Compare Bluray and DVD - Is Blu-Ray an Inferior Format to DVD?
Khoi Vinh, who used to be the Design Director at The New York Times, has written up a provocative post on the topic. Vinh complains about a number of issues relating to Blu-Ray players, including firmware updates and speed:
None of the four or five DVD players I've owned ever required firmware updates, but this Blu-Ray player seems to survive on a monthly diet of them. Each firmware update is labeled with a long and confusing version number (e.g., BEv1.03-090528-BDP3600-XAA) and provides virtually no clue as to what improvements it holds or problems it corrects...Speed is also a general problem with Blu-Ray. Network-connected features slow down the disc loading experience so much that I've resorted to disabling some of these ostensibly value-added features. Even without the network issues, a disc takes longer to load and menus take longer to navigate than on a stock DVD player.
Let's put aside the technical arguments for a moment, and simply ask: does the pleasure of watching Blu-Rays outweigh the potential annoyances? I love watching Blu-Rays, but there's a reason why much of my Blu-Ray collection languishes on my shelf. The players aren't up to snuff and the speed with which the discs load is terrible. Blu-Ray has killed the "casual watching" that I used to enjoy on DVD, where I could pop in a disc, skip the menus, and be up and running within seconds. With Blu-Ray, it frequently takes 30 seconds just to turn the damn thing on, let alone load a disc and slog through the difficult-to-skip trailers.
I'm not trying to complain about Blu-Rays benefits, but it is interesting to think about how Blu-Rays compare with DVDs. Maybe the situation will improve in the future, but history has shown that movie and hardware companies typically take steps towards complexity, rather than simplicity.
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