[Nagnagnag] _media_issues_

Mark Kolmar mark at burningrome.com
Sat Jan 11 12:17:52 EST 2003


On Sat, 11 Jan 2003, Clive Harris wrote:

> Raj raises an issue that I wasn't going to bother doing, but since he
> mentioned it, I'll add that this is why *I'm* not running out to buy a
> DVD player:

The players are inexpensive.  You can pay a premium for one with better
specs, if your display is good enough for that to make a difference.  But
in the USA you can get a remote-hackable, all-region player for under $100
that will also convert PAL to NTSC.  (There are issues with anamorphic,
i.e. enhanced for widescreen TVs, that I won't get into here.)

The discs can hold a variety of audio, video, and data.  Most of the
players can play MP3s on CD-Rs, so you aren't tied to your computer for
that anymore.  The form factor is more convenient than VHS or LaserDisc.  
The discs are durable and do not wear (though go to any rental shop and
wonder...)  Acceptance has been very fast.  DVD is not going away any time
soon, no more than CDs have.

> From: "-1" <rajg@nol.net>
> > also, in the near future another format which supports
> > HDTV and high-definition formats will be released..these
> > will NOT be backwards compatible with DVD so far...

Any future format is totally up in the air.  People will demand players
that handle all discs of the same form factor, so future players will
surely handle CDs and current DVDs.

As for HDTV, acceptance has been very slow.  I got a widescreen TV to
watch DVD movies with progressive display (*).  It looks much better than
a traditional analog display, and quite acceptable and good.  Frankly I am
surprised in many ways that the movie studios have been willing to release
films even in the current DVD resolution, considering how paranoid and
backward they are.  I don't think higher resolution would add much.  
Consider that the state-of-the-art digital George Lucas (**) used is
something like 1280x1024, for projection on a big screen, vs. 720x480 for
the little screen.  The traditional analog sets can't resolve even that
much.

Good point about ice hockey, though!  Sports will generate some demand.  
I doubt anyone will bother with high-res sitcoms and such.

--Mark

(*) Regular TV displays half the lines 60 (NTSC) or 50 (PAL) times a
second, alternating.  That's called interlaced.  Progressive displays all
the lines top to bottom each time.  Less flicker, mostly.

(**) Not a fan of his, but he is nothing if not a tech-dweeb.


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