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 Apr 05, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
* Wired commentary: Discs are Dead

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
In the hardware world, Wired's got an op-ed from Robert Capps in which he says that the upcoming HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray fight will only hurt consumers because the future is internet-based delivery.

A few years ago, the future of high-capacity discs would have been guaranteed nonetheless, thanks to high-definition television. Digitizing hi-def video, after all, produces a ton of data, which is tough to move around on networks. That's where compression and bandwidth come in. Both Apple and Microsoft are developing new codecs, compression-decompression algorithms that squeeze hi-def video and then unpack it for viewing. Apple's newest will be the core of the MPEG-4 compression standard and should be released by mid-2005, with the next version of OS X. And Microsoft's Windows Media 9 technology already crammed a hi-def version of Terminator 2 onto a DVD and should continue to improve with new generations of Media Player. A third contender, a codec called DivX, can compress a 20-Gbyte hi-def feature down to as little as 2 gigs, less than half the size of a standard DVD.
Of course he misses the fact that users will still, ultimately, want to hold something in their hand and say "I bought this"; plus, there's the fact that even the best compression still means data loss.
 

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