With HD-DVD Immanent, Is Starting A "Regualr" DVD Collection A Wise Move?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Irwin H. Zack, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Irwin H. Zack

    Jul 8, 1999
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    First, allow me to qualify the header question with my own circumstances to put it into proper perspective and avoid any misunderstanding.

    Up until a couple of years ago I had an 1989 Toshiba 52" PRTV and a first or second generation DVD player. Before that I had invested in Laser Disc. The DVD collection that I have is very small and most of the titles have since been reissued and updated. When sold my place last December I just left the TV there and gave my DVD player to a friend who didn't have one. I lived in temporary accommodations until a month or two ago when I took possession of my new townhouse. Subsequently I have purchased a Toshiba 50HDX82 RPTV and an SD4800 DVD player. I also subscribe to HD cable and here is where the problem begins.

    After watching what little native HDTV broadcasts that we can get all I can say is that I'm blown away by the superior quality of the picture as compared to non Hi-Def sources. I also recently invested in the top of the line Sony SCD-1 SACD player and experience the same type of difference between SACD and "regular" CD recordings.

    Now, to the point. With the advent of "Blue Laser" technology and Hi-Def DVD relatively just around the corner is it a wise move to start buying regular DVDs only to want to replace them with HD versions in the near future or when available?

    I live in the center of a rather large city and it is just a short walk to the nearest Video rental store (Blockbuster) and many others close by. I sort of think it would make sense at this point to rent anything I want to see and hold off buying any new software until HD becomes available. If the manufacturers have any sense (unfortunately they haven't shown it in the past) they will standardize the HD format and any new machines could be backward compatible to regular DVD even if it meant having two or variable focal length laser readers included. In that case buying a new player even in as short a time as a year or so from now would be a worthwhile investment from my viewpoint.

    Again, let me say that I am not a collector as such and would only tend to purchase things that I know I will watch repeatedly over a period of time such as the 'Fawlty Towers' box, Ken Burns' 'Civil War' or movies like 'Apocalypse Now' or 'Total Recall', which are examples of movies that I really enjoy.

    Taking into account what I have said above how would you approach the situation?

    Any input would be appreciated with thanks.
  2. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

    Sep 28, 1998
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    Since you're not really a collector, you should buy DVDs of the things you really like and want to have available for repeated viewing. For other stuff, just rent if that is an easy option for you.

    I think the point of substantial HD-DVD releases may be farther off than you think. Hollywood isn't done milking the DVD cow by a long shot. Consider that DVD is now 5 years old and we're still waiting for many things to be released on DVD. How many programs will be instantly released on HD-DVD even when it does finally arrive? You could wait many years.

    So I say enjoy DVDs now and don't worry too much about HD-DVD until we see it arrive, especially with regards to older or more obscure titles that probably won't be released for a long, long time, if ever. Also, don't forget that you will probably be able to sell any DVDs you eventually replace with HD-DVD, so it won't be a total loss.

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