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Blu-ray &Random Steven Kippel on 18 Dec 2007

Twas the week before Xmas

Twas the week before Xmas

Format War 2007One week until Christmas, so what’s going on in the World of Format War?

Best Buy is currently running a BOGO that includes the HD DVD version of Bourne Ultimatum and Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix. This is the first time new release titles have made it into one of these sales.

The Playstation 3 receives firmware update 2.10 adding Blu-ray 1.1 compatibility. This adds PiP functionality which is being brought out in upcoming releases from Lions Gate, Sony and Fox.

Fanboys are being fanboys.

Blu-ray &Random Steven Kippel on 04 Dec 2007

Michael Bay at it again

Michael Bay at it again

Of all the unlikely news-makers in the “format war,” Michael Bay sure nows how to stir the pot. Months back when Paramount and Dreamworks announced they were going HD DVD exclusive, Bay posted on his website that he thought the decision “sucked” and even questioned making Transformers 2 because of it. He retracted the first comment and said he was angry and posted after having a few drinks.

Michael BayNow he has posted again saying, “Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about.” This rumor isn’t new to the format war observers, it has been made before. He goes on to say, “Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray [sic]. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth.”

I don’t imagine the post will stay up much longer – just like the first post was taken down. Bay seems to want to connect to his fans, but he really ought to let his publicists post for him. And then maybe he should just stop posting drunk.

Blu-ray &Random &WesleyTech Steven Kippel on 11 Nov 2007

Armistice Day

Armistice Day

Today is Armistice Day, the day set aside to commemorate the end of The War to End All Wars. While there are certainly wars ravaging all across the world, for some reason I’m caught up in the middle of the most trivial of all wars, the high-def format war. It’s not really a war at all, it’s more like two-year-olds arguing over the same toy. “Mine,” they say with that whiny voice while huffing with an air of disgust and fury.

Not a war at all. For surely there would be no war if it weren’t for the media’s inherent ability to sensationalize everything. Without the “format war” there would have been a year of “slow news days” or the poor “journalists” would have to fabricate some other random controversy to generate web clicks.

Format War 2007Here in the States we’ve changed Armistice Day into “Veterans Day” – and in the British Commonwealths to “Remembrance Day” – after World War II (The Great War). Apparently the entire western world was naive for the first half of the 20th Century thinking one war was going to be the last ever. It would be just as naive to think this high-def war would be the last format war as well. Certainly we would hope the mega-corporations would have enough sense to avoid another one, but egos always get the better of the two sides and it’s inevitable. This is how shooting wars start after all, two sides can’t agree on something so they start killing each other. Yes, it’s obviously the most ridiculous concept ever devised by humans, but it sure is good for the economy! (I say this in jest obviously.)

I may just be the only person watching this war who is jaded (I sure hope not), but I’m over the whole affair. It appears some in the industry are also growing weary. Sony’s Howard Stringer appeared to be tiring of the canard. Reflecting back to before he was CEO he declared that he wishes he would have stuck to the negotiations and unified the two formats. He blamed egos for the quagmire we’re in (isn’t it always one ego trying to prove something to the world?).

You may have noticed I haven’t posted last week. It was not because I was enjoying my amaretto sours while I wasted away at home, or because I am sick of the “format war.” It was because I was away on vacation. I was in Las Vegas where I had neither fun nor relaxation. I am back now and I will be writing more articles for your education or enjoyment. I will be enjoying an amaretto sour, however.

Blu-ray &Random Steven Kippel on 01 Nov 2007

A little rationality is in order

A little rationality is in order

I’ve been thinking about the whole format “war” thing and I’ve come to a conclusion: It seems like the only rational discussions concerning the formats is taking place in the Warner Bros. boardrooms.

By the way the HD DVD fans have been talking on the message boards across the internet about this pre-Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart, you would think Sony had thrown in the towel … along with the other 170 other companies that support Blu-ray. Yeah, a one-day sale of a discontinued player single-handedly ends a format war with staunch lines drawn on both sides. Pretty ridiculous.

And there are reports of Blu-ray fans picketing outside Wal-Mart claiming supporting HD DVD is supporting terrorism. That’s right, buying an optical media format kills children all across the world!

Format War 2007Can we get some rational discussion about this? I wish I had a TARDIS so I could go back to 1994 and hog-tie Al Gore to prevent the “interweb” tubes from getting clogged by base blabber from fanboys.

Face it, Time Warner is having trouble getting advertisers for high-def networks because there aren’t enough subscribers. People with HDTVs don’t care about high-def. This is the problem, isn’t it? The “digital revolution” has brought us a culture that doesn’t care about quality. MP3 has taken a format that is already someone flawed (CD) and made it markedly worse, yet the iPod has made it acceptable. Surround sound systems are frequently set up so the front and rear speakers are sitting next to each other. Standard-def TV is displayed on HDTVs and that’s worse than DVDs. Two-thirds of HDTV owners think DVD is high-def.

My point? The HD DVD side is looking for commodity priced players. The problem is when a customer goes to the store they don’t want to think about formats, they want to think about which movie to buy. HD DVD isn’t a commodity product. Blu-ray thinks they can force the format on the market, but over 60% of PS3 users could care less about Blu-ray.

Both formats are niche products!

So can we have rational discussion about the merits of both formats? Can we talk about the market in a way that analyzes the moves of the companies and the impact it might have on the way we enjoy our movies? Can we talk about anything without hyperbole and pedantic arguments?

I would rather argue about poverty, politics, religion, art, literature … you know, stuff that actually matters.

Blu-ray &Random Wes Novack on 03 Jun 2007

Blu-ray laser in your pocket

Blu-ray laser in your pocket?
Neko Advanced Technologies recently posted the following promotional video for their new “Blu-ray” professional laser, the NT-L-118 V-SERIES.

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According to the video, the pocket sized laser device features a “Blu-ray” 405.5 nm high output diode. The laser is 5 3/8” X 9/16” and is powered by two AAA batteries.

Blu-ray laser or just blue / violet?

While this is certainly a “cool device”, it technically has nothing to do with “Blu-ray”, the optical storage format developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). It does use a blue laser diode, which may or may not be similar to the diodes used in real Blu-ray Disc devices. Nonetheless, if you want an extremely powerful and really cool violet/purple laser, you can snatch one of these up on ebay now for $349.99.

Random Wes Novack on 12 Jan 2007

The view from my office

I have an office in downtown Phoenix that I have the option to work from. The view from my window is very nice, so I thought I would post a few pictures up for all to see.



As you can see I have quite a nice view of the sky and some nearby Phoenix buildings. I think it is a pretty sweet view! The location and environment of your work space can mean the difference between being productive and happy or non-productive and miserable. I have heard of many scientific studies that indicate sunshine helps to promote good moods and feelings of happiness.

Do you have a nice view of the sky and surrounding areas from your work environment? If you do not, does it make you feel down or less happy compared to working from an area with a nice view? Does your view affect your mood at all? If you have any input on this topic, please let me know!

nob &Random Wes Novack on 23 Dec 2006

Limited Internet access

I currently have very limited access to the internet, so the site may not be updated for a short period of time. I have had to move TWICE in the past two weeks, and I am in the process of getting connected at the (second) new place. More updates from in the near future. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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