As a Generation X’er (haven’t heard that term in a while have you?) I feel like I’m straddling the end of one epoch and the beginning of another. Growing up we used maps to navigate through unfamiliar cities, we signed onto the internet by dialing through the PSTN (charged by the minute no less), and we bought our Christmas gifts at a brick-and-mortar store — okay, many folks still do that, but this year I did all my shopping on Amazon.
I’ve seen a lot of changes from the first epoch of my life: the years following the Vietnam war as Americans settled into corporate jobs that spurred the electronic revolution and ushered in the information age. Changes like Betamax losing out to VHS, IBM compatibles (remember that term?!) growing to dominate the burgeoning home computer market, and the cassette replacing the 8-Track. For those who, like my father, bet on the wrong technology (he thought Betamax was the way to go), the times and popular opinion cost money and time and probably a considerable amount of embarrassment. Imagine being the guy who had to finally eat crow and replace every one of those stupid Beta tapes with a shiny new VHS.
Unfortunately, you may not have to imagine it. I predict Bluray will go the way of the Betamax. What? No. Bluray is beautiful. It’s far superior to regular DVDs. David, how can you think Bluray will fail. It’s already a success!
Two words: streaming media. We already enjoy it on our computers and TVs for those of us with satellite, cable, Netflix, etc. Pretty soon, the only movie/television-style program recording we’ll need will be some form of hard disk — thumbdrives and whatnot. That is, if we wish to carry movies and other media around. With smart phones fast becoming indispensable personal computers that do everything our home computers, laptops and tablets can do, we probably won’t need any form of disc to access our personal collection of favorite movies, music, whatever…well, maybe on board a plane we’ll still have to pop a thumbdrive or SD disk into the phone, but most of the time we’ll have everything we want and more on instant download. The time is coming.
That’s why I say Bluray’s time is going. It was a nice ride, but those discs are a gap filler at best. I don’t own one. I’m not gonna buy one. Why waste my money replacing the player and all my favorite discs when discs are on the way out?
Besides, my three-year-old tends to scratch discs. He can’t scratch an electronic download… at least he hasn’t so far.
— david j.