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Posts Tagged ‘DVD’

Feeling blu

We’ve been researching Blu-ray a lot this week. As a relatively young format it’s been through a lot – the initial (and ultimately victorious) battle with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, widespread consumer confusion and the threat of digital downloads.

But now the tide seems to be turning. Increasing adoption of HD programming from the likes of Sky, Virgin and Freesat is getting the message through to consumers that their shiny new HDTVs are only really HD when a proper source is plugged in. Prices of Blu-ray players and the discs themselves are falling, they’re becoming more visible in stores, and adverts which would previously have DVD as the main format are now leading with the Blu-ray version.

The technology is also evolving. Interactive content through the BD Live service is being realised, moving away from simple web pages with more trailers to real dynamic content that isn’t available anywhere else. A good example is last year’s The Dark Knight, which featured a live, community commentary with the director. A new development this year will be seen with the release of Watchmen, where a special edition will also include a PS3 game, taking advantage of that format’s shared userbase.

So, what do you all think of Blu-ray? Have you seen it going and do you think it lives up to the hype?

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Time for The Wire in the UK?

As I was watching The Wire on BBC 2 last night something struck me – I have spent a small fortune developing my DVD box-set collection but I don’t own a single drama single series made in the UK.  The Wire, one of the best TV shows ever made in my opinion, tops my list that includes The Sopranos, The Shield, Lost, The Corner, Oz and West Wing – but nothing from Blighty.

I won’t bang on about the gritty realism of the Baltimore-based series – you can read plenty here and here.  I will leave discussion about the production values,  sub-plots and dual meanings developed in The Sopranos to someone else – I am more interested to know we aren’t making like this in the UK? Is the BBC spending too much on sporting events and soaps? Is ITV more interested in its search for talented singers? You can normally expect Channel 4 to come up with something but Shameless, whilst funny and a decent watch,  doesn’t really cut the mustard.

HBO (the US channel responsible for most of the above shows) has shown that making decent quality drama series can still be profitable by selling box-sets by the bucket-load around the world. I think I’ve spotted a gap in the market – maybe I will start writing my own, that’ll give me something to do this weekend.

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