A DVD is not a Blu-ray

Disc, CD, DVD, Blu-ray

These words are not all interchangeable. No. Not at all.

Disc is the first word. It is what each following word is. Saying “disc” means one of those formats, not a specific one though. Disc is an optical disc. [In other computing terms: Disk is a Hard Drive Disk or a Floppy Disk. Disc is also what a vinyl record is, and devolves into other fields not related to computers and data.]

CD is the next word. CD is a disc. Specifically a data disc, an Audio Disc (CD stands for Compact Disc), and sometimes other formats of media, decrepit now. CD for Audio is still going strong.

CD is not the word to use when referring to DVD or Blu-ray video content.

DVD is the next word. DVD is a disc. Specifically a data disc that can hold a lot of information and is primarily the previous generation of Video format that was sold, still is. Movies on DVD were way better than the old tapes (VHS) and this is where people go wrong. DVD is only this format of disc. DVD‘s are quite different from Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray is the last word. Blu-ray is a massively upgraded disc from the previous generation. It can hold much more data and is able to hold movies in Full HD, 3D, or even now UHD (4K, HDR)

So yes, UHD Blu-ray is the next generation of disc, but closely related to Blu-ray, much more than Blu-ray is related to DVD.

When I read people’s reviews on products, like on Amazon, they say “CD” when talking about either DVD or Blu-ray they purchased. Or they call CD‘s they purchased “DVD” or Blu-ray will be called “DVD“.

I don’t review this very often, if I did I would stick to calling a spade a spade. I do not understand why others can’t call the format out properly.

What is it about calling all disc releases DVD. Many things  are available now, language needs to be updated on many sites, companies, etc.

Ladyhawke BD Archive Collection

There is hope for this problem [my Oct. 8, 2014 post: Ladyhawke (1985)]

Earlier this week (5/5/2015) Warner Brothers released Ladyhawke on Blu-ray as part of their Archive Collection. In the US we could only ever buy this movie on DVD or as SD digitally.

Ladyhawke Archive Collection BD
Ladyhawke (1985) Archive Collection BD released May 5, 2015

Now we can actually get a Blu-ray disc of Ladyhawke without having to import one from another region.

Back to the problem: Digital Ladyhawke (1985) is only available as SD. It’s a UV title. My SD copy was obtained via Vudu, Disc to Digital. It’s a horrible SD version.

I wouldn’t be so very upset about it if it was a bigger copy, but it’s just not sufficiently existing with any other content I have on UV/Vudu. The only way to watch it is to fiddle with my TV settings, which I never have to do for other content. It’s a hassle. I tend to watch movies I like a lot. Watching on Big Screen, it’s not big. Watching on Small screen, it’s freaking tiny. I can manipulate it on my TV, at least, but not on my tablet. Plainly speaking: I haven’t watched Ladyhawke in a long time.

I’m hoping with much more hope now that Warner Brothers will put an HD copy of Ladyhawke into the UV locker, and holding out hope that they will replace the SD copy there as well.

Digital Locker Movies

Once upon a time there were things called movies. They were magical and could be seen on a large screen in many towns, for a small price one could have a seat for a viewing.

Then came the television. TV Shows and Movies on a box in one’s own home. Amazing!

Later came other forms of media, thing that came and went, but eventually we got to bigger movie screens, bigger tv’s, boxes that held tape with video on it that could be displayed on one’s tv, then large discs, then smaller and then better.

The future arrived. Blu-ray and Digital HD.

For a long while there was something called Digital Copy and it came with DVD’s one could buy, when new. To Redeem these Digital Copies you had to use either: Windows Media Player or i-Tunes.

I, the writer, opted for WMP redemption twice. Never again. i-Tunes being nearly evil, was better than having no movie available digitally, like happens when WMP decides you don’t own the license because you … “whatevered” your computer.

For years Digital Copy was redeemed via I-Tunes.

Disney had a slot in the digital locker arena. Disney Movie Rewards, then and now, allows one to enter a Magic Code found on DVD’s to get points towards real rewards one could exchange points for.

