Why I haven’t yet bought a Blu-Ray player

Blu-Ray! The dirty cheating winner of the HD format wars! I’ve come close to buying a machine a number of times, generally when I’ve seen a big pile of them on special offer in Sainsbury’s or HMV, but I’ve always walked away empty-handed.

My reasons? Here’s a handy list.

  1. Fuck Sony.
  2. It might make the HD-DVD drive for my X360 sad. Plucky little thing that it is. I bought it dirt cheap when HD-DVD was already dead in the water, along with all the decent films I could find for it at something like £5.00 a pop.
  3. My telly only has one HDMI input, and my Freesat box has first dibsies on that. I could get some form of switchbox, but I tire of switchboxes. Basically: Blu-Ray player would mean new telly with more HDMIs. And better sound.
  4. Fuck Sony. I can’t labour that point hard enough.
  5. I’d probably have to find somewhere else to put my Nuon player.
  6. Seriously, fuck Sony. There was nothing wrong with HD-DVD, but no, they had to own the fucking format, didn’t they? Fuckers.
  7. This isn’t out on Blu-Ray yet:

My favourite film, ever. I’ve bought Koyaanisqatsi on multiple occasions, the first time in the late 80s after I’d heard about it in Zzap!64, then another VHS copy when I gave my first copy away to someone, then an I-won’t-even-tell-you-how-much-I-paid limited edition signed DVD, and then the retail DVD double-pack with the sequel, Powaqqatsi, thrown in. And it took so much time and legal wrangling to secure a DVD release that I’m not holding out much hope for a Blu-Ray version any time soon. Although I believe Apple TV has it as an HD rental.

What’s it about? Ooh, no plot, no characters, no narrative. 90 minutes of a camera being pointed at all manner of stuff, a Philip Glass soundtrack and an overarching message along the lines of, “Hey! The world’s a bit fucked up, really!” Amazing camera work and editing, and I’ve lost count of how many times its style has been ripped off. It’s one of those films that you can’t look away from once it’s started.

If you haven’t seen it (and I think the DVDs may have become a little scarce) and you’re interested (which you should be) then not to worry! The whole thing’s available to watch for free on Google Video, right here. And I note that there’s a downloadable version, which I may have to nab tomorrow and stick on my iPhone.

Just because I can. And because I’m fairly sure that I won’t be able to get a Blu-Ray version to put on a brand new non-Sony player for quite a while.

It’d be nice to be proved wrong, though.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Why I haven’t yet bought a Blu-Ray player

  1. AK

    Koyaanisqatsi is mesmerising, and quite terrifying in places.

    Blu-ray is excellent. The Blade Runner ‘Final Cut’ looks like it was filmed five years ago. I’m spoiled by it. I can’t watch a DVD now without a certain element of disappointment.

    Although I would never have bought a player if I didn’t own a PS3.

  2. josephruss

    I’m very suspicious of this whole HD thing. The fact that at first there was HD (720p) and then people started talking about Full HD (1080p). What’s next, Ultra HD? I don’t want TV to suddenly become like games consoles and PCs where you have to upgrade or replace something every few years just to be compatible.

    At this point in time DVDs look pretty good to me and I imagine that as I get older, my eyesight will fail and I won;t be able to tell the difference anyway.

    Incidentally, have you seen Baraka? Same DOP, Ron Fricke, except he shot it on 70mm film. Now that I would like to see in Ultra HD.

  3. matt303

    I must admit I keep looking at Blu-Ray players now they are cheaper but then remember I don’t watch that many DVDs.

  4. jedburgh

    Joe: yeah, I have Baraka. Tempting to go Blu-Ray for that, although it felt a lot like Fricke was trying to do his own 70mm Koyaanisqatsi. The Kecak scene is awesome; the bit with the little baby chicks makes me all sadface.

  5. Guns

    I couldn’t agree more.

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