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View Full Version : Using Blu-Ray For SD?


TheBigDave
12-21-08, 03:38 AM
When will we start seeing companies use Blu-Ray for SD content?

Don't get me wrong. I love HD. But for some things I don't need high definition.

I'm not interested in buying something like The Simpsons in HD. But if they put an entire season (in SD) on one Blu-Ray, I'd buy that.

And how about those box sets of public domain films. Instead of five double-sided discs you could get 10 movies on a single Blu-Ray.

Sounds good to me. Anyone else?

GenPion
12-21-08, 07:13 AM
It does sound good... but I don't expect them to do that for a while, if at all...

obidawsn
12-21-08, 08:18 AM
Though it is possible, I highly doubt it (at least for a long while). The marketing for Blu-Ray is that it's a high-definition format. While you could use the discs to store more SD content, that's not how it's being marketed. If you released something on Blu-Ray, people will expect it to be in HD, and won't be very happy if it isn't. Though the possibility could be, after Blu-Ray becomes more of a mainstream format, and the masses are buying it, they can add to the marketing the fact that they can store more SD content on a Blu-Ray and do some releases like this. But I'm not sure J6P would understand.

Jason
12-21-08, 09:05 AM
I'm not sure if SD content is part of the BD spec. 50GB of SD content on one disc would be pretty sweet.

Adam Tyner
12-21-08, 09:07 AM
I'm not sure if SD content is part of the BD spec.There are hundreds upon hundreds of Blu-ray discs with standard definition content.

Jericho
12-21-08, 09:55 AM
Though it is possible, I highly doubt it (at least for a long while). The marketing for Blu-Ray is that it's a high-definition format. While you could use the discs to store more SD content, that's not how it's being marketed. If you released something on Blu-Ray, people will expect it to be in HD, and won't be very happy if it isn't. Though the possibility could be, after Blu-Ray becomes more of a mainstream format, and the masses are buying it, they can add to the marketing the fact that they can store more SD content on a Blu-Ray and do some releases like this. But I'm not sure J6P would understand.


Yeah, it's a hard market to crack. Most people don't have Blu-Ray players so they couldn't buy the stuff. And many of the ones that do have Blu-Ray players probably aren't thrileld about SD releases. Who's going to buy it?

mhg83
12-21-08, 10:15 AM
You could always get a blu-ray drive for your computer and transfer your own dvds to blanks. Once they come out with the 1tb blu-ray discs its gonna be crazy how many shows you can fit (All buffy episodes on one disc :drool:)

Jay G.
12-21-08, 11:14 AM
You're never going to see this for some very simple reasons:


Compatibility. BDs don't play in DVD players, while DVDs play in DVD, BD, and even HD-DVD players. So releasing SD material in DVD only means anyone can play it, while releasing in BD would be too restrictive and require a separate DVD release anyway, which leads to...
Shelf space. Retail stores can only carry a limited amount of material. It's bad enough when a movie release has separate releases now (FS, WS, Special Edition, BD). I think studios are relieved that they can get away with one DVD boxset for a season of a show. They don't really want to be adding to the consumer confusion. Retailers likely wouldn't even carry the BD release, opting instead for just the DVD release.
Inventory. Related to shelf space, the more releases of a title, the more overall inventory a distributor has to keep track of and produce. Adding titles that don't need to exist to their inventory doesn't make sense.
Sales. The BD release is just going to siphon off potential DVD buyers, instead of adding buyers.
Customer confusion. BD means HD to the vast majority of the populace. Some might buy it and get upset it's not HD. Even 28 Days Later was stored as upconverted HD on the BD, instead of staying SD for the majority of the film.
Pricing. People expect to get more for paying more. Paying more than the cost of a movie for a full season of a TV show on DVD makes sense to people because the TV show comes on multiple DVDs. If a whole TV show fits on one disc, why should they pay more for it than any other 1 disc BD?
Eventual HD releases. The Simpsons has the potential for an HD remastering. The same with public domain films. If a BD already exists of that title, the distributors will have to do some fancy footwork to make it easy to distinguish the two, otherwise the SD BD may keep eating into the potential market for their HD BD.

Drexl
12-21-08, 11:25 AM
Wasn't 28 Days Later technically transferred from a film print though? It may not have HD resolution other than the grain, but it's not upconverted either.

