Singing the Blu-ray Blues

by Barrett

Are you still on the Blu-ray Disk bandwagon, or have you moved on? I’ve got five reasons to stick around.

Not so long ago, I was the proud owner of a new Samsung Blu-ray Disk player. I immediately repurchased a few of my favorite sc-fi blockbusters and marveled at the magnificent imagery of this HD-enabling device.

My home entertainment center was worthy, again.
(Is that a tear welling up in the corner of my eye?)
I looked ahead to the gleaming age of HD video with Blu-ray Disks for my 42” Panasonic Plasma TV.

Fast forward to the present.

The Distant Honeymoon
What the frak happened?!
HD video is so yesterday. Now, it’s 3D that’s the bomb.

Yes, Blu-ray Disk sales are still strong.
In fact, 2011 was a banner year with sales up 20%. But digital delivery rose 51% over the same period.

Don’t look now, Blu-ray, but your days on top may be numbered.
Is it just a matter of time until HD streaming technologies take the lead?

So where does this leave you and me?
Again with confusion.
Time to abandon Blu-ray? I hardly knew you.

All I know is my movie collection is a train wreck.

The Costs of Beauty
Blu-ray tech shows off a stunning picture. So I’ve pledged to never go back and buy a standard DVD ever again. That would be sacrilege!

But the premium pricing of Blu-ray Disks never came down that much from their original sticker shock levels. Plunking down $20-$30 to watch a movie in today’s enlightened media landscape is somewhat extravagant. No?

Here’s the current pricing for few new Blu-ray disk titles at Best Buy-
Wrath of the Titans- $19.99
Mirror Mirror- $29.99
The Artist- $24.99
Safe House- $24.99

Where’s the value proposition? (more on this later)

And can I mention how annoying it is to wait for a Blu-ray Disk to load?
(It takes like, FOREVER!)

So, needless to say, my Blu-ray Disk collection has not flourished.

Smarty Pants Strategy Implodes
Of course, I’ve been ordering all my Netflix red envelope movies to arrive wearing Blu-ray stripes.

That strategy quickly became a problem a couple years back when my home theater started growing cobwebs. Remember, I am a proud parent of a toddler.
And that prompted most of my media consumption to go mobile when
I became a mobile media warrior on Metro North.
So now what?

Well I thought I would be very clever. So I jumped down the rabbit hole.
(way down)
I bought myself Panasonic’s prototype portable 9” Blu-ray player and almost broke the bank. (Don’t tell my wife.)

You might ask who in their right mind would spend big money on a tiny screen for watching HD video with a platform that moved at the speed of glue?

I think there were three of us.
(But I got a great deal on Amazon.)

You must understand I had no other choice, right?
I had over-technoligized myself into a corner.
How was I otherwise going to watch my precious movies?
(And remember, as a new parent, going to the flicks the old fashioned way was a distant memory.)

I really got the Blu-ray Blues.

Dead Disk Walking?
Look, the facts don’t lie.
Let me add to the weight and throw a few more rocks onto the future of Blu-ray tech.

  • Apple never put the darn drives into their computers.
  • I’ve already got HD streaming via Apple TV and Roku.
  • Standard DVDs really aren’t that bad. (Please don’t stone me.)

So why not just chuck Blu-ray and move to a higher plane with all streaming?
Well, it turns out there is actually something to the Blu-ray value prop.

Five Reasons to Stick with Blu-ray Disks

-The Downloadable Copy
One big reason I will buy a Blu-ray Disk is if it comes with the digital version.
If you shop smart, you’ll often find a version packaged with a digital copy you can pop right on your mobile phone. Nice.

-The Extras Come with Extra Extras
I know this has marketing ooze all over it, but it works.
They simply pack the Blu-ray Disk extras with more goodness. For example, I wouldn’t know the correct Star Trek movie (2009) plot without having gone through all the deleted scenes. Fascinating. (I had to enlighten a friend who had only bought the standard DVD version.)

-DVD Player, Say Hello to VHS Player in the Attic
It’s over, baby. Thanks for the memories. You can hang around a while longer, but please leave the keys on the way out.

I’ve said I would never wear those silly glasses at home, if I don’t lose them first. Time will tell…

-I Prefer Owning Atoms instead of Bytes
I’m still stuck on the idea of having a physical object to put on my shelf.
I know. It’s an analog vestige I’ll grow out of some day.

Fold or Hold?
So where does all this leave us in the HD game?
Though this feels like another tech poker tournament, the reality is Blu-Ray Disks aren’t joining their HD DVD cousins and Betamax ancestors any time soon.

Cheer up.
While you’ve got your Blu-ray Blues, at least you’ll be viewing them in the full color spectrum of awesome high definition.