3 Reasons to Avoid Blu-ray (For Now)

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3 Reasons to Avoid Blu-ray (For Now)

Original Article Link

"vs. the 480p of a regular DVD"

DVDs typically hold 480p material, but a DVD can indeed hold hi-def material--just not very much of it. In other words, equate media with capacity but do not equate media with resolution.

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reamon wrote:

Original Article Link
"vs. the 480p of a regular DVD"

DVDs typically hold 480p material, but a DVD can indeed hold hi-def material--just not very much of it. In other words, equate media with capacity but do not equate media with resolution.

That's stating the obvious, don't you think?  The whole point of the HD disc formats was that they could hold more data since higher resolution equates to higher bitrates.  Standard DVDs can't hold the required data for an entire feature length movie so a higher capacity disc format had to be developed to avoid using multiple discs for a single movie.  Neither format would sell if that was the case.  Consumers are all about convenience and making it less convenient will spell certain death for any product.

The real reason Blu-Ray (and HD-DVD) didn't sell is consumer apathy.  Many people simply don't think Hi-Def is that big of a deal and aren't willing to shell out the money for a new HDTV or HD disc format, especially if they already have a library of standard DVDs.  It's hard to convince the public that they need Hi-Def if they've already decided it's not worth it to them.  In today's economy, luxury items like HDTVs and Blu-Ray players take a back seat to basic necessities like putting gas in their SUVs so they can get back and forth to work.

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I currently own a whopping total of 6 (yes SIX) DVD's.  Why?  I never saw a reason to buy them.  The quality wasn't good enough in my mind.  Now, HD, on the other hand, looks phenomenal and I'm willing to buy into it.  The problem?  The Blu-Ray discs are too expensive and they don't have anything I want (mainly TV shows) on it.  HD DVD has (had?) immensely more (that's not saying much) TV show releases, but I don't feel like buying them and then converting them when Blu-Ray recorders become affordable.

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@captain: "That's stating the obvious, don't you think?"

For technophiles, yes. For others, not really. Some assume that HD and/or BD disks only hold hi def material. Conversely, some assume that DVD cannot hold hi def material. Mixing capacity and resolution causes confusion, hence my post.

Popular Mechanics had an article about the myths of HDTV, including "Myth #3: HD video can’t be recorded to regular DVDs."
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how_to/4216631.html

My intent was to (hopefully) clarify for those who didn't already know the distinction.

@captain: "..luxury items like HDTVs and Blu-Ray players take a back seat to basic necessities..."

Here's an article that makes an argument for the opposite, at least as it applies to the purchasing of HDTVs and players.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2290399,00.asp

No strong citations in that article, other than a reference to a NY Times piece, but I thought it was an interesting notion--a tight economy may mean *more* spending in some areas.

My wife and I keep commenting to each other when we see a full parking lot at the mall, or at the race track or a full interstate or over-brimming carts at Costco: "But we're in a recession--what are all these people doing?" Smile

I've no doubt people are in pain in a lot of places, but it sure doesn't seem evident around my neck of the woods (southwest Idaho--feel free to poke fun). IMO, the uproar and concern over the price of gas is far overblown. I wish I was one of the interviewees on the evening news:

Reporter: "How are you coping with these high gas prices?"
Me: "Well, when I run low on gas in my car, I go to the station and fill up."

Something is feeding the media monster (it is an election year, after all). Smile

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We are slowing, but not in a recession yet.  Still, it is not like it impacts everyone in the US when we hit a recession.  It simply means we had a slightly negative year for growth.  Some people are hurting, some are having troubles with foreclosures, but the lower prices on houses is already starting to attract buyers.  There will always be those that struggle.  utopias do not exist.  I wish the naive media would just shut up about it.  Sure it costs me more to fill my tank, but overall it is not affecting my standard of living.

People today in the US have no idea what it means to be really poor.  Life for everyone in the US gets better everyday and I wish the gloom and doom people would stop shouting it from the drivers seat of their Lincoln Navigator.

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Also DVDs aren't 480p. They're good old standard standard TV -- 480i/30fps.
This is why proper deinterlacing and/or 3:2 pulldown matters. Sadly DVDs store things at 480i and their 3:2 cadences often aren't correct.

This is one of the great things HD DVD/Blu-ray fixes as content is stored natively at 1080p/24fps for films. Thus any need for 3:2 is added by the player at run time, not encoded into the source.

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reamon wrote:

@captain: "That's stating the obvious, don't you think?"

For technophiles, yes. For others, not really. Some assume that HD and/or BD disks only hold hi def material. Conversely, some assume that DVD cannot hold hi def material. Mixing capacity and resolution causes confusion, hence my post.

Considering this forum is basically frequented by "technophiles" I was referring to the audience that would have read it, hence my comment about stating the obvious.  Your comment may hold true for the general population but you're preaching to the choir here.  Matt is also correct in that DVDs are simply NTSC standard format in 480i and not 480p as so many people erroneously assume.

When times get tight economically, people tend to be a litle less frivilous with their spending, hence my comment.  OTOH, current generations of consumers have far more disposable income then they ever did so people that can afford it will still spend.  My daughter is trying to make it out in the real world on her own and my son just finished college so neither of them is going to be buying any big ticket luxury items like HDTVs or Blu-Ray players in today's economy.  In fact, my daughter asked if she could use our VW Jetta so she wouldn't have to keep filling up her Mercedes SUV that she bought last year because she can't afford the gas on top of the car payments and insurance.

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captain_video wrote:

When times get tight economically, people tend to be a litle less frivilous with their spending, hence my comment.  OTOH, current generations of consumers have far more disposable income then they ever did so people that can afford it will still spend.  My daughter is trying to make it out in the real world on her own and my son just finished college so neither of them is going to be buying any big ticket luxury items like HDTVs or Blu-Ray players in today's economy.  In fact, my daughter asked if she could use our VW Jetta so she wouldn't have to keep filling up her Mercedes SUV that she bought last year because she can't afford the gas on top of the car payments and insurance.

[Off topic:

Wow I'm moving to the US (judging by your comment your daughter is trying to make it out in the real world she's in her 20's). Seriously young people so instead of a young American not being able to buy a Mercedes SUV but just a common car, a Chinese middle aged family man would be able to provide his family with a common car as well. I'll probably get slapped with a "communist" tag here, but I'd like to think I'm more of an "utopist".]

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97 paid off Jeep "For the win". Gas doesn't seem to cost as much when your car is paid off.

I won't be getting into BD heavy until the 2TB HDDs come out late this year and are priced under 200. I looke at the dozen +- of BD rips I have and they take up close to 400 gig.

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Still haven't jumped on the BD bandwagon.  Heck, I still don't even have an HDTV and don't rent/watch much in the way of movies.  Honestly, i don't think I have more than 2 dozen DVDs.  Just never really saw a reason to buy them.  We would usually watch what we wanted at the movie theater or rent it.  There are few movies that I like to watch more than once so why buy the DVD (or BD).  Now with a toddler, we rarely have time to watch TV, let alone a 2 hour movie (and I HATE watching part of a movie and trying to finish it a day or two later).

Off topic -
Personally I don't know how new graduates can go out and buy new Mercedes SUVs (and other high-ticket luxury items) and expect to make it.  I drove a hand-me-down '77 Ford Granada until it gave up, then bought a cheap Suzuki Samarai.  At 32 and looking back, my wife and I regret buying a new 2000 Honda Accord (for a second car after we both found jobs post-college) and 2004 Toyota 4-Runner (after our GMC Jimmy was on it's last leg).  I guess finally getting out of college and feeling like you are finally making something of yourself catches a lot of the younger crowd.  We are paying for it now (as many Americans do) and trying to correct the issues by getting rid of all our debt.  There is a quite uprising going on of people listening to "financial advisors" such as Suzy Ormann and Dave Ramsey.  I will say that the gas prices don't seem to be affecting us as much as others, but that is probably be because we've destroyed all our credit cards (and paid them all off), will have both cars paid off by the end of the month, and live in a house that is only about 15% of our monthly take-home pay.  Don't get me wrong, I hate the higher prices (we average about $600/month on gasoline now), but it is unfortunately a necessity to get to work (since Houston has a pitiful mass-transit system and we live outside the city) so we just have to budget it like gas/water/food and cut back on things like movies/eating out/electronics...

