I’ve started seeing these commercials on TV talking about next-generation DVDs and the formats they use, and one of the two (I think it’s Blu-Ray) says something like, “Make the right choice, go with Blu-Ray!” The fact of the matter is this, though – there are no choices. In fact, the only one you have is whether you want the film or not.I’m not sure if studios are deluded into thinking this or not, but the reality is that consumers do not normally weigh the studio that something comes from when it comes to the “how good is it” karma. Hobbyists do, but that’s it. And there is one exception to the rule — the Walt Disney Company, which as effectively built a market around its brand, and is known for family-friendly stuff. Even that studio, though, owns plenty of other companies that churn out the crap on the big screen (Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Dimension Films, Miramax Films) and TV (ABC). Aside from that though, people don’t say … “Oh my gosh, it’s another movie from Universal Pictures! Let me just throw my wallet at the screen right now!”
Based on that, these people are obviously going the wrong direction in the format war. The studios have already picked their sides in the battle, and are going to stick with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray whichever they like best. So if you wanna watch “Grandma’s Got A New Hip” in high-def, you don’t get to choose which format it’s in. The consumer is screwed, since you have to buy a DVD player that supports both, unless you want to lock yourself out from seeing movies from a certain studio.
Here’s my recommendation. Just buy non high-def DVDs until the DRM crap works itself out. In the meantime, buy a nice DVD player that does upscaling, and the picture will still look really nice on your HDTV. Works for me.