HD Buyer Breakdowns…

So. Over the weekend I was looking around Amazon for HD related products. I stumbled upon a post declaring how Blu-Ray has won the battle and HD-DVD is toast. It made one’s brain hurt. When it comes to entertainment tech, there seem to be three basic groups of people.


Uber-Tech Nerds: These people know the most minor of facts about whatever platform they support and think is best. They will throw down $1000 on a small piece of equipment. They also tend to believe if you disagree with them, you must be an idiot and treat you with contempt to prove it. Hey also only believe their sources and any suggestion to the contrary is met with scoffs. They buy the newest technology before it gets a chance to cool off from the assembly line. They seriously give a damn about the fact that the Transformers in HD-DVD was released without the Lossless Audio track.


Buyer Geeks: This is a less selective group. They want the nifty new technology, but are slower to buy and usually look for a deal. They do not require the name brand. They don’t read tech magazines. If it looks good and sounds good to them? They are not worried could look and sound only slightly better. They wait for the technology to drop in price. They might just get an X-Box 360 or Playstation 3. They may have a vague idea of what lossless audio is. Did not miss it when they got their HD-DVD of the Transformers.


The General Public: They do not really get the difference between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. They will not buy an HD TV until they have to. Maybe their TV breaks or something. Their kids might have an X-Box 360 or a Playstion 3. They view new technology with a bit of skepticism, and some even feel they are being strong armed into buying the new product. They often don’t see much of a difference between standard and Hi-Def pictures. They could care less about lossless audio.


I am in the Buyer Geek category. I had an X-Box 360. I used gift money to buy the HD-DVD add on. Honestly? If I had a Playstation 3, I’d go for Blu-Ray. I’ve seen movies in both, and the difference in sound and picture is pretty negligible. I am less sympathetic to Blu-Ray because it is still several hundred more for a player. And it’s had some stumbles. Honestly, the only draw for me is that Disney is exclusively Blu-Ray. And we all know that means Pixar is exclusively Blu-Ray. I love me them Pixar folks.


But honestly? Lossless sound? I mean, I was not having trouble with sound to begin with. 5.1 surround is plenty good for the average person. And massive storage amounts of Blu-Ray? Eh. I just need a good picture and some audio, some nifty additional features and I am happy. Plus, the way I figure it…if Blu-Ray wins out (and so far it has only done so in the wet dreams of Uber-Tech Nerds)? I just get a Blu-Ray player and watch my HD-DVDs on my HD-DVD player. Problem solved.


But it was totally painful reading the arguments between the Blu-Ray & HD-DVD Uber-Tech Nerds duking it out. I finally had to stop when my eyes started to bleed. Both side were declaring how foolish and dumb the other side was. I mean, Transformers did not have lossless sound because there was not enough room on the disc! Paramount is now exclusive to HD-DVD! Blockbuster went exclusively Blu-ray*! WAH! WAH! WAH!

Seriously, these guys all sounded like whiny little kids. After wiping the blood from my eyes I decided to read something of a higher maturity level. Like Maxim or Harry Potter Fan Fics.


*As an aside, Blockbuster going Blu-Ray is not really meaningful…I mean, people are aware there are new rumors that like Movie Gallery, Blockbuster is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy…right?

3 thoughts on “HD Buyer Breakdowns… Leave a comment

  1. “The General Public: They do not really get the difference between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. They will not buy an HD TV until they have to.”

    C’est moi. I bought my TV in 1987. No V-chip, no SAP button. I keep it ’til it dies.

  2. Yeah, I figure when they switch to broadcasting in HD and analog TVs will no longer be anything than a monitor, that’s when most people will make the switch. “How am I supposed to watch the seventh season of the Office?! I gotta get a new TV?!” By then HD TV’s should be in a reasonable range for the public.

  3. Thom – love this post. 🙂 I’m sort of between Buyer Geeks and General Public, largely b/c I can’t quite bring myself to plunk down several hundred dollars for a DVD player in the middle of a format war with no clear victor in sight. Though I will say, the Blu-Ray fans can say all they want about “superior storage and image quality and interactive features” that they want, and I have one thing to say to them – “BetaMax”, also manufactured by Sony.

    If we’re very lucky, this whole format war will end the same way the recordable DVD format war ended – with everybody putting out drives and settop boxes capable of playing and recording both. But apparently Sony’s dragging their heels at that prospect (again), an attitude which will only hurt them badly in the end (again).

    Tim Liebe
    Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce – Happy Holidays! 🙂

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