Friday, October 10, 2008

Boo Ray

Something that I've had an issue with is the huge cost discrepancy between regular DVDs and Blu-ray disks. I was looking forward to picking up the movie Hitman on Blu-ray, but it's ten friggin' dollars more! Adherents will point out that the high definition Blu-ray packs twice the resolution as those old DVDs, and although true, this is a matter of scale.

When DVDs came out they wiped out VHS tapes. Tapes were a horrible medium where age and mild use would render them unwatchable. I had tapes that I had gotten new that were painful to sit through due to tracking issues, and god forbid that your machine got grumpy and ate your thirty dollar exclusive edition of some flick. Blu-ray simply doesn't have those kind of advantages over DVDs. However, it needs to be said that the higher resolution disks aren't all they're cracked up to be either. A standard DVD played over a progressive scan player with RGB cables is already pretty darn good, and my experience has been that unless it's a vista shot of some sort(which can be breath taking in HD), it's difficult to even tell that a movie is being played back on Blu-ray. Aggravating this point further is that if a movie is more than ten years old, there's a decent chance that the print that's committed to disk doesn't look all that great on DVD, let alone Blu-ray.

What brought this back to mind is Netflix upping the subscription fee for Blu-ray users by a buck. Inexpensive given the typical cost difference, but Sony will have to find a way to bring the media costs down as their project will have problems catching on if they continue to charge a 50% premium for what is typically a 10% better viewing experience.

No comments: