Friday, March 21, 2008

Blu-rays and Barack Obama

The Renaissance diner on 9th avenue has become a favorite spot for midday breakfasts and stimulating conversation. Amy and I were the youngest people in the restaurant this morning as we arrived a bit too early for the young gay boys who usually frequent there, instead joining the happily retired crowd. We chatted, we ate, we got some free orange juice, and we continued our conversation out into the street. Amy had been telling me about the elephants that had walked past her apartment on 34th and the conversation found its way to Planet Earth. I offered to lend her my copy as I had recently begun recieving the series from netflix on Blu-ray.
She asked what I thought of this still slightly mysterious entity known as blu-ray. I said it was basically the cat's pajamas. Or better yet, it was the cat's suit and tie. And I capped off the conversation by saying how much the success of blu-rays gave me hope for the career of another slightly mysterious entity known as... Barack Obama.

Amy looked confused.

I didn't blame her... I explained:

For some reason I have been tying the two together in my mind ever since I had bought the blu-ray player. The machine was to be one of the first major purchases I would make using my own money (the TV is another story, I will forever be in debt to my father for a great many things). So, seeing as I was about to throw down a few hundred hard earned dollars on a next generation gadget, I wanted to do my research! This was, after all, a very important decision.

I always thought it was silly to throw my money at something I don't know anything about.

I had never been one for advertising. If I was, I probably would have left Best Buy with brand new HD-DVD player. Instead, I spent a few hours on the internet trying to figure out what the difference was between the two.
In case your not a nerd like me, I should tell you that the DVD is going bye bye. HD-TVs need HD discs to truly be HD. Why spend $2000 on a HD(high definition)-TV if your not gonna use it to its full potential?


The two choices for HD discs are Blu-ray and HD-DVD. They are not compatible with each other so you have to pick one or the other. Well, it didn't take much research to understand what each of the two would do:

They do the exact same thing.

And I thought, What's the big deal? Why was there even a competition?! And like so many people seem to be asking about our current Political dilemma:


Well, a few websites later I got down to the nitty gritty of the HD debate. It was true that Both formats would perform with exactly the same quality.
Blu-rays could hold almost twice the content. You would in essence have the potential to get more bang for your buck. This seemed like a "DUH" choice for me. I immediately decided that:

All other things being equal, I obviously had to choose the option that contained more Substance.

***I'm including this video, in case you don't quite understand my nerdy-tech stuff. Ignore the price difference, go to the store and you'll see it doesn't exist. And ignore the fact that girl does her math wrong in the end when she calls it a draw, because, actually, she has blue ray winning by 1 point. Keep in mind the political innuendo of this post when you watch as well:


I bought my blu-ray player that week and never looked back. Do we see where this is going? It wasn't hard for me to understand why I am had made the choice. I had done my research and the result was undeniable. So,

I bought the blu-ray player and I support Obama because if the only difference is how much substance there is, no one wants to get short changed.

But the question was still there. How did we find ourselves having to make a choice between the two?

If HD-DVD and Mrs. H.C. held less content that BD and Mr. B.O. why were they both in the running?

It draws back to what I said earlier. If I had been one for advertising, I should have been sold on HD-DVD simply because of the name. Amy brought up the idea of a dynasty. DVD and the Clintons were indeed dynasties. They have been around for a long time and there was an undeniable familiarity with the two names. Thus, by default, the average American should simply trust the name HD-DVD because they trusted the original DVD.

Just as they should trust Hilary Clinton because they trusted Bill Clinton.

And this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because HD-DVD and Hillary are both very competent at what they do. Just as an HD-DVD would deliver a brilliant performance in the next generation HD-TV, so too would Hillary deliver a brilliant performance to the next generation of a changing country.

But the HD-DVDs began to lose their grip on the market and one by one the studios began to sign on with blu-ray.

Here was the hope. The hope that for the first time the American people were becoming informed enough to choose something based on more than a name and great ad campaign. Blu-ray and Barack Obama came out of obscurity with something that every American wants.


More than a name, more than the expected, more than an ad campaign. They gave us more bang for our buck. More content. More substance. And the people knew what choice to make.

And I felt very proud of my choice. Because I knew that when something is this important, its not enough to be TOLD what to buy and who to pick. Its not enough to choose based on familiarity. We don't want to be tricked into a choice.

You gotta call a spade a spade,
And you gotta call a shovel a shovel.
They both dig holes, but one just does more.

I laughed out loud when I saw a woman give a speech asking consumers not to give up on HD-DVDs after three major studios switched support to Blu-ray (sounds familiar Clinton fans?).

So I found the answer to my question, we are being forced to make a choice because the powers that be are so shocked that Americans have begun to think for themselves. They don't want to give up the power and name recognition they have enjoyed for so long. At least not without a fight. But as Willy Shakespeare said:


Obama '08
You might not know the names well, but look 'em up... research. The choice is undeniable.

I found this video while I was searching for a video to explain the difference between the two formats. Same sentiment as this post, political innuendo and all, but much more entertaining:

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