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First world problems - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 1st, 2011

10:03 am - First world problems

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Our DVD player is huckery and old. It was one we bought second hand and cheap with a bunch of other house stuff when we moved in, and 2 years on it's temperamental on the best of days and on the others it's just plain mental. Or at least, overly sensitive. We have some discs that have only been played half a dozen times, yet our DVD player turns up its nose and goes "Ew scratches!" Which is a total lie but hey, if it won't play it won't play, and we sit there going "But.. but.. Sam and Dean! WAH!"

So it's probably time for a new one. The house account has recovered from buying the firewood and we have a little money to play with so I thought I'd investigate our options. Seems that Blu-Ray is The Thing These Days (yes yes I know it's been around for 10 years but OHAI WE'RE KIWIS and stuff takes a while to filter down here) - it seems to have really jumped in the last couple of years particularly. Consequently, DVD players are cheap as. Blu-Ray players cost a little more (but not much more) than what I'd been expecting to pay for a decent quality DVD player, so hence I am now looking at them. I was convinced by the bit where our oldskool DVDs (of which we have quite a few) will play in a Blu-Ray player, so we don't lose all our media. And lots of them seem to have a USB port too.

But beyond that, I know nothing of Blu-Ray. I've read the wiki page and gleaned from that that it's better and pretty soon we won't be able to buy DVDs of media* at all. Fine, happy to update. But what's good quality? I know that in many cases, price isn't necessarily an indicator. So I'm throwing it to the floor - who Knows Stuff about this and what would you recommend? We are not made of money but we have a bit because our house account is a squirrel - $300-$400 would be about right for good entertainment tech at our level I think. So, um, what brands are good value for money?

* Yes I am a buyer of media - I prefer to pay for my entertainment because I like to support the makers of it. However, I think the copyright machinations that make it so some things are not available in NZ for months after everyone else can buy them, or even that we never get said things, are ridiculous. And I'm not above pirating in such a situation. Fuck them and their draconian bullshit designed to extract more money. *ahem*

Also, in case you didn't know, today is Christopher Walken's birthday. Well, technically for us it was yesterday because it's 31 March but he's in the US so, you know.. Anyway, have a tribute thingy:



He's awesome. He's also a year younger than my Mum and has Ranty Dave hair.

Um, yeah. See you at Fidels I guess.

Comments:

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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:March 31st, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
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A few things about Blu-Ray players.

1. It does really depend on what kind of TV you have. If your screen size is less than 40" or so and you can't do at least 720p resolution you aren't going to see much difference between DVD and Blu-Ray.

2. Same with sound. If you aren't hooked up to a sound system that can deal with all the latest audio codecs DVD will be just fine.

3. The really cool thing about a lot of Blu-Ray players is that they support streaming from your computer(s) via wireless network. I find this invaluable.

If you don't need any of the three things above a $100 DVD player will probably meet all your needs.

Edited at 2011-03-31 09:52 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:March 31st, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
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We are less concerned about picture and sound quality than we are about

a) being able to play our media without constantly having to take discs out and clean them

b) futureproofing (how much longer will DVD media be available?)
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[User Picture]
From:chickenfeet2003
Date:March 31st, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
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I don't know how long any hard media will be available. I suspect the future is soft. You can always rip DVDs so your legacy purchases are protected. The sensitivity to media thing is more a function of brand and model than DVD versus Blu-Ray. I think you have two choices in your situation:

1. Buy a cheap DVD player and regard it as disposable.

2. Start to set up for streaming everything from a media server.

(1) is easier, cheaper and less prone to guessing technology trends wrong.
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From:caycos
Date:March 31st, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
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We use a PS3 to play Bluray, which seems to work well. Although actually we have a separate dvd player for dvds so maybe it doesn't play dvds - would be worth double-checking if someone says 'just get a console'..
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:April 1st, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
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The PS3 will play DVD and a whole bunch of other things. It also has 802.11n built in so it's a good option for streaming over a wireless network. It's no longer the only good option though.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 31st, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Ohhh..knowing that a blue ray player thingymebob will also play dvds.. is a good thing.. whee.. also a usb.. also very cool..

hmm.. so it seems that a blue ray player is a good idea at this point and not a throw away object as purchasing a dvd player would be.. ??

now so keen on a PS3, but then also i am not really a gamer person.. so yeah, nothing against them..do be do..

right of to create things of magical persuasion.

*grins*

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From:tatjna
Date:March 31st, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm not all that interested in a console either.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 1st, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
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I would say get a cheap DVD player. Bluray isn't worth worrying about without an HD TV.

As chickenfeet2003 says, one can always rip DVDs to more accessible formats if DVD players are no longer available.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 1st, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
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Apparently bluray discs are more robust than DVDs, ie less prone to scratching. Do you know if this is true? Because if so it's also worth considering in the equation.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 1st, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
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Bluray discs are also much more expensive than DVDs... although I guess if you are renting then it's less of an issue. Maybe check their rental price?

I have no idea if it's true that they are more robust though.
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:April 1st, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
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Bluray discs are also much more expensive than DVDs

That's not always true. I've bought several where the BR was cheaper. In some cases where the DVD version was a 2 disk set but the BR came on one disk much cheaper.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 1st, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
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hmm, I guess, but bear in mind that NZ prices are a lot different to Northern America.
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From:chickenfeet2003
Date:April 1st, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
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Good point. It does look to me though as if some labels want to shift people to Blu-Ray because having to make/carry 2 SKUs per title is a PITA.
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