Monday, November 05, 2007

Why I'm not buying HD movies


I bought the HD-DVD add-on for the XBOX 360 a while back, and got "King Kong" in the box. I also bought the documentary "Planet Earth", which is nothing short of absolutely amazing. And got "Happy Feet" for my and my family's benefit, especially my daughter who likes to skip around like Mumble.

This was about 6 months ago, and I have not been able to buy any more, and here is why.

There really isn't anything compelling enough about the movie lineup to pay $12 for a hi-def "experience", which is for most movies only marginally better than DVD.

I mean, if you see "Anchor Man" in DVD, then you've seen it in HD-DVD because the extra pixels will probably not add any more enjoyment or appreciation.

And fan boys. I am not saying that BlueRay lineup is better. It's just that the whole concept of paying $12 extra on the average for a movie that looks nearly as good on DVD is not a very attractive concept.

Come to think of it, only "Lord of the Rings" trilogy , "300" and "Ratatouille" may be worth the extra money, because they are very "visual", but I cannot think of many others that are.

Can you? Please recommend something.

And PS: I don't think the trilogy is out on HD-DVD yet.

7 comments:

  1. The Matrix is out, and it's breathtaking
    But a quick question for you. What kind of TV do you have? And does it support 1080P?
    Also, if you have DVD with upconvert to 1080, you might be getting the "enhanced" experience, not what regular DVD players will show on a good old non-hd TV
    By the way, in a year's time, it will be dirt cheap. But you pay the price of early adopters

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  2. Now I have only one Samsung 40" at 720p, but I had another Sony 40" at 1080p.

    The reason I have the 720p now only is because I really couldn't see the difference unless I was standing 2 feet away from the screen.

    The only reason I see for getting a 1080p is to use it a desktop monitor for your PC IF you are doing 3D design, photography ... etc.

    But for couch-dwell movie watching, 1080p really is a waste of money, and your money is better spent on better contrast and color than on resolution (beyond 720p that is).

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  3. Try playing Halo at 1080 :)

    I got my 1080 just to be future proof. I don't want to buy another one in 2 years time.

    Anyway, At 1080p HD-DVD will shine. You will notice some difference. But I COMPLETELY agree with you that that there's nothing worth paying premium price of HD-DVD and Bluray. They're still too expensive, and will dro pin price very soon

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  4. I wouldn't say SHINE, but it certainly looks significantly better in HD. It is by no means mediocre or barely noticeable, in fact if you have an eye for color you will see a pleasant improvement.

    Still we are on the same page regarding what that improvement is worth.

    Personally, I think it should be a natural technological upgrade in the sense that I shouldnt have to pay extra for it.

    HD-DVDs should go for the same price as DVDs do now, and DVDs should slip into the forgettables club joining VHS, Betamax, Cassette ...etc. (Therefore becoming cheaper)

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  5. I like the idea of High Def (and I like the look too), but not enough to go out and drop a fortune on it at this point. The format wars are still happening (will it be HD-DVD or Blu-ray?) and hardware is still pricey. I'll give it another year or so and wait until it becomes more mainstream.

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  6. I've owned an HD-DVD system for 11 months. I've yet to buy or rent an HD-DVD movie, and I can't even watch the movie it came with.

    My computer was sold by HP as an HD-DVD system, complete with an HD-DVD drive, 24" 1920*1200 widescreen monitor, and an HD-DVD movie.

    Alas, the monitor does not support the HDCP content protection built into HD and Blu-Ray discs.

    Even if I could watch the movies, the content protection prevents me from backing them up. Insurance companies won't insure things like DVDs - and with HD movies being expensive, you don't need a large collection before you have a substantial investment. Nor can I transfer the movies to a newer format in the not-unlikely event that HD-DVDs go the way of Beta tapes.

    ====
    About Halo, which another poster mentioned.... Halo I and II run at 720p, not 1080. Halo III runs at slightly less resolution - 1152x640 - but uses two frame buffers to get amazing lighting.

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  7. Dave, you make an excellent point. I actually put the $200 for the add-on because I can afford to and was due for a new toy. At the time I did not have preference or prediction on who may win the new format wars.

    However, looking at recent news, and the affordable new players check here

    , in addition to the cost that media makers have to incur to build BlueRay discs, as opposed to using the same old machines for HD-DVDs, I would comfortably put my money on HD-DVD now.

    Anonymous, I think what HP did with that device is absolutely stupid. Every one is including HDCP protection in players, content, monitors now. How they can sell such a device without HDCP support is beyond me.

    As for Halo 3, I would love to see more games focus more on better lighting and effects than more pixels. Which is the whole argument.

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