Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blu-Ray blues

It's almost been a year since I purchased my first ever laptop. I remember waking up suddenly on Black Friday (because of my odd sleep schedule) and I went to Best Buy and stood in the cold line for an hour. I didn't have anything in mind to buy, just hoping to get a good deal, here and there. When BB associates were passing out flyers for laptops under $800, I decided to take advantage of this deal and boy did I! I wasn't all that happy about the Blu-Ray player that came with the Sony Vaio, but as long as the same drive played DVDs and CDs, all is well.

In the last 12 months, I've vastly developed my Blu-Ray collection. While in the process, I have been getting rid of my DVDs, little by little. I'm even going as far as donating most to my local library in Glen Carbon. I still have all of my TV seasons, while I don't see much of a future for them on BluRay. I still have 'the very few' favorite movies on DVD, such as 'Almost Famous' and 'Titanic' (in a big collector's edition). I've now got over 30 movies on Blu-Ray. To many, that doesn't sound like enough. Or to those who don't own a Blu-Ray player or PS3, that's too many. I used to have a little over 50 DVDs, combined with movies, music videos, TV seasons and SNL compilations.

For the first few months I've had my laptop, I've been debating with myself and other people about the future of movie formats. For DVD lovers, this is going to be bad news. For anyone who's 'in' with the next wave, Blu-Rays are looking like the next thing. Especially with the HD revolution. The main reason I got rid of most of my DVDs is because, one, I didn't find the time to watch most of the movies. Two, they were taking up too much shelf space. Three, I hated the way most of them looked on the shelf. What I mean is DVD packaging differs big-time on most titles. Some DVDs are not in their usual cases. I'm sure I explained this pretty well. What I like about Blu-Ray is the packaging is mostly the same with the 'blue case stripe' on the top and bottom. And they're all the same size, with a few exceptions.

I'm not entirely positive that Blu-Ray is the upcoming hot trend for movie or video-buying. Two years ago, I quit buying DVDs because movies were easy to download illegally off the web and I remember having a conversation with one of my professors at SIUE about the digital future. He said that '10 years from now...everything will be on hard-drive. There will be no such thing as taking them off the shelf'. A friend of mine even told me that there was a discussion and debate in his IC class about us watching movies by simply plugging in a flash-drive. According to wikipedia, Ghostbusters became the first movie available on a flash drive (last year). I don't know if any other movies have followed. I've gotten maybe 15 movies from the web (yeah, I'll admit it) but I can't say they're in the best condition. I'm also very supportive to Hollywood, as I want them to keep making good movies. So I'll go out and buy if I want the best quality and sound of movies.

The only negative thing about Blu-Ray is the cost. Yeah I know, some catalog titles are cheap. That is true. But if a new movie comes out, it can be priced from $25 or higher. The only other thing is that not all films are released on Blu-Ray. Most film/entertainment companies are doing their part by putting their classic titles on the still-new format. I've even gotten a kick out of the Digibook style, where classics like 'Dr. Strangelove' and 'shawshank Redemption' have been packaged like a book. I've gotten titles as cheap for $5, most notably the movie 'Waiting' (a future cult-classic, btw!). And now, some TV seasons are now being released on BluRay. All four (or 5?) seasons of Weeds are available on BluRay. Fox is even going to put out the Simpsons' 20th season (most recent) on Blu-Ray, while skipping ahead on the slow-running DVD series. So there's lots to look forward to.

If you're a Blu-Ray fan like me, I suggest you go to There's plenty to look around. Lists of Blu-Ray releases (current, new and upcoming) and they keep an eye out what's coming ahead. They even have professional reviews on almost every Blu-Ray movie (or whatever) to come out.

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