Blue Ray – I Can Feel A Pusle But Will It Live

Baraka - now in Blue Ray

Baraka - now on Blue Ray

After Toshiba pulled out of the High Definition(HD) DVD race because misguided movie companies supported Blue Ray, I predicted Blue Ray would be successful only if the players were cheap. This has not happened in any significant way up to today and with the world economy in a recession a new format may not be what consumers would use to save money.

Low priced Blue Ray players have been selling for about US$200 (Samsung), US$300 (Sony) and US$400 (Sony 80G Playstation 3 Game System/Blue Ray player) but Blue Ray has not yet convinced the world why Blue Ray must live. Some reviewers say these low end players (not PS3) have long boot times and suffer from bugs that are the envy of Microsoft.  A regular DVD player boots up instantly and is cheaper than a battery for a Fuji digital camera. That is what Blue Ray is competing against. Why should movie companies invest and produce two versions of the same movie, one for regular DVD that may sell 500,000 copies and the other for Blue Ray that may sell 10,000 copies? I understand it is also more costly to produce a Blue Ray disc because of higher initial production and manufacturing cost. If the volume of sales for Blue Ray doesn’t take off then Blue Ray my end up simply being the proprietary format for the Sony PS3 since movie houses would lose interest.

 Home Theater System

The Polk Audio DS7200 Home Theater System

The ads might be enticing but a Blue Ray player cannot impress anyone as a standalone unit. A Blue Ray Player has to work with an HDMI digital ready TV that has a resolution of 720p or better to show its video superiority. To appreciate the superior sound of Blue Ray the player must be connected to an HDMI receiver that processes uncompressed sound using Dolby TrueHD. It is true that optical and coaxial connections from regular DVD can provide digital audio outputs but the audio advantage can only come from receivers processing uncompressed audio from Blue Ray. The receiver cannot work alone and must be connected to a good 5.1 or a 7.1 speaker system.  When you do the addition a US$200 Blue Ray player can end up costing US$2000 at the low end if you really want to impress those fickle friends.