Blu-ray: What’s New?
Blu-ray is having quite an eventful week, isn’t it? First we heard that Blu-ray wasn’t doing all that hot. Next, we were graced with a B2G1 from Amazon, and a B1G1 from Costco. Later, we got wind of the finalized MSRP for the ultimate Panasonic Blu-ray player — the DMP-BD50 — which only furthered the collective belief that CE companies continue to miss the mark in the pricing department.
To be perfectly clear, we’ve got nothing but good things to say about Panasonic, as they are true pioneers of the Blu-ray technology, and they continue to push the BDP envelope unlike the titular company, Pioneer, who’s content to release new Blu-ray players that are devoid of BD-Live features, at prices that are entirely too high given their feature set.
Call us crazy, but wasn’t the diverse CE support for Blu-ray supposed to promote healthy competition amongst the CE manufacturers? And wasn’t this competition supposed to lead to lowered prices across the board, as opposed to a series of overpriced and underwhelming standalone players? Does anyone else find it a bit unsettling that most Blu-ray supporters the world over will sooner recommend the PS3 over ANY other Blu-ray standalone player on the market? Perhaps not, when you consider the fact that it offers consumers — Pioneer, you might want to take note of this — the best value over every other Blu-ray player due its dual nature as both an HD gaming system and a 2.0 BD Player complete with TrueHD and DTS: MA internal decoding.
It’s obvious that in order for Blu-ray adoption to truly take off, CE companies will have to dethrone the PS3, we simply finding it distressing that few companies, if any, are doing anything to compete effectively with it.
At any rate, with all of that commentary out of the way, we bring you the final nugget of news, which truly is a good sign for the long-term vitality of the Blu-ray format. Starting in October, The Criterion Collection will begin releasing their first Blu-ray discs. While details are a bit sparse at the moment, Criterion has pledged to keep prices of the BD releases “equivalent” to their SD counterparts — which is great news to our ears. Criterion also promises to include all of the previously released supplemental material found on their DVD’s on the Blu-ray versions. If you’re so inclined, you can peep the first thirteen titles, here.