New Blu-ray movies!


Oct 18 through Nov 3 is going to see a lot of releases on Blu Ray & HD-DVD.
In fact, a movie that interests me (Naqoyqatsi) is only coming out on HD-DVD.
Ouch! First wound in the format war!
Oh well, Gone in 60 seconds & “Rent” are only on Blu-ray, wahoo!
And besides, even Amazon doesn’t yet list Naqoyqatsi on HD-DVD (but I know where to get it).

There is a SONY style shop at Madison & 55th St. in Manhattan and I got a Blu-Ray discount card there. Something like buy 10, get one free.
I’m almost ready for a free one.
I need to check and see if its valid somewhere close, like Buffalo.

Curiously, Amazon does not yet list RENT on Blu-ray, although I know it is coming out in November.
Another point of note, is that Roger’s Video Direct although listing Blu-ray titles, has not yet shipped me any of my selections.
Anyway, I still have 4 more Blu-ray movie purchases to watch,
and I’m waiting until Saturday until I get a chance to watch one on someone’s SONY Bravia XBR2 LCD television (1080p) anyway.

Sony Bravia XBR2 LCD TVs

They are about to hit the streets in Toronto shortly (they’re already all over the place in the U.S.), maybe less than a week in places. I saw these TVs in the U.S. recently and they look good. I might get one if I can find a good deal. Should fit nicely in the living room on the wall. Sony Style Link A Review

It comes with several HDMI inputs, so I’m thinking of connecting the Blu-ray player to it. Blu-ray in a few places in the U.S. is too cutting edge for some (video) stores. However at stores that sell the players, you can expect to find discs for sale there.

As an aside, I’m glad I collected a few DVDs over the years. Many years ago I watched “The Warriors”. Over that (long) period of time, I have drifted to a slightly right of center political philosophy (from slightly left of center) and I was surprised at how differently “The Warriors”, the new directors cut comes across to me now. Of course, times are different too, I just watched a show about the Battle for the World Economy (6 hours, PBS) (globalization, socialism and such) — apparently I’m not the only one. Anyhow, the movie has been changed a bit to reflect its roots from the graphic novel upon which it was based. So for those of you caught in the globalization tide, it’s time to get a new TV and rewatch some movies from your past, or buy a Mercury Grand Marquis, a VCR and head back to the coal mines if you prefer The Old Ways.

TechTok 03: open source iTheatre, OpenStep

This week Iain and I are attending
Apple’s World-Wide Developer Conference (a.k.a. WWDC) for 2006.
We chatted on the airplane.
Despite the babies crying in front of us and behind us, and the loud ambience, you can understand almost all of what we’re saying.

One day we’ll actually post edit our recordings.
(4.9MB, 10:35)

Yes, I am on a roll posting these.
The enclosure tags in the posts should make them work as a podcast.
Just add to your lists of podcasts.

Format War! Game on!


Okay I picked up a BluRay player (Samsung BD-P1000), programmed my Harmony remote (they already know about it) and bought a few BluRay titles. Future Shop seems to have rather high prices on BluRay discs at the moment, as I was able to get a few titles in the states last week for quite a discount. So far everything is okay, except that I had to make a tough decision. I had to connect the BluRay player to the DVI input on the TV and drop the HD-PVR back down to component video. I’d forgotten how weird “The 5th Element” was…

HD Beat

Found a not-bad HD site.
HD Beat
seems to be an HD news site, which also has a podcast.

I haven’t listened (watched?) the podcast yet, so I can’t tell you if it’s any good.
Feel free to leave a comment saying if it’s good/bad.

The RSS feed for HDBeat is an excellent full-text feed with images.
Highly recommended.

Hm, all the weblogs blogs I’ve seen so far have these hi-fidelity feeds.
Must be a (very good) corporate policy.

A Challenge


A number of people in my family are looking at getting HD TVs. Asked for advice but knowing very little about the different options, Laura and I took to the web–which came up geeky. Very technical, hard to interpret without a fair depth of knowledge.

So I turn to the Tech Tok crew with this request: Time for something for the layman. Explain the basic concepts without heavy jargon, and lead us as close as we can go into an apples to apple comparison of DLP, plasma and LCD screens. I probably missed one or two right there. Set me straight.

I reckon it will be interesting: Reid says that you don’t even own the same types of monitors. All the better for explaining why. compare and contrast.

Reid also suggested that this might be kindled with a specific question or two, so here goes: Which type produces the best picture from a non-HD source?

Bonus question (suggested by Reid, I don’t even know this much): What the hell is an ATSC tuner?

Go to it! The web needs this resource!

Roger’s Explorer 8300 HD PVR

I upgraded to this unit. The local cable company does not support the HDMI connector, but based on reports that it worked for some people’s TVs, I tried it. It works okay for me using a $100 HDMI to DVI cable to the back of my SONY Grand Wega. The image contrast seems to have improved slightly over component video. The main issues other people have had with HDMI have been unsynchronized audio, I was told. I have also read that even though Roger’s employees are discouraging it, external SATA-300 drives can be plugged into the back. I want to buy a 400Gig SATA-300 tomorrow and try it. This would be about 100 hours of HD programming that could be stored. I have read elsewhere on the net that people have been successful with this. I still expect better technology in this area shortly, so “rental” is the key word here.