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March 17, 2008

HD DVD vs Blu Ray vs DVD – WTF!!

Okay – unless you have been on another planet, you have probably heard (even though you may not care) – that Blu Ray has won the high definition battle. Hooray some people say…hold the phone – others are saying.

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Personally I think everyone loses in this war. Let’s forget about the fact that: 1) consumers were screaming bloody murder about having to choose a format, 2) that consumers are slowly (and I do mean slowly) adopting high definition in their homes, and 3) we can even forget the fact that prices are very high for high definition players and the movies. If we forget all of those things – there is one thing that matters – Sony gets to now dictate whatever price they want to get you to adopt the new format of choice.

Now, of course, I can’t blame them for this. After all if you go back in time, DVD players were outrageously high for several years before people could afford them. Fast forward to the present and Blu Ray & HD DVD prices were cut drastically after only one year!! GO FIGURE!! You can bet your bottom dollar that manufactures were not making much money on their hardware or software. So now, you better believe that the Blu Ray folks are going to raise prices little by little in an effort to recoup what they loss when they had to battle HD DVD. That’s why I think we all will lose in this format war that ended last month. I forsee that there will not be an affordable Blu Ray player coming out anytime this year (I mean like sub $200 affordable). That sucks…I love high definition and when a movie or tv show or documentary is filmed, edited and transferred in glorious 1080i or 1080p – the video is too die for….but I will be damn if I will pay $400 for a Blu Ray player and $40 for a Blu Ray movie…ain’t going to happen. And what most people forget is that most movies are not shot in true high def – but rather film that is transferred to high def (unless maybe they are shooting in 4K with the Red One but I digress).

So would I buy a Blu Ray player right now? NOPE. Do we even offer high definition as an option for our customers to buy? NOPE. Will I buy one in the future? Yeah maybe a year or 2 from now when they figure out what profile spec they want to use, 1080p TV prices drop a little more and Blu Ray players drop prices some more – then yeah – definitely will do it. Will we offer it to customers and begin filming in High Def? A year from now – yeah we will be forced too…

But for now, what will I do instead? I did what most people think is crazy. I bought a HD-DVD player, bought a bunch of HD DVD movies at ridiculously low prices to finish out my collection and can now watch movies in glorious 1080p at a price to die for. Sure after May, there will be no more new HD DVD movies – but my player will upconvert all my standard DVDs to near HD quality, I have some great movies on HD (there are over 450 in the western market alone & 800+ globally) and I can enjoy high def now without destroying my pocketbook for the next year or two. When I am done, I expect to have maybe 30 HD DVD titles (maybe more) and a player that would normally have cost me $1100 but instead only cost me around $500. Now to bad a deal!!!

It is just a shame that the only gay movie right now out on High Def (that I know) is Brokeback Mountain!!

Thomas

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