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Director Mick Garris Talks High-Definition

1 Oct, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

Mick Garris

Director, writer and producer Mick Garris took the time to answer several questions from Home Media Magazine about his thoughts on Blu-ray and HD DVD.

On his home set-up:

At this point, I only have DirecTV HD TiVo running through a five-year-old 58” Pioneer rear-projection set. I don't yet have either HD DVD or Blu-ray. But I'm on the verge of getting a flat screen (hopefully LCD, for green issues, if they come at least that size) so that I can upgrade to 1080p quality.

And I'm leaning toward the Blu-ray camp for now. It seems to be winning the war (I was a Beta guy before VHS came out, and really want to wait and see what happens next). Also, the “Masters of Horror” discs just came out in Blu-ray, so I have a certain interest in having that format. From what I've read, the best examples of HD DVD and Blu-ray have equal audio and video quality, so I'm happy to have [my work] seen on either system.

On the advantages of high definition:

Well, obviously you're seeing a more theatrical film experience when you have amplified the audio and video quality. If you're viewing a film on a large-screen video monitor, you don't want to see scan lines and low resolution. The closer it is to a cinematically projected image, the closer it is to how we intended it to be seen.

On his work being on just one format and not both:

So far, my only high-def releases are the “Masters of Horror” discs in Blu-ray. Obviously, I'd like my work to be seen by the widest possible audience, and would love to see them made available to both camps. But the HD disc world is so far a very elite, limited crowd. I think a lot of people are waiting to see how it shakes out before they're willing to invest in machinery that has such a high price, and in many cases still a bit buggy. The first compact disc players and DVD players cost a thousand bucks or so, and now you can get them in change for a dollar. The early adopters are out there, but the size of the crowd is shrinking, afraid of getting burned by another incompatible, high-end gadget with no reasonable software available.

For now, almost everything available on the HD disc formats are blockbusters and wide appeal discs. If your taste is more esoteric, as mine sometimes is, it will be a while before you see them available, another reason to wait.

On the high-def war:

It seems that the specs are very much alike, but that Sony has learned from the Betamax battle, and they have been incredibly aggressive with Blu-ray, and by making it the centerpiece of the PlayStation 3, they have turned the corner. But may the best man win. Format wars are a foolish waste of technological progress. In my utopia, the competing companies would all get together, puts their eggs in a single basket, and give peace a chance.

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