The Begining of a Blu-tiful Friendship

For those not in the know, I planned on getting a PS3 with my tax return. It would be a belated Christmas gift from my parents, and I would split in the cost to pay for it. They even got me some Blu-ray movies to open on Christmas to let me know the plan was still going.

So, yesterday I stop into Best Buy to browse. It was a mistake as always. I really should know better than to go in with the attitude “Hey Matt, you’re just looking at the HD DVDs.” That’s never worked.

As I’m browsing, a guy comes up next to me and starts looking at the Blu-ray. After a minute or two, he looks over to me and says, “Do you have this Blu-Ray stuff?”

Me: “No, I’m a HD DVD guy right now, but I plan on picking up a PS3 soon.

Him: “Well, I thinking about getting a Blu-ray player today.”

Me: “Cool. You should just get a PS3 then. They’re cheaper.”

Him: “How much are they?”

Me: “The good model is $500 new and you’ll get a game system on top of it.”

Him: “Why wouldn’t I just buy the model they have over there for $150?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Him: “Yeah, they have an open box model for a $150?”

Me: “Huh?”

Him: “That’s what made me come over here.”

Me: “Well, uh, that sounds great.” (slinking away to the open box area)

Lo and behold, there she sits. The $150 Blu-ray player. The BDP-1000 stares at me. I stare at it. We have a special moment…


Sitting next to it is a BDP-1200. Crap. I haven’t read up Blu-ray players in a while and I have no idea what the difference is, and mystery Blu-ray section guy could be back any minute. I need to find an employee.

When I do, he doesn’t know much. The 1000 has some minor scratches to the back and small dent above the disc tray, but is in perfect shape otherwise. His knowledge was nill on the models, but the 1000 sports SD card ports on the front and doesn’t seem to be lacking any features. If anything, it’s the better system. Sold for $150.

I buy and get the hell out there before Blu-ray section guy sees me, hoping the cashier would stop asking me questions so I can get going. I gleefully return home.

Now, I don’t have the proper cabling for this since I didn’t prepare for its new home. I need to play with some wires, and end up hooking it up component. This is where the karma kicks in.

It can only do 720p or 1080i via component out. Not going to work on a LCD with a native res of 1080p. I unhook everything, move the player to a different spot, and use the 360’s HDMI cable to hook it up for the time being. Cable swapping; fun; not really. So, after about a half hour of rigging this thing, I’m all set.

I pop in Terminator 2. It loads, it stops, it spits the disc out. Well, that sucked. Bad disc.

I pop in Die Hard 3. It loads, it stops, it spits the disc out. Crap. Two bad discs.

I pop in Robocop. It loads, it stops, it spits the disc out. Shit. This thing doesn’t work.

For the hell of it, I pop in a DVD and boom, we have playback. Yes, I bought a Blu-ray player that only plays DVDs. That said, this produces one hell of a stunning upscaled DVD picture. Not what I bought it for, but hey, just letting the public know.

Back to Best Buy I go. I explain the situation to the service desk people and they ask what I want to do. My mindset is simple: I’m watching a Blu-ray movie today, period.

Back to the open box items, and $50 later, I’m the proud owner of a BDP-1200. This bad boy comes home, and won’t play Die Hard 3. Fuck.

It needs a firmware update. Joyful, joyful. I snag the Ethernet cable from my standard Xbox and use that. It takes two tries to successfully get the update for a total of about 20 minutes. After it downloads, it needs installed. Yeah for consumer convenience! This takes more time, and when the player shuts itself off after it’s done, you tend to get worried when you’ve never done anything like this before.

Thankfully, we’re good to go and karma has left me alone. Robocop still won’t play, but this is a disc issue, not my player. I don’t own anything terribly new, so most of the movies look fair at best. The lack of extras on the first three Die Hard discs means I’m still stuck with my DVD box set which have all kinds of kick ass features. Terminator 2 is the same way. I hate home video at times.

Regardless, the PS3 will be put on hold. Sony can wait, or I can. I have Blu-ray and I’m happy. This experience hasn’t dulled me to the format, but has certainly helped confirm my preference for HD DVD.

Comments (1)

With your luck I am shocked that the 1200 unit was not sold before you got back to BB.

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