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Matt wrote:

Also DVDs aren't 480p. They're good old standard standard TV -- 480i/30fps.

I just watched a DVD where the player was reporting 505p. Weird.

But "DVDs aren't 480p" is exactly right. They aren't tied to any particular resolution. The video on them will be of varying resolutions, typically 480i. But a DVD is not constrained to a specific resolution.

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You guys are preaching to the choir with regards to my daughter's purchase of the Mercedes SUV.  When she told me she was thinking about buying it I did everything in my power to try and set her straight.  She's got a decent job and isn't living in poverty but the thought of buying something so extravagant literally pissed me off like you wouldn't believe.  She didn't ask me outright about using the Jetta but she mentioned it to my wife.  My response would have been for her to deal with it since she made a stupid purchase without considering the advice I was giving her.  FWIW, the Mercedes was used and not new.

reamon wrote:

Matt wrote:

Also DVDs aren't 480p. They're good old standard standard TV -- 480i/30fps.

I just watched a DVD where the player was reporting 505p. Weird.

But "DVDs aren't 480p" is exactly right. They aren't tied to any particular resolution. The video on them will be of varying resolutions, typically 480i. But a DVD is not constrained to a specific resolution.

Thy're 480i if they're marketed for the U.S. or any other market that uses the NTSC standard.  They're at a different resolution for PAL.

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When I say DVD, and clearly what the article was refering to as well, I mean the DVD Video standard which in NTSC countries means 480i/30fps video, with 3:2 flags encoded in the MPEG2 stream if the source is really 24fps data.

So the article isn't really wrong to not mention HD video on DVD discs. That isn't in the standard. It's an extra little pieces of specification in the HD DVD and Blu-ray standards that allow that.

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captain_video wrote:

Considering this forum is basically frequented by "technophiles" I was referring to the audience that would have read it, hence my comment about stating the obvious.  Your comment may hold true for the general population but you're preaching to the choir here.  Matt is also correct in that DVDs are simply NTSC standard format in 480i and not 480p as so many people erroneously assume.

Maybe the choir needs a litte refresher? Smile Both you and Matt erroneously equate DVDs to a specific resolution. Change your sentence to "Matt is also correct in that DVDs typically contain NTSC standard format [material] in 480i and not 480p..." and we're in complete agreement. A DVD can hold a hi-res video, about 30 minutes worth if I'm not mistaken (give or take).

The regular participants here undoubtedly understands the distinction. Those that wander here in search of answers (such as I did recently) may not.

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Good lord what's what the people purchasing SUVs? I have no intentions of ever buying one. College grads of all people should know how irresponsible that is, both for money/credit/wealth building, and for the environment.

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reamon wrote:

captain_video wrote:

Considering this forum is basically frequented by "technophiles" I was referring to the audience that would have read it, hence my comment about stating the obvious.  Your comment may hold true for the general population but you're preaching to the choir here.  Matt is also correct in that DVDs are simply NTSC standard format in 480i and not 480p as so many people erroneously assume.

Maybe the choir needs a litte refresher? Smile Both you and Matt erroneously equate DVDs to a specific resolution. Change your sentence to "Matt is also correct in that DVDs typically contain NTSC standard format [material] in 480i and not 480p..." and we're in complete agreement. A DVD can hold a hi-res video, about 30 minutes worth if I'm not mistaken (give or take).

The regular participants here undoubtedly understands the distinction. Those that wander here in search of answers (such as I did recently) may not.

Guess you missed by follow up post that I made a few mins before you posted this. You're missing the difference between the dictionary defintion for "DVD disc" and the colloquial expression "DVD" which normally refers to "DVD Video" discs which do indeed have a standard for what goes on it, and in fact this could be inferred from the content of the article which was speaking only about home video formats and the blog was published on a Home Theater and Home Automation magazine's website.

