I will start with a few key facts to keep in mind while reading this article:

  1. Physical movie media (Blu-Ray/HD DVD) is EXTINCT.
  2. The money you spent on that fancy-shmancy new high definition HD DVD or Blu-Ray player was a waste.
  3. Go return it now and use that money to buy a REALLY BIG HARD DRIVE. (I’ll explain later)

Take a deep breath…. I know, I know, you spent several hundreds or even several thousands of dollars pimping out your entertainment system this past holiday season only to find yourself reading the above. Rest assured you can keep your new TV. Don’t worry its alright, everyone goes through a regretful early-adoption experience at least once in their life. Even this blogger has - damn $500 MiniDisc player! Its no breaking news story that the high definition format war was a waste of time. Journalists have been covering this format war for the past years and even our very on Dany Guérin has published his thoughts on the matter.So who won the war? This image will help me minimize this post by at least 1000 words (your welcome).

format chart

Did you absorb that? Ok good - NOW FORGET IT! Remember #1 on the list, PHYSICAL MOVIE MEDIA IS EXTINCT.

You don’t have to be an IT specialist to see that download speeds are evolving, getting faster and faster. Remember your old dial-up modem, slowly moving kilobits of data? These days we reach speeds in excess of ten megabits and growing - how can we take advantage of all that speed? Well thats when we refer to number three on our list. The Montreal Gazette had an interesting article a while ago reporting how Comcast Corp. the U.S.’s largest cable company will be upgrading its infrastructure. They plan on allowing customers to surf the net at speeds of over 100 megabits per second - yes 10 times the current ‘high-speed’. So what can you do with a download speed of 100 megabits per second? Download high definition movies in 4 minutes and store it on your hard drive of course! Services such as Vuze presently offer a ton of HD content for download with other companies including Apple working on their own offerings.

A couple of days ago Best Buy announced that they will be promoting Blu-Ray as their high definition format of choice. So the next time you pick up a Best Buy or Future Shop (owned by Best Buy) catalogue, skip the blu-ray disc players and head for the hard drives. These days don’t be surprised if you see a one terabyte hard drive for under $300 - about $100 less than what a Blu-Ray player will run you. Next, connect your hard drive to your computer, plug some video and audio cables from your computer to your TV and you are set. Oh and make sure you use the right cables, HDMI or component preferably to ensure that your HD content isn’t going down the degradation drain.

So if I can give you one more piece of advice, I’d recommend that you think twice before you repurchase your movie collection on a “new optical format” like manufacturers would like.

UPDATE 02.16.08

Take a look at this weeks Best-Buy flyer…. looks like they work quickly.

best buy blu ray flyer

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