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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Code Blue (Ray)

So, I finally got my Blu-Ray player. Woo hoo?

I've been wanting one for so long, and keeping my eyes on the sales and everything, that you think that finally getting one would be much bigger payoff. But no. There's a different vibe to this...a different energy from when I first purchased my DVD player 9 years ago.

Wow, have I really had my DVD player for that long? In my waning days at university, several of my friends had DVD players, and I was instantly in love with them. When I graduated, I was all like, "Dude, I'm going to get me one!" All throughout Y2K, I'd been saving my pennies, carefully tucking them away, and in January of 2001, when the first round of Ralphbucks arrived in the mail, that put me over the top, and I booked a day off work special to go into the city and buy it.

Now see, it's funny when it comes to me and buying technology. I'm a man who tries his best to do everything right. I save my money. I do my research. I find models that are well-known for affordability, reliability, and quality. I map out a budget. I wait for my particular model to go on sale, so I can get an even better deal. And then, when the day comes, I walk into the store, all my budgets and research go out the window, and I get the shiny one.

That's exactly how it happened when I bought my DVD player nine years ago. I had my eye on this $300 model. However, my friend who came with me that day, talked me into a $400 model that had more bells and whistles. The salesman also helped in making the upsell. However, my friend and I found the salesman to be a colossal douche, so when the salesman's back was turned, we grabbed the DVD player off the shelf, and went up to the tills, so that way the salesman didn't get the commission.

With DVD player safely purchased and in my car, my friend and I then hit about three or four video shops in Edmonton, getting my first batch of DVDs. I must have dropped $600 that day, between the DVD player and my first batch of DVDs...roughly twice my budget.

And for the next few weeks, it was awesome, as I had friends over to show off my DVD player and we poured through bonus features and just enjoyed the movies.

Flash-forward to the present day. That $400 model is now 9 years old. While it was still pretty good, it was starting to do some funny quirks and hiccups and I knew it was on its last legs. So if I was going to buy a new one, I may as well make the upgrade, right?

Lot of similarities between buying my Blu-Ray and buying my DVD player. I dutifully saved my pennies for a year. A government cheque put me over the top (Ralphbucks in 2001...tax refund in 2010.) But a lot more differences. I went in alone this time. I did it on a typical weekend...no special day off from work. No high pressure salesman. I had my eye on a $250 model and I was able to stick to my budget and that model. Rather than go all over town looking for a dozen discs, I just grabbed a couple that I was mildly interested in. The whole endeavour cost me $300 in the end.

I can't figure out what I'm not as jazzed and excited about Blu-Ray as I was about DVD. Maybe it's because DVDs play on Blu-Ray players, so I've still got this massive library of films...it's not like I'm taking my first step into a larger world. Maybe it's because all my friends were getting them at the time, and our collective excitement made it more exciting. At this point in my life, most of my friends and colleagues really couldn't care less about Blu-Ray and movies and stuff of that nature.

Oh, well. I have embraced the next generation. If all goes well, I'll be set for the next 9 years in home entertainment. Now if only I had the flatscreen LCD TV to go with it to fully enjoy hi definition entertainment.

I think I know what I'm saving for next year.

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