C'mon Hollywood: Get to the movie already! (Blu-Ray Edition)
With the HD format war well behind us and the advent of blu-ray taking a firm hold on the market, we’ve finally been able to settle in and enjoy some truly amazing home theater visuals. Movies have never looked (or sounded) so good. It’s one eye and eargasm after the next, all thanks to blu-ray.
But, it’s come at a cost.
Many of you have suffered the lag time of blu-ray after popping in a disc and waiting for the film to start, often scratching your head as to what the f*ckin’ hold up is. You stare at the black screen, waiting for some signal that it’s working, until it finally shows a “status icon” of some sort that relates to the film. Once that’s done, you’re ENSLAVED with commercials and previews, holding you hostage until the menu finally arrives. And even when that happens, depending on the studio, you may well find yourself lost in the navigation to get to the damn movie.
What used to be a simple “insert disc, watch movie” process, has become an exercise in tedium, leaving movie fans perplexed as to why it has to be so difficult to simply watch a movie. Visiting a number of sites attempting to explain the issue reveals problems with data, complicated code, updating firmware (not everyone has their blu-ray connected to the internet…shocker!) and blah, blah, f*cking blah. Just fix the shit, I say.
My time is bloody valuable and you may scoff at complaining about five minutes, but you start adding that up with as many movies as hardcore fans watch and it becomes a legitimate complaint. It’s the equivalent of sitting at a really long red light when you’re trying to get somewhere. Eventually, you’ll probably look for a different route. And why? Because the clock is ticking and you want to enjoy the minutes and seconds you have left, rather than watching sand funnel through the hourglass.
The other issue is the fact that getting to the menu and bypassing all the bullshit that’s top loaded on a blu-ray is impossible! I don’t even know why they put a menu button on the remote anymore, because it doesn’t take me anywhere. It’s like manufacturers continue to put it on there just to f*ck with you. Pressing it gives you the message “option not available at this time” which may as well just be a middle finger.
The solution to the issue, unfortunately for most, is an upgrade, which means buying a new player that’s been updated to play your discs at a speed faster than an old lady checking out in a grocery store line. However, that’s not an option for everyone. Even though you can get a good player for under a hundred bucks, that’s not always in the cards. That’s not to say that blu-ray’s are for rich people, ‘cause that’s bullshit. They don’t even have DVD bargain bins anymore, but blu-ray bargain bins. Still, having to update your machine every few years is kind of asinine, regardless of how well off you are.
The other solution is for studios to recognize that we don’t want to sit through all their bullshit commercials every time we go to watch one of their films. This affects the lag time in a big way as we are inundated with every crappy movie preview the studio has, as well as an anti-piracy ad, and the FBI warning, all of which still have to compete with that status bar and, finally, the menu. Just go to the f*cking menu already! If I want to watch your movie previews I’ll do it myself. I didn’t pay for them and I don’t want them. I still love to see trailers on the big screen, but at this stage of the internet game, I’ve probably seen them online a hundred times before I plant my ass in the seat. I can deal with them at the theater, but at home it’s an eye-roll of obnoxiousness.
I recently upgraded, which solved the majority of my issues, but I did a test anyway to see who the biggest offenders are. The slowest life-suck discs belonged to Universal, Columbia, Fox, and Disney. The fastest loading discs for me were Paramount and Warner Bros. Paramount goes straight to the menu within 34 seconds, while WB goes straight to the movie in under a minute. I didn't go through my entire collection, but I'm sure it's a mixed bag of results. The ultimate nail in the coffin resides with your player though, which is where the real pain starts if you aren't "current."
It may seem like a crybaby nitpick, but I don’t believe it is. I truly value every second of my day and want to make the most of my time. As much as I’m engrossed in movies (which is a LOT), I don’t think it’s a lot to ask to keep the process streamlined and do away with the incessant onslaught of bullshit previews, ads, and unnecessarily complicated menu’s that delay me anywhere from 3-5 minutes to get to the start of a film. Is it too much to ask for some efficiency from the folks we shell out so much cash to? I think not.
Plus, I need this bad boy to load fast...
|Extra Tidbit:||What are YOUR solutions to this dilemma? Upgrade? Firmware update? Change the channel? Sit and wait?|