Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who's Buying Blu-ray?

I mean really? How many people have been watching their DVDs lately and been thinking "You know, there's just something about this whole experience that is seriously lacking"? Like "Hmm, this picture just isn't clear enough, wouldn't you say, Muffy?" Of course, given that I have never actually experienced a motion picture as presented on a Blu-ray player I am in effect talking entirely out of my buttocks, but that is beside the point. Am I the only one who remains perfectly satisfied with standard DVDs? Perhaps it's because I am of the generation who had to watch all those classic 70s movies on pan-and-scan video. Suddenly when DVDs came out, I was like, "You mean I get the whole picture? Please, don't tease me with your candy-colored visions." I'm still tickled pink that I can freeze a shot in a movie, and it doesn't have all these weird lines all over it! Let's see, the difference between video and DVD is:

widescreen presentation vs. pan-and-scan
jumping from scene to scene in seconds vs. fast-forwarding and rewinding
director's commentary, special features, subtitles, language options, etc. etc. vs...you get the idea

The difference between DVD and Blu-ray is:


I mean what? The picture? Look, I'm still pretty satisfied watching movies on my piece of crap computer monitor. OK, maybe if I had a ton of money, I'd think about a Blu-ray player. Or maybe I'd take that money and actually make a movie.

Also: Same thing goes for those SACD things. If I don't notice the difference between a record and an mp3, how the hell am I going to notice the difference between a CD and a CD?


herr zrbo said...

I hear ya. Even though I'm a bit of a tech geek and an early adopter of HDTV I think the whole High Definition thing is blown out of proportion by retailers. Yes- my picture looks great (especially when watching Lost) but for the most part it's not the hugest difference in the world. It's not as mind-blowing as Best Buy wants you to believe. The main use I get out of my hdtv is through console gaming, which can look very very good.

I think where Blu-ray is good is for larger TV's, say 50 inches or more, that are in 1080p. There you'll notice a difference.

Even though Blu-ray *won* the format war I'm still unsure whether it will catch on. Things are moving more towards digital downloads and On-Demand type services. Maybe in a few years we'll see Blu-ray in wider use.

And LE, computer monitors already have more pixels than HDTVs, so your resolution is technically better than mine (i think), so you are definetely not missing out on anything.

Davido said...

Although I do see your point - I just bought a huge big screen TV and when you want the ultimate big screen experience there's nothing like the high definition. I'm not rushing out there to buy the blue ray, but when the prices come down and I get a player I could see myself getting a little obsessed...

ninquelote said...

herr is right, blu-ray is only good if you have a huge TV. The point of having HD is so that you can blow up the picture and it will still be sharp. 1080p and 1080i just happen to be the format that HD is shot in, so you can't really show true HD footage on a screen that does not support the same format (without some major finagling).

Sometimes I shoot video in HD, but that is mostly for fun and practice because I don't have a huge TV.

The point of blu-ray is that you can fit roughly twice as much information on the disk as you would be able to with a standard laser. (blu-ray gets its name from the fact that the laser is blue instead of red. A blue laser has a smaller wavelength and thus can read the same information in a smaller area, which means that more information can be put on the same sized disk).

So LE, if I were you I wouldn't go trading all of your DVD's in for the equivalent blu-ray disks unless you plan on pushing your bed out into the hall so you can fit that big 72" TV in your room. Besides, even if you had a blu-ray player, you could still play all of your favorite old Criterion DVD's, they just wouldn't be in the highest of definitions.