Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
"Our chief weapon is greater capacity...greater capacity and more manufacturer support … more manufacturer support and greater capacity. Our *three* weapons are more manufacturers and greater capacity…and higher content availability…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Blu-ray consortium…. Our *four* …no… *Amongst* our weapons…. *Amongst* our weaponry…are such elements as more manufacturers, greater capacity….I'll come in again."
Yes, please do. The Home Theater "Specialists" of America (my quotes) threw their support behind Blu-ray this week. Not that anyone I'm aware of was asking their opinion. If the story in Twice is correctly attributed, executive director Richard Glikes claimed "better resolution" as one of Blu-ray's advantages. Over DVD, VHS tape and a drunk at a New Year's Eve party, definitely, but in comparison to HD DVD, claiming a better resolution is simply flat out false.
The group's 62 member appear to be mostly high-end custom installers catering to an exclusive clientele. If they were weighing in on the relative benefits of walnut over oak cabinetry, I'd be more likely to take them seriously, but electronics are just a portion of the whole experience HTSA members are expected to provide to their customers. What they do, I'm sure they do well, and settling on Blu-ray is a simple decision that, as we used to say about buying IBM, isn't something that's likely to get them fired.
But down here in the pits, where the plasma-endowed nouveau riche still know that Walmart closes at 9:30, everyone realizes the battle isn't going to be decided by the 1% of the budget that a Blu-ray player represents in a high end home theater installation. Blu-ray is a fine format on paper, but it still suffers the growing pains of its premature birth. To this day, standalone BD player lack Ethernet ports making them little more than boat anchors once BD Live (Profile 2) players appear. With Toshiba players like the HD-A2 available for under $250 on Amazon, the twice as expensive BD players have a hard time justifying themselves. Even disinterested parties like Forrester Research are insisting that Blu-ray has to hit a price point of $250 by the holiday season or, as we also used to say, their ass is grass.
I don't know about you, but I'm going back to the Comfy chair until this thing is over.