How are you, friends? It’s been a long time no see, I know. As of lately I’ve taken a somewhat extended hiatus from gaming. Many of you know I’m majoring in film, and it has redirected many of my interests to movies. And it’s no surprise gaming has accelerated those interests, with the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive introducing me to High-Definition media, followed by the Playstation 3 with it’s Blu-ray drive. Between you and me, I’ll tell you it’s like a crack addiction. I just can’t get enough high-definition content.
I had been toying with the thought of starting a new website dedicated to HD, and with one sleepless night, it was so. I present to you: High-Def Junkie
If you read this website, chances are you too are a high-def junkie. Many of us went through the transition from standard def together. I bought my first HDTV in late 2005 in preparation for the Xbox 360 launch. Then after a YEAR of relentless nagging (by yours truly), our friend Tarun went HD. And now, it has completely spoiled me. It actually pains me to watch anything in standard-def.
So I extend an invitation for you to join me over at High-Def Junkie. Since gaming is very much a part of the high-def addiction along with movies, I’m planning to in someway tie these two sites together. I’ve already set up forums over at High-Def Junkie, with a section dedicated to gaming. Perhaps I will make them the official gamerawr forums? Any input is appreciated. See you there!
I’m not gonna lie, the fanboy within me jumped for joy when I heard this news. The lack of exclusive studio support was always pointed at as HD DVDs downfall. The Blu-ray folks were just waiting for the day Universal (the only HD DVD exclusive studio) jumped shipped. Well, someone jumped shipped, and it was Paramount, DreamWorks Animation leaving Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD. Before, Blu-ray fans were only missing out on Universal titles, now there are multiple studios with blockbuster movies you can only watch on HD DVD.
I guess this news is partly bad, too, since it means to “format war” will continue to wage on. While I have both formats, I far prefer HD DVD, as I think most would who have tried both. All we need are some cheaper standalone players, and sales could easily sway back in HD DVD’s favor. Blu-ray has gotten a huge install base boost from Sony’s
trojan horse PS3. A video game console can help sway a battle, but it’s ultimately up to standalone players getting into peoples houses. HD DVD already has the upper hand here, as standalone HD DVD player prices continue to drop and be cheaper than Blu-ray. Go on HD DVD, fight the good fight.
Here’s the deal. Blu-ray was rushed out the door in order to stay competitive with HD DVD. The Blu-ray Disc Association has only recently finalized the formats specifications, which most current players do not conform to. This includes the Playstation 3, and all of Sony’s own Blu-ray players. The lacking features include PIP support, part of BD-Java technology. Many players that even support BD-Java, do not support picture in picture.
What I find most humorous is that Crank and The Descent placed two versions of the film on the disc, one with and one without PIP, to get around the limitations. Although a creative workaround, it hinders the bit rate and space for bonus features.
After October 31, 2007, picture-in-picture (via BD-J) will be mandatory for players to carry the Blu-ray logo. New specification requirements also include 256MB of persistent memory storage, and a required 1GB for players with an internet connection. This new memory requirement is also part of the BD-J picture-in-picture spec.
So what does this mean for your current Blu-ray player? A simple firmware update, right? Well, a firmware update obviously won’t give you memory that isn’t already there. Andy Parsons, senior VP of advanced product development at Pioneer Electronics, believes picture-in-picture is too complicated to be fixed with an update. Read the rest of this entry »