Friday, September 21, 2007

High definition

I don't have an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player. I don't really want to buy one until one of the formats is clearly more popular than the other. Whether or not I can manage to wait that long is up in the air. I just don't want to deal with having a bunch of players and a bunch of discs that I can't watch at other peoples' houses or any nonsense like that. Plus, I currently use a PC for all of my TV and movie-watching needs, and I don't even really know what my options are for watching HD movies on a PC, or if I have to get a standalone unit and switch AV inputs. Bah.

I was fortunate enough to start buying movies right around the time that DVDs began to become popular; I only purchased three movies on VHS, and I just replaced those with DVDs and gave them away. The format that will win my heart, and likely the hearts of more American consumers, is probably the first one that can manage to offer movies at roughly the same prices as standard DVDs. Right now there's a significant premium to buy high-def discs versus standard DVDs, though it's decreasing all the time. Probably the most interesting development I've noticed is that the HD-DVD version of 300 includes the standard DVD version. The Blu-Ray version doesn't. So, for about eight bucks more than the regular DVD, you can also get a high-def version. That seems like a reasonable deal, and if I decide to buy 300, I'll probably buy that version.


Andy Rutledge said...

I'm holding out until betamax emerges as the de facto standard.

Anonymous said...

I'm also staying away from the next generation DVD's for much the same reason: I want to find out which one is going to win. Of course, currently I own a Blu-Ray player and 1 Blu-Ray disk (interestingly enough it is 300!) Though, I have yet to watch it - since something about the way the PS3 is hooked up won't allow it to display the video (very frustrating, and not really improving my opinions on Sony!)

Do you know if any of the DVD players that are made for PC's have the up-scaling ability? Since it is a cheaper way to get DVD's to look nice on a HDTV.

Personally, I think you should jump behind the Laser disk!

Travis said...

Every PC upscales. Upscaling is just the process of converting something at one resolution to a higher one. It doesn't make the image look any better. An LCD or DLP TV upscales too. Certain DVD players may perform additional processing on the signal to make it look "better," but that's not upscaling, strictly speaking. That processing is mostly a gimmick, and even if it's a gimmick that often works (I'm not convinced), you can't add details that weren't there in the original picture.

Except in movies, of course.