In this time-frame a new media medium came to life. Blu-ray discs. The best home buying option for media to date. Digital Copy continued on, I dutifully entering redemption codes into my apple id i-tunes account, the only thing I ever did with it … I may have watch a few things, but I didn’t buy actual stuff from them, nor listen to music via i-tunes at all.

Disney had a locker streaming service and many of the movies you entered Magic Codes for would also be Digitally available to you. There was a point when some movies would not be a digital version code with Disney but they let you upgrade to a streaming version of a disc you registered, for a mere $5.

So you could enter a movie into i-Tunes but also have it on Disney’s streaming service.

Something called Ultraviolet started later. Disney also changed things with their Locker service, plus bought Marvel which changed the Digital Copy world for my family.

Ultraviolet was looked at skeptically, I admit. It seemed convoluted. What is convoluted though is the lack of digital copy choice for a Windows Pc/Android handheld person. At that time it was nil.

Things progressed, more and more movie companies partnered with UV (UltraViolet) which made UV more and more prevalent, and very misunderstood by many, though I was gaining in much better comprehension of what I was doing with it.

I got a Vudu account. I had also had account at a few of the movie companies, but it was just too much for me to consider the few times I might get bonus features by doing that … uh, no thank you. Also, like Sony Pictures … your account is deleted if there is no activity in a year. Yeah, easy for that to happen.

Both Vudu and Flixster work well with UV. You can redeem UV at either of the two services, also UV has a direct redeem feature on their site now.

In any case, redeem a UV movie and it’s in your UV Locker. Associate your locker with Vudu, Flixster, as well as other services I won’t go over. Once new content is in your locker it’ll populate in the services your locker is connected with. For the most part that works well, occasionally one service may not have exactly the same version, or title at all. The other might, it’ll be in UV in any case, once it’s redeemed it could and probably will show up at the other service provider eventually.

So there was Vudu. Then also my movies in i-Tunes. (They are lost to me there.) Vudu is where my non-Disney movies go now.

Disney Movies Anywhere started. Their old locker system was converted over, and I didn’t lose anything there, but still all I could do was stream though a browser. One could link ones i-Tunes account … then anything in your digital copy library that Disney owned would be in Disney Movies Anywhere too even if it wasn’t a Disney Streamable movie for you. Cool, but useless.

Then Digital HD came about. Now Disney movies were more than kids movies mostly, it was all this Marvel stuff too. Oh the travesty, but Digital HD saved the day.

I can take a redemption code for something Disney, whether it’s animated or the modern Marvel Universe of movies … I can choose where to redeem it, on Vudu, or … Google Play, or i-Tunes etc. Magic Codes are still a part of it, and the movie will be in Disney Movies Anywhere.  Still not totally useful, but at least I can watch it on my PS3 or PS4 via Vudu.

Then later, very recently, the best partnership so far happened. Disney Movies Anywhere came to Android as an App, and even better than that, one could also link a Google Play account to the service and voila! You own the content in Google Play Movies too!

Now I still have many movies locked in i-Tunes, but some of them don’t suffer that fate, some Blu-rays I’ve gotten into UV via Vudu-to-Go disc to digital conversion. Also I’ve done some DVD’s that we like but haven’t looked for on Blu-ray. In any case, not all of the discs are eligible for UV. Many of them are actually UV titles, but my discs read as ineligible for whatever licensing reason is out there.

So then, I can watch The Avengers (2012) on Disney Movies Anywhere, stream from their site, or from my Android tablet or phone, or even download it for offline viewing on Android. I could even watch it in i-Tunes if I “wanted” to.

Relegated to that fate as well are Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

But Iron Man3 and Thor the Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are available via Vudu and through Disney Movies Anywhere’s site and on Anroid. Win! Win!

One new Disney movie I was able to redeem the same way, The LIttle Mermaid. Now Re-releases on Blu-ray are worth the buy.

About Disc Conversion: The biggest part of it that totally isn’t nice is that ANY disk you have that is owned by Disney now, is not eligible for Disc to Digital, even if it’s an old title held by some other movie house.

What Vudu fails on is not allowing portable devices to download a movie in HD or HDX, they only allow you to stream and/or download in SD, no matter what kind of spectacular device you may have (like a Nexus 10 for example.) So a large portion of my digital library is locked online and viewable only, the best way, in a PC browser or via a console of some variety hooked to your big television screen.

