Monday, March 01, 2010

The Shape of Toys to Come

Sony STR-DN1010 3D-Ready AV Receiver

Sony is a major manufacturer of televisions. They are also a major producer of movies. Sony would not be developing and selling 3-D capable receivers if they were not also developing 3-D televisions. And 3-D movies and games for playing on those televisions.

If 3-D movies need a special disk format then Blu-Ray is obsolete before it ever got started. If the 3-D disk format IS Blu-Ray then DVD is more obsolete than ever.

If 3-D catches on, as blockbusters like Avatar suggest it will, then it is only a matter of a few years until even the biggest,most expensive 2-D flat screen television will be a sign of living in the consumer Third World, of being hopelessly mired in the Twentieth Century.

This reinforces my notion that one should not over-invest in current technology. Because it won't be current long. I learned that when I spent $3000 on the components from which to construct what was then a state-of-the-art 80386 computer. I eventually had to pay a shop $10 to properly dispose of the CPU and motherboard that had cost me a grand a few years earlier. It ran DOS 3.1.

I don't think Sony would be developing and selling these receivers if they were going to just be wiped out by streaming movies from Netflix. Which means that 3-D movies will require more bandwidth than current cable technology provides. Since cable will support streaming Blu-Ray movies, it follows that 3-D video will require a different format than Blu-Ray. Which means that Blu-Ray probably is stillborn. Or at least will have a short lifespan.

The logic of which is not to spend much on Blu-Ray or not to get it at all. For my part, I am pleased as pie with Netflix streaming DVD video over cable. Netflix is in the process of converting more movies from film to Blu-Ray so there will be even less reason to get a Blu-Ray player. For $9 a month, the problem with Netflix is having the time to watch their vast movie library,

The only tsatskeh I would like to get would be a Netflix wi-fi box so I won't have to plug the laptop into the television every time, which is a pain in the butt.


  1. I just sent for a Netflix box. Needless to say there was a scam with it. For $80 one gets a standard definition output of 480 lines.

    For $100 one gets high definition. But they artfully avoid mentioning that by high definition they mean 720 lines, not the usually imagined 1080 lines. It is buried in the fine print. Even so, unless one has either excellent vision or an enormous television, one cannot readily distinguish 1080 line high definition from 720 line "high" definition. So both are legitimately called hi-def.

    The second scam is that "oh by the way, cables are not included but we will sell you some for another twenty bucks." Grrrr. Scumbags. Slimey bastards. But one's only alternative is Radio Shack and it would cost more there.

    Being scammed is as inevitable as death and taxes. The rich can avoid taxes, and they can evade death longer than anyone else because they have better medical care. So even the Grim Reaper can be bribed - for a while anyway.

  2. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Ah, but it is so nice when one of them falls off his horse playing polo and gets hit by a mallet... or some such lovely senario that happens too seldom.

    I just had exactly the same thing happen... 'the cable is extra, but you can send for one...'