Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Aw, rats.

According to a new press release, "Warner Bros. Entertainment to Release its High-Definition DVD Titles Exclusively in the Blu-Ray Disc Format Beginning Later This Year". Rats. Well, it's like I've said from the get-go – I have a HD-DVD player, I will have a Blu-Ray player, and until my HD-DVD player dies and it's impossible to get another one, my current HD library will function just fine.

However, this might be a nudge in the butt to buy that PS3 sooner rather than later, before I buy any more HD movies...


Just remember that the PS3 isn't quite a fully functional BD player -- no 24fps or 1080p output. That's why I've held off; since I don't really need a PS3, I'd rather spring for a better player.

And now it looks like I've got the excuse to do so...

Well, it's not quite THAT simple. It DOES do 1080p, just not 1080p/24 -- it outputs 1080p/60. From

Of course, HDMI is your conduit for 1080p video as well, but note that the PS3 outputs 1080p/60, not the 1080p/24 that is native to movies on Blu-ray. This is among the things that the standalone players from Sony and Pioneer will provide that the PS3 won't. For enthusiasts who have, or plan to have a display that shows 1080p/24 at multiples of 24fps, which eliminates the temporal artifacts inherent in displaying 24fps native material at either 30fps or 60fps, this is a small strike against the PS3, at least in theory. I'll have more on the video output formats later. I don't know if 1080p/24 support is something that could be added to the PS3 in a future firmware update, but we can hope.

Man, just when I thought I had this whole 480/720/1080i/1080p thing sussed, I find out there's more than one type of 1080p. This whole home theater thing? Turtles all the way down, I'm tellin' ya... :)

Actually, it looks like I was speaking completely out of turn -- remember the whole firmware update thing that the PS3 offers? Well apparently, they made 1080p24 output available with one of those updates a while back. It still doesn't have the full audio output capabilities of some of the dedicated players -- but those dedicated players will not be firmware-upgradable to the blu-ray 2.0 profile. But the PS3 will be, ensuring forwards-compatibility. (Backwards-compatibility with PS/PS2 games is a little iffier, since the new models use software-emulation, but it looks like most of them will work -- and often be upscaled to 1080i.)

Of course, with a dedicated player you could use your existing universal remote to operate the player, and with a PS3 you'll need a dedicated one, but that's not really a deal-breaker for me. Nor is the audio output, since I don't (yet) have an up-to-date receiver or 7.1-speaker setup (I'm making do with a positively ancient 5.1-speaker setup).

I actually came this close to plunking down the ducats for a PS3 today. After all, today's the last day to take advantage of the "5 free movies" promotion. But then I looked at the fine print, and there really aren't a lot of good choices for the specific movies. So I think I'll wait to see if they launch a new promotion soon.

But I think I will definitely be going with the PS3.

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