A smaller smattering of my content is locked into the Disney world and at least it’s now watchable on Android in Glorious HD and connected with Google Play, thus also Chromecast-able to the big screen in the livingroom.

I still love discs, but have come to rely on things like Netflix on my gaming consoles, as well as Vudu there. The content I have in i-Tunes wastes away, and I can only hope that someday I can link that stuff to something else too.

I do have Flixster but haven’t tried to watch any of my UV content there. I’ve heard one can HD with them on Android, but I’m just stuck in a Vudu on PS3/PS4 and Android for Disney mode.

I look forward to Guardians of the Galaxy, having it both places, and other Disney movies we may get in the future. It’s the older content though, locked on a disc, not eligible, other digital copy, not transferable to anywhere, only recourse is to find a UV code for sale, or buy it again on disc just for the code to get it into UV or Vudu, at least, and not have to pay 22.99 or higher to buy it digitally for things you already have in multiples, like a DVD, plus a Blu-ray copy, Digital i-Tunes copy, and another DVD that came in that pack. Forget those movies.

So from my perspective, we have it fairly good now. It’s not the best of times, nor the worst of times.

Movies Unlimited is a service from PlayStation. It’d be great, but I don’t only have Sony devices. I have Android, and Google Play is a more useful partner for me, and then using Vudu on PlayStation. Having Google Play Movies on PlayStation would be a dream come true.

Some nice snappy pictures in this post would be great, but it’s not about pictures, it’s about words about moving pictures, and best read, not just looked at.

Additional Note: November 18, 2014, 8:10am EST. >>So with the whole thing written up and posted yesterday I find today that, holy cow, I can actually link Disney Movies Anywhere with my Vudu account now too. OK. Things are looking up,  improving even more than I had hoped.

Best Buy sent me the wrong Blu-ray

I pre-ordered The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray Combo (3 discs + UV) but they sent me the non-3D version.

I was excited as the package started tracking on April 4, but it didn’t move until Monday, and it upped the excitement on Tuesday with “Out For Delivery” status. Finally UPS showed up. I get the package, rip it open, and a huge disappointment was met. Wrong cover art, not the 3D version!

We only ordered it since my hubby would be out of town when it released. Now I have to go to Best Buy in order to straighten it out. Bottom line: Didn’t get to watch the movie I have been anticipating happily as a Blu-ray home release.

We were watching The Lord of the Rings extended versions. This is where we were when the UPS truck showed up:


I got upset and we didn’t continue on until a few hours later. Ended up watching until after 11pm. No Hobbit movie at all since my package didn’t contain the version I bought to keep in my collection.

(un)Holy Cow! PSN takes the cake

Sony is depressing me terribly today. I’m glad I didn’t go to their playstation blog yesterday, when I really couldn’t have dealt with it at all. I’d have thrown all my PS* stuff out by now if so. And seriously be considering the best way to … I don’t know, live without PlayStation, get rid of my whole love of PlayStation stuff and go to Nintendo, or … no, I couldn’t go there, or there solely like I could have with PS.

The stinking part of it is, I was GOING to get the PlayStation 3D Display and a 3rd PS3 to go with it, plus a pair or two of extra 3D glasses, extra controllers, and have a great office/craft room/playroom by early 2012.

Must re-think it all now.

My eldest son is 15, he and I are PSP fans. 3 other children are younger and getting interested in PSP’s.

UMD’s aren’t really being produced much now. PSP’s will eventually have no new disc content, only PSN ability and old UMD’s.

PSN content after Nov. 18th of this year (2011) can only be on up to 2 activated PS3’s and 2 activated PSP’s/PSVita’s

How it is right now, we have 2 PS3’s and we have 3 PSP’s and (plus 1 that is still activated, but we don’t have it, it was exchanged at Best Buy with their Black Tie service, but oops, forgot to “de-activate” it right. I tried, but it’s not done according to the one place I can see that stuff, the music unlimited site. [login with PSN ID])

How about the big plan we had: For Christmas me and my son were gonna get PS Vita’s. Ha. That isn’t happening, no matter how much we want it, it’s not coming to America until practically Spring 2012. (Where we live it usually is nearly Spring by then, and it’s close a lot of places)

Now if we go with when the PS Vita will be available, will we even want one? Before today, yes, but I was wondering how they’d change activation, and it looks like it’s so frickin restrictive that I’m gonna totally puke. In our house we have more because it’s 2 adults and 4 children, we all play video games.

I guess I can only play what I can get on my Google Android tablet now (or soon). I’ll be stuck with my old digital content on my PSP and whatever UMD discs I have and hope to God I don’t get sick of them or that the machine breaks.

OR I get a Vita and so does my son. No one else can have one and no one else can have our old PSP’s except as closed off things.

I’m not so sure I’m very thrilled with the idea of playing Dust 514 anymore, or Resistance: Burning Skies, or Starhawk.

We enjoy playing together when we can. We had 1 copy of Warhawk bought recently (disc) we went and found another right away, it was a lot of fun. We were looking forward to a third PS3 and maybe a 4th eventually, playing together online. We’ll be able to do it with Warhawk, it’s an old game, lots of them available in stores for $20 and down to $8 depending where you go. That one it’s OK about it to buy it for each machine, we get enough value out of it.

Not so with how Warhawk from PSN is, only 1 account can use it. Only 1 PS3 in any 24 hr. time slot can use it. Yikes!

It costs a lot on PSN too, so no biggie, we bought it for $8 each at Gamestop.

Resistance 3 is out now. I’d like it, was gonna get it with the pre-ordered 3D Display we payed $5 for holding one for us … were gonna get it in a few weeks when the Display was in stock. We hubby had different plans than I did, and Sony is releasing it sooner than originally they said, so hubby is on a different page about it than I am, and we will not be getting it until December at the earliest, so I am NOW saying, we ain’t getting one at all. Nope.

It makes me so mad. All of it together, or just Sony PlayStation Nov. 18th crapola all by itself.

How about this quote from the future: “Sorry, children, only me and your one of you are aloud to play this game. It’s not you though. When you get a job, you can buy it for yourself.”

We aren’t paying $59 for most games. Some we do and we only get 1 copy of them. Some things we’ve bought digital but it won’t be so friendly as it is now, any PS3 it’s OK for now, but soon enough it would have been alright with the 3rd I wanted. This is just so restrictive, it’ll end up hurting them more than us, I dare say.

We’ll seek other things and other ways and Sony will have been the cause of their own demise. At least they have shot themselves in their collective foot.

Saw IMAX 3D Tranformers: Dark of the Moon this weekend, FINALLY!

Happy Labor Day!

We (me and three of my children) went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D IMAX on Saturday night. We saw the movie in Real 3D on my birthday in mid-July. Our area IMAX theatre had already kicked T3 out of IMAX for Harry Potty … which really ticked us off. Not 1 single showing of T3 at that time plus since, until I checked again on Saturday and freaked out shouting about it.

Russell & Victoria at IMAX T3 3D

1. Asa at IMAX T3 3D

It was awesome in IMAX. Detail popped so much and the sound was better. The theatre has or had added 7pm and 10:20pm showings of T3 in 3D IMAX with the seats being filled with HPotty fans all day long otherwise.

I got to use up my vouchers from December, when I went to see Tron:Legacy in IMAX 3D with one of my children. The equipment was out of sync and they canceled the show after a few tries to get it to re-sync. We got 3 vouchers ’cause the lady giving them out saw we ordered from Fandango. I wasn’t about to argue about that! A full price IMAX ticket, a child price IMAX ticket, and from that we got 3 full IMAX tickets for the future. We didn’t get to see that IMAX showing of Tron:Legacy, but did see it in Real 3D a short time after that, free (they let us all do that if we wanted, plus still get the vouchers) I’d seen it twice in IMAX already, at least.

So this T3 was the first chance at seeing something we wanted in IMAX since December. We did want to see Cowboys & Aliens, but they weren’t showing that anywhere in the US that I could find, which really pissed me off too.

Anyhow, there are several movies from earlier this year to now that I wanted to see, and never did, or did see and would like a Blu-Ray of them. I’m seeing more upcoming that I want to see as well. It does look like there will be a Christmas Movie for us this year. Finally! Something we will WANT TO SEE and don’t have to regret it (like Narnia last year.)

