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Public Discussions

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GreenCine Tech Talk
Hardware, Software, Tech.
The nuts and bolts of movie making, home theater, and DVD.
76

Blu Ray RIP?
Topic by: hamano
Posted: October 30, 2008 - 5:40 AM PDT
Last Reply: December 17, 2008 - 2:27 PM PST

author topic: Blu Ray RIP?
hamano
post #1  on October 30, 2008 - 5:40 AM PDT  
The buzz is that retailers will drastically drop prices on Blu-Ray players this Xmas season. It sounds like it would be a good opportunity to buy one, but on the other hand are Blu-Ray discs and in fact all HD-level optical discs going the way of the 8-track tape? Look at this article.

Kinda makes you think, huh? My 2 cents is that the blank discs just cost TOO MUCH! People are buying 1 and 2 TB external HDs nowadays to back up data. For the time and effort it takes to back up data to a Blu-ray disc, it's almost cheaper and easier to buy a second 1TB drive!

So if the price of a Blu-Ray player drops below $100, or even $75, will you buy? Or wait it out?
hamano
post #2  on October 30, 2008 - 5:56 AM PDT  
A 50GB BR disc costs about $50, so that's about a dollar per gigabyte AFTER you pay for the drive. You can get a 1TB drive for about $200. That's about 20 cents a gigabyte. It doesn't make any sense!
Catullus
post #3  on October 30, 2008 - 12:46 PM PDT  
well I dont think that bluray is really going to die out since the technology can get so much beter (more space on bluray discs, multiple layer possibility and cheaper prices eventually) that said the recession is certainly going to hurt it.

as for the TB drive argument it works to a certain degree. but if I had a TB hard drive failure id cry for weeks if not months. personally right now I just back up my files to single layer dvd-r discs as it still makes the most sense. Hard Discs are too unreliable unless you mirror data its way to risky. Those "Cheap" 1 TB hard drives come at a price... crappy reliability.

I had a 500GB hard drive die on me 2 months after I bought it.
I was more sad than angry but I was still pretty angry.

In terms of data backup if money wasnt a concern bluray backups do make a ton of sense. When the prices come down they will anyway.
Cinenaut
post #4  on October 31, 2008 - 2:15 PM PDT  
Having been an uncharacteristically early adopter of blu-ray, I have to say things are not looking good.

I really don't see much difference between most upsampled DVDs and actual blu-ray discs on my 40" flat screen TV. Maybe if I had a 60" TV, it would make a difference.

I was also really disappointed at the small selection of movies that are currently available on blu-ray.

I did read somewhere that Criterion was going to have some blu-ray releases, so that cheered me up a bit.
kaream
post #5  on October 31, 2008 - 9:39 PM PDT  
> On October 31, 2008 - 2:15 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Having been an uncharacteristically early adopter of blu-ray
> ---------------------------------

Cinenaut, you surprise me; but maybe I've just been misreading your tastes in movies.

I know I'm in a minority here, but somehow discussions like this remind me of selling classical CDs back when the new big thing was all-digital. People would turn up their noses at anything printed from an older analog recording, regardless of whether it might be a far superior performance.

I just don't have any interest in being able to count the pores in the face of whatever star is in the latest piece of Hollywood whatever. Much of what I watch is in B&W anyway, or older color technology, and my 27" CRT works just fine. Of course I can tell the difference between a cleaned up remaster and something taken directly from a worn-out VHS -- I'd love to find a watchable copy of De Sica's Two Women, which right now is just about the worst transfer imaginable -- but between clarity and content, I'll choose content every time.
hamano
post #6  on November 1, 2008 - 7:59 AM PDT  
I don't think it's Cinenaut's fault... the risk of being an early adopter of any tech is the risk of reality not living up to the hype, or even totally failing. At least he didn't invest in HD-DVD!

I've got a small library of Laserdiscs... I'm glad I have some stuff that was never re-issued on DVD, but the quality is pretty low compared to regular DVDs they have today.

