Living In a Blu-ray World

Well, there you have it: Toshiba finally rolled over and showed its belly to Sony. Blu-ray is now officially the high definition successor format to DVD.

OK, I’m sorry. That roll-over-showing-the-belly analogy was kind of creepy. How about “give up the ghost,” or “took its ball and went home,” or maybe “threw in the towel” — which is what I settled on for my article at iPodObserver.com.

This whole Blu-ray versus HD DVD battle has been going on far too long, and I’m really glad it’s over. Now we can finally get down to business, buy a player, and start watching super-high resolution movies on our nifty HDTVs. Imagine: Images so crisp and clear that you can see individual hairs on someone’s head. Simply amazing.

Here’s the irony for me: I really don’t like how movies look in HD — at least the ones I’ve seen so far. They certainly are clear and show tons of detail, but the problem for me is that they look like video tape and not film. I like the richness you see in film even though I know that comes with an overall loss of image quality and detail. And since I just can’t be consistent, I prefer digital photos to film because they tend to be clearer and show more detail. I also like that you don’t see any “grain” in the images like you do with traditional film-based pictures.

HD movies also have a kind of flat look to me, like the depth is gone in the shots. That said, watching individual water drops fly as the Flying Dutchman surfaces in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is stunningly cool.

I know… I’m just going to have to adjust to the new look, and I bet that over time film makers will find ways to make HD really work for them in a way that turns movies into something more than we have today. Yes, I will eventually buy a Blu-ray player, and it will make a great upscaling player for my current DVD collection, too.

That can’t be bad, right?

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