Who cares about HD DV?

Talking to a friend at lunch today, the topic of "Blu-Ray" vs "HD DV" formats came up...

I think "Blu-Ray" may take the market, but it won't be much of a market.
There are just too many competitors for moving around video files:
  • DVD format disks - still good for 8Gb (dual layer). Drives & media are cheap.
  • flash memory - 2008 sees A$50 for 8Gb on USB (less on SD card)
  • A$300 for 750-,1000Gb USB hard-drives. Under $1/DVD.
  • Internet download. With ADSL 2+ giving 5-10Mbps for many.
My thesis to my friend was "Video stores may well go for SD cards". Pay a refundable deposit for the flash card, and a fee (rental or ownership) for the content. Video stores can pre-burn large numbers of movies - and if you want a 'special' - they can make one for you in 20 minutes.

His response: "they could package them like SIMs - in a snap-off credit card-sized holder". Which is better than any idea I've had on packaging.
And it fulfills the most important criteria:
fits comfortably in a pocket (now a wallet)

Practical problems:
  • How to stop people copying the flash and resealing it?
  • Some sort of effective copy-protection system would be good.
  • Flagging 'ownership' or usage conditions of a movie. Not so much DRM, but 'this is property of XXX'
These problems can be nicely solved by users having their own "Key Card" with a digital identity and an encryption key.

The flash needs a 'fuse' that is broken when the card is freed. Preferably an on-chip use counter that can only be factory reset.

To issue a movie to a customer, the encoding key of the video (if present) would be combined with the users key - and the resulting unique key written on the card. Players need both the card and user key to decode and play the movie.

That same process also tags the card with the current owner.
You lose it, it can come home to you.

Because the content can be locked to a particular ID, the raw content can be stored on disk without the movie studios giving away their birth right.

I think 120mm disks are going to follow the floppy disk into the technology graveyard.
They will have certain uses - like posting something on cheap, robust media.

With the convergence of PC displays and Home Theater, the whole "Hi-Def TV" problem is morphing. Blu-Ray - can't wait to not buy one.

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