Benheck Podcast Episode 36

It’s time once again for the HD Wars! In this amazing new podcast we discuss the recent happening with Blu-Ray and Warner Brothers, plus compare both formats as-is at this point in time. Sure not all of my predictions have been correct, but I do recall saying “Blu-Ray FTW” nearly 2 years ago… I guess we know what people have been buying PS3’s for now.

But that’s not all! Call now and we’ll also discuss the Xbox Live service outage, how much online website-based consumer support sucks (for most companies), why Googling about tech problems is far better, and finally “Movie Story Cliches” in which we discuss how the slavish devotion to the “Hero’s Journey” template causes every movie to have the same plot and predictable twists.


Listen to Podcast Episode 36

26 thoughts on “Benheck Podcast Episode 36”

  1. You didn’t do the MST3K intro!!! NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Once again you have done a great podcast though. Spot on with the movie cliches.

  2. I couldn’t possibly agree more with the Acrobat Reader banter. I’ve found myself ACTIVELY AVOIDING any search results which point to PDF documents because I have better ways to spend the next ten minutes than listening to my HDD thrash in a drooling stupor, waiting for that bloated pile of trash to load. Luckily, there’s an alternative; Foxit Reader. ( Small, open-source and opens freakin’ PDFs. Brilliant. (I don’t quite understand the open-source community’s obsession with foxes, but I digress).

    Bloat in general drives me mad. Remember when a “driver only” download meant you’re only downloading the EFFING DRIVER? Y’know, that ONE file that amasses an astounding 500 KILOBYTES or so? The drivers for most devices are still about the same size, only now you have an extra 50+MB TUMOR that comes along with it, usually called an “added feature” that you’ll probably never touch. Want to use your new printer again after a fresh install of Windows? Might as well set of a game of Risk. …Or two.

  3. Are these things suppose to be um… VISIBLE. I don’t really mess with podcast that much (or any at all for that matter) so I don’t really know.

  4. Awesome into, I am still laughing. I loved the “CHRIST you’re a shitty actor!” part. brought me to tears.

    I have been a playstation hater ever since the day my ps2 died a few months after it was released. However with WB going to Blue ray I find myself considering the PS3 for the fact that it is a blue ray player. i figure what the hell. it is an dvd player that plays a game or two right? 399 for a dvd high def dvd player isn’t to bad. and if Son ever comes out with a game that looks fun on the PS3 i will be set.
    unless Xbox comes out with a blue ray player add on then i will never buy a PS3.

  5. Great podcast about the XBL arcade games it really sucks my friends gone through THREE Xbox’s in two months and one only lasted and im not kidding 10 minutes long enough to wach the start intro of a game and then die but he has to redownload games on all of his xbox’s now he doesnt see apoint to buying arcade games anymore he sias its to much of a hassle to re download everthing even if the games still on his hdd.

  6. Loved it!

    Couldn’t agree more! Particularly with the format war stuff. Good listen, enjoyed it muchos!

    Thanks =]

  7. You know with all the problems the other systems face you have to give Nintendo credit for something. At least the Wii doesn’t that many features that could go wrong.

  8. That sucks about the XBox Live. You can’t play games you’ve downloaded if you can’t connect to the network. What happens in ten or twenty years, after XBox Live has evolved into something else and some shmoe is still playing his 360 because it’s “retro”? He can’t play his arcade games because Xbox Live doesn’t exist anymore?
    Of course he’ll probably get the red ring of death by then.

    Good Podcast. I don’t completely agree that screenwriters should go completely away from conventions. I agree that movies shouldn’t be predictable but I think that some things work for a reason. Traditional structure works. An audience responds to it in a certain way. Breaking the rules works sometimes but it fails alot of the time because people are just trying to be different. I think good movies can be made using the hero’s journey or other traditional forms if the writer uses subtlety and isn’t so lazy that everything is blindingly obvious.

