One Foot in the Grave for Optical Discs?

I'm a movie fan. I love Blu-ray and my Home Theater, and I want 4K. But I'm worried: all the signs point to the death of the optical disc.

10% of Canadians now have Netflix accounts. These are all streamers, as Netflix has no disc by mail service in Canada.

In separate news, Dolby's CEO Kevin Yeaman said Dolby generated 52% of its $790 million 2011 license digital audio revenue from non-optical media (movie and music discs), including digital TVs, set‐top boxes and mobile phones — up 27% from 2010. During the year the company licensed its Dolby Digital-Plus with streaming providers Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Netflix and Vudu. William Blair analyst Ralph Schackart commented "We decreased the optical business [outlook] by 25% in fiscal 2014, 15% in fiscal 2015, and 10% in fiscal 2016” 

IHS's screendigest says "In 2012 Americans will pay to consume 3.4bn movies online. This equates to over 1bn movies per year than are consumed on DVD and Blu-ray combined - putting the final nail in the old idea that consumers won't accept premium content distributed online."

4K TV's will ship this year. There are already projectors and AV receivers in the market that support 4K, but I fear 4K for the consumer is just a pipedream. Are we really ready for another optical disc format war and is there a mass market for 4K? It pains me to say: "I don't think so". I really can't see Hollywood and the Consumer Electronics industry seeing a new optical format as a viable proposition.

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