Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Its Blu-Ray

I definitely wouldn't call myself an early adopter (it's usually price that is the restraining factor) but there have been many times when I stared wistfully at one of those TV's showing a hi-def movie at Circuit City or Best Buy and seriously considered plopping down a few hundred dollars for a hi-def DVD player. The demos they had set up - you know, those TVs with half the screen showing a blurry and grainy standard DVD picture and the other half showing a crystal clear hi-def DVD picture - were obviously fake but even when seen on its own, the picture quality from the hi-def player was stunning. I was completely blown away by the menu for MI3 and the few glimpses I saw of movies like Batman Begins and Aeon Flux.

Like for most consumers, what stopped me was the format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. While I wasn't aware of the VHS-Betamax format war when it happened, I'd read enough about it to be worried about picking the wrong format and being stuck with it when things went the other way. That one worry is finally over since Toshiba announced today that they are giving up the HD-DVD format, allowing Sony's Blu-ray to be the only hi-def DVD format going forward. With Netflix, Best Buy and Wal-mart going the Blu-ray way in the last few days, the death knell had already been sounded for HD-DVD but Toshiba made it official today. So I guess its finally time to start shopping around for a Blu-ray player. With the format decided, I'm hoping that more companies get into the fray and prices start dropping soon.

Ofcourse, when it comes to electronics, there's no shortage of dilemmas and with the hi-def question out of the way, there's the DVD player/game console question. I haven't been a gamer for a while now but I did own the original PlayStation was completely addicted to games like Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider and Gran Turismo. I've heard awesome things about Nintendo's Wii, which is supposed to be a console that the whole family can enjoy. With Kavya and Karthik growing up real fast, that is a big plus. At the same time, Sony's Playstation 3 works as a Blu-ray DVD player and that makes it a 'kill two birds with one stone' choice. So I'm not sure if I should go in for a PS3 or a Wii and a stand-alone Blu-ray DVD player.


At 12:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Universal wont do any more HD DVD after this week.. was evening news..

things are going to move.. fast..


At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS3 with blu-Ray DVD player is awesome..

At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS3 with blu-Ray DVD player is awesome..

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Balaji Sivaraman said...

As a gamer myself, I would suggest going with the Nintendo Wii as it is the only current console made for the entire family. But it cannot double up as a Blu-Ray player if that is your primary concern. The problem is that the game catalogue for the PS3 is pretty dead with no good games on the horizon and whatever little available is geared towards the "hardcore" gamer with plenty of action and racing titles. Although, Gran Turismo 5 is coming which would be a good deal since you have played GT in the past.

If you really want a console, a Wii would be my suggestion as it would make for some great family nights together in front of the TV. On the other hand if you primarily want a Blu-Ray player, then the PS3 is the choice as most of the people I know online only use it as a BR player nowadays. If you can possibly get a Wii and a decent standalone BR player, that would be the best choice.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger ரவிஷா said...

About fifteen years ago Sony was battling with Philips & other companies for a digital format. Sony owned MiniDisks while others were pushing for CD's. I even bought a MD player (I still have it though) about ten years ago and thought that was the way to go. MD's were sturdier than CD's but were little expensive. Alas, Sony lost the audio battle last time. This time it is a win for them. And in a big way.

HD-DVD's are region free format while BluRay's are region specific. Now you know why retailers chose BluRay's?

But you never know about HD-DVD's EOL yet! Microsoft's XBox still has HD-DVD players and they may buy out HD-DVD and keep it alive for a long time.

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with some of the responses here, PS3 esp for young kids would be a waste since most games are targeted towards a more older demographic. But you also have to consider that the PS3 is probably the cheapest blu ray player you can find compared to other players which do not include a gaming console.

I was hoping if you could do a post solely dedicated towards just the whole HI-DEF convserion that's happening on a mass scale now. With the death of hd dvd, there is going to be a lot of people finally going out and picking up entire systems. Your opinion on models of hi def tv and players would be wonderful input.

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

unless you are trying to buy PS3 for gaming, i wouldn't buy a blu-ray dvd player at this time for two reasons: 1) high price. it should come down to $150 range by end of this year 2)version. blu-ray 2.0 is expected next year and supposed to solve the shortcomings of 1.0 (lack of network/internet connectivity to update firmware etc.,).

i just bought a 52" SONY LCD and was leaning towards HD-DVD main due to price .but once i saw warner dropped out of the HDDVD alliance , i decided to wait.

with Hi-Def movies available for download from comcast and others, may be we don't need a hi-dev dvd player.

i'll wait till end of this year and see.

btw, i saw couple of movies in Hi-def (comcast HD on demand) and it was pretty impressive on big screen

- karthik

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are trying to buy a blu-ray DVD player, go with PS3. blu-ray players form SONY/panasonic seems to have issues (takes too long to load , freezes at times, lacks some features etc.,).

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very good summary on this subject:


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