Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been less than enthusiastic about Blu-ray’s future, but the truth is that Apple will certainly not be able to get rid of optical media as we know it.
For content, there’s simply nothing on the market that comes close to Blu-ray’s 1080p picture and sound. While Apple promotes the ease and simplicity of using iTunes and digital distribution, there are two obstacles to the company’s strategy to keep in mind: there is a finite amount of bandwidth available and online storage can only take you so far and only so fast. On the other hand, inserting a Blu-ray disc into a computer optical drive or media player doesn’t get any more instant.
Even Microsoft takes a bite at Apple’s lack of Blu-ray in one of its more recent ads, while simultaneously taking a jab at their “Get a Mac” campaign from a few years back. The ad turns the tables by letting the sad Mac notebook sit in amazement seeing the high definition picture offered by the PC’s built in Blu-ray. If upcoming MacBook Pros feature SSD rather than moving parts for optical media drives, consumers are provided with fewer options, which just forces the use of online formats. Shouldn’t we have the right to choose, Blu-ray or not?
In addition to its strengths in audio, video and storage, Blu-ray can count more advantages. Compared to its streaming counterparts, it provides more languages for subtitles. Moreover, a virtual collection downloaded to your hard drive is more prone to bite the dust from potential failure of its moving parts. The amount of time it would take to rebuild such a digital media collection is simply not worth it compared to the investment of Blu-ray discs.
A recent international trend may also signal good news for the format. According to blu-ray.com, Blu-ray has doubled its sales in Germany in the first three quarters of 2010. Compared to last year, the overall price to purchase the discs has dropped more than four Euros when compared with last year.
Consequently, while Jobs may not believe there is enough demand for HD discs, the benefits of Blu-ray and the consumers who support it show that it’s not going anywhere yet. Nowhere is this more evident than its place firmly anchored into PCs.
Do you think Blu-ray is worth fighting for? Let us hear your thoughts.