The Treehouse Blog

Tag: bluray


by on Nov.04, 2009, under Technology

With the quickly approaching release of Star Trek XI to DVD and Blu-Ray, I’ve finally completed the current iteration of my HD project.  I had been putting off doing anything with Blu-Ray due to the lack of support for it in MythTV and other open-source projects.  Since it seems that such things will lack such support for the foreseeable future, the remaining options consisted of building an HTPC that could be booted into Windows for video playback, buying a standalone Blu-Ray player, or a PS3.  Reading CNET and other reviews on Blu-Ray players, the general sentiment seemed to be that the PS3 was as good as, or better than, standalone players in the same price range.  As a result, I now have a PS3 Slim.  This is the first Sony product I can remember buying, and also the first “game console” I’ve owned since I sold my Atari 2600.  Naturally one downside to the PS3 is a lack of IR remote control support, necessitating the purchase of a Logitech Bluetooth/IR bridge to allow the use of a Harmony remote.  Fortunately this product works very well.

For now, the only Blu-Ray title I’ve watched on it is Dark Knight. The IMAX sequences in 1080p are unbeatable, pushing my LCD to the point where some of its weaknesses can be observed.  Amazingly sharp visuals.  The non-IMAX portions of Dark Knight look substantially better than DVD, and a clear but sometimes subtle improvement over recorded 720p content.  It does seem that film fuzziness is actually visible at the 1080p resolution.  One complaint (and I’m not sure where this should really be addressed) is the slowness in transitioning between the special feature menus and the special feature content.  The menu seems to be an overlay on the main feature playback, which is presented in 1080p24, while the special content is in 1080i60.  The LCD will lose and reacquire signal with the PS3 during the mode switch, and there is a several second lag overall.  The Blu-ray menu interface is much cleaner and sharper than DVD – but then again considering how much of a hack DVD menus are, this shouldn’t be surprising.

It remains to be seen whether the PS3 will drag me into gaming.  I’m sure it could handle such things much better than my PC at this point.

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