Let’s get this out of the way, right off the top; I’m a Blu-Ray guy. I spent the summer and fall sitting out the high-def war and did some research and ended up deciding that Blu-Ray was the way for me to go. I know other guys who write for this site are in the HD camp. So, no matter what happened, one of us were going to ‘lose.’ I could frankly care less which format won, all I wanted to do was watch movies in high-definition.
In a link to an article originally posted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the author said that Warner Bros. was forced to pick Blu-Ray and then had the pot sweetened by a $500 million pay-out for doing so. I do not know the details of the deal, and frankly, when reading anything about who got paid what and percentages, well, my eyes tend to glaze over by paragraph two.
To sum up the article, the author was upset that a studio took the money, and was also upset that Blu-Ray players cost more than HD players. (I also got a sense that there was a twinge of remorse for encouraging his readers to adopt what looks to be the losing format.) His major selling point for why HD was better was the price-point.
Look, I know Blu-Ray is expensive and you have to pay more to get a player; I understand. But to pick a format on-which, hopefully, the industry will be using as its base product for years to come, solely on the initial cost seems a little silly. Blu-Ray discs can hold more information than HD discs. Contrary to many on-line claims by HD supporters, Blu-Ray players play standard def DVDs just fine. You do not have to buy all new discs if you don’t want to. Both formats up-convert.
When DVD first hit as the new format, I was instantly hooked and adopted the format early. In my on-line search to find news and information, I found several web-sites that I visit to this day to read reviews to find out about transfers, whether an upgrade on a certain title is really necessary, etc.. One of the sites I first started visiting almost ten years ago and still check in with on a regular basis is The Digital Bits.
Editor-in-Chief Bill Hunt has a great site, with the focus and attention paid to the movie, not the bells and whistles. I also appreciate their well-written, level-headed commentary on a wide array of subjects. It was their editorial on why they thought Blu-Ray was way to go that pushed me into that camp. It is also their daily updates from the front, with no real bias towards either side, just a dedication to getting the truth out that has me again checking in with them on a daily basis like I did so many years ago. They posted a response to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, clarifying the details and pointing out some errors in reporting. I highly recommend you check them out to get another side of the story.
I can’t say I know everything about the high-def wars. Thankfully, these guys are there to clear things up for me.- Sam