So long Blue-Ray

Last modified on January 11th, 2007

Well, I’ve been on the fence for a while about what technology would win: Blue-Ray or the HD-DVD. I’ve swung multiple ways during all the debates, sometimes favouring Blue-Ray and sometimes favouring the HD-DVD. Technically, Blue-Ray is superior technology, but HD-DVD is easier to manufacture, and is cheaper to produce. I’ve been waiting anxiously for a clear winner to emerge to I could finally go buy one of these things. I mean, most of my research at UBC was in the area of high definition, so it seems fitting that I should have a full HD setup at home.

I had thought that the PS/3 would be an instant success, and automatically put Blue-Ray players into most homes. But due to a series of blunders on Sony’s part, PS/3 adoption has been slow, and the reviews haven’t been that great for the system in general. Every time I walk through Pacific Center I ask if they have any PS/3s — same answer everytime — nope. Why? Because Sony is way behind on manufacturing them.

But I think this may be the final nail in the coffin of Blue-Ray. No porn on Blue-Ray? See ya.

This whole HD adoption process has been so exceedingly painful. First, companies have been pushing HD TVs at people for years now, telling them they should be “HD-ready” when the time comes. Sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, with all the piracy that’s gone on in the last few years, they’ve now mandated that most HD broadcasts can only be shown on equipment that supports a digital interface such as DVI or HDMI (because these are protected). What that means is all those poor saps that caved into the Future Shop pressure are now left with TVs that despite being technically able to show a HD picture, won’t be able to.

Add to that the HD-DVD/Blue-Ray debackle and you can understand why HD is getting the big apathetic yawn these days. I went down to several Future Shops over the Christmas break, and I had a hard time finding any HD players at all. At most, the only store I found was the downtown Future Shop on Robson, and they have one Blue-Ray player and one HD-DVD relatively hidden in the back. No signs. No prices. Why? Because nobody really cares.

You would think Sony would have learned its lesson now about doing customized technology. First, the Betamax was a pretty big failure, despite being technically superior. Follow that by the nearly non-existant super audio CD (SACD) adoption. And now we have the Blue-Ray which appears to be on its way out the door.

I just hope it dies a quick death.