netflix and blu-ray

I find it kind of interesting that Netflix chose Blu-Ray as its high-definition DVD format to back. I guess the “format wars” are almost over. I, personally, always figured that the two would learn to live side by side, since, unlike some previous format differences, the actual media was the same physical size so it would have been just a matter of firmware to play discs from both camps.

However, one thing I completely forgot about is that its the retailers who the ones that are really paying the price while this thing wages itself out, and for one important reason — retail space. It hurts the stores the most because they have to stock the same movie three times over — in standard definition, and both HD formats. And of course the best way to get retailers to take action is to hit them where it costs money.

So choosing a format was never really up to the consumers at all, and I was silly to imagine that in the first place. My only minor annoyance was that Blu-Ray is a stupid name compared to the simplicity of HD DVD, but oh well. Things have worked out well anyway, since I’ve got a Sony Bravia HDTV, and Sony makes some nice Blu-Ray DVD players, and all my DVD players have been Sony. Plus, that whole Bravia Theater Sync thing is really nice (I hit play on my DVD player, and my TV automatically turns to the right input. Plus when I turn off my TV, it turns off my DVD player too. Hey, it’s the small things).

I’m not going to be shelling out $400 for a player anytime soon, though. I’m still regretting paying that much for a DVD player back in 1998. The last one I got, on the other hand, does 1080p upconversion, and it was only $84. Not bad.

I’d love to check out some HD titles some day though, since every time I go to the store and see a demo, my eyeballs take a bath in amazement. I would consider getting a PS3, but I’ve read that you can only control it with a Bluetooth-enabled remote, meaning a universal remote is out of the picture. Bummer.


Filed under Entertainment

3 responses to “netflix and blu-ray

  1. It’s not just a matter of firmware to be able to play both.

    HD-DVD is effectively just DVD with a blue laser (higher wavelength). The lens is almost the same.

    Blu-ray also switches from red to blue laser, but also has a lens with a different numerical aperture (leads to a smaller focused laser spot on the disc, which means higher capacity). The lens difference means that the laser head has to be closer to the disc.

    So not only do you need the firmware to cope, you also need a special lens for blu-ray, and you also need to modify the mechanics to move the lens closer to the disc.

  2. melindamarie

    Whatever you say Steve…I’ll believe it! I’m going to start the “Stevie Dibb groupie.”)

  3. Greg

    The whole new format thing is just a ploy by well-marketed companies run by very rich old men who make a lot of money of of those who are dumb enough to pay $15 for a movie you will never actually watch more than once, then pay another $15 to never watch it in High Def. Come on folks, save your money by not paying for a $.03 colorful piece of plastic, and give it to someone who needs $15 for food instead of a new DVD to sit on your shelf collecting dust.

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