I’m an admitted Blu-ray whore and adore the format for its glorious picture and sound, but there are nagging shortcomings of the newfangled HD format that prevent me from prosthelytizing its virtues to all who will listen.
Here are 7 ways that I’m still longing for DVDs when I’m watching Blu-rays:
Blu-rays are more expensive. Most new Blu-rays are north of $20, while DVDs are generally less than the figure. When you buy a lot of movies the extra charges add up. Which leads me to my next point…
You’ve already bought all these movies a million times. I’ve purchased The Princess Bride at least three times on incrementally better DVD releases, then did so again when the movie came out on Blu. And I paid more for the movie the fourth time than I did the first three. If you want to update your collection to HD, it will take a while, cost a lot and remind you of the pain you felt when you realized your VHS collection was worthless.
Blu-rays won’t play on most computers. Unless you spring for a new PC with a Blu-ray drive or buy a cumbersome dongle, you won’t get to catch up on Breaking Bad on your laptop while you’re using your TV to play Tecmo Bowl Kickoff late at night.
You can’t rip Blu-rays to your hard drive. Unless you’ve got access to some double-secret stealth programs, a ton of hard drive space and the hacking skills to allow your Blu-ray enabled PC to copy the movies, you’re out of luck. With a DVD, you just pop it in, open that mildly sketchy program your tech geek friend told you about, and you’ve got a back-up copy to stream or watch on your PC whenever you like. Ripping DVDs isn’t legal, but if you’re just keeping the copy for yourself, what’s the harm?
Blu-rays rarely pick up where you left off. When I’m watching a DVD on my Xbox 360 or PS3 and I turn off the film to come back to it later, the system always remembers how far into the film I was before I had to bail. With Blu-rays, this magic kicks in maybe 20 percent of the time. Sure, you can set manual bookmarks, then pull them up through a cumbersome process, but DVDs only require you to press “play.”
HD bells and whistles only benefit works of art. My favorite genre is the dumb comedy, which doesn’t get funnier in anamorphic 1080p in Dolby digital 5.1. I own Clerks on Blu-ray but it feels unnatural to watch it that way. I long for the grainy VHS copy of the movie taped off of cable that found its way into my freshman year dorm.
You can’t lend Blu-rays to non-geek friends. Unless the Blu-ray comes in an all-to-rare — although growing in popularity — Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, you’re not going to be able to let Blu-less friends borrow them. As someone who loves to discover obscure movies and then pressure coworkers to watch them, I often have to end my spirited raves with “yeah, you really should rent it” rather than “I’ll bring it in tomorrow and force you to watch it.”
If you too are a Blu-ray fanatic, what do you miss about DVD?