For the Love of Blu-Ray

blueray-disk1When high definition technology was introduced to home entertainment, I was a bit skeptical (remember BetaMax anyone?). It always seems that the one who is early in the lead is the one that ends up losing the war. Therefore, it was with the great HD (HD-DVD)/BD (Blu-Ray Disk) wars.

Let me also state that I am definitely not a not what one would call as a technophobe. If you were to look at the Diffusion of Innovation model, I would classify myself as lying between an early adopter and part of the early majority (see graphic). What prevents me from being a full on early adopter is cost and that is one of the factors I weighed when deciding to invest a new product/innovation. In other words, while my intellectually I may be an early adopter costs considerations make me part of that early majority.


diffusionofinnovation_2

Diffusion of Innovation Model

For me, part of this early adoption process meant that I did extensive reading/research about the options I had available.

As of last year, one problem solved was solved for me in that BD prevailed.

On to the next conundrum … what do I do with the hundreds of DVDs I have collected over the years? Do I slowly replace all of my DVDs to the new format? I quickly realized to replicate my collection was impractical if not impossible on many levels, especially when one considers the fact that when compared to standard DVDs, a fraction of those titles are available on BD.

This was another easy decision. I am evaluating my replacing based on the following criteria:

  1. Age of the film: the older the film the less likely the print will have a clean high-definition transfer to Blu-Ray. How much can the quality of A Room with a View improve anyway?
  2. High-def concerts are awesome: While I am primarily concerned with movies on this board, I must mention the high quality of music performances captured in high definition. Although the selection on Palladia is somewhat limited, when you watch concerts in Hi-Def, it reminds you why you upgraded to the platform in the first place.
  3. Special Effects-laden film definitely benefit from the HD treatment: before I made my BD decision, I purchased the standard DVD version of Iron Man a purchase I quasi-regret at this point. But the past is the past, which leads to my third rule:
  4. Why waste the money? (AKA, you can only look forward): The purchase has already been made. The DVD quality on a high-definition screen is still good and I do not see any reason to back catalog at least for now (and you can always up-convert the signal). All future purchases will take the above-mentioned “rules” into consideration.

In the end, determining what technological innovation you want to go with is always a personal decision. I hope that this article highlighted a point that you, the reader, may have overlooked or not even considered.

Read more to find out more about the history of high definition video formatting: the 2005 Engagdet.com article detailing the format wars and the 2008 CNET Quick Guide.

Here is the official Blu-Ray site: http://us.blu-raydisc.com/