My first Blu-ray experience
Call me the atypical Adobe employee…While I am a techno geek and absolutely love to play with technology, I either choose or (personal finances permitting) can’t get all of the lovely toys exactly when I want to.
In my case, I chose not to run out and get a Blu-ray player right away – even though Encore is still the only cross-platform affordable Blu-ray authoring tool available.
I chose not to, for a couple of reasons. First, even though I had a lot of information that indicated Blu-ray would eventually win, I chose not to be an early adopter with the possible chance that my bet was wrong. Even though I was a kid, I remember the choice between VHS and Betamax. Ugh.
My second reason is even simpler – I already have a game system and didn’t need a Sony Playstation 3 to go along with my Nintendo Wii. And in case you want to argue for the PS3 over the Wii, I already know all the arguments and completely agree that the graphics and power of the PS3 is superior to the Wii, but hey – I’m old school!
Anyway, this weekend, I plunked down the $400 and picked up a PS3 to act as my primary DVD player. I chose this for three reasons
- It’s one of the cheapest if not the cheapest ways to get a Blu-ray player.
- It upconverts standard DVDs to make them look better
- It’s a PS3 – I like games! (see above)
So, after setting up the basics of the system, I fired up Ocean’s 11 in full screen SD and took a look. Looked fine, but nothing fantastic and the audio was LCR and not a true 5.1. But still, the same or slightly better than a standard DVD
Second, I hunted my collection for something that would have wild audio and I picked the first Lord of the Rings deluxe standard DVD. Audio – WOW! The PS3 sounded like the bomb – better than my original DVD player even with the same digital output. Don’t know why, but I’ll take it!
Third, popped in the included Spiderman 3 Blu-ray DVD and skimmed several minutes of several scenes. Looks terrific, definite difference and detail. DETAIL!
For purposes of comparison, I then put in the standard-def version of Spiderman 3 with the PS3’s upconversion. Have to admit, that I was surprised at how good the SD version was. It definitely wasn’t like going from VHS to DVD which was noticable to everyone immediately. Still, the acid test is if my wife noticed the difference and she did. This is a good sign for tech hungry men everywhere!
The big difference for me, was the detail of the overall scene. You could make out a lot of stuff in the scene that might just be blurry on the SD version. Yes, there was definitely a difference on the picture itself, but the big thing for me was the little detail and overall clarity of the entire picture.
So, is it time for you to purchase a Blu-ray? I don’t know, but I will say that I’m glad that I did and now I feel safe in my purchase.
One last note, under one of the Sony ‘about’ panels, I saw that they had licensed the Flash player for their system. Great to see both the PS3 and the Wii have it installed in their OS.