This The Digital Bits reader writes in with a letter that almost exactly mimics my own take on this, only I happen to have sided with HD-DVD — not because I think it’s a better format, but the players were much cheaper, and I felt one was as good as another at this point, and I needed something to watch on my HD projector now that I’ve dropped Comcast like a bag of cold mung.
When the Close Encounters announcement came down the pike a while back, I finally decided to take the plunge and get myself a Blu-Ray player. I went out and did enough research to figure out what I wanted. I specifically didn’t buy several high-profile DVDs (300, Planet Earth, Disturbia) because I didn’t want to turn around and re-buy them on Blu-Ray in a few weeks. The only thing I was waiting for was a bonus check from work so that I could pay cash for the new player and a nice stack of discs to get started with. Thank goodness that bonus check came a couple of weeks later than it was supposed to! Because honestly, now I’m sort of just done with both formats. It’s ludicrous that we’ve had to endure this format war in the first place, and it’s even more ludicrous that it’s now going to continue on even longer. The funny thing is, the format war had already made me slow down in my standard DVD purchases from 2-3 per week every Tuesday to maybe 2 per month in a really exciting release month. And now that I’m sort of out of the rhythm of that steady buying, I doubt I’ll ever go back. So not only have the studios lost a potentially great customer for one of their hi-def formats, they’ve effectively pushed that same customer out of the standard DVD marketplace.
I’m actually kind of glad I’ve gotten off the movie-buying train, as it’s saving me a wad of cash, and since Netflix is carrying both HD formats, I can just rent them easily. I sort of miss the thrill of acquisition (in a guilty way), but as attendees of my recent business Tiki Party can attest, the wall of DVDs in my screening room was kinda getting out of hand. Now I do a lot more rent-and-see instead of just buying every movie I think might have something worth learning from, and I’m trying to whittle down to the cream of the crop for the DVD learning library.
Personally I hope we can make the move to iTunes Store HD downloads sooner rather than later — I just need to get a Drobo or something to make sure I don’t lose my entire collection when the inevitable hard drive crash hits — like it did a week ago. I’m gonna be re-ripping my CDs for the next month.