Regardless of some possibly thinking this post could be from 2008 and I may have had some time space delusion disorder of sorts, it is actually 2012 and I am actually just now jumping aboard with HD-DVD. Dead formats are bittersweet... but mostly for someone like myself who has waited so long to dive in, this tends to be more sweet than bitter
So I was looking at my shelf below the 47" LED TV I've had for several years now and decided that it was time to finally place the order for that long awaited Oppo BDP-93 I've been lusting over for nearly a year. That and unlike the BDP-83 I missed out on, I did not want this to become magically discontinued sometime in the coming months with a replacement on the way only to have my heart crushed for something it is set on. I picked up a handful of blu-ray discs and while I am absolutely in love with the Oppo for its DTS downmixing, SACD capabiliting (hush, it's a word!) and fairly stunning Bluray playback goodness, I started to question the video format slightly. (How dare I!
) Suddenly, I remembered that Xbox 360 HD-DVD players were incredibly cheap and that the same discs costing 3-4-5x as much on bluray could be had for a fraction of the cost... so my search began.
The perfect bid came in on a nicely used 360 HD-DVD player with 7 titles and a remote with all accessories for roughly $45. The part I feared the most is not with the format or the discs or the fact that it is a dead format... but the 360's ability in actually displaying a decent HD image... as many of you may have seen or known, the 360 seems to do a pretty terrible job at playing regular DVDs. Despite my pre-HD-DVD-360 image quality phobia, I bit and here I am.
(flip flopping, I know..)
One of the first movies I played on the Oppo was American Psycho and then The Orphan. I was almost horrified with the image into thinking that something is.... something must be wrong with either the disc or the player... or dear forbid, my TV. I soon realized it was actually just a bum transfer of the movie and while The Orphan was slightly better (did not have the weird haze on bottom/top of the image) it was grainy but I suppose that is just how the video was shot. Regardless, both impressions left me looking the other direction rather quickly and while not to say I dislike bluray (because I did rent Drive recently and it was absolutely phenomenal looking on the Oppo) it did beg to make my mind wander a'bit. The first disc in general was actually not a Bluray movie at all... it was a SACD of Dark Side of the Moon and I was just thrilled to bits " <--- 'pun' " with the exceptional sound coming from my setup.... but I digress...
The first movie, and yes... while it is a rather terrible movie due to the less than stellar English audio track/acting, I popped in was The Host as my first ever HD-DVD movie. The initial scene was breathtaking.... for a lab. I shunned at why my other two movie experiences weren't like that with the Oppo but again, after Drive I just salt it up as crap transfers for the Bluray and not the actual format itself. Furthermore and after playing with some of the video settings the 360 has (I was shocked I hadn't messed with it sooner, I don't play many games mind you despite having a game console), I found reference settings and so on that really brought the images to life. No longer was I worried about the 360s capability of reproducing some of the most stunning images my LED TV (or retinas if you prefer) has ever seen! I was sold... and now, partially hooked.
That was almost two weeks ago. Between eBay and Amazon, I have suddenly acquired quite a large selection of great deals on this dead format shoved to the side. I'm now at roughly around 160+ HD-DVD titles and only two weeks and a few hundred dollars down... yet I've still got a ways to go before even matching the price of the Oppo itself. (love that player, I do!) Now tell me, what is wrong with this picture?
That's right. (Never minding the obvious crap blurays I have but...) There is a 40:1 ratio of HD-DVD to Bluray titles despite the awesome player sitting in the background. (The other 70 or so HD-DVD's are not in this box for those nitpicking and counting
). Anyways, I just wanted to share my new found excitement of jumping aboard both the dead HD-DVD format and the now standard HD Bluray Format cycle in literally one weekend. So many great deals to be had on HD-DVD with some titles apparently still not on Bluray, how can I go wrong. With that said, I will most definitely be purchasing Drive for the Oppo in the near future. What a fantastic film! Oh, and DTS! I love my DTS!To the best of both worlds, here I come....