So I have this friend. When we were younger he would spend almost all of his money on video games and DVDs. He always had more games than I did, but he also had a lot of DVDs. He had so many DVDs. Literally a bookshelf full of them. I’m talking hundreds of different titles. I had no idea where he had even heard of half of his collection and why he would want copies of the other half. When the HD-DVD player came out for Xbox 360 he decided to sell his entire collection on eBay so he could purchase all of them again in this wonderful new format. I do remember watching a couple of the HD-DVDs and marveling in the sharper, more detailed picture.
Then, in a story as old as time immemorial, a challenger came along to unseat HD-DVD from the homes of consumers everywhere. Sony’s Blu Ray format took the field and immediately scored a victory by being built into the Playstation 3 console. It would expand its influence and eventually win the 3rd iteration of the format wars. Betamax fan everywhere doffed their hats in solidarity to another victim of these unforgiving wars.
Well, we may be on the cusp of a new format change. Samsung has announced the first consumer Ultra HD Blu-Ray players. I’m sure my buddy isn’t looking forward to replacing his collection yet again. Not much is currently known about these new players and what their capabilities may be. The resolution will be 4 times the resolution of standard Blu-Ray discs and they will have 64 times the color expression. The guess is that the initial players will debut at prices lower than the $1,000 price tag the first couple Blu-Ray players had.
I’m excited. I’m always excited for new tech, but being a movie hound, I’m especially excited for this. Disc format still irks me a bit. I’d much rather prefer being able to download these files to a home server or hard drive. At least the industry isn’t resting on its laurels. I also wonder if a new format might arise that will challenge Ultra HD Blu-Ray. So much uncertainty about the future, and, for once, I’m okay with it.