HD Ready

Clearly I have not kept my promise to keep this blog updated but now I will attempt to make an effort. If all fails I will make sure that blogging will be my New Year’s resolution.

I have had Blu-Ray capabilities for over four months now. For those who do not know what Blu-Ray is it is a new high defintion home video format that is in line to replace DVD, the current home viewing format of choice. But it is not the only format, HD-DVD is right next to Blu-Ray in this new format war. Blu-Ray has the capabilities to be the superior format and has strong studio support but due to a number of careless incidents it is currently behind HD-DVD which is gaining popularity in the US.

My own initial thoughts on Blu-Ray have been mixed. I currently have three Blu-Ray discs: Good Night, Good Luck (2005), The Devil’s Rejects( 2005) and Hostel (2005), and I have to say that picture wise it is not a major improvement over DVD. Yes it is clearer and brighter but nothing to get overly excited about. However, the uncompressed PCM audio tracks on the discs are a much greater improvement over compressed Dolby Digital and DTS tracks on DVD.

Recently, a website reported that the recently released Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on drive is compatible with Windows machines. As my laptop is HD ready, it has a Blu-Ray drive and HDMI output, I have decided to purchase one of these drives from MovieTyme as all other well known retailers (Amazon, HMV, Play etc) have little or no stock and cannot guarantee delivery for Christmas. The only drawback with ordering the drive from MovieTyme is that is more expensive and directly from the US meaning that it will require a stepdown transformer. I ordered it today at 15:58 and at 18:35 I had an email from them telling my order had been dispatched! What an unbelievable service, in all my years of buying online I have not experienced anything so efficient. It puts larger companies such as HMV and Amazon to shame.

So when it arrives I will be officially ‘HD Ready’ and will test the drive out with King Kong (2006)HD-DVD that comes included and The Thing (1982)and Casablanca (1942)which recently arrived from DVD Pacific . I will post my thoughts once it is all set up.

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