Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

I need to cease utilizing CDs and DVDs however the shortage of a standardized digital media platform is conserving disc-based content material supply round. While the 40-and-under crowd may in all probability reside with out discs, we’ve two generations of individuals forward of us that simply received’t get there. Of course, meaning we’ll in all probability be burning discs for the subsequent 15-20 years and conserving a should-be-legacy format alive.Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

This is all of the fault of a fragmented client electronics business that has failed its prospects in offering a standardized digital media supply platform in the identical vein because it did with 78rpm information, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, VHS, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray media and gamers. If you acquire a cassette tape from any writer, it performed in your Sony Walkman. The identical was true with CDs, VHS, DVD and Blu-ray media and gamers.

Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

Along the best way, we had format wars like VHS vs. Betamax and Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD however ultimately a consensus was achieved and we had a typical. Now, we’ve a hodge-podge of digital media codecs with no standardized supply methodology. There isn’t any format struggle . . . simply tons of codecs.

We have dozens of video streaming apps and tons of, if not hundreds, of video- and file-sharing companies. Unfortunately, these apps and companies don’t come near penetrating the market as deep as VHS and DVD gamers managed. Now, our myriad of choices has led to the curse of loss of life by a thousand cuts for content material creators.

Last week, I wanted to get a video clip to an older girl who needed to indicate it to her mom. The clip was already accessible on-line in two areas. I may additionally Dropbox it to her. None of those labored as a result of the one methodology she had for watching it was on her TV . . . with a DVD participant hooked up.

So what did I do? I created a typical defintion DVD from a 1080p video clip and the girl was ecstatic – as I died inside slightly.

We want the equal of a DVD/Blu-ray normal for digital media supply and playback.

Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

There are numerous methods to get your digital media onto your TV however there is no such thing as a common method to take action. Moreover, most of the strategies of doing so are locked to a single producer’s units. For instance, Apple’s iPhones work nice with sending video to the Apple TV set-top field however not a lot with a Roku. The identical could be mentioned for a lot of Chromecast-enabled TVs and a few Android telephones. Even then, what if the media is in your laptop, a thumb drive or a reminiscence card?

Many producers have tried (and are nonetheless making an attempt) to make digital media work on their units. Many (most?) TVs on retailer cabinets at this time have a USB port for studying digital media off a thumb drive. Some producers do higher than others at (1) file compatibility and (2) user-friendly interfaces.

Some set-top bins have developed import strategies which might be higher than others. None of them work universally. Nearly the entire methods of doing so require digging right into a multi-step set of directions and hoping you will have correctly formatted recordsdata.

There are a number of media administration platforms that do an admirable job of coping with quite a lot of media and codecs. Plex is a device that involves thoughts and one which I personally use. However, that is hardly a typical and among the setup and troubleshooting could be fairly technical.

The simplicity of (1) eject tray, (2) insert disc, (3) press play is lengthy gone.

Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

But that’s the nut that the patron electronics business has to crack.

With all of the innovation in picture high quality from cameras to HDR 4K TVs to VR and past, we’ve to determine a method for everybody to see it. That can’t be restricted to watching Sony-created content material on a Sony TV or sharing iPhone content material with different Apple customers.

How do you switch your motion pictures bought on Apple TV to your Roku gadget? What about on Ultra-violet (do you know this was a factor)? Can you import these to your Plex library? How do you present your grandmother a college play that’s been archived on the PTA’s web site? Or perhaps you will have a video of your martial arts competitors in your digital camera that you simply need to ship to your uncle?

All these duties could be achieved however none of them are easy for the typical client.

If you doubt this assertion, take into consideration how many individuals really screenshot a picture that’s already on their cellphone with the intention to share it by way of messaging or social media.

The quantity of technical information required to playback media throughout a spread of various manufactures’ TVs is unacceptable – significantly for older generations.

Long Live Disc Media: The Case for a Digital Media Platform Standard

In the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, manufacturers got here collectively to create a typical that everybody can profit from – together with (and most significantly) the patron. We are lengthy overdue for a brand new normal for digital media playback in the lounge. The responsibily lies on the joint efforts of Sony, Samsung, Apple, Roku and Amazon, amongst others, to make this occur for the good thing about customers and the business.

Or perhaps, and I’m afraid that is extra doubtless, we simply play neglect the patron and maximize income by driving our direct buyer base to a locked-down DRM’ed ecosystem that shuns exterior platforms and laughs on the thought of an business normal. If that’s the case, I’m nonetheless afraid producers and content material creators are chasing short-term positive aspects and lacking out on a long-term, revolutionary win.

Do you continue to use disc-based media for shoppers, associates or household? What’s your resolution to sharing digital media with non-technical customers? I’d love to listen to your ideas.