Saturday, May 5, 2012

Goodbye disc players

Made a significant realization yesterday, for a guy in my profession anyway.
I don’t want a bluray player.
Why is this significant?  Allow me to tell you why.
I think it is safe to say that almost every red-blooded American that has a TV in their home also has a disc player of some type connected to it.  That player probably plays dvds, and if you’re really up on things, it might even play bds (blurays).  
Well, I hadn’t made the big upgrade yet from dvds to bds, but had just gotten a fancy new 1080p big screen HDTV, so I was kind of anxious to start watching movies at home in all the glory that bds had to offer.  So, I did some research on what bd player to bring home, and settled on an entry-level unit that ran about $175 (though they are available anywhere from $100-$5500).  I literally had brought the player home, and then had an epiphany...why didn’t I just get an AppleTV instead?
The main reason this idea popped into my head, was something I noticed just a few days earlier.  My wife had just spent three long days in a hospital ICU fighting a post-pregnancy bout of pancreitis.  No fun at all, and she is thankfully now on the road to recovery.  While I was sitting by her bedside through the wee hours of the night, I was browsing through my iPhone for something to entertain myself with.  I brought up iTunes just to see what movies were out.  I happen to notice a button on the bottom of the iTunes page that said ‘Purchased’, so I pressed it.  What came up was all of the movies I had ever purchased from iTunes since I had first signed up, with a little cloud button next to them.  I saw Dumb and Dumber listed there, pressed the cloud button, and it instantly started streaming that movie on my iPhone!  How cool is that!! 
I can’t think of one disc player in existence that can do that!
So that is what did it for me.  I returned the BD player, and brought home an AppleTV instead.

What else did I gain by doing this?
  • my entire movie AND music library available to me in a nicely organized on-screen catalog format (anything in my iTunes library that is.  And I have the ability to rip all of my existing DVDs to my iTunes library!)
  • I can purchase and/or rent new HD movies from the comfort of my recliner (don’t have to run to Target or RedBox to get a bluray movie)
  • The movies and music I purchase from iTunes will ALWAYS BE THERE since they are stored in the iCloud!  I don’t want to think about how many cds and dvds I’ve lost over my adult life.
  • Many of the HD movies on iTunes are cheaper than they are on bluray.  From what I’ve observed, they run $15-$20, where most bds are $25-$40.
  • AirPlay.  Now I can stream to my HDTV anything from an iPad or Mac!  (the new OS coming out for Mac, called Mountain Lion, allows you to stream your entire computer to an AppleTV!)
  • I also gained the ability to have all of these features on any TV in the world.  All it takes is an AppleTV, an HDMI connection, and Internet access.  TVs in my hotel on business trips, GmaGpa’s house when the kids are staying over...whatever!
Call me a geek, but this is kind of a game changer, and pretty dang cool.  
Goodbye disc players...hello streaming bliss :)