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I always figured he was bigger... - Mark's Journal
I always figured he was bigger...
"I'm Batman."I started buying Blu-ray discs about a year ago, slowly building a library of the titles I knew would be worth having in HD. I invested in a couple myself, and included some on my holiday wishlist, figuring I'd eventually actually get the player to go with it. (I also included that on the wishlist.) My parents sent a couple of Blu-ray movies for Hanukkah last year, but no player. :-)

At first, I'd been waiting for HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc to finish fighting it out, but by a year ago that fight was long since over. Then I was waiting for BD players to come down in price, but without the competition from Toshiba's HD-DVD, the BD folks saw no need to lower their prices. I didn't want to buy the oldest models, and I didn't want to buy a no-name player.

Well, Woot finally had a Blu-ray player for sale last week that was a name brand product, had the features I cared about, and was a surprisingly reasonable $129. I grabbed it. It showed up yesterday, and I finally hooked it up after the game tonight.

First movie? "The Dark Knight." A brilliant film, way better, way darker, than "Batman Begins" -- which I also loved. The picture and sound are terrific, though I found it distracting that the movie keeps switching back and forth between letterboxed and full-screen. After I decided I wasn't seeing things, I looked at the box, which says it's "Variable 2.4:1 and 1.78:1 (IMAX Sequences)." Sheesh. Did anyone see this on an IMAX screen? Did they switch back and forth there, too?

I've also got "The Godfather" trilogy and two three-movie James Bond sets in Blu-ray. Those should all be fun to watch, though I suspect they'll gain less from being in HD than "The Dark Knight" does.

I think it's bedtime.
9 comments or Leave a comment
ohcruelfate From: ohcruelfate Date: October 25th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)

switching back and forth

FWIW, I saw The Dark Knight on IMAX, and I don't recall any weird switching back and forth.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: October 25th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: switching back and forth

Dan remembers differently! (See below.) Your suspension of disbelief must be stronger. ;-)
mpanther From: mpanther Date: October 25th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: switching back and forth

on the large, curved, Imax screen it probably wasn't anywhere as noticeable as on a flat HDTV screen.

Maybe this would be the reason to upgrade to a 60+" HDTV?

polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: October 25th, 2009 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
The only BD I've seen thus far is Iron Man, which looked pretty good.
corkdorkdan From: corkdorkdan Date: October 25th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw TDK in IMAX, and the switching was there. I think there's 5 or 6 sequences (the bank robbery scene and the Hong Kong "extraction scene" come to mind) which were shot in IMAX. Those scenes appear "taller" on the IMAX screen, which I suppose becomes full screen on a home player.
jccohen From: jccohen Date: October 25th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember it switching, either, but its perfectly possible that its not as noticeable on the imax sized screen. Jen doesn't either.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: October 25th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Maybe if the average viewer tended to notice, they'd stop.
callusdew From: callusdew Date: October 26th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also saw TDK in IMAX and distinctly remember the switching.
perisoft From: perisoft Date: October 30th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much everything looks drastically better on bluray.

To put this in perspective - your monitor is probably somewhere around HD resolution; pretty much everything now is 1440x900 and up.

So, switch your monitor back down to 640x480.

That's DVD. Except DVD is also compressed with mpeg2, which is far less efficient at the same bandwidth, AND has far less bandwidth to boot.

So, take a screenshot of that and save it with heavy jpeg compression. Now think about working like that... :)

Then on top of all that, you have the issue with a lot of DVDs being printed with horrible edge enhancement to try to make them look sharper on old 4:3 CRT TVs.

If you haven't got Wall-E, you should get it, by the way. It's absolutely amazing. You're more than welcome to come over and see what it looks like on a 100" screen some time. :)
9 comments or Leave a comment