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Opinion: Why is Apple waiting on Blu-Ray?

updated 06:45 pm EDT, Fri March 14, 2008

Why wait on Blu-Ray

When Blu-Ray and HD DVD were first discussed, Apple said it would commit to Blu-Ray, but was allegedly waiting for a winner to be proclaimed in the next-generation format war. Robert Cringely, a writer for PBS wonders what Apple is waiting for, since Toshiba recently announced that HD DVD was to be no more. Cringely theorizes that Apple could be waiting to add official Blu-Ray support into its professional apps, like Final Cut Studio 2.

Cringely also believes that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs could consider Blu-Ray a threat to iTunes high-definition content, but that Apple would need to step up the format to 1080p for it to truly compete. File size is a large limitation for this, however, as Cringely estimates that 1080p formatted videos would weigh in at around 8GB for an average length feature.

Even though this limitation is a large one, Cringely points out that using Google's hosting infrastructure, Apple could cut its costs of distribution. He notes, " This will be where the Apple-Google alliance finally shows itself."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Stone Soldier

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple TV

    Apple believes the route the HD to the living room is through iTunes and Apple TV. Apart for HD Movies no other content is available on Blu-Ray. Why increase the cost of hardware to support Blu-Ray movies?

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    product cycle

    Apple will introduce BluRay in the next Mac Pro's and then followed by the Macbook Pros on its next product refresh. Also I see a chance of a AppleTV with it in the future when prices come down. HDDVD died only just last month. I doubt Apple is going to stop product over it to add a refresh product line. It will come under the normal schedule as a optional item to start and when prices are down included as standard gear.

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Consumer demand

    While there are obviously those who have jumped on the Blu-Ray train already, there is relatively little consumer demand for Blu-Ray at this point.

    If Blu-Ray starts becoming emerging as the true replacement for DVD, then of course Apple will include it. But even though Blu-Ray "won" the recent HD format war, it doesn't mean that it will actually become a popular format.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Who cares

    I do not get the excitement over Blue Ray. Sure you get more storage, but you also get a much more restrictive DRM system. No thanks.

    Apple isn't going to add Blue Ray until 1) there is great consumer demand for it, and/or 2) the cost of the drives will not increase the cost of its machines.

  1. exca1ibur

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    More to it...

    There is more to benefit with adding Blu-ray than playback. Mainly, Apple is missing out on the authoring market for Blu-ray. Now that there is one format you now have the ability to have a turn key authoring solution. Now you must edit on Apple hardware and move to Windows to burn a master and have a Blu-ray player for testing.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cost!

    It's to expensive!

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    opportunity

    i had the opportunity to buy a blue ray player or an up sampling dvd player last week. observing that all blue ray movies cost over $30 and the blue ray player cost 4 times what the dvd player cost, guess which one I chose?

    The opportunity to pay more for a mac which will let me burn disks that fit into a system which in 2008 i would not even buy for myself, well, that's just an opportunity i would be disappointed to see Apple rush to provide me. Blue ray will be great for the year that everyone is buying HD cameras for themselves, which I think could be 2009.

    By the way, is anyone buying anything right now? Besides gasoline, I mean.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    the bigger picture

    According to some reports on the web Blu3-Ray has a negative impact on battery life at the moment. http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/29/1359207&from=rss With current low consumer demand and significant trade offs I can see why Apple is waiting for the technology to mature. Apple is well knowwn for seldom being first, but putting out a quality product when they do enter a market.

  1. exca1ibur

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The first step

    Battery life isn't a concern on the Mac Pros. I'd expect that line to get updated first with burning as that market is prime right now for authoring. Studio can now push out Blu-ray movies now, without worrying about which format is going to be around.

    The iMovie (consumer) crowd, is still up in the air depending on what price point they can make a BTO.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    He's dreaming…

    … if he thinks a 1080p movie will be an 8GB download. It's probably at least 2x to 3x that size with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It's probably much higher for Full-HD.

    As time goes on, more people buy Full-HD TVs. When they see programming like live sports programming in 1080i HD, it's a revelation. Pretty soon, standard-res and upsampled content just doesn't cut it. They'll want Full-Res HD. I want Full-HD! Blu-ray is IT.

    Apple waited until the whole HD 'battle' ended. Now that it's settled, there will be MUCH more content available on Blu-ray. I look forward to the Criterion Collection releasing their catalogue in Blu-ray.

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