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"I wouldn't trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I can throw it."

Today, it's time for an update on what the heck I'm pondering in the world of DVD fun.

Don't get too excited...

As many of you know, HDTV is here and here to stay. Standard DVD doesn't have the resolution that HD does so we're about to have new discs coming to market that should take full advantage of the new TVs everyone's been buying. When HD sets came on the scene, just playing standard DVDs on them looked pretty nice; it was a real step up from analog displays. Now that I've seen how good broadcast TV looks in HD, I'm looking forward to having HD movies to play back. Since I was an "early adopter," I don't get to watch these new HD discs in their full HD glory on my set I bought five years ago. My older HD set doesn't have digital connections to enforce copy protection systems to make the MPAA sleep at night, so any HD disc (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray) player I buy will "dumb down" the picture when used on a HD set such as mine. For more info on this issue, check this page out.

OK, so I'm out of the HD disc game for the moment, but sooner or later I'll have a TV to take advantage of the new discs. In the meantime, the question looms ever larger: do I wait on buying films on "old" DVD so I don't end up re-buying the titles on HD format? Have any of you thought about this? I know some don't care at all about it: if you don't own a HD set and don't plan to buy one in the near future, this may seem moot. But right now, some studios are already announcing regular and HD titles at the same time. Here's one example: Warners recently issued a new DVD set of The Wizard of Oz which had a new film transfer. According to restoration expert Robert Harris, the HD transfer of the film (there's no HD announcement for this one at the moment) is a real improvement over the previous DVD. However, the previous DVD was actually pretty good and he said that you'd need to see the new transfer in HD to notice much difference. So Mr. Harris made my buying decision for me, but most aren't that easy.

I certainly don't plan on re-buying everything I own (even if I could afford it), but there are some titles I'd either re-buy or wait on; Lord of the Rings would be a must-have in HD for example. I don't know....I was just curious if anyone else was thinking along those lines. If so, leave a comment. Or even if you don't, feel free to comment!

Comments

So are you saying the HD DVDs won't play on regular DVD players? Or is that part of the dumbing down? I'm sleepy. If regular players/TVs play the HD discs and you will probably get HD stuff later, then start buying HD disc now? Not duplicating mind you...I'll take your old DVDs! ;)

OK, a clarification:

The new HD discs will not play in existing DVD players; they use a different kind laser and the regular players won't be able to read the discs. This was always a technical issue and not really a "dumb studios" one.

However, it's assured that the new players *will* play existing DVDs (the term, backwards compatible). The new players will undoubtedly play onto pretty much any TVs, even analog ones, but will not look any better than today's DVDs do. The real issue is the older HDTVs (pretty much any HD set you buy now has the necessary connections to allow HD playback with the new disc players) that don't have the "secure" connections, hence the players being forced to "down-rez" the picture.

As for my buying, it does me no good to buy HD discs since I have nothing to play them on. And since my larger HD set can't display the new discs in full resolution, there's little point in upgrading until I get a new set or projector....then again, I hear that even in "dumbed down" form, the new discs will still have more resolution than DVD, so maybe it's worth doing. We'll have to wait and see how it pans out.

My, that was a long comment!

Ah, what's the point? In 2012 well have HD+ or S-HD or some such crap. It's just another short hop in the cycle. It's a racket: how can we sell the same plastic disc over again?

Is that you Qwerty? It's been a while!

There is the argument that DVD will be the last mass market physical media format....downloads will make the format war irrelevant to the mainstream.