After months of talking about it, speculating, and critiquing, Phil finally got a chance to actually check out a 3D HDTV and Blu-ray at his local Best Buy. Two of them actually, a Panasonic and Samsung setup.
A poor display setup in the Magnolia store-within-a-store at Best Buy got things off slightly on the wrong foot. Instead of putting the Panasonic set in one of their theater rooms, it was smack-dab in the middle of a wall of other TVs. That led to some odd peripheral vision issues. Additionally, the Panasonic glasses were not that comfortable, especially when compared to the Samsung’s. The effect was nice, the picture clean, but was it enough? The early part of the show dives into all of it.
This is kind of our farewell to 3D in a way, due to the launch of the Seen in 3D podcast here on the Digital Media Zone. We’ll still touch on 3D here and there on Seen in HD, but we’ll leave a good majority of it to the guys at Seen in 3D.
In other news, we look at two very anticipated Blu-ray releases (Avatar and the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and wonder why, in the case of one of them, the producer and director are all but openly saying this version will only be half of what the upcoming special edition will be. Will you buy the early editions that seem to be only half of what will eventually be delivered? Also, High-Def Digest gets an early LOTR review (it’s not bad, but it’s not great) and Format War Central has a look at the packaging.
Blu-ray Review – GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Vitals: MPEG-4 AVC, 2:40.1 aspect ratio, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Digital Copy
Reviews of the movie were less than stellar when it hit theaters, and for good reason. While it’s not horrible, it’s not the movie that fans of the 80’s cartoon had hoped for. Destro and Cobra Commander, as you know them, don’t really appear until the film’s waning moments, for one. It seems to be written with the expectation that there would be a sequel. The audio is LOUD. Very loud. Lots of action from start to finish, as you’d expect. Sound placement is generally good, as you find yourself in the midst of action frequently. The thing that keeps this from being a great audio presentation is the LFE. Bass is generally flat and a bit lifeless. There’s plenty of it, mind you, but it doesn’t have the impact that other films have had (see the Hurt Locker).
On the video side, things fare pretty well. Colors are bright and vivid and pop when given the chance. Black levels are fair but not exemplary. The final underwater scenes suffer from a bit of washout at times, but all in all it’s a worthwhile effort. Final recommendation, a rental for sure when looking for a fun, loud popcorn movie.
What we’ve seen/are watching
- This week sees “V” (10 p.m. Tues. ABC), Bones (8 p.m. Thursday FOX) and Fringe (9 p.m. FOX) return thanks to Geek Tonic.
- The HD Sportsman is again highlighted by the NCAA tourney as the Final Four starts Saturday night at 6 p.m. on CBS. Major League Baseball kicks off Sunday night on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.
A few good titles in the April 6 release schedule, including the previously mentioned Lord of the Rings trilogy, stripped as it may be. Battlestar Galactica the complete series gets a reissue as well.
On the deals front, both Target and Best Buy are holding $9.99 deals, and at Toys R Us you can buy one, get one half-off for all Blu-rays and DVDs. It looks like the coupons for $10 off from last week have been moved, but if you own the DVDs of Toy Story or Toy Story 2, you can still access the coupons here. Combine that with the Toys R Us offer this week, and it’s still a pretty good deal for two Blu-rays.
Click here to download Episode 27!
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