Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Death ray

In terms of new toys that I want, a high definition DVD player isn’t really on the immediate wish list. This MacBook Pro will be the next major purchase, probably around October of this year when Apple comes out with their latest operating system. Yes, I would like to have it now because I have the will power of a seven year old when it comes to new toys.

But buying a new computer now, knowing I’ll have to spend and extra $150 or so on a new operating system in four months time strikes me as being pretty silly. Besides, there’s always the hope that Apple will make the exchange rate a bit more even and that they might upgrade the laptop line one more time (they did it a few weeks ago) to go along with the operating system.

It’s a very pretty computer. And hell, if I’m going to buy a new laptop when I have money for once in my life, I’m going to make sure I get a good one that’s going to last several years.

Anyway, the point being, before I got sidetracked into my Apple fetish, is that a new high def player isn’t in the works anytime soon. The price is certainly a consideration, but the main factor is the ongoing format war. HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray.

There are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to which format is better and why you’re a schmuck if you don’t take their side in the great debate. However, I suspect as big a tech geek as I am, I’m like most people and don’t particularly give a shit. You’re talking fine, minute points that most people won’t notice or particularly care about.

I just wanted the blood in the water. Let the companies fight it out, let one of them beat the other or have some clever bastard create a cheap machine that can play either format successfully.

I had read earlier the year that LG, I believe, was coming out with such a combo player. I can’t find the article right now, but it certainly sounded like salvation. However, there were apparently problems, not the least of which it was made by LG. I worked in South Korea for nine months. I appreciate this hardly makes me an expert on Korean industry, and I know their products have improved in quality. Still, I have yet to encounter any product made by LG that I would enthusiastically put money down on.

So the wait continued.

However, there is a glimmer of hope in this article. Blockbuster, again not one of my favourite companies in the world, has come down on the side of Blu-ray. Since they hold an appalling 45 per cent of the rental market, it’s a fairly significant move.

I agree with the comments made in the story...I don’t think it’s a death blow. I still see such a player several years in our future, unless there are some radical shifts in the meantime. But hopefully this is the beginning of the end. I don’t really care if Blu-ray wins, I just want to make sure I don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a player and DVDs in a format that’s become obsolete.

Until then, my $75 DVD player will have to do.

No comments: