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Home Theater, A New Era

Feb 2nd, 2009
A fond farewell to Dan, and an optimistic look towards the future of Home Theater


As he move on to new pursuits, on behalf of all of the review staff at dvdfile I’d like to express my thanks and appreciation for Dan Ramer for faithfully maintaining dvdfile for over a decade. That’s right, for over a decade. In my humble opinion Dan’s voice has been instrumental in helping to shape the course of home theater and its evolution from the days when we argued about progressive-scan DVD players and 16x9 anamorphic DVD transfers to today when we find ourselves debating issues like lossless audio and digital noise reduction on our 1080p discs. It’s easy to take this technological progress for granted, especially for folks just getting into home-theater for the first time who are lucky enough to spend their hard earned cash on a 1080p library the first time around! (Sigh… I have six copies of Bladerunner, on four different formats… VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray… ) And when the home theater community was steeped in controversy during the high-def format war, Dan took positions based on real evidence and countless hours of careful evaluation, regardless of whether such honest and forthright views were popular. And whether or not you may have agreed with his views regarding the HD battles of the past, the bright future we will all enjoy with a successful disc-based HD medium is in large part thanks to voices like Dan’s that stayed true to the cause for a unified standard supported by the industry and consumer alike. Dan, thanks for all that you’ve done for the home theater community to help us get to where we are today. We’ll do our best follow in your footsteps to influence the industry for the better and to serve the needs of the enthusiast community to the best of our ability.
The Evolution of Home Theater Never Ends…
The story isn’t over just because we now have Blu-ray Disc and 1080p flatscreen televisions; There are new and exciting possibilities now and on the horizon. We’ve got new opportunities for audio playback in the home: already all but one of the major studios have embraced lossless audio as standard fare on Blu-ray Disc (ironically, finally getting us back to the audio quality we took for granted in “the old days” on laserdisc) allowing movie enthusiasts to watch and hear their HD software with transparency to the source. 1080p displays will keep getting bigger, cheaper, and with improved color and contrast. And mark my words: the next big thing will be 3-D which will find a fresh debut with digital displays and technologies that can deliver realistic, 1080p, full-fidelity three dimensional motion video to the home in ways not possible with any delivery technology that’s come before. Remembering where DVD was just a few short years after its launch, it’s not hard to imagine what new boundaries Blu-ray Disc technology might push once the format has a chance to mature along side of affordable hardware and the ever growing number HD-equipped households. And with unprecedented bandwith and evolving compression technology, pioneering bonus features and audio/video quality can finally coexist without the necessity of compromise that DVD could never avoid. It will be exciting to be a part of the voice that helps carry the home theater community into this incredible new era. dvdfile is ready to meet the challenge.
David Boulet

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