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Will Internet kill the Blu-ray market?

PC Advisor (opens in new tab) reports that two of the technology analyst firms out there, iSuppli and Gartner, are saying that Blu-ray, fresh from its victory over HD-DVD, is facing another up-hill battle against a more formidable adversary in the form of internet downloads.

Or is it? Although internet downloads are bound to become more popular over the forthcoming months, there are a number of factors that separate the Internet boys from the High Def disks men.

A double sided Blu-Ray disk packs up to 50GB, which is more than some of us download over a month; the sheer amount of information that those disks contain would make downloading extremely difficult over a normal broadband line.

It would require a significant increase like a 50mbps broadband line, together with a removal of download limits in order for high definition movie downloads to become a viable alternative.

For example, a 200-second from Apple's store weighs in at 69MB while the similar high resolution file weighs an astounding 226MB, that nearly four times the amount of information, meaning that a two-hour movie would probably require 8GB to be downloaded.

Blu ray costs are also bound to fall, even faster than DVDs, mainly because unlike DVDs (where DVD+R had to cohabit with DVD-RAM and DVD-R), Blu-Ray has the whole high definition market for itself.

As for the drives themselves, Microsoft is rumoured to be preparing a Blu-ray drive for the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3 already comes with one.

Also, the emergence of larger than life TV screens (42-inch and above) means that quality footage, without the artefacts created by compression, will be paramount for an exceptional visual experience.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.