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I Fought HD, and HD Won
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Over the Christmas break I did something I swore I wasn't going to do: I went hi-def.
Truth be told, I already had gone somewhat hi-def. I explained in an earlier post that I own a Samsung 40" 1080p LCD television, and I found the perfect DVD player to go with it. But I had no intention of paying for HD cable service, nor getting caught up in the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray war. All that changed when my mother bought me a hi-def movie for Christmas. She didn't mean to buy me something I couldn't use, but instead of asking her to return or exchange the movie, I decided, well, I have a movie now, so let's see what the players are going for. Maybe if I get a decent enough deal, I can be happy with whatever use I get out of the player, even if the format dies in the marketplace. It wasn't long before I found a decent deal. Best Buy was offering a player with a $150 discount plus seven free movies. I took the bait. Then I watched the movies.
Darned if I haven't been converted. I can take or leave the newer audio options and the fancier menus, but everyone knows that with these new formats, it's all about the video. I wasn't taken in by the hype that the picture would become "life like" or that I would see "every pore" on my favorite actor's face. I didn't forget I was still watching television, and I didn't see anything revelatory in some favorite movie that I hadn't seen before. But what there was to see became crystal clear. Gone was the softness that comes from showing a standard-definition picture on a hi-def display. It's as if my eyes had suddenly, finally come into perfect focus.
So, I admit it, I'm a hi-def addict now. There's just one little problem. The movie my mother gave me is Transformers. I bought an HD DVD player. And now, thanks in large part to Warner Brothers announcing they'll go exclusively Blu-ray later this year, it looks like there just might be a winner in this new war after all, and I chose the losing side.
Oh well. I told myself when I bought the player I should only think of it as a fun toy, and fortunately it looks like there will still be a healthy amount of good movies I can buy before it's all over with. I certainly have no intention of going out and buying another movie player just so I can play Blu-ray movies, so anything I can't find on HD DVD, I'll be happy enough with on DVD. Maybe I'll even hold off buying those movies altogether. I certainly have enough on my shelves waiting to be watched in the meantime.
So, to anyone still contemplating a move to HD, I say go for it... eventually. With the right equipment, the move is well worth it, but waiting for this format war to end altogether is still a good idea.
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