Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

8 March, 2012

Luddism Vindicated

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

As I believe I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of George R.R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. In that same mention, I said that I also enjoyed the HBO adaptation of those books, Game of Thrones. The second season starts in April, and I am all a-jitter with excitement for it, but what concerns me right now is the first season, which has just been released on DVD and blu-ray.

Now, I knew damn well that I’d end up getting this anyway, so I saw no reason to wait. Since I am currently suffering a bad cold, I thought I’d buy the set and spend the evening vegetating in front of the screen consuming commentaries and extra features. The question was: DVD or blu-ray?

Up until now, I have stuck with DVDs. My old DVD player still functions, my laptop has a DVD and no blu-ray drive, and it’s not like I have a TV that shows high definition anyway. In this case, however, I thought it might be time to take the first step into the future everybody else seems to have joined three years ago. The blu-ray set had more extra content than the DVD, people who notice such things say the image quality is markedly better on the blu-ray, and the price difference between the two was only 40 kroner (presently about 7 US dollars, or 5 euros, or 54 rand). Although I have no blu-ray player myself, there is a Playstation 3 in this apartment, which I understand can quite adequately perform the function.

So, overcoming my Luddite instincts, I strode boldly into the technological present, purchased the kind of disappointingly slim box and marched home through the wind and rain, coughing all the way, imagining the fun to come.

Unfortunately, the TV in this apartment remains steadfastly in the technological past.

Now, I’m not a complete idiot, I knew I wasn’t going to get the full HD blu-ray experience on an old SDTV, but I figured I’d at least get the same level as I get from DVDs. And indeed, my googling these past thirty minutes support me in this notion, but the actual experience says otherwise. The disc played, all right, but it played in black and white, all colour drained from it.

I’m not sure where the fault is here. This is a localized edition of the box, so I assume any NTSC/PAL-discrepancies have already been sorted. The Playstation menu displays colour normally; until the actual disk is activated, there’s no problem at all. The various wires and cables are all thoroughly plugged in, I have made sure of that, at least. I’ve fiddled around with various settings, and tried to adjust every variable I found, but to no avail, there’s just simply no colour.

Guess I should have gone with Casablanca.

I suspect the problem lies somewhere in the Playstation, as I dragged out my own little TV from its storage and tested that with the same result, but in truth it could as easily be a problem the two TVs share; neither of them are exactly fresh off the conveyor belt. I’d have to try with a different player to be sure, and I don’t, as previously mentioned, have one.

So do I regret getting the blu-ray over the DVD?  No, not really. All my reasons for going with it still stand, and in the long-term I think it will work out. Sooner or later I’ll end up buying an actual player for the darned things, and at some point after that I’ll probably own a TV of a more recent make, and live happily until the format changes again.

But it did spoil my plans for the evening.


  1. I hesitate to comment – such is my disapproval of this ridiculous brand who cannot even spell “blue” correctly – but I would like to point out that this needn’t spoil any plans at all. Black and white – if it is crisp, clear and nice-looking black and white – is gorgeous. You’ve already seen the show in colour, why not seize this opportunity to make a more stark (høh høh) experience of it all?

    This comment was brought to you by Loki’s once-every-few-decades fit of positivity and optimism.

    Comment by Loki — 8 March, 2012 @ 21:57

  2. Yeah, it’s not crisp, clear and nice-looking black and white, it’s blurry, shaky, not-all-the-video-info-is-making-it-to-the-TV black and white.

    Comment by Obdormio — 8 March, 2012 @ 21:59

  3. That’s horrific! You would have had my most sincere sympathies, save for the unfortunate “bought blu-ray”-issue mentioned above. Though even with that, I must say, you’re tugging something fierce at my emphatically inclined heartstrings. :\

    Comment by Loki — 8 March, 2012 @ 23:49

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