But more and more it looks like the only way to save Blu-ray will be to just offer it as a no-extra-cost alternative for regular DVDs. A free upgrade... Every year computers offer more RAM, more CPU speed, more HD space AT A LOWER PRICE. I think deep down inside, consumers think a CD/DVD upgrade to CD/DVD/Blu-ray should be part of that process where performance goes up even as prices go down.

I think SONY and their licensees will have to choose between making Blu-ray a "free upgrade" option, or total extinction...
Vanamonde
post #7  on November 1, 2008 - 10:19 AM PDT  
Two thing stop me from Blu-Ray. The biggest reason is the screen. I feel I would need a very good 1080p screen to really show of the glory of the hirez. Reading above has got me wonder if I am expecting too much.

The other is that I have such a large DVD collection. I would hate to have it devalued. My favorite line from "Men in Black" is, "Yeah, now you get to buy the Beatle's White Album all over again". I am just not prepared to do that - I also have a large VHS collection taking up space.

Now, if I won the lotto, it would be a different story. Is "5 cm per Second" on Blu-Ray?
Cinenaut
post #8  on November 1, 2008 - 10:38 AM PDT  
I have to say that I don't miss my old TV and that older movies look great on the 40" LCD flat screen TV. I don't seem to be confronted with an overabundance of pores on the newer DVDs, either. The blu-ray player upsamples the standard DVDs quite nicely. I just watched Eyes Without A Face and it was a great experience.

Bottom line for me - HD TV with umpsampled DVDs: yay! Blu-ray: meh.


> On October 31, 2008 - 9:39 PM PDT kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Cinenaut, you surprise me; but maybe I've just been misreading your tastes in movies.
>
> I know I'm in a minority here, but somehow discussions like this remind me of selling classical CDs back when the new big thing was all-digital. People would turn up their noses at anything printed from an older analog recording, regardless of whether it might be a far superior performance.
>
> I just don't have any interest in being able to count the pores in the face of whatever star is in the latest piece of Hollywood whatever. Much of what I watch is in B&W anyway, or older color technology, and my 27" CRT works just fine. Of course I can tell the difference between a cleaned up remaster and something taken directly from a worn-out VHS -- I'd love to find a watchable copy of De Sica's Two Women, which right now is just about the worst transfer imaginable -- but between clarity and content, I'll choose content every time.
>
> ---------------------------------

underdog
post #9  on November 12, 2008 - 4:17 PM PST  
Well, with Blu-ray not dead just yet (it's pining for the fjords), we're still looking into upcoming titles that would be good to add, knowing we need to chose judiciously since rentals are still limited and of course a little pricey. But there are some BR titles coming out via Criterion, and we've added a few of them to request. Which would you rent?

Chungking Express
Third Man
Last Emperor


Plus!
Encounters at the End of the World (which is a beautiful looking film)
Sukiyaki Western Django
underdog
post #10  on November 12, 2008 - 4:21 PM PST  
Btw, for those of you with BR players, don't miss this one: Baraka looks incredible in BR. It caused Roger Ebert to break out in simultaneous orgasm.
kaream
post #11  on November 12, 2008 - 5:01 PM PST  
> On November 12, 2008 - 4:21 PM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Btw, for those of you with BR players, don't miss this one: Baraka looks incredible in BR. It caused Roger Ebert to break out in simultaneous orgasm.
> ---------------------------------

"Simultaneous"? With whom? (Or did you mean "spontaneous"?) I don't know the movie -- does it have an onscreen orgasm to be simultaneous with?
underdog
post #12  on November 12, 2008 - 5:23 PM PST  
Either spontaneous, or simultaneous with the typing of his review of Baraka. Or maybe he spontaneously combusted after he wrote that. Huh, that's weird, the original review was taken down from his site. Maybe he was embarrassed by his public Blu-ray-gasm.
Cinenaut
post #13  on November 12, 2008 - 8:57 PM PST  
I've got Baraka queued up.

