Category: HD DVD/Blu-Ray

Why Neil Young Is Wrong To Go With Blu-Ray Only

The biggest running joke is all of rock music, of course, has become the imminent release of the next Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy which is due to come out, either any day now or never. Even Syd Barrett was able to make a couple of solo albums after he went crazy, Axl.

However, Neil Young fans know that the wait for Chinese Democracy is nothing compared for how we’ve been waiting for Archives, the career-spanning box set that he’s been promising since — shit — Guns N’ Roses was just becoming the biggest band on the planet. We’ve been waiting for so long that his length of time that Archives can cover has actually doubled.

While some performance CDs have been released (the awesome Live at the Fillmore East and the not quite as awesome Live at Massey Hall, the bulk of the material assumed to be on Archives has only been available on bootlegs. Well, yesterday, Neil has made his latest announcement concerning Archives. The first 10 discs are coming out this fall. Whoo-hoo! On Blu-Ray. D’oh!

So despite the fact that I’ve been looking forward to this for nearly 20 years, right now I’m kinda disappointed.

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Goodbye, HD-DVD, I Never Knew You

I’d like to bid farewell to the HD-DVD format, which died a quick death this week. Was it any good?

You see, I was one of the millions of consumers who stayed on the sidelines while HD-DVD fought it out with Blu-Ray for high-definition digital supremacy. Because I knew that this day was inevitable, I stayed away from both formats. So I never actually saw an HD-DVD movie. Not even in a demonstration.

After all, I’d already lived through this movie once before: only it was called Beta vs. VHS. I watched while a lot of smart people got burnt by picking the wrong format, so I figured that I didn’t need to see the remake.

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The False War: HD DVD versus Blu Ray

Nothing says the dog days of summer like the first Christmas display of the season. Costco is already gearing up for the holiday season — my first glimpse of Santa-mania came in the form of a ribbon display. Presumably, due to extensive market research, someone knows that the first thing consumers purchase for the impending holidays is ribbon to tie around the merrily wrapped packages.

You have wonder, if only a little bit.

The other big sign of the upcoming season comes in the forms of headlines: “Consumers Urged to Pick New DVD Format” or “Shoppers to choose which high-def DVD format lives”. Makes you feel both helpless and powerful, doesn’t it?
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My Problem With The Pew High-Tech Survey

A lot of hay was made yesterday about a wide-reaching survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For example, one of the things that got serious play was that about half of the people out there still don’t live their lives around high-tech products.

Instead, I guess, they are living their lives around such mundane things as their jobs, their churches, their families and so forth. Then the survey broke down the actual users into sub-groups, and explained various things about the sub-groups. It was all very interesting and informative, and then I got to the very end . . .

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HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and The Problem With Wal-Mart

So, yeah, wow, it’s 2007 and we’re having format wars. Hmm, that’s not entirely true. We, the people, are not a war at all. In face, we, the people, don’t care. The people who care, who desperately care, are the businesses who have staked the ground on either the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray side of the fence. To them, the battles and strategy matter very much. It’s almost like they’re holding a modern war in another century.

I’m doing the masochist thing at this year’s SXSWi (as augmented by the film festival) and attending all of the “The Future of…” panels. Sure, it’s hard to take “The Future of Online Video” seriously, when nascent barely begins to describe the phenomenon, but when the panel is about The Future of DVDs, well, now you have my attention. The future of DVD, as we all know, is keeping way too many media executives awake at night to count.

Not that you’d know it from this panel.
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