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6th
JAN

Upgrading To Blu-ray

Posted by Player under MovieComment

Batman: The Dark KnightIn December, I unwrapped my new Playstation 3 and moved my Playstation 2 to my son’s room. Once connected to both my receiver and LCD TV, it was official, I now had a perfectly good Blu-ray player and could finally bask in full progressive 1080 pixels! In a sense this editorial is not about reviewing the Playstation 3, as much as it is about the current state of Blu-ray and why it can be a truly awesome experience or an expensive disappointment. Even now, a full five weeks of owning a Playstation 3, I have yet to play one game on it. It has been exclusively used for playing movies.

Best Blu-ray Movie Ever!

Without a doubt, if you have a Blu-ray player you absolutely need to get a copy of Batman: The Dark Knight. Warner Bros did an excellent job of presenting The Dark Knight on the Blu-ray platform. What is apparent is of course the excellent display and detail on 1080 progressive resolution. What you don’t get right away is the spectacular sound you get once the film gets going. The audio completely blew me away and is dramatically better than standard DVD. I am almost tempted to blow another $75 on The Matrix Trilogy again, to hear how much better it is on Blu-ray. My initial impression of the audio quality was again reinforced when I reviewed HellBoy: The Golden Army, which to my immediate delight comes with a DTS Audio track.

Blu-ray Library Disappointing?

Although I already have six Blu-ray movies in my collection, I have to say that the availability of Blu-ray choices is actually quite slim. Sure there are around 1,092 Blu-ray discs available now, but in reality, if you have a decent DVD collection already, you are not going to go out and replace your perfectly good DVD films with $30 Blu-rays any time soon. Instead you will probably look for new movies releases on Blu-ray or old films that are being restored and released on Blu-ray as well as DVD. In essence, the Blu-ray selection out there seems to be about thirty Blu-rays, out of which you might consider getting ten. The sticker shock of $30 discs is also not helping consumers upgrade to Blu-ray. Right now you can go dumpster diving at Wal-Mart and pick some decent $5 DVDs. Wal-Mart has no such bargain bin for Blu-ray and so until that happens Blu-ray will have a limited consumer appeal.

Other than bargain movies, Blu-ray needs action and sci-fi movies that really push the platform. There are only two big genres that are popular with everyone, your action movie and your comedies. Though I did pick a copy of The House Bunny, I really could not see much a difference between the cheaper DVD and more expensive Blu-ray. This means, that Blu-ray needs to really show case more releases like Batman and less comedies like Pineapple Express, or at the very least discount comedies to make them more on par with their DVD prices. Blu-ray seems to have great technology, but it is a platform starved for content and unless it can bring down prices quickly, then Internet delivered movies from iTunes and other such services will supplant the platform and make Blu-ray seem like yesterday’s Laser disc.

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