I've already seen the three Criterion releases, but I'm guessing The Last Emperor would look great. I'd definitely rent Encounters at the End of the World and possibly Sukiyaki Western Django. Is that any good?

> On November 12, 2008 - 4:17 PM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, with Blu-ray not dead just yet (it's pining for the fjords), we're still looking into upcoming titles that would be good to add, knowing we need to chose judiciously since rentals are still limited and of course a little pricey. But there are some BR titles coming out via Criterion, and we've added a few of them to request. Which would you rent?
>
> Chungking Express
> Third Man
> Last Emperor
>
>
> Plus!
> Encounters at the End of the World (which is a beautiful looking film)
> Sukiyaki Western Django
> ---------------------------------

underdog
post #14  on November 20, 2008 - 2:16 PM PST  
Hellboy II anyone?

This one is actually worth even owning. Seriously.
underdog
post #15  on November 20, 2008 - 2:17 PM PST  
Also, this was just posted on the IMDB news:

Black Friday Will Be Blu

Ads by some major retailers set to run over the "Black Friday" (November 28) weekend have begun leaking online, and they show aggressive pricing on Blu-ray disc players, Blu-ray discs, and standard-definition DVDs. Video Business reports on its website that Midwest retailer Meijer, which operates 163 stores in five states, will be selling a Sylvania brand Blu-ray player built by Funai for $149.99, $100 below its current price. Wal-Mart is reportedly planning to sell a similar Magnavox player, also built by Funai for $128. Despite Circuit City's bankruptcy filing, the retailer also plans to cut prices on players and software, with some Blu-ray classic titles being priced as low as $8.99 on Friday and Saturday and recent DVD movies, including You Don't Mess With the Zohan, The Incredible Hulk and The Happening going for $9.99. Both Meijer and Wal-Mart are also expected to slash prices on dozens of standard DVDs to $1.99.
weezy
post #16  on November 23, 2008 - 4:04 PM PST  
We knew we had to pick up Speed Racer when DVD Talk said this about the quality of the Blu-Ray disc:

"If you've been waiting for a reference quality Blu-Ray to show off your equipment to friends with, wait no more. I cannot imagine there possibly being a more brilliant, sharp and colorful image than this incredible 1080p VC-1 2.40:1 transfer. There are so many moments of awe inspiring beauty (and just plain old fashioned fun) that your eyes may bug out of your head, suitably cartoon-like considering the source material."

After seeing it this weekend on Blu-Ray, I 100% agree with this assessment. Never before have I felt that a cartoon was lifted so loyally from drawings to digital in such a visually exciting way. I felt like I was driving down Mario Kart's rainbow road watching this bad boy. The movie itself is silly, but I have been told the original Speed Racer cartoons were also silly and ridiculous, so that works. The message the movie conveys is a good one, but it never quite connects because of the distance I felt from the characters (the acting was great but rigid) and craziness of the visuals.

So, here-ye those with blu-ray players, this is a must-see! Go Speed Racer, Go! *fist pump*

Battie
post #17  on November 24, 2008 - 12:10 AM PST  
Speaking of Blu-Ray, I think Sony's PS3 has lost this particular console war because Sony chose quality over value. The Wii is everyone's darling, but doesn't perform as well as the other two. And I suspect that the PS3 will outlast any Xbox I might buy, even though the PS3 was bought before (and used more). But when it comes down to it, if the 360 had been $200 when I bought the PS3, I might have bought it instead (though it's unlikely).

I was reminded of all this by an X-Play episode where they destroyed all three. At the end, the two "human wrecking balls" agreed the PS3 was better made, rotfl. The Xbox didn't even make it past the first round.
Cinenaut
post #18  on December 17, 2008 - 2:27 PM PST  
Criterion released its first Blu-ray offerings this week - and they are priced the same as the regular DVDs.

WTG, Criterion!

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