Seagate CEO Attempts to Predict Your Digital Future

Posted by James Segars on January 29, 2008 
Filed Under: Format War, Mac, PC

seagate.jpgIn a recent interview with Wired, Bill Watkins — of Seagate CEO fame — was quoted as saying that even if Blu-ray manages to win the format war, "it’s a meaningless victory." Naturally, Bill states that physical distribution is on the way out, and that digital distribution is the wave of the future. It should come as no surprise that a CEO from Seagate would be extolling the virtues of digital downloads, especially when they stand to rake in loads of cash on their advanced digital storage solutions, but it seems a bit premature to write off physical discs, doesn’t it?

Of course digital distribution has it’s benefits, but it’s going to have one hell of a time becoming the de facto standard for worldwide distribution of video content, especially when some ISP’s — we’re looking at you Time Warner — are considering adopting new billing practices that revolve around consumer bandwidth usage.

Regardless of the digital download threat, DVD still remains the biggest threat to the next generation physical formats. Unless their respective marketing departments can successfully convince the mass market that they need HD films, they will both suffer the same fate of so many niche products that have come before them.

Perhaps that’s precisely what Bill is banking on.


No related posts.


8 Responses to “Seagate CEO Attempts to Predict Your Digital Future”

  1. Jonsson on January 29th, 2008 11:46 am

    I think that this is just hot air. At least today. It would take me forewer to download even a DVD quality movie over internet and let’s not even speak of a HD one, and I do no see this change in my area for quite some time to come.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t want it anyway.

    I’m a bit of a collector. I want a proper high quality disk in a proper case to put in my library.

  2. Merrick97 on January 29th, 2008 11:51 am

    James, Im glad we can find things we agree on.

    Digital downloads = BAD.

  3. James Segars on January 29th, 2008 12:02 pm

    Haha, I’m glad too Merrick. I’m a physical format kind of guy, and I have absolutely no faith in any ISP’s.

  4. Mi on January 29th, 2008 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the input bill, but I’m afraid I’ve had several of your hard drives die on me, and haven’t once ahd a Blu-Ray (or even DVD) disc crash. Besides, I want real HD.

    Feeling the FormatWarCentral Love…

  5. Belard on January 29th, 2008 1:47 pm

    Well most people don’t have fiber-optics coming into their home like MR. Watkins. And who wants to store 25 or so movies on a single Drive that is 1TB? Oh yeah, of course the DRMed to death HD-Video content would be OH SO VERY PORTABLE… locked to the CONSUMERS PERSONAL COMPUTER which must be wired to their TV and use M$ Vista.

    Why can’t these retards figure this out. Many people LIKE having the disc of movies. These are NOT the same as MP3s/Music files which are about 2-6mb per song. 5,000k vs 50,000,000 or 30 seconds to DL vs 15hrs at best, but most likely more than double that. Cable, DSL and FiberOptic ISPs will just LOVE that much bandwith being sucked up. BTW: Lets say the cost of a 1TB drive is $250 (external USB) for which they are $300 for just the drive today. The storage space = $10 per FULL Blu-Ray content. Perhaps by then, Blu-Ray media will be about $15 on avg without being on SALE – much like today’s DVDs.


    I think THAT Blu-Ray has a limited life after HD-DVD is dead. And that will be in about 5 years.

    It’s called Solid State Memory. Kind of like FLASH memory used on our USB-KEYS. 8GB can be had for about $50. But in about 5 years, I think and HOPE we can go to the store and pick up little 3″ catridges that hold 50~100GB worth of movie data.
    – Not scratchable (other than the contacts)
    – Very portable
    – Takes up LITTLE space
    – Still get packaging that can be shelved.
    – NO moving parts, no lasers, no heads, no motors.
    – Low power players, quick ability to make portable players.

    3″ is a good size to NOT lose the discs and have room to put artwork on top. Or no smaller than 2.5″ so it can fit in the pocket easier.

    THAT is what will replace Blu-Ray. Perhaps DLs can replace all meda… but (1) it has to be cheap (2) no download limits (3) lots of content (4) HDs like 1TB will need to cost about $50. (5) no DRM (6) Need ability to COPY the movie to a medium like Blu-RAY or portable SSD so we can take the movies with us on a trip.

    Thinking about that… Na, I want the ACTUAL medium. Blu-Ray disc or SolidStateMemory. It one reason we STILL PREFER BOOKS over reading on the damn computer screen.

  6. Belard on January 29th, 2008 1:53 pm

    I forgot…

    DVD is not a treat to Blu-RAY.

    Yes YOU can upconvert a DVD disc. But it DOESN’T CREATE data that ISN’T THERE! DVDs look like crap on a 60″ and larger screen! To get a HD picture on your HDTV – the SOURCE NEEDS to be HD!

    A typical NTSC DVD movie that is WIDE-SCREEN is about 350 or so pixels tall (black bars on top and bottom doesn’t count a viewable area) and you want to STRETCH that to a TV that is 2-3 feet tall by 4~6ft wide? HD has more than 4x the picture information over STD DEF.

    Yeah… we need HD discs.

  7. James Segars on January 29th, 2008 1:56 pm

    I think you’re right, if anything, solid state stands the best chance of overtaking everything else, but even then, I don’t really see them being desirable collectibles for most people.

    Then again, perhaps with a firmware update, the USB 2.0 extension ports on the next-gen players would finally be getting some use if the flash/solid state media were compatible, and wouldn’t require an additional player.

  8. Belard on January 29th, 2008 6:19 pm

    SOLID-STATE MEDIA (SSM) or as I will offically dub “HD-ViM” For HiDef Video Interaction Media.

    Why it will easily kill off Blu-Ray in 5+ years, besides the reasons I just stated.

    1 – The interface is already here. There is no drive, no laser or develop. Something like SD type interface is all that is needed. And then use future upcoming decoders that are smaller cand cheaper.

    2 – The Codecs are already here.

    3 – If the first HD-ViM is at least 50GB, there is NO issues with coming out with 100GB, 200GB or 500GB versions. The player will JUST talk to the card… just like TODAY’S USB devices.

    Nobody will have to develop some sort of NEW imaging, production tech for the hardware.

    I predict the HD-VIM player will look kind of like the AppleTV, but with a slot in the front to stick in a card. Since its not a tray, just a slot – there is no eject unit. And of course there will be recorders too ;)

Feel free to leave a comment...If you have not commented before, your comment will be held for moderation.
and oh, if you want an Avatar to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!