High quality video and sluggish net connections are keeping streaming and ‘instant on’ services from gaining a foothold.
Streaming video may be a convenient way to keep up on television shows, but Blu-ray isn’t going anywhere, according to the latest Global Entertainment and Media Report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. While Blu-ray players are present in around twelve million homes, many more consumers already own a device, be it an Xbox 360, a set top box, or a computer, capable of streaming HD content, so what gives?
It all comes down to bandwidth, and right now, most of America just doesn’t have the internet infrastructure in place to support instant on streaming of high definition content, let alone content of the quality delivered by Blu-ray discs. To give a general idea, a lower quality Blu-ray movie may have a bit rate of at least fifteen megabits per second, the Blu-ray format has a theoretical max of forty megabits per second, and the average American has a connection of only two and a half megabits per second. Looks like it’ll be some time before we see streaming able to compete on a quality level.