Daily Blog – Adrian Wittenberg – July 22, 2008: BD, WHY SO LOSSY?

Blu-Ray is supposed to represent the “next generation” of watching movies on our home theater systems.  At least, many consumers think that’s what they are getting when they decide to shell out the twenty-five or thirty dollars to get the disc.  Unfortuntely, we are still seeing many titles being released that don’t deliver on that promise and they skimp on both quality and features thus watering down people’s expectation of what they get with the format.

For instance, there are far too many recent Blu-Ray titles that don’t include a Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD lossless audio track.  Furthermore, a fifty gigabyte disc is available and yet we still see plenty of titles being released on the smaller twenty five gigabyte format thus limiting what will fit on the disc.  Remember, one of the features that made Blu-Ray more desireable than HD-DVD was the extra storage capacity.  Now that Blu-Ray has won the format war its time the studios use that extra capacity. 

Consumers have been paying the full price regardless and they aren’t going to continue doing so until their expectations of high quality are met each and every time.  It seems like Warner Brothers has caught on though and some of their recent announcements indicate they will be devoting more attention to quality in future releases.

When there becomes a consistent high level of quality, the format will really start to thrive and flourish.  It’s been growing here and overseas at a steady rate, but it can grow even faster.  Personally, I have only been buying a sparse few Blu-Ray titles that I’m really a fan of such as No Country for Old Men, Hellboy, and Pan’s Labyrinth.  When more titles start delivering amazing sound in either high resolution Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD and amazing picture with exquisite dynamic range, I will be far less picky and it will be the desire to see and hear the quality of the production rather than my affinity for a film that drives the purchase.

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