sony doesn't want the masses to be able to burn their own BD discs, that would lessen their control of the format! Sony just wants read-only capability on the PC, so they can control the content, at a hefty price!

    So there's a jungle of licenses, royalties and restrictions for anyone wanting to offer that capability on their systems, and right now, it simply ain't worth the time, money or effort to offer it. (Except for VERY expensive bragging rights, of course.)

  68. Anonymous Coward

    DVD is 'good enough'

    Honest... even on a hulking great 1080p player.

    Sorry to disappoint the BluRay fanboyz but BluRay is obviously compressed because you can see decompression artifacts on it on in-store demos. Both BluRay and HD-DVD were more about selling advanced DRM than high definition disk formats. BluRay offered more to the studios and so it won out. HD-DVD was more consumer friendly with its bi-layer / two side options with standard DVD but that's been mitigated by studios like Disney who have figured that if you want to push BluRay then you've got to offer a free standard DVD along with it.

    I can download movies from Amazon to my TiVo. They don't download in real time (don't have FIOS yet....) but you order them and they turn up on its "Now Playing" list just like regular TV. Quality's adequate to good, too....

  69. Jodo Kast

    The customers chose HD-DVD

    The customers chose HD-DVD. That was last holiday season.

    Then in Feb 08 they ditched it. No one in their right mind would buy Blu-Ray this Christmas.

    They'll ditch it Feb 09. For "Something Better".

  70. David

    DivX is best

    The problem with DVD and probably Blueray is all the nag screens you get and associated video pirate messages. With DivX the movie just plays. This suits me because I play the same movies for my kid and having to hit the next button 10 times at a cost of 1 -2 minutes is a pain. Times that by 50 which is about how many times my kid has watched Finding Nemo and that is a whole hour of my life right there.

    DivX or downloads for me.

    Say no to nag screens.

  71. RW

    CD vs LP: in the interest of historical accuracy

    Nobody has mentioned an important reason for the fast adoption of CDs to deliver music: their near immunity to physical damage. With an LP, every time you played it, you damaged it a little more.

    Another reason: physical size. CD, 5.5", LP 12" diameter.

    Sound quality? Hardly. I have CDs of acoustical 78 rpm records from the 1920s where it's the performance that's the thing.

    Why is there no icon for "important message from an old fossil"? I got my official geezer id card in the mail yesterday and am asking my friends to refer to me henceforth as "your stony-boned-ness" or "your petrification", and address me informally as "old fossil."

    I guess the glowing savant will have to do.

  72. Scott Silver badge

    Stupid Name

    I do not feel enthusiastic at the thought of buying anything with such a stupid mispelling of a name.

    CD is pronounced "See Dee"

    DVD is pronounced "Dee Vee Dee"

    Blu Ray looks to me like it is "Bluh Ray"


  73. W

    For the record...

    I have a Bush 14" TV/VCR in my lounge. I can watch DVD's on it. Sound runs through a modest Cambridge amp to some modest JVC speakers. TV screen size is an exercise in willy waving. Always has been, always will be. Sound quality is always overlooked. Always has been, always will be.

    Judging by the old Sony/JVC/Panasonic/Tosh/Philips CRT TVs that get dumped on the streets round my way and the ASDA/Tesco/Beko flat screen boxes a vast quantity of the folk who buy these big tellys don't even know what they've bought.

    But they know it's bigger and flatter than their old one.

    Yes I'd probably like a slightly bigger telly, but the one I've got "just works" and is "good enough" and to be honest, when the admittedly shabby Bush 14" gets replaced at some indeterminate time in the future, it'll probably be with a projector and Media "Center" of some sort. It may or may not be BR compatible. But that'll be an incidental point.

    BR ain't mainstream until Dixons/Currys sends out a press release saying they've discontinued DVD players. cf: VHS/floppies/35mm cameras etc etc.

    Finally, to those who say "Hey luddites, get a 1080p screen NOW! and you'll see the difference": get knotted thricely. I will not be help you justify your purchases of overpriced toys by doing the same thing. You bought 'em in the first place in order to feel superior. Yet once you get 'em you feel insecure in case they don't catch on. Sorry 'bout that. But if/when they do catch on, you wouldn't even feel superior then, cos all you can do is point and say "18 months ago I paid three times what you did for that". You're not a pioneering "Early Adopter". You've either a) got more money than sense, or b) less sense than money.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not adopting, wonder why

    World wide banking collapse, $4.00 gasoline all summer, player costs 6x what a DVD player costs, movies cost 2x as much as dvd to buy...

    On the no Blu Ray until HDTV is adopted. Everyone I know has upgraded to HD TV sets in the last 10 months, and I mean everybody.