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Meester.Rip wrote:

97 paid off Jeep "For the win". Gas doesn't seem to cost as much when your car is paid off.

I won't be getting into BD heavy until the 2TB HDDs come out late this year and are priced under 200. I looke at the dozen +- of BD rips I have and they take up close to 400 gig.

It will be quite some time before you see a 2TB drive under $200, if ever.  By then, 1TB drives should be down below the $100 mark.  Right now the 750GB drives offer the biggest bang for the buck, although the cost per GB of a 500GB drive is probably just a bit lower.  500GB drives are selling for around $89 while 750GB units are going for about $120-140 so the cost/GB is fairly even.  As the size of the drive gets larger, the cost/GB tends to go up, at least for a while after a new size is introduced, making it more cost effective to use multiple smaller drives for really large capacities.  I have seven 750GB drives in my uRAID server for a total capacity of around 5.25TB (actually, it's only 4.5TB since one drive is used for parity).  I would have spent far more if I used 1TB drives instead of the 750's.

I use my unRAID server for storing ripped BD and HD-DVD movies as well as standard DVDs.  I've probably got over 100 movies on the server at the moment with about an equal mix of both SD and HD formats with lots of room to spare for more rips.  I try to strip out the extras from every movie I rip whenever possible to reduce the size of the file and save space.

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I guess I'm simply nitpicking on the disc media vs. resolution of video on that media distinction. Since it is for most intents and purposes a meaningless distinction, I'll stop. Smile

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Matt wrote:

Guess you missed by follow up post that I made a few mins before you posted this. You're missing the difference between the dictionary defintion for "DVD disc" and the colloquial expression "DVD" which normally refers to "DVD Video" discs which do indeed have a standard for what goes on it, and in fact this could be inferred from the content of the article which was speaking only about home video formats and the blog was published on a Home Theater and Home Automation magazine's website.

I did miss that. And I did miss the difference. Excellent points. Thanks for setting me straight!

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A DVD is simply a storage medium for whatever you want to put on it.  When you're here in the USA it's sometimes easy to forget that there are people posting from other parts of the world that don't use the same broadcast standard as we do, resulting in a discussion of apples vs. oranges.  The acronym "DVD" stands for "Digital Versatile Disc" and not "Digital Video Disc" as so many people assume.

I believe the resolution issue vs. DVDs had been beaten to death and made pretty clear to everyone at this point.

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captain_video wrote:

A DVD is simply a storage medium for whatever you want to put on it.  When you're here in the USA it's sometimes easy to forget that there are people posting from other parts of the world that don't use the same broadcast standard as we do, resulting in a discussion of apples vs. oranges.  The acronym "DVD" stands for "Digital Versatile Disc" and not "Digital Video Disc as so many people assume.

I believe the resolution issue vs. DVDs had been beaten to death and made pretty clear to everyone at this point.

Correct, and as was pointed out DVD discs can certainly be used for all sorts of data including HD resolution video, as I mentioned a few posts back both HD DVD and Blu-ray have the ability in their specs. However it's not really relevant to what is actually found in the market. And the fact that a DVD holds things other then video data isn't incredibly relevant to the context of the article either.

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Quote:
College grads of all people should know how irresponsible that is

Don't forget, these are the same kids who continue to take up smoking (or drugs, for that matter...  both are drugs, though... one's just legal... but I digress), even with all the damn information out there about what it does to your body.  (No offense to captain_video, since I don't know whether or not your daughter falls into this category.  I'm making a more generic observation about the "kids today", not specifically about your daughter.)

I currently drive a 2001 Ford Escape (bought new) and while the gas is a pain, it's not exactly killing me either.  I don't know how we'd get by with a smaller vehicle, even with just my wife and I, plus the (large) dog.  Road trips definitely require a larger vehicle.  God help us when we have kids to add to the mix!

My, my, how such an innocent post about Blu-Ray has diverged into a very deep discussion of the times we live in!

