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A Retro-Grouch's Bold Leap Forward

Who says there is no drama in the life of a retro-grouch? Every now and then, the retro-grouch finally decides to give in on something that 99% of the population gave in on, years ago. There is a gravitas and honour to this ritual.

How many years has it been (?) since Sony tried suckering the world into more expensive Blu-Ray discs, rather than perfectly adequate DVD discs, which are excellent when played in an up-converting DVD player.

It was probably ye olde "Give 'em the razor -- sell 'em the blades" business model. Oddly enough, many of the customers resisted this trap. Why pay twice as much for a Blu-Ray disc, when up-converting DVD players and HDMI televisions produced excellent results?

But over the last decade, DVD players became cheap throw-aways. They are as noisy as a lawnmower, to the point of distracting the viewer from the movie. Also, Walmart started putting inexpensive Blu-Ray discs in a bin. I reasoned that Blue-Ray players must be built to better tolerances, and with better components. Thus I finally surrendered to 'progress.'

But what would be the first movie that I bought for this new Blu-Ray player? Only 1 out of 50 movies in Walmart's cheapie bin is worth getting. I always look for classics or at least semi-classics. Howard Hawks's "Rio Bravo" seemed the best I could do.

When I popped it into the Blu-Ray player, my retro-grouchery was immediately validated: I couldn't tell much difference between a Blu-Ray and an up-converted DVD disc. So I was wise to hold off for years and years.

But at least the movie pleased me. More on that later.

But say, this is the Nth time in my life that retro-grouchery has proven beneficial. Why doesn't everybody do it?


del said…
Yep - retro-grouchery wins on this issue for sure. Unless you have a really big TV and multi-speaker sound system blu-rays are a waste of money. On small screens most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a cleanly encoded DVD and a blu-ray. There's just not enough pixels in the smaller displays for the extra detail to be visible, so most of the information you're paying for with blu-rays is discarded.

- Dave
...and my television screen is a 13" diagonal HDMI. It is used at arm' length from my eyeballs. And uses about 1.1 Amp at 12 VDC.
Sondra said…
I still have and use my VHS player!
My goodness, Sondra, those VHS tapes must be pretty stretched out by now! And what are you going to do when your local VHS player repair facility closes? (grin)
John V said…
Every once in a while we see VHS tapes at garage sales. We always wonder if anyone still has one. I can see the interest in albums and record players, but VHS takes some real commitment!