It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got a Blu-ray DVD player. I was psyched when I first heard about the new high-definition DVD’s that were planned. But then Sony introduced one standard and a competing standard called HD DVD was being developed too. So there was a long format war with studios lining up on different (sometimes both) sides. Buy the wrong technology and you’d be stuck with a dinosaur. That’s ultimately what happened to those early adopters who bought the lower tech, more affordable HD DVD players.
But even after the format war ended early this year, Blu-ray players were expensive, about $400. You could just buy a Playstation 3 which could play Blu-ray discs for about the same price. I kept shopping and waiting for the prices to come down. I think the weak dollar over the summer kept that from happening as quickly, but now the recession and a stronger dollar have worked their magic. Fry’s had an ad the day before Thanksgiving for a Panasonic player for less than $200. That’s a pretty good price point, plus they had a great special on memory for my laptop so that I was able to upgrade from 2 GB to 4 GB for only $20. And since they were offering a 2 GB SD card for 99 cents after a $5 rebate, I got one of those too. I should have done more research on this particular player, but Fry’s doesn’t tell you in the ad what model it is. It turns out it is a DMP-BD30, a model introduced last year, but one that got good reviews on Amazon.
Last night I went to Hollywood Video and rented a Blu-ray disc to try out the new player. I rented No Country for Old Men which I had been putting off seeing due to the violence and murky ending (still a good movie). It was a good one to try out Blu-ray since the Coen brothers make such nice-looking movies. It was a very simple matter of disconnecting the old DVD player and connecting the new one. Since the old one was a Panasonic as well, I didn’t even have to change the settings on my universal remote control.
But Hollywood Video charges an arm and a leg for Blu-ray movies. This one was over six dollars I think. So I went ahead and signed up for Netflix who charge one dollar extra per month if you want Blu-ray movies. I’ll probably do Netflix for a couple of months, though I should have waited and signed up first thing Friday morning since they won’t be shipping today anyway.