COLUMN: Death to Blu-ray
I come to plead the case for DVDs.
As new technology begins to surface every year from the iPhone 5 to the next PlayStation console, DVDs are being pushed back onto the shelves of museums, next to books and cassette tapes.
I’m an avid fan of cinema and have produced a mass collection of movies over the years amounting to over 300 films.
And yet, as a consumer, I am afraid this anthology of motion pictures will have to be replaced in a decade, having been deemed useless in comparison to Blu-ray.
A Blu-ray disc is the same size as a DVD or CD, but it is supposed to have a higher quality when it comes to its picture.
The main difference between the discs is the storage capability. The standard DVD can hold anywhere from 4 to 8 GB of memory. In layman’s terms, that is enough space to watch the three-hour movie “Avatar,” assuming you can make it through the movie in its entirety.
A Blu-ray disc averages around 25 to 50 GB in comparison, leaving one the ability to watch “Avatar” and parts I, II and III of “The Godfather” on the same disc.
But does the unnecessary extra space, or the higher quality picture, really worth the extra $6.50?
I remember the hassle of having to rewind every movie on a VHS tape after finishing it each time.
The release of the DVD format changed the movie watching experience for a generation to the point that it was life-consuming.
The case itself didn’t take up as much room as the boxy VHS tape, and the cover was plastic, which could stand the wear and tear the VHS cardboard covers could not.
You were no longer forced to watch movies at home or at school when your substitute instructor wheeled in that large television set strapped down by several cables and duct tape.
The DVD first implemented the menu button on the remote and allowed people to skip to certain chapters with ease, forever erasing the burdensome task of fast-forwarding, blindly hoping you’ve stopped at the right spot.
I have to admit, I didn’t want to buy movies twice over in a different shape or form, but, once I did, it proved to be an easy transition.
So when it came to Blu-ray, I tried it out, waiting to be taken to a place only IMAX theaters had steered me before.
However, I was met with the same movie-loving experience with DVDs and, having felt cheated, vowed to never buy a Blu-ray disc out of protest.
One could even make an argument for digital download and use of the cloud, which is a long enough subject for another time.
Now, I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t matter what format the film comes in, whether it is standard, high-definition, 3-D or labeled FUBAR on a small black and white.
What is important is being able to watch “Dirty Harry” or “Saving Private Ryan” while appreciating the movie for what it was made for: our enjoyment.
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