August 5, 2007 at 5:39 am #1244
Like I said before, I ponied up the dough for an HD-DVD Xbox 360 add-on earlier this week, mainly for three reasons.
1. Microsoft has kindly dropped the price $20.
2. Microsoft has also extended the offer of five free movies with the purchase of an HD-DVD player for the add-on unit as of August 1st. Previously, this offer was only for standalone HD-DVD players, not the add-on.
3. Hot Fuzz came out on Tuesday, and is not available on Blu-Ray, for it is a Universal studio flick.
So first, on Tuesday (July 31st, the day Hot Fuzz came out and the day before the sale starts), I went to Best Buy to pick up some movies. I chose Hot Fuzz, of course, Shaun of the Dead (released the same day), Children of Men (a favorite of mine that I had been waiting to pick up on HD-DVD because I love it so much), and Serenity (I figured a big slammin’ sci-fi flick should really show off the quality of HD.)
On Wednesday, I worked a 12 hour fuckin’ grueling day, so my wife bought the add-on. It actually comes with an HD-DVD copy of King Kong, and although I really can’t say I loved the movie, it looks pretty terrific in HD, so bonus.
Installation was a snap — install the included software into the 360, plug up the unit, and you’re ready to go. I was also pleased to see that it comes with a remote, which was nice of them.
The first title I pop in is Serenity, and I choose the scene where Serenity is being chased by the Reapers and they all come out of the clouds and a fuckin’ awesome battle ensues. Fairly impressive, but not as impressive as the worst Blu-Ray movie I’ve seen. Of course, Serenity was released the same day as HD-DVD came out, so they have bound to have gotten better, so I pop in King Kong, and try to find the scene where Kong battles the dinosaurs. Pretty damn cool, I thought, and we actually ended up watching more than I expected because it looked so good.
My wife goes to bed, and I pop in Shaun. I will talk more about my love of Shaun in another topic, but I watched most of the movie, and was super-impressed with the quality. For a movie shot on a pretty low budget, it really does look fantastic.
So, I’ve watched bits of Hot Fuzz, most of Shaun, and about 20 minutes of Children of Men. HD-DVD does seem to be on par with Blu-Ray as far as movie quality goes, for the most part. I have to say, though, the Blu-Ray copies of the Pirates movies are the best transfers I’ve seen EVER, so HD-DVD hasn’t come close to it yet. The in-movie experience shit is pretty cool, but really, no one buys a movie for extra features anymore, or at least, most don’t. With the picture-in-picture content duplicated on other parts of the disc in most cases, I don’t see a big reason for it.
To me, there’s nothing better than watching a movie for the first time and then watching the special features. So, if that’s the case, why would you want to miss part of the movie to hear the director talk about something — I guess it makes for an interesting way to watch the movie again, but I just don’t see the point. It seems more like a gimmick to me than anything. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, or in this case, it doesn’t mean you have to if the same content is lying in its own special section on another part of the disc.
I do have a couple of gripes about HD-DVD so far —
1. Reponse is really sluggish. It could be a fact that it’s going through a 360 to get the commands, but it really does seem slow as hell. When I press menu, the frickin’ menu should come up quick, dammit! The PS3 definitely beats the 360 in this department.
2. The menus are all the same. There is absolutely no difference in any of them, aside from the content listed. I’m really not sure yet if this is a Universal theme, or what — strangely enough, all the movies I bought are Universal.
3. With the 360 and the add-on both powered on, it’s loud as fuck. Really distracting when there’s a quiet moment in the movie. I suppose that this is another reason to get a dedicated player instead of the cheapest option, but hey, it was the only way to sell it to the wife.
4. Many of the HD-DVDs come as HD-DVD/DVD combo discs. Cool idea, I guess, but I don’t give a shit about standard DVD on the same disc. But the shitty thing is, they’re charging more for them — like $5 more. That makes no sense. That’s like charging for special features on a DVD. “Wait, Rob, they do that already. They release a 2-disc of the same movie and it’s usually more expensive.” True, but you have a choice. That’s what irritates me. Now, I understand some of it — I can actually see myself taking the combo disc for Hot Fuzz with me on a trip so I can watch it on my laptop, but still, though — it just seems like a ploy to charge more money to me.
So yeah — I know I’m forgetting something, but basically, with the movie quality very similar, it really comes down to what movies you want, and with all of the studios except Universal releasing movies on Blu-Ray, it’s a good chance that, for the most part, the movie you want will be on Blu-Ray.
(I just realized that many of you probably don’t even care about this. But it’s okay, it was fun to write and maybe a nugget here and there will help if any of you are in the market.)August 5, 2007 at 11:01 am #14797
How about rating each format on a scale of one to ten?August 5, 2007 at 2:40 pm #14790
Okay — overall, through my experience, Blu-Ray 10, HD-DVD 7.August 6, 2007 at 3:06 am #14800
Now if we can pass around the collection plate so we can take up a ‘love offerin” for Frank so we can get his poor ass a Blu-Ray (or HD-DVD … hell, I won’t be picky) player and a HDTV …August 6, 2007 at 3:14 am #14796
-10% for your bestest buddy huh Frank?
5?August 6, 2007 at 4:10 am #14789
I’ve heard this before — we really don’t make that much money — it’s just, well, we don’t spend money on anything. So when we decide to splurge on something, we do something like this. That paired with the fact that we’re still living with my in-laws…well, I’ve been lucky.August 6, 2007 at 4:56 am #14799
I promise it wasn’t a slight against you, Rob, it was a slight against the cheap-ass, shit-faced newspaper for which is draining my very existence with each passing, grueling day. Anyone out there thinking about becoming a journalist for the money? Save yourself now. Seriously.August 6, 2007 at 5:42 am #14788
No, no — I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just one of the biggest movie dorks you’ll ever meet, and I just decide to spend my disposable income on movies and shit.August 6, 2007 at 3:41 pm #14798rob wrote:No, no — I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just one of the biggest movie dorks you’ll ever meet, and I just decide to spend my disposable income on movies and shit.
Yeah, yeah … ya rich bastard!
lolAugust 6, 2007 at 7:43 pm #14795
I am so rich I bought TWO magazines at the bookstore!!!
Damn right…you buncha poor-assesAugust 6, 2007 at 8:35 pm #14803El RustirinoParticipant
If Blu-Ray OR the PS3 weren’t so fuckin’ expensive, maybe. I don’t see any reason to get BluRay, the PS3, or HD-DVD anytime soon. I’m alright with DVD quality junk.
Man, Rob, now you got me wanting to watch Serenity again.August 6, 2007 at 8:41 pm #14792Pa-ulParticipant
And to think that HD will probably be obsolete in a few years, in favour of UD (2048i/p).
If it doesn’t work, jam a screwdriver in there and jiggle it about.August 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm #14804El RustirinoParticipant
I don’t have that kind of money…I’m only fourteen. 😛August 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm #14787
Everything turns out obsolete, but I figure there’s at least a good five to seven years before a viable replacement arrives.August 7, 2007 at 10:47 am #14793OctaviousParticipant
or until robot take over the Earth.
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