The magnitude of my problem lies somewhere between global warming and the nonexistence of McDonald’s breakfast at noon.
Multiple goods are replacing something I am excessively invested in, and I don’t know what to do about it. You see, I’ve amassed about 400 DVDs, and they’re slowly beginning to look like audio cassettes circa 1992. HD media are here, and I’m seemingly left with little more than a colorful coaster collection.
The problem here is twofold. First, HD media look and sound a lot better than DVDs, and they’re damn hard to resist if you’ve got access to an HDTV. Secondly, there isn’t a single HD format worth fully investing in yet. Blu-ray and HD DVD are both totally viable and equally incompatible with one another, which spells trouble for anyone looking to get the most out of a her 1080p TV set.
But even if you’re 400 discs deep in last-generation media, the significant issue here is the latter, because simply deciding to upgrade to HD content is the easy half of the decision. In the battle for the dominant HD format, Blu-ray is, by most accounts, the leader going into the clubhouse on Saturday – if you’re into bad sports analogies – but HD DVD is only a few shots back and isn’t totally out of it. Sorry, I’ll stop.
Anyway, it’s certainly not a matter of which next-generation format is the best – because quality is rarely the arbiter in these sorts of situations – but even that’s not an easy thing to parse out. As far as disc space is concerned, Blu-ray discs hold 50 GB, while HD DVDs hold only 30 GB. However, because resolution doesn’t differ between the two formats, Blu-ray’s 20 GB advantage isn’t providing a better viewing experience, just the possibility for additional content. In fact, because many Blu-ray players – unlike HD DVD players – fail to meet the updated standard for video commentaries and pop-up featurettes, Blu-ray is currently offering less bonus content.
It seems that in a rush to keep up with HD DVD’s launch, the Blu-ray brain trust pushed out slightly handicapped Blu-ray players at the beginning of the format’s run. The idea was to release two more updates to the format without really telling anybody