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There's an Escape hybrid now which is nice to see, and really even a normal Escape isn't nearly so bad as one of the giant 'soccer mom' SUVs you see all over, that's what gets me cranky.

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The outcome of the format war  ticked me off.  THINK, why was SONY focused on making backward compatible players when they could have made forward compatible media.

There is not much technical challenge in making an HD capable disc, with regular DVD content on one side or layer and HD content on the other. Toshiba was able to do this http://www.physorg.com/news4052.html, but too late in the game.

Sorry everyone, SONY wants you to buy a new player and re buy your DVD collection!!! The prospect of media royalties and renewed profits for old content outweighs giving the customer what they really want.  I hope that Bill Gates is right http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2005/10/14/news/13474.shtml, that Blu-Ray is the last physical media, and we move to online distribution before Blu-Ray takes off.

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Grant Pitel wrote:

Sorry everyone, SONY wants you to buy a new player and re buy your DVD collection!!! The prospect of media royalties and renewed profits for old content outweighs giving the customer what they really want.  I hope that Bill Gates is right http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2005/10/14/news/13474.shtml, that Blu-Ray is the last physical media, and we move to online distribution before Blu-Ray takes off.

The whole point behind any new format for electronic media is to get the public to buy into it and replace their existing media library and hardware.  It's a never ending cycle in the consumer electronics industry.  You're expected to buy a new PC every couple of years just to keep up with the latest hardware and software so why should entertainment media be any different?  We all went through it with vinyl records (or at least we old-timers did) vs. CDs, DVD-Audio, and SACDs with 8-tracks, cassettes, and a half dozen other failed attempts at other formats in between (anyone remember Digital Compact Cassettes or the ElCassette?)  Video started with Beta and VHS, migrated to laserdiscs, even though it was more of a niche market, and then on to DVDs which has finally culminated in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  Online downloads may be an eventuality but for now the current infrastructure is limited to low-rez material and mediocre audio (i.e., stereo vs. 5.1 AC3 or better).

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I don't really see how any one can think that downloading media is anywhere in the immediate future.  Where I live I only have 2 broadband options...DSL from my phone company or satellite.  And my DSL sucks, at least compared to others'.  The only "affordable" option I have is 768k down/ 256k up, and that's $45/month.  I'd have to pay $80/month to get 1mb down/ 512k up.  My wife's uncle has Embarq and pays the same price as me and gets a 5mb down/ and I'm not sure about his upload.  But until providers can deliver "ultra" fast speeds, I don't see downloadable media replacing anything.  It would've been hard enough with DVD-sized material and now you're talking about downloading HD material?  So next, someone will give me the compression speech.  "Compression" says it all.  Downloadable content is great, don't get me wrong.  It's nice to have that option.  But it’d be quicker and less trouble to go to the store and buy it.  If I download it I’ve got to have some way of backing it up.  Will everyone have to have a computer to download it and then transfer to some kind of disc and then take it to a player?  Will everyone need an “HTPC”?  Will the player have internet access where it just downloads the media to?  Then you have to worry about hard drive space.  I just don’t see it being viable for the average joe.  So then who’s downloading and buying…just us here?  Are us “geeks” enough to keep them in business?  Any way…just my opinion on that.

Something else I don’t agree with is the people who say they never bought in to DVD because it wasn’t enough of an improvement over VHS.  Then out of those you have some who say they’re not buying in to HD discs either and then some who say they will get in to HD discs because now it’s finally worth it.  DVD is loads better than VHS.  Except for the original Star Wars, I never bought a VHS movie.  Once I became a teenager, I didn’t even rent them any more.  Once DVD came along though, it was finally worth it to me to buy movies.  I have tons of them now.  To me, a VCR’s main purposes was to record TV and watch rented movies.  I would say that there’s a bigger difference between the quality of DVD vs. VHS than there is between HD discs and DVD.

