Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Adventures in 3D Blu-ray Rentals
It's tough being a geek on a budget.
Last weekend saw the release of the much-hyped Godzilla reboot, which is available in both 2D and 3D versions. The good news is that it's been getting great reviews and earning kaiju-sized profits at the box office; the bad news is that if you want to take a significant other with you to enjoy the film in its full three-dimensional glory, you'll have to fork over at least $25. That doesn't include refreshments and a meal before or afterwards. What those prices, what's a 3D monster movie loving geek who is low on disposable cash to do?
Fortunately, in our age of seemingly endless supply of digital media content, the Mrs. and I found an solid alternative: a online 3D Blu-ray rental service named 3D-blurayrental.com (easy to remember, eh?).
3D content has gotten the short end of the stick in comparison to most other digital media these days. Our cable provider carries a selection of 3D titles, but the selection is small and limited to newer releases. If you want to see an older 3D movie--say, something released before 2013--you won't find anything. Netflix has been experimenting with streaming 3D content, but their selection is extremely poor and the streaming frequently crashes. Thus, after a careful search for alternatives outside of what we already have, 3D-blurayrental.com is the best bet we've found so far for 3D movie rentals.
The first title we rented was Jurassic Park 3D, the recent re-release of Steven Spielberg's 1993 2D blockbuster. (The way I saw it, if we couldn't see one 3D giant monster movie in the theaters, why not watch a different 3D giant monster at home?) The transfer from 2D to 3D is astonishing; while there was some crosstalk in a few of the scenes, the majority of the film benefits greatly from the added depth. The disc also included a 3D short that explained the 3D conversion process used for Jurassic Park. With such an impressive conversion process, there's no reason why other special effects-intensive Spielberg movies (e.g., Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones movies, etc.) couldn't be transferred to 3D.
Of course, the easy rental process of 3D-blurayrental.com made it worthwhile. It operates like Netflix in that you receive the disc in the mail in an envelope that can be re-used to send the disc back. You can either pay for each rental individually, or you can select a monthly subscription plan. Even though 3D Blu-ray rentals are this company's main selling point, it also has a robust selection of 2D Blu-ray titles from which to choose as well.
High-definition 3D content might not be ready for massive online distribution yet, but it's nice to see a company like 3D-blurayrental.com give it a shot at affordable rental prices. Cash-strapped 3D geeks like me are very thankful for that.