DVD vs BluRay vs Scary Buck Rodgers Cloud Stuff

November 04, 2012


I’m the first to admit that technology is whizzing past us like a runaway starship.  girls-with-smartphone

Just yesterday I was in a store standing next to a couple of young teen girls who were examining a new smartphone. One was saying, “This one is so different from all my other phones…I don’t know if I’ll ever get it” to which her girlfriend said, “We can ask my little brother – he understands all of this stuff”. In a couple of years only newborns will be able to comprehend any of it.


I’m so screwed.


Every generation has had their technology challenges.

In the early days of Cable TV, it wasn’t easy explaining to customers that the TV stays on channel three and that all the channels are changed on “the box”.

My Mom’s grandmother refused to talk on the phone…she thought it was the work of the devil (which, we now know is true).


I’m guessing my earliest ancestor Torf de Harcourt had a tough time giving up his mace for one of those new-fangled broadswords.

Let’s face it, unless you graduated from IT school in the last four minutes, your knowledge is already obsolete.

And so we come to the question of the day…what is the best way to store the precious family history movie you just made? That’s a question that you’re going to have to answer pretty early on in your project so let’s take a look at the contenders


This old stand-by has been with us since 1995. If you’re thinking of any earlier formats like, oh, maybe VHS or Betamax please remember that no one will be able to see all your hard work except night clerks at the local pawn shop.

Practically every computer built in the last few years has a DVD burner and it’s a fairly simple and straightforward task to make one. Also the number of households in the US that have DVD players is about 91%. The other 9% are Amish.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up your wide screen format, those movies you get from RedBox are in a wide screen format and play on your DVD player, right? So you can record your interviews with relatives in glorious HiDef and still use them in a DVD.

As of this writing, I think that a DVD is probably the best way to share your video with your family…and I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow.


Now we’re talking HiDef! Yessir! HD, wide screen, 25Gb of rompin’ stompin’ 1920X1080 pixelated magic, roaring Dolby Digital sound, powered by a laser beam that can burn through titanium! (I made that up). Hook that up to your 70” widescreen and …oh –  wait a minute…Grandma still has a portable Philco TV with rabbit ears sitting on the kitchen counter.

According to the latest figures (which are now also obsolete) only 22% of the homes in America have BluRay players. If you add up rap stars, Hollywood producers and the Kardashians that pretty much covers that percentage.

Making both a DVD and a Blu-ray is one answer but will mean about twice the work. You know the level of technology that runs rampant in your personal family gene pool so make that a big consideration in your decision.


I’m not the first to point out that the “cloud” name for online data storage is a bad idea. It should be called “The Impenetrable Fortress of Precious Documents”…or maybe just Bluto. Anyway – we’re stuck with it so let’s see what it’s all about.

You are probably either using or storing on a cloud system already. E-mail services like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail and photo and video sites like Flickr and YouTube are cloud providers. The whole idea is that data can be accessed from the storage by multiple users from different devices in different locations. The data can be retrieved by downloading it to your own computer to view after the download is complete or by streaming – where the playback begins almost immediately after a few seconds of buffering. Think of it as sending the key to your vacation cabin to all your relatives and telling them to stop by any time…

OK – probably not a great example. But according to experts who graduated from DeVry Institute less than four minutes ago this is the future of data sharing. Of course the next graduating class (who stopped by just 4 minutes later) has reminded me that electronic data should be backed up in three places – your personal computer, an external drive, disc or whatever and on a cloud system.

So to tie it all up I would still rely on good old DVD for sharing your family movie.

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