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htpc_user wrote:

Something else I don’t agree with is the people who say they never bought in to DVD because it wasn’t enough of an improvement over VHS.  Then out of those you have some who say they’re not buying in to HD discs either and then some who say they will get in to HD discs because now it’s finally worth it.  DVD is loads better than VHS.  Except for the original Star Wars, I never bought a VHS movie.  Once I became a teenager, I didn’t even rent them any more.  Once DVD came along though, it was finally worth it to me to buy movies.  I have tons of them now.  To me, a VCR’s main purposes was to record TV and watch rented movies.  I would say that there’s a bigger difference between the quality of DVD vs. VHS than there is between HD discs and DVD.


Me too, totally agree. I bought my families first DVD player (a PS2) when I was 15. Now I'm on the verge of getting my first Blue Ray player (guess which one? A PS3, big surprise huh? lol)

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Buy a station wagon.  Compact SUVs like the escape are not big vehicles, they just feel bigger because they are taller.  If you compare a Audi A4 wagon to a escape, you will have just as much room in the Audi while getting better mileage and driving dynamics for about the same price.  Audi's new 2.0t engine is supposed to get 35mpg and 211 hp / 256 lbft.

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And the Audi will play Blu-ray too?

Dude...  How old IS this FusionHDTV3 ???

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I would avoid Blu-ray as well if I had to get a station wagon...

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I am holding off until the 360 either has it built in or as an add-on. I wish they would give us a clue, because if it is going to be an add-on I might get one soon just for the Netflix plugin and extender capabilities.

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I suspect you're going to be holding out for a long time. All the press/public commentsfrom Microsoft is that they're just going to pursue HD downloads and skip Blu-ray playback.

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Meester.Rip wrote:

I am holding off until the 360 either has it built in or as an add-on. I wish they would give us a clue, because if it is going to be an add-on I might get one soon just for the Netflix plugin and extender capabilities.

Don't hold your breath then; MS is never going to support Blu Ray on the 360 and probably will wait for Win 7 until it adds support for it to VMC (if at all,  don't expect MS to ever support Blu Ray in any form).

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Crim wrote:

Don't hold your breath then; MS is never going to support Blu Ray on the 360 and probably will wait for Win 7 until it adds support for it to VMC (if at all,  don't expect MS to ever support Blu Ray in any form).

Why do you think that?  Even Microsoft's CEO has made comments that they will support Blu-ray (who knows whether it will be anytime soon).  The Xbox 360 isn't just for gaming.  I would be a hell of a lot more inclined to buy a 360 if it also played Blu-ray discs (in addition to being an extender).  From the marketing perspective, it makes sense.

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If you read what Ballmer says, he only really commits to the fact that they are working on device drivers and such. While more currently we have this interview with Shane Kim, the head of Microsoft Game Studios:

http://www.forbes.com/video/?video=fvn/tech/km_shanekim071608

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To Do: Finish Re-ripping my music collection - While Playing FF XIV

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Naylia wrote:

If you read what Ballmer says, he only really commits to the fact that they are working on device drivers and such. While more currently we have this interview with Shane Kim, the head of Microsoft Game Studios:

http://www.forbes.com/video/?video=fvn/tech/km_shanekim071608

Also, Chris makes some very good points about this:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2008/02/18/1518172.aspx
http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2008/04/02/1567223.aspx
http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2008/03/12/1541625.aspx

I expect MS to, at some point in the near future, add the much needed hooks to Vista for Bluray drives to make the use of them much easier/better but I don't expect them to make much effort to add total support for them in VMC, etc.

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There's speculation everywhere about what will happen (including engadgetHD).  In my opinion though, I think BD will eventually become standard on optical drives in whatever component they're housed.  But probably not anytime soon. 

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I think you're right Blue.  I think it will be sooner rather than later now that the "format war" dust has settled.  (unless Sony screws this up too...)

Dude...  How old IS this FusionHDTV3 ???

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Blue wrote:

There's speculation everywhere about what will happen (including engadgetHD).  In my opinion though, I think BD will eventually become standard on optical drives in whatever component they're housed.  But probably not anytime soon. 

While I believe that too I also believe MS is going to drag their feet as much as possible before it finally happens. I still don't see them offering a Blu Ray drive for the 360, it's successor yeah but not for the 360.

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