Insulted by Blu-Ray

DISCLAIMER: This is me yelling at a product.  It probably won’t be funny. Although the paragraph on Blu-Ray gets chuckles.

I cancelled my Netflix description today.   I loved Netflix, I really did.  I rewatched most of Star Trek: The Next Generation for about 1/3 the price of buying the DVDs, discovered a wonderful gift for my mother, and got to see some movies I couldn’t have imagined running into otherwise but the final straw was Blu-Ray.  I recognize the oddity that upgrading my service that could easily have been reversed but the trip was long.

I purchased a blu-ray drive many moons ago and had lost the CD that came with it containing the software.  I contacted the drive company for a replacement which I got a curt “check the software maker’s web page to see if they have it”.  They do, for a mere $79.99 plus a $4.99 digital download fee.  There are no free blu-ray decrypters in that the technologies involved make the NSA look quaint, but found three or four suites that’d let me try them for 30 days, when strung together I was hoping I have bought enough time to see a free option emerge.  I got everything set up and was immediately struck with how unimpressive the entire experience was.  1920 x 1200 is nice for TV but the primary things my 30″ monitor does is play display hi-res images or video games, both of which could gobble up resolutions up to WQUXGA without breaking a sweat and look gorgeous at 2560 x 1600.  1920 x 1080, really?  Two megapixels?  Despite the underwhelming appearance I watched a disc or two as it was still better than DVD, presentation-wise.

Then I migrated to Windows 7 and popped in Bender’s Game only to receive a HDCP violation notice after the copyright notice.

Aside: Sometimes things rub me the wrong way in a way that’s so profoundly disturbing just to me that the paroxysmal rages they induce have resulted in me breaking things with sufficient force that generations from now my Hulk-smashes will match the legends of the formation of the Giant’s Causeway or formation of Japan.  I don’t like when people violate my three rules of polite conversation nor when people tell me to change a time for something when they’re not my employer.

Great, you don’t like Windows 7, Paramount.  BUT AFTER THE F*#&ING LEGAL WARNING.  ARE YOU MOCKING ME!  “Hey, before we eff up your viewing experience we want to take a moment to remind you that there’s no possible way besides this bundle of proprietary cloak-and-dagger technologies to watch this content in higher-def.  Thanks for your money, sucker consideration, viewer.”  I had the disc between the thumb and pointer fingers of each of my hands and slowly allowed my arms to pronate when I remembered something: Netflix doesn’t have a “oops, I broke it clause” like Blockbuster does.  Maybe that’s why Blockbuster went under, not inferior choice, service and shipping, but people destroying blu-ray disc after disc in frustration.  I placed the disc in its Tyvek sleeping bag and slid that into the travel tent of the mailing sleeve.  I placed it in my mailbox this morning at about 1/4 after 4 AM and drove to work to cancel my Netflix account.  They were guilty by association.

You know what else pisses me off about blu-ray besides insulting the user at every turn with it’s technical ability to bar you from viewing your own content at almost any time?  IT’S NAME.  Blu-ray could fit easily into the set of ridiculous cinema technologies from the 50s like mega-vision, view-o-rama, or Glorious EXTRA color.  HD DVD made so much more sense not only technologically but had a superior non-descript moniker that perfectly described what it did.  It was a better DVD.  Blu-ray?  What the fuck does that mean? Yes, I know there’s a blue laser involved which is part of the reason that there’s an extra benjamin to the player’s purchasing cost but you couldn’t call it like XDVD, DVD2 or something that made sense?  This is why Sony’s technologies such, miniDisc, Betamax, and MemoriStik (I assume it had a non-standard spelling despite it probably just being Memory Stick) were beaten out by CD, VHS, and CF or SD respectively.  Standards by law should have dull names that involve no lacerations to the English language.  Die in a ditch, Blu-Ray.