InstantCake + DirecTivo R10

We have two R10 units (DirecTivo) and have used them fairly hard. We got them right before DirecTV had stopped selling them in stores and put out their own dvr.

We have one in the bedroom and I had Baby Q in bed with us and turned on a Blue’s Clues that was recorded. It played and was nearly done (a noggin card game was actually at the end) and just when the game was to finish, *blonk* the box Self-re-started and never came back to work. It was stuck on “Welcome! Powering up …”

Hitting the reset button only caused the system to try to reboot, but stayed in the same “stuck” position.

The next day I swapped the living room box for the bedroom faulty box. Then I worked on the faulty box, opened it up, made sure cables were in right, etc. That wasn’t the cause. So I started searching the internet and found several threads which indicated I could have a power supply problem (less likely) the hard drive could be bad (likely) and I forget the other things. They weren’t important, in other words.

I looked at sites that have upgrading services and finally settled on Instant Cake. On Friday we were out shopping so we went to Best Buy and got a new hard drive, 320 GB, compared to the previous 80 GB one. I’ve looked into upgrading the capcity of the boxes before, but since we can do very little hacking just said “forget it” and lived with the alright 80 GB’s.

On Saturday I purchased Instant Cake and downloaded it, burned it to a DVD. Then I read through the instructions a few times to be sure I did everything right, and then opened up my desktop computer.

I had just started Baking my cake and my son came in from outside crying that he had a thorn in his foot, and I had to leave the room and take care of that, it was a quick fix, but upon getting back to the computer I found a blank monitor and my system shut off. I have no idea what happened.

I went through to make sure the eide cable was in my motherboard well enough, and found that it wasn’t, so I began the battle to get it to work, when it would have been easier in many ways to just take all peripherals off and unscrew the motherboard and put that MB on the desk by itself, then I could have had much more maneuverability in getting that cable into the ide 2 of the MB … but no, I wrestled with it inside the box. The things are very squished onto the side of the MB, very awkward to use.

I thought my cable was in finally, and ran InstantCake again, but it couldn’t find the HD. So off with the power again, and some more wrestlin, but I got it in better (I never figured how it was so very hard, when the cable plugged into other spots just fine, and I have had an easier time plugging the ribbons for DVD drives into that same spot in question, FWIW.)

I ran InstantCake and very quickly it Baked my HD and was done. Success! If I’d just take my system more fully apart from the start.

I put the HD back into the R10 unit, but didn’t screw things down. I plugged the box in, and the “Welcome! Powering up …” screen came on, and I waited and waited and waited, and just when I was getting more scared that it wouldn’t progress, “Almost there …” wordage came up. Yes!

I let it fully boot, let it get further along in downloading channels for a bit, then decided all was good, pulled the power and did the final screwdown/tightening of the whole box.

Wasn’t long until we were watching with that box again and now have approx. 301 hours of recording capacity. The system is much quicker than the old 80 GB one was for a long time, or maybe ever.

I’m thinking about eventually upgrading the other box, but that one I’ll have to do something about some of the recorded stuff that I don’t want to lose, and probably should do that soon, lest what happened to the other one happens to the one that is still running with 80 GB’s.

It was interesting in Best Buy to see how prices have changed in hard drives, and sizes have increased into such affordable avenues. That hd we bought was the same one we got for my desktop in the recent past, either last Mother’s Day (I picked this present) or the previous one. Anyway it was $79 off the shelf on Friday, and well over $100 when we got the one for my desktop.

In the end I’m very pleased with InstantCake, and would like to build a new computer. I’m tired of my desktop setup, would like to have a better processor and easier working on it like I needed to the other day.

I guess we could keep it as it is. I’ll just build a whole new one, with a T2 hard drive, and a dual-something processor, and way more modern memory, and a blu-ray player/burner, a large case, and an HD widescreen monitor. The children can knock around on the old desktop. 🙂 My wish is not to be fulfilled too soon, it’s not right up there with all the other things that need done. It’s just a hobby that I love tackling and usually have to scrap and fight for getting a chance to upgrade anything, or to get anything new built. It’s been awhile …