Blu-ray isn't dead quite yet, I still distribute a fair amount of Blu-ray. It is still the best way for me to distribute high-quality HD material for consumer consumption. That will certainly change, but not right away.
Let's hope so. The current methods of distributing HD content in the way most people watch it, over cable, is "terrible". The quality difference between broadcast HD and Blu-Ray is huge (IMNSHO) and it would be a tragedy for those of us who value quality if online (at some 5Mbps or so) HD becomes the standard.
Besides, what are we going to use to distribute 4K content? BD has the capacity, and decoding probably is mostly a matter of software updates (not that the companies will offer updates to existing players when they can sell new ones). Distributing 4K over the current (or relatively near-to-mid term) wired and wireless technologies is not going to be purdy.
Just because Sony decided it wasn't economic to continue manufacturing the drives doesn't mean the format is dead, it just means Sony cannot compete with other manufacturers. No doubt they'll still get a royalty on every drive manufactured. So by not making the drives themselves they make more profit.
As for the future, Sony still doesn't get it. They're still trying to create a closed ecosystem and that mindset says they're setting themselves up for a fall. The Koreans have stolen the show from Japan, no doubt in part because they get it. Down here quite hard to even find a Japanese HDTV in the shops. Sony and Panasonic are gone. Sony have certainly come up with some smick looking units of late but it could be a case of too little too late.
Thanks for posting ushere, hadta chuckle as 6 months ago I said "Blu-ray is dead, the world just doesn't know it yet." (actually was saying it long before the most recent bout) and was humored by some of the responses. As I was quite breathy in my reasoning in one post in that one I'll suppress the desire to be redundant and just share the link:
You know the old players are stacking up.
REEL TO REEL
HIGH 8 MM
I have no more room left.
There never was a 16rpm. Or a 33 rpm, if it comes to that. It is 33.3333 and 16.6666!
I'm restoring the vibration mounts on a transcription turntable and will be setting it up in a new system. Has all the speeds 78 to 16.6666, but doesn't play cylinders! Good old analogue --- 20 years down the track and no-one will know how to reproduce current digital media because the necessary equipment will be dismantled and in landfill.
As long as Walmart still sells the stuff, it will always be around. Saying BD is dead because Sony stops selling PC consumer hardware is like saying video is like saying OS GUI's are dead because Xerox doesn't develop them any more.
Sony realized a very important fact: people don't want GREAT looking video, they want crappy AND cheap video!
Note: Broadcast HD is normally very good (on the same level as BD). Cable/satellite aren't broadcast. Antenna is broadcast.
Don't get me wrong --- digital media is extremely convenient and can be high quality. The problem (and the excitement) is that the technology is developing so quickly that the time to obsolescence is inconveniently short. One might suggest that all current digital systems are transitory technologies so in a short time all current media standards will be on the scrap heap. One might suppose that an advantage of cloud storage is that archiving/updating will be automatic, but I wouldn't bet on it. Unlike analogue systems, long term maintenance of digital systems is inhibited by the lack of parts. As we are reminded whenever a domestic appliance needs repair.
"Broadcast HD is normally very good (on the same level as BD)."
I agree that usually broadcast HD is "very good", it's MPEG2 typically encoded at somewhere between 12 and 17 Mbps. I don't agree with the second part of your statement, Blu-Ray can be encoded at up to 40 Mbps using MPEG2, h.264 or VC-1 and it just romps all over the quality of broadcast HD.
I think that most people that claim Blu-ray is a joke or is dying have simply never seen Blu-ray on a properly calibrated TV viewed at the correct distance.
Essentially all movies for the last 100 years or so have been shot in HD by virtue of film's resolution. I have Blu-ray copies of many old films and they look STUNNING. For example, I have a copy of 2001: A Space Odyssey which is encoded at 30 Mbps using h.264 and it looks pristine. I also have a copy of the 75th Anniversary restoration of the Wizard of Oz which is 4:3 aspect encoded using h.264 at an average bitrate of 24 Mbps with peaks to 39.5 Mbps. I've seen this movie probably fifty times over the years, in theaters and on SD and HD TV, and I've seen details in this Blu-ray which I have never seen before. Broadcast TV simply can't touch Blu-ray for quality. In fact, as a consumer distribution format, there is nothing that can currently touch it.
I've been recording audio and video for a long time and I maintain working machines to play each of the formats for which I have material. Admittedly, that's been a pain. For video, I have two 1/2" EIAJ reel-to-reel B&W machines, two 3/4", five Betamax, seven VHS/S-VHS, two Laserdisc, 8mm, Hi-8, Digital-8, Betacam, Betacam SP and one 1" "C" format machine. (I'd love to have a 2" QUAD, but can't really justify that.) I'll continue to maintain my DVD and Blu-ray players and whatever comes along next. The quality just keeps getting better and better.
"The quality just keeps getting better and better. "
The interesting thing is the people building modern wax cylinder recorders.
I guess in their day the tooling to make them was rather cutting edge, today lathes and mills and even 3D printers make the simple devices from those bygone ages quite easy to make.
At the other end of the scale thanks to a recent breakthrough in DNA encoding we could archive every movie ever made and every sound ever recorded in an area the size of a postage stamp and retrieve it after 400,000 years, assuming we knew where we'd put it :)
Did anyone mention the wire recorder? We had one in the Telstra Research Labs museum. It was used to copy a "wire" (what is the wire equivalent of a tape?) to something more readily readable for someone in Canada.
I remember wire recorders. In the '50s I played in a Skiffle Group formed from our local Scouts Group, and one of our Scout Masters had a wire recorder from the army, and we tried a recording on it ...
"Lost John standing by the railroad track, waiting for the freight train to come back ..."
.... to get back to the thread, I've finally got a PC with a Blu-Ray burner. Never had a client ask for one. Haven't even done one yet, but am encouraged to hear the format will survive for a while.