Friday, December 01, 2006

Small Case of Buyer's Remorse

Well, on the 29th, I picked up the HD DVD add on drive for the Xbox 360. With a 40 dollar coupon from Circuit City, out the door price was 179 and change. I figured it was best to take advantage of the coupon before it expired on the 30th. The system came with King Kong and a Media remote. Each of those retail for about 30 bucks seperately. That puts the HD DVD drive at a little over 100 bucks by itself.
The problem is I can't seem to convince myself to keep it. It's actually still sitting on my shelf unopened. I've been trying to do a little more reading on HD DVD vs Blu Ray and I seem to flip flop every day on which one I think is better. One day it's HD DVD. The next day, I think Blu Ray will prevail. When I posted this information on LCVG, Chris came back with this post that nearly has me convince to keep it.

Does it really matter which one is "better"?

When I was deciding early on whether or not to get a standalone player (which I did, and I'm very happy about), I got to thinking hard about it. My biggest fear had nothing to do with buying a player - because let's face it, you have to replace those after a few years anyway - but rather with amassing a huge media collection that I couldn't play on anything. I didn't want to have a box full of betamax tapes, if you know what I mean.

But then I thought about it, and decided that even if HD-DVD failed, and studios decided to not produce any new material on HD-DVD discs, there would likely be dual-format players available in the future...or at the very least HD-DVD drives for PC's. And as far as media goes, I find it hard to believe that the home-theater presentations of previously released titles could get any better than 1080p video with lossless audio. If Blu-Ray failed, I could still, at the very least, play back my Blu-Ray discs on my PS3/PS4/PS5 - given Sony's great track record with backward compatibility in their game systems. I also truly believe (and yes, I know that statements have been made to the contrary) that dual format players will be a reality in the future - and then it doesn't matter. If a title comes out in both formats, you read some reviews, and just get the disc (be it HD-DVD or Blu-Ray) that seems to be the best. If one of the formats dies on the vine, then you can still play back all the titles that you've already purchased.

I still don't own a Blu-Ray player, but only because the price is still to high for me, and I can't get my hands on a PS3 - not because I feel that it's somehow inferior to HD-DVD, despite the best efforts of the HD-DVD fanboys to convince me. (I consider myself an HD fanboy - I don't care what flavor it comes in.)

Finally, if you're unsure about whether HD-DVD is all that great, just join Netflix and get all your material from them, rather than buying it. If you're not convinced (and it's doubtful that you won't be), you could probably eBay that HD-DVD drive of yours for very little loss.

Oh, and for the love of all that's holy, don't go to AVS or HTF looking for advice on this topic. You positively must remain objective, and it's awfully hard to find objectivity on those boards.

He's damn near got me convinced. Anyways, as it stands now, it's still on my shelf unopened. I've just about convinced myself to keep it and open it on Friday as a (or should I say another) Birthday Present to myself. Let's see how long having only 1 movie lasts me.

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