Jay G.
12-21-08, 12:56 PM
Wasn't 28 Days Later technically transferred from a film print though? It may not have HD resolution other than the grain, but it's not upconverted either.
If true, it doesn't alter my argument. They put an HD version of a movie primarily shot in SD onto the BD.

DVD Polizei
12-21-08, 01:48 PM
28 Days was shot in 720 x 480/576? I don't know about that. As an aside, 1920 x 1080 can still be "HD", but can LOOK like SD content. Just like we had DVDs which had the quality of a badly used VHS tape.

Full Moon Entertainment for example. :D

But in any case, I seriously doubt we'll see the convenience of Blu-ray coming anytime soon to your retailer. Why? Because this would cut into the bottom line of sales. The studios would rather have you buy 10 over-priced crappy shit-stormed boxes/cases holding a ton of SD DVDs, than conveniently put all 10 of sets on a few Blu-ray discs. It'll eventually happen, but not at the moment. Several years from now, but not anytime soon.

And we have to remember there is still a massive push (and justifiably so) to put everything into higher resolution (aka Blu-ray) so putting SD content on a Blu-ray disc would somewhat defeat that purpose at the moment.

PopcornTreeCt
12-21-08, 02:17 PM
Never

Why would you expect this to happen when studios are happy to provide you extra discs with digital copies no one will ever use?

Jay G.
12-21-08, 04:09 PM
28 Days was shot in 720 x 480/576? I don't know about that.
It's even worse. They used a PAL Canon XL1 DV camera, but used the "Frame Mode" in it to get a pseudo-progressive image, reducing the resolution down to about 360 lines. Then they matted the 4:3 image down to WS, reducing the lines of resolution to around 240.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=783637&page=2

The reshot ending (i.e. the last 3-4 minutes of the film) were shot on 35mm.

videoguy
12-21-08, 04:48 PM
It's important here to inform or recall the difference between dvd video and dvd data (and blu ray video and blu ray data). The blu ray players pretty much only read video discs. If you burn your own for a player, you have to finalize the correct type of video files. However, computer based player drives or recorder drives depending upon the software can read or write anything onto blank recordable disks. So, copyright technical issues aside, you can make an entire season of simpsons on one disk.

For myself, I'm looking forward to cheap recordable blu-ray drives and media for archiving my edited DV weddings. I could actually store the full-quality edited 20-30 gb avi file on a disk.

Jay G.
12-21-08, 04:56 PM
It's important here to inform or recall the difference between dvd video and dvd data (and blu ray video and blu ray data)...
I'm not sure the distinction needs to be made. It's completely possible from a technical standpoint to put SD video on a BD-Video disc. It's also possible to use MPEG2 compression if wanted. So there's no technical issue with putting a full season of SD MPEG2 compressed Simpsons on a BD-Video disc.

The reason it hasn't happened is because of basic economical reasons.

PhantomStranger
12-21-08, 07:18 PM
It will eventually happen in some form. I imagine when Blu-ray players become as ubiquitous as dvd players that many budget compilations will have hours and hours of standard definition content on a Blu-ray. I know some people here cannot imagine this type of scenario, but at some point it will be seen as a negative by the consumer if something is only released on dvd.

dsa_shea
12-21-08, 08:03 PM
It would have been nice to have purchased The Wire complete series on only 5 Blu-Ray discs. Out of the 23 discs in the shoddily packaged set I'll be lucky in the 4-5 discs that are scratched play without problems.

Jay G.
12-21-08, 08:31 PM
It will eventually happen in some form. I imagine when Blu-ray players become as ubiquitous as dvd players...
The number of players that can play DVD will always exceed the number of players that can play BD, for at least the next 50 years or so.

...at some point it will be seen as a negative by the consumer if something is only released on dvd.
Most material won't be. It'll be released in SD on DVD and in HD in BD.

videoguy
12-22-08, 08:55 AM
I'm not sure the distinction needs to be made. It's completely possible from a technical standpoint to put SD video on a BD-Video disc. It's also possible to use MPEG2 compression if wanted. So there's no technical issue with putting a full season of SD MPEG2 compressed Simpsons on a BD-Video disc.

The reason it hasn't happened is because of basic economical reasons.

I guess mpeg2 on a blu ray would be possible since the players can read standard dvds. I wonder though if they are only programmed for either HD specs on Blu-ray or SD specs on DVD though. Perhaps there would have to be a firmware update for this type of idea?

Adam Tyner
12-22-08, 09:06 AM
I wonder though if they are only programmed for either HD specs on Blu-ray or SD specs on DVD though.Many early Blu-ray discs were MPEG-2 and in high definition, and there are probably closing in on 1,000 Blu-ray discs now with MPEG-2 extras in standard definition. If you can have extras in MPEG-2 SD on a Blu-ray disc, you can have a movie/TV show/whatever in the same form too.

Drexl
12-22-08, 09:22 AM
They'd be able to use VC-1 or AVC for SD material too, and it should have fewer compression artifacts and/or take up less space. However, you have to wonder if they'd bother to re-compress the existing video. They often don't do that for extras now.

Mikael79
12-22-08, 09:35 AM
As much as this sounds like a good idea to us - the studios won't do it, because it'll cut back on their profits. Even if you stack a Blu-ray disc to the limit with SD content - consumers will say "Why would I pay $X.xx for only one disc?"

JimRochester
12-22-08, 09:40 AM
I remember having a discussion on this forum like this years ago, long before Blu or HD. They were talking about 50GB discs and having whole seasons or entire trilogies on 1 disc. Even then people were generally not in favor of it. Of course Star Trek was still being released 2 episodes/1 disc at a time so there was some call for including more at one time. Then someone chimed in and mentioned these will be for the next generation, hi-def, yada, yada, yada. At that point DVD was still relatively new so no one even thought about next gen yet.

Any other long timers remember that?

clappj
12-22-08, 11:14 AM
The media itself is much more expensive than a regular 'ole DVD.

obidawsn
12-22-08, 11:43 AM
The number of players that can play DVD will always exceed the number of players that can play BD, for at least the next 50 years or so.

I wouldn't be surprised if BD takes over in the next 5 years. But, then again, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't at all. I think if it does take over, it will have to be in the next 5 years. Because 10 years from now we'll be looking at another format. This all reminds me of when the guy who owned the video store I frequented said that DVD will never take off. He had received a free DVD from one of the studios and he was selling it for $10 because he wanted nothing to do with it. He never did switch to DVD before he retired and sold the store.


Most material won't be. It'll be released in SD on DVD and in HD in BD.

I think the idea was that if BD does take over DVD and they stop making DVD. Though they may be able to co-exist, if just for the SD/HD factor, the "what if" remains. What if studios decide to release only BD? Will they then release BD discs with nothing but SD content? I, for one, would like to have complete seasons on 1 disc to save shelf space, but I also admit that I would find it hard to spend $50 on 1 disc (though now I find myself not spending more than $20 for a season set most of the time, unless it's Lost).

Jay G.
12-22-08, 01:18 PM
I guess mpeg2 on a blu ray would be possible since the players can read standard dvds. I wonder though if they are only programmed for either HD specs on Blu-ray or SD specs on DVD though.
The BD spec includes both SD resolutions and MPEG2 compression. BD players are required to support SD and MPEG2 on BD, and as Adam pointed out, MPEG2 compressed SD video already exists on some BD releases in the form of extras.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray#Technical_specifications
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray#Codecs

I wouldn't be surprised if BD takes over in the next 5 years.
It can't. Every BD player can play DVD, which means that every BD player counts as a DVD player as well. Thus as long as there's one other working device in the world that can play DVD, but not BD, then the number of devices that can play DVD will always exceed the number of those that can play DVD.

Because 10 years from now we'll be looking at another format.
I'm not sure what a disc format 10 years from now will be able to offer above BD that will make it marketable. BD already supports 1080p, which is going to be the max resolution for a while now thanks to ATSC standards, and lossless audio. Online digital delivery may take over, but not another disc format.

I think the idea was that if BD does take over DVD and they stop making DVD. Though they may be able to co-exist, if just for the SD/HD factor, the "what if" remains. What if studios decide to release only BD? Will they then release BD discs with nothing but SD content?
Even if DVD players/recorders are completely discontinued from being manufactured, you'll still see a market for DVD discs. Since every BD player can play DVD, it doesn't hurt them on a market level to release SD-only content on DVD only. In fact, it can only help them, since as I illustrated above, the number of devices that can play DVD will almost always exceed the number of BD players.