As a follow up on the Home Theater troubles from earlier. I decided to keep the current system until the new crop of receivers hit the market. To test the setup, I fired up the PS3 and inserted a movie disc I borrowed (this was my first attempt at a BD movie). And it threw up a firmware upgrade message. I went ahead with the upgrade – thankfully no problem there.
Then I ran into the main problem: the movie soundtrack was in the Dolby TrueHD format with no alternate option (except languages). The receiver did not support that and saw it as a stereo LPCM stream. If I recall it correctly, there is a limitation on high bitrate / sampling rate in my current receiver. So I guess the argument for an upgrade is better. The mess of wires that accompanies any home theater setup is a pain. I can understand why there is demand for the sound bar type of speakers which promise surround sound from a single speaker.
I guess there are many PS3 or BD owners who don’t even challenge the poor output from their systems. There are surely more folks out there like me who have a generation old equipment. When studios release discs that are incompatible with the older hardware, it is really planned obsolescence coming into play.
On the web, I came across a criticism of the DRM schemes in the various media we consume. The commentator (and this was not a blog rant) pointed out that with store bought media, there is no certainty that the media will play in the equipment we have (thanks to the above incompatible format, hardware incompatibility – blu ray vs. HDDVD, region coding, etc.). In addition, the media companies treat us as thieves making us sit through non-skippable piracy warnings. Lastly the prevalence of trailers at the start of many movie discs. Compare that to pirated stuff. Pop it into the dvd player and the movie starts with no interrupts. Or download it and be assured that the codecs are installed on your PC already. Is there anyone in the media world who understands this?