Fuck Bluray


I can't say I'm terribly impressed with Bluray. Why?

1) DRM. Like anything else that's crippled by DRM, Bluray will always be haunted by one simple question: Can I use this? The answer is a firm "Eh, maybe." If you bought a first-gen (non-PS3) Bluray player, there's a decent chance you've discovered by now that discs are suddenly a lot harder to play. You haven't updated the firmware, have you, you dirty movie pirate? Hopefully your player is connected to your network. And that you have a network for it to connect to.

Yeah, some DVDs are also encrypted, but it's all been cracked and getting around it is trivial.

What's the point of optical media, anyway? I've got an $80 HDD that can hold a terabyte of data, so why should I spend $20-$30 a pop for 50gb discs that can only ever hold the information that's already written to them? Discs that are encrypted no less, on top of whatever hardware and software that's necessary to read the information to begin with.

See, I've got the reimagined Battlestar Galactica ripped to disk. The entire goddamn thing, four full seasons of DVDs, and it's only filled up maybe 10%-20% of my available capacity. I do the same thing with basically every DVD I buy, or at least the ones I care about. Kill Bill yes, Transformers... I don't care if the disc gets ruined and I can't watch it anymore.

So why bother keeping the optical media? Because it's portable and convenient. When you cripple the convenience and portability with DRM, you're neutering the format.

2) It's honestly not that much better.

I know there are a lot of audio/videophiles out there who would castrate me for making such a claim, but it's the truth in my eyes. And I'm not the only one - I hear this from a lot of people. Myself, my brother, my good buddy MES, interwebs people, etc. We aren't retarded, and we're not blind.

Is the quality better? Yes, definitely, but not so much that I'll care until I'm viewing it in 1080p on an 88" screen. 720p on a 32" screen? I can't say I've been blown away yet. It's the same deal with the audio... lossless is great, but I'm not an audiophile. Put a gun to my head, and I still can't tell the difference between a 256kbps (or approximately, if you're of the vbr persuasion) mp3 ripped with Zune software versus a FLAC file painstakingly ripped with EAC. That being said, I still rip to FLAC for archival purposes, but the point is that without better ears and $20,000 equipment, lossless audio is wasted on me, so DVD quality is just fine.

It's not that I can't tell the difference, but with proper upscaling, DVDs still look good. If I'm watching it on my computer with VLC, then yeah, there's a noticeable difference... but not so much that I'm willing to trade my portability and platform independence for it.

3) I'm not interested in letting electronics companies decide when I'm going to upgrade my shit. Every five to ten years they'll keep coming back to this money squeeze, attempting to artificially shorten the lifespan of the previous formats for profit, and I'm more than happy to skip a generation here or there.