    Content - Dish, DirectTV, boradcast, even cable is all delivering HD content for 1/6 or less of the cost of a BluRay disk. You can rent the movie 6 times or record it to a DVR. Why buy it? Until the idiots drop the media price to under $20 Blu Ray adoption will remain minimal.

    Oh yeah and then there is burning a copy of a HIDef Satelllite movie to a Blu Ray recorder...

  75. David
    Jobs Horns

    The real reason...

    Apple uses slot load 9.5mm optical drives. Guess what? There is no Blu-Ray 9.5mm slot load drive available in the market! As soon as one becomes available, Mr Jobs will suddenly change his position. This just goes to show you the kind of guy Steve is. If he doesn't have the feature, he does a slight of hand and downplays it, until he supports the feature, then it's better than sliced bread.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    its not price, people feel they don't need it

    Here in thailand shops have problems unselling blue-ray players to people buying £1000 46"+ displays! and thats with hooky blue-ray disks costing £3 each.

    All this security doesn't seem to have stopped commercial piracy of blue-ray disks; and I find DVD DRM enough hassle when it comes to doing reasonable things like playing videos on my PDA and laptop; why would I want to make things harder with blue-ray

  77. marcus wallbank

    Tru Blu fan

    I have a 100+ Blu-rays a mixture of region A & B which I used to play on my PS3.

    I just recently bought a Sony stand alone player for £250 from the Sony shop which I thought was bargain as I originally paid £500 pound for my first DVD player when they were first released.

    People forget that dvd's cost £20+ when they were first released and I have never paid more than £14 any of the Blu-rays I have. The only place that sells disc for £25 is HMV or that strange Zavi shop.

    Downloading films from the net is not a option for me as I can only get a 2mb connection in my area and I also like having the option of lending my disc to friends and family.

  78. Scott Mckenzie


    I suppose we could consider the majority of people on here as "target market" for Blu Ray, but with so many people reporting discs costing £25 and that being outrageous (which it is) it's clear there is an issue.... anyone who pays £25 for a disc is silly, there are hundreds of places to buy discs far cheaper than that, even new releases can be found for usually 25% off without too much effort:

    Are the main ones i use, and check here - - to see which discs are not region coded so you could save by buying from abroad.

    AppleTV is great, a lot of newer movies are coming with Dolby Digital, sure it's not TrueHD but for the "average" user it's perfectly fine... and seen as so many people above are saying that DVD is fine for them, then a downloaded movie with Dolby Digital 5.1 will also be fine, as it's the same... the fact that it'll be 720p will be an appreciable increase in picture quality too.

    Oh and you can get downloads in 1080p with TrueHD, just not from a legit source... and a 45Gb (typical) download size does take a while even on my Be Internet connection

    As for players, they're getting cheaper day by day, the current budget king is the Samsung BD-P1500 ( is £163 and includes "I Am Legend" and "Ocean's Thirteen" for a Blu Ray player that is very cheap, it will upscale your DVD's too (sure you can buy an decent DVD upscaler for about £50) add in the nice bonus of converting HD audio to max bitrate DTS over optical or coax for those that don't have the latest amps... it's a result!

    FWIW, i think Apple are right.... i transfer films to my Macbook Pro to watch, i wouldn't lug a series of Blu Ray discs around with me as it's just not worth it. Though i can understand the desire for Blu Ray recordable for archiving purposes, but a USB hard drive is pretty bloody cheap these days!

  79. Monkey

    The real question is though...

    ...other than the couple of Mac users in here that have directly commented on their own wants and needs, does any REALLY care if BR drives come to Macs any time soon?

    It wasn't a shitty comment either, but a genuine question. The comments have gone way way off point as normal so I thought I'd bring it back to the article. We know by a large it is because Jobs want to cut a market off that is a rival to Apple HD downloads but in the end...

    ... as with the ranting comments and rumours about a 360 BR drives, does anyone REALLY, TRULY give a toss about BR coming to Macs or not?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "for films like transformers there is a massive difference over the dvd!"

    Transformers? Is that really the best argument that you can come up with in favour of spending a pretty significant wad of cash to upgrade? A movie that was released 15 months ago?

    I could spend a tenner going to see it in the theatre, or a grand to see it properly" at home.

    FFS. shows 20 Blue ray releases scheduled for the week or October 7th, 31 for the week of October 14th, 32 for the week of October 21st, and 33 for the week of October 28th.

    DVD? 593, 450, 344 and 515 for the same 4 weeks.

    That's 116 BRD releases versus 1902 DVD releases. And the ratio of utter shite is probably not that much different in either format (at least if Transformers is being held up as the epitome of BRD quality).

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