I only just caught up yesterday with Robin Harris’ 5.18.11 piece about how streaming video is bringing about the death of Bluray. It made me very, very angry. Here are several statements from the article coupled with my reactions.

Harris: “The Bluray gamble has failed. Streaming has won the war for consumer’s hearts and minds. Bluray will limp along, but the action is in streaming.”

Wells comment: In other words, access to fresh content matters much more than quality of image? I watched Mike NicholsDay of the Dolphin on Netflix Streaming three or four weeks ago. It didn’t look very good at all. It looked about as clear and sharp as the worst bootlegged Bluray you might buy from a guy in the New York subway. But that’s fine with consumers, according to Harris.

Harris: “DVD/Blu-ray sales are down 20% from the year ago quarter. Yes, Bluray sales were up 10%, but the larger dynamic is that people prefer to stream video rather than buy — or rent — optical media.”

Wells comment: So most people will tolerate any visual standard as long as they’re seeing something new? Terrific. Morons.

Harris: “In the meantime, Netflix has seen its business soar, and become the largest single consumer of internet bandwidth in the US., according to Sandvine. In North America, Netflix is now 29.7% of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of Internet traffic overall. Translation: consumers want what they want and they want it NOW! Note that streaming is growing fast even as Bluray player penetration is still creeping up.”

Wells comment: I really don’t anticipate streaming another film until streaming quality improves. I can see streaming films in the future once fibre optic cable is everywhere, but that’s a ways down the road.

Harris: “As Philip Kortum, psych prof at Rice and co-author of the study The Effect of Content Desirability on Subjective Video Quality Ratings, put it: ‘If you’re at home watching and enjoying a movie, we found that you’re probably not going to notice or even concern yourself with how many pixels the video is or if the data is being compressed. This strong relationship holds across a wide range of encoding levels and movie content when that content is viewed under longer and more naturalistic viewing conditions.”

Harris: “The Bluray window of opportunity has slammed shut.”

Wells comment: “Bluray will thrive as long as there are people like me out there, people who appreciate image quality.”