One of the most enjoyable parts of writing my weekly Add to Queue column is the opportunity it’s given me to not only discuss upcoming movies but also to weigh in on the technology behind home entertainment. Film and home video tech are in a state of flux, and I can’t wait to see where their rapidly changing mechanism end up taking us. For those who aren’t early adopters, however, the new packaged media formats (along with the smorgasbord of other, more ephemeral options) can be both overwhelming and confusing. Fear not: my next few posts on GameSpite should help bring some clarity to the mess that is high-definition home content.
I’ve been a proponent of Blu-ray from the beginning; Blu-ray, of course, is a disc-based home video format that offers higher resolution picture and sound than DVD. But Blu-ray is hadly the only way to get HD content. As gamers, you’re no doubt aware that you can download HD movies and television shows from both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. You may also subscribe to cable or satellite services that offer HD movies “on demand”, where you can pay a little bit of money for access to an HD movie with a few clicks of your remote control.
So why is Blu-ray better than those options? And for that matter, do we even need new HD formats when an upscaled, standard definition DVD looks nearly as good as a Blu-ray disc to most consumers? I’ll tackle those questions in depth next time, but if you have any thoughts on true HD vs. upscaling — or on physical media vs. digital downloads, or on anything else related to this topic — please do speak up in the comments.