I just posted this on my HT blog, but it seems relevant to some of the recent discussions here:
Edit: the link didn't paste through
Just read a great article- I don't agree with all of it, for example, it says that DVD is going to be gone soon. But then again, I thought HD DVD was the winner of the high-def war (and would have been were it not for Sony's bribery of the studios. Maybe it'll bankrupt them!).
The article gives a history of the various formats, and then, of course, talks about streaming video. Here's what caught my eye:
By contrast, streaming video seems like a return to the low-tech past. As Eric A. Taub reported on The New York Times’s Gadgetwise blog, the quality of Netflix’s streaming video seems roughly on a par with VHS: tolerable on a small computer screen but painfully inadequate on an HDTV.
Yeah, that's what I want. My 10' screen, showing 1080p lines of resolution, giving me the equivalent of my old VHS player (which I still have, and it at least does s-video). I'm sorry, but I'm a snob- the sound and video quality need to be good or I'm not going to watch it. I don't order mac-and-cheese when I go out to dinner (nor do we eat it at home). This is the same reason I don't download movies from the internet- it isn't the legality that bothers me, it's that they're ripped and compressed, missing most of the additional content. I look at movies like I do wine- I want to enjoy them again and to their fullest. My time is limited and filling it with substandard entertainment isn't going to work. Here's a good example of how I got this way- my father videotaped my grandfather giving the story of his life (which is impressive- he was a general, an ambassador, a governor). But to save tape.. recorded it on VHS-EP or whatever the hack was that made twice as much video fit on the tape. The result? For the most part, it is gone forever- some of the audio survived, but no player can seem to sync to that hacked analog player. You can say that's because it was analog to start with- and you are partially right- but even when it was first recorded and played-back, it was lousy.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that I don't see how people get excited about watching movies from streaming. Rentals, be it Blockbuster- in-store or in-mail, or Redbox make it simple to get quality sound and video simple. Leave the streaming for youtube (which is higher-quality than Netflix's streaming).