Up – An Inaugural Blu-Ray Experience

So I finally took the plunge and picked up a Blu-Ray Player last week.

The cheap, progressive-scan DVD player that I got for free with my TV back in 2004 had been getting worse and worse about not wanting to play perfectly scratch-free discs, so that was a nice excuse! Granted, our HD TV being an older model, doesn’t actually support 1080p, only 720p and 1080i for high def resolutions, so I knew out of the box that we wouldn’t be getting the absolute best picture, but well, let’s just say it was a little easier to justify a couple hundred in our budget for the new player rather than a few thousand for a shiny, new TV!

Although we have been eyeing a very sharp 73” Mitsubishi DLP at Best Buy for less than $2,500 that we’re thinking would go great in our dream house that we won’t be buying for at least another year…

…on-sale this week for $1,999 – can you believe that?! That’s about how much I paid for my 52” Rear-Projection TV six years ago, but I digress…

Anyways, this blog isn’t meant to be about TVs, but Blu-Ray, and there’s still plenty to say about that little enhancement. Because of the previously-mentioned reasons, I was a little unsure that we’d see much of a difference between traditional DVDs and Blu-Ray, so I was certainly happy to see that the difference was just about as significant as standard def TV vs. Discovery HD Theater! It turned out that a Pixar title was a great choice for my first Blu-Ray experience because the visuals were just incredible. Hell, even the trailers looked amazing, but the real magic was in the movie itself … I would’ve never expected to see such a dramatic difference, especially from a “cartoon,” but the clarity was truly worth the upgrade! In fact, I really struggled to find a few new movies to buy in Blu-Ray versus repurchasing ones that we already had, but just seeing that picture quality convinced me that at least for a couple, I think we may end up buying new copies of anyways.

I’m definitely thinking the Lord of the Rings triology (which comes out in a few weeks) and the first two Toy Story movies (because Disney has a promotion out on them right now).

I’m sure I’ll write more once we’ve had a chance to check out a few more (awesome movie suggestions are very much welcome!), but one closing note regarding the movie Up itself … wow, was that a freaking emotional film! Fortunately it got a lot more manageable as it progressed, but the first ten or fifteen minutes – I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten that emotional over a Disney movie before! After the intro and what seemed like sort of a slow start, I was really beginning to wonder if this was going to be the first “bad” movie that we’ve seen from Pixar, but then it started with the quirky, little funny parts here and there and really seemed to grow on me. Granted, it was certainly no Incredibles, but it’s probably arguable that Up doesn’t belong at the bottom of that list, either.

Bottom Line: Up – pretty good; Blu-Ray in general – fantastic; Return to Blogging – as wordy as ever…


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