Downloads Be Damned

My last installment discussed the recently reported death of HD DVD, which looses the psychological bonds of Blu-ray in the minds of consumers. Heck, even the amazing OPPO announced that they’ll cook up a truly universal player that includes Blu-ray support. But there’s trouble in River City, and those stinking downloads are to blame. :: As pundits have pointed out, Blu-ray is in a new format war, now that it’s triumphed over HD DVD. The new contender; Downloads. Hah, I laugh at your drugs, fellow pundit. At present, at least in the US of A, a glaring lack of government commitment to broadband availability has hampered the rollout of high speed networking services to the home. That lack of support by Uncle Sam means that we have very low penetration of consumer-grade broadband and what little there is remains expensive and slow, relative to the rest of the developed world. :: This means that, in the US domestic market, downloaded high fidelity content, such as 1080P video or 176.4 multichannel PCM audio, is tedious and largely impractical for most consumers. So, disc will remain the distribution medium of choice for most consumers. Let’s not forget the availability of content, or lack thereof, worth watching. :: Elsewhere in the world, however, low cost, government sponsored high speed internet access is increasingly common. Even the holy grail of broadband, Fibre-to-the-Home, is increasingly appearing in urban redevelopment projects throughout Europe and the Far East. Hopefully, the next administration will get hip to the benefits of encouraging true broadband. :: Anyway, here’s a footnote relating to the Discs Are Dead theme…According to IDG New Service, “Microsoft is revising a program that allows Windows Vista customers to upgrade from a basic version of its OS to one of the premium editions. The program, called Windows Anytime Upgrade, was designed to make it easier for customers to upgrade to a more expensive version of Vista by allowing them to purchase a digital “product key” and download it from the Web.” The revised version of the program requires that customers purchase a “kit” that includes “…a Vista DVD and a product key for the version they are upgrading to…The new system means customers won’t have to worry if they lost their original Vista DVD and now want to upgrade…’Customers have told us that this change will streamline the Windows Anytime Upgrade experience, and that they would prefer to use the DVD and a standard 25-character product key to perform the upgrade — rather than the combination of the DVD and digital key,’ Microsoft said.” So, discs, in the customer’s mind at least, aren’t quite dead yet. They’re just pining for the fjords.

One Response to “Downloads Be Damned”

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