Now that Death Ensemble is a little more established as a horror site, I’m starting to get free screener copies of horror flicks from companies. Shao Kahn is most pleased, as this definitely does not suck, especially on my wallet. But there’s an evil out there, and as evil as Shao Kahn is himself, it definitely sucks. The Blu-Ray player is video’s new toy, and it’s the most overrated viewing experience I’ve ever come across.
I bought a Blu-Ray player for two reasons. First, I’m smart enough to see this is where video is going for the near future, so I might as well hop on instead of resisting. This is the same reason I have a smart phone, and why my sister is buying me a Kindle Fire for my birthday in two weeks. I don’t want a Blu-Ray at all. But DVD is on its way to extinction, and unlike some people who grudgingly refuse to accept change, I try to stay at least with the curve, if not ahead of it, so I don’t get boxed out. Note, this does not mean I wanted a Blu-Ray player.
The second reason is purely a business decision for DE. If companies send me Blu-Rays instead of DVD’s, I’m out of luck when it comes to reviewing. I really do put my max effort into giving our audience here the best possible experience. So I decided for the site that it was worth it to get a new player. Note again, this does not mean I wanted a Blu-Ray player.
And it’s a good thing I didn’t want one, because what a waste my Blu-Ray is. People brag about 1080 this and Hi-Def that and 5.1 Surround this, but I don’t see a huge difference from DVD. The depth of field is a little improved, but that’s about it. Now admittedly, I don’t have an $8,000 HDTV that’s 1007 inches, nor a 67 speaker setup. As far as high tech goes, I’m low grade. But I don’t need any of that stuff. I have a small apartment, so a TV the size of the Dallas Cowboys’ scoreboard would be ridiculous. My two ears do just fine with the two speakers attached to my TV. Plus, that stuff is expensive, and I work my tail off at three jobs, so even if I were that into the movie watching experience, I would be boxed out. Which is fine by me, because Blu-Ray is not the second coming of video. It’s an upgrade, and not even a necessary one at that.
Plus, once I got one, I discovered an interesting phenomenon that pissed me off. The FYE around the corner from my house was running a buy 3 used, get one free deal on Blu-Ray discs. So a few days after I bought my player, I decided to justify it with a few purchases. What I found was surprising. Though Blu-Ray is trendy, the size of the DVD collection for sale at FYE dwarfs it. Going on this, I surmise the majority of us still buy DVD. And even if we did want to upgrade, there’s another annoying ploy the studios are using: the DVD + Blu-Ray combo pack. It usually runs $5-10 more, and included both formats. Now why the Hell, after you’ve asked me to upgrade, would I want a DVD packed in with my Blu-Ray? I’m only going to give the DVD’s away to friends and family who haven’t upgraded, which means they won’t have to spend money, and you lose. This is a rip off, a ploy by the studios to bilk an extra few bucks out of me by offering something that’s basically obsolete. They might as well package in a wired rotary phone next time I upgrade my cell phone.
Those studios also like screwing the buying public by putting the brunt of special features on the Blu-Ray discs and leaving bare the DVD’s. This is unacceptable. They can’t claim it’s a space issue, because old DVD’s used to come loaded. They’re trying to force us into paying more, instead of being fair and offering an equal share to both types of consumers. It’s an insult to those who either can’t afford Blu-Ray or have chosen not to get one.
There are people who swear by Blu-Ray. They see a crisper image, hear a sharper sound, say they enjoy an enhanced experience. I respect that, and say to each his own. I also think they’re deluded, and have bought themselves happily into getting swindled. Blu-Ray is a cheat of the highest order, an extremely marginal improvement on DVD. You say I’m wrong? Think of the giant leap between VHS and DVD, with images that won’t fade after 1,000 viewings, and special features. Now ask yourself honestly about just how big an upgrade Blu-Ray is. If you’re straight with yourself, I think you’ll see things my way. If you disagree, by all means please share with me why by leaving a comment.
The teacher in me feels compelled to sum up this lesson: As Shao Kahn would say to the Blu-Ray experience, IT’S OFFICIAL! YOU SUCK!