With the attitude of someone who thinks he's seen it all, I visited the recent CEDIAExpo in Denver expecting to be neither pleasantly surprised nor particularly disappointed. Let's be real: When Blu-ray Disc delivers film-like picture plus audiophile sound, and a well-engineered home theater puts the local multiplex to shame, what else can impress a rabid movie buff like me?
Here's a fun fact: Even though the United States is responsible for roughly 85% of box office profits worldwide, we only make 13% of the world's films. As such, it should come as no surprise that the US home video market is vastly different (and arguably quite inferior) to its worldwide counterparts. Don't believe me?
Walk me through your recent HDTV buying experience. I found myself attracted to the LCD. Two of my very good friends - Dave Rodriguez, who's directed two upcoming films that I'm in, and John Barr, the director of photography on those films - they're plasma guys.
As I noted in one of the five entries I wrote for our Top 50 Albums of All Time list (actually, I also penned three of the uncredited entries for albums 41-50 - see if you can guess which ones once our master list posts), I became an audio journalist to extol the virtues of great-sounding recordings.
Ever wonder why mediocre titles like The Scorpion King 2, Scooby Doo, and Happily N'Ever After are available on Blu-ray while classic blockbusters, beloved series, and your favorite films of all time can only be found on DVD? You might be surprised to learn it has little to do with what consumers want.
You know what I'm talking about. You're watching your favorite TV show - well, okay, actually you're just mindlessly dozing in front of the tube (maybe even with a little drool), and then suddenly a LOUD COMMERCIAL jolts you wake! What the heck? Why are the commercials always so much louder than the programs?
It sounded silly. Pursue the audiophile myth that more expensive gear will weigh more. It was well past time to put that audiophile myth to rest. After all: A heavy iPod is better than a lightweight one? A 5-pound cellphone?
Look, a BD player is just another computer running software. Building the player with an 8-pound chassis and charging more is bogus, right?
On my very first visit to Costco, I saw something that burned itself into my brain: a shopping cart loaded with baby formula, junk food, and a 23-inch flat-panel TV set. I felt the same way a fashionista would watching someone use an Armani shirt as a dust rag.