  9. Well Microsoft doesn’t want you to retro anything ever. Their motto has always been “upgrade immediately or screw off.” You can bet nothing will transfer off of the 360 and nothing will be compatible with the newer systems. Not to mention the 360 is history the day the new Xbox hits the shelf. They’d love for you to repurchase all of those arcade games, Xbox originals, and soon to be retro 360 games, on your brand new Xbox 1080.

    ………and don’t forget to repurchase all of the extremely overpriced accessories with new 20% increased next next gen prices……….. $200 “Next next gen” WiFi adpater.

    I love my 360 Elite, but Microsoft shafts people daily and it seems like they get breaks all the time, while Sony gets beat up daily and they are actually trying to make things right.

    As far as the PS3 goes, it really is a great machine, built solid, open hardware, and you really do get your moneys worth as far as hardware goes. I’m hoping now that Blu-ray is pretty much the winner of the format wars they can put all their focus on software. Huge updates coming to the PSN and the game lineup looks very promising for 2008. Also, it’s the best Blu-ray player on the market for the money and it’s first priority for updates over the stand alone units.

  10. I don’t think the PS3 is the way to go for Blu-ray. The best idea is to get yourself a combo player so that you can avoid the war altogether and use a freaking IR remote with it. I have an Elite with the HD-DVD add-on and now I’m gonna get myself a combo player so I can watch both formats on their own player. I’ll have more of a rant later.

  11. You can buy stand alone units much cheaper than a combo. HD DVD players are dropping half price to $150 or less, but you’ll want to wait for the HD-A35 for 1080p, it’s still $299 right now, but it just dropped $200 in the last week.

    As far as the PS3 IR situation there are work arounds, like an adapter for under $20. It’s really not the huge problem everyone makes it out to be. It will reduce the functionality to the PS3 controller options, but it’s still everything you need for movie controls.

    The PS3 is still the best bet for a future proof cost effective Blu-ray player on the market.

  12. Seems like everyone is starting the liquidation process for HD DVD already. I took all my HD DVD stuff off of ebay and decided to keep it as no one was willing to give me anything remotely close to what I have spent. It’s not like the movies are going to stop working anytime soon, they still look and sound great, and you’ll be able to pick up movies for dirt cheap in the bargain bin soon.

  13. Yeah, Paramount has said “We continue to support the HD-DVD format” which basically means “Our contract isn’t over yet”

    I saw some “spun” number the other day that 1080p HDTV adoption is only 10%, kinda sounds like a cooked book to make the number sound lower than it is (all those cheapo Wal-Mart 720p Aieavwadaewoovielna brands are surely more than that) but still, those who can watch HD are served best by a format that is going to win.

    Sony’s big gamble with the PS3 might just pay off now…

  14. Yeah I expect Universal and Paramount to fold shortly. If they want to make money on HD formats they need to end this war ASAP. Killing of HD DVD was the easy part, winning over the DVD market is a whole different story.

    I’m also not buying the downloadable content is now movement. While downloads most certainly are “the future” I don’t think the internet is any state to deliver it at this point in time. A great deal of the world doesn’t even have broadband yet and those that do aren’t exactly getting the ideal speeds for HDMs. I’m tired of people saying it worked for music, yes that it true, however there is a bit of a leap from an mp3 file to an HDM download.

    It can take me 3 hours to download an HD movie during peak hours on the 360. Usually when you want to rent a movie, you want it now. Not to mention downloads just don’t offer the same quality that the discs still do right now.

  15. I agree Chris. Another problem with digital downloads is they cost AS MUCH OR MORE, not less than a physical rental. Compared to iTunes where buying a single song for $1 gives the customer value and choice over the physical medium.

    Add to this the fact that Netflix will send you Blu-Ray / HD-DVD as part of a standard subscription and there’s not much incentive.

  16. Yeah, I’m 50/50 with the physical media vs. downloadable content argument and both have their good and bad issues.

    As of right now I’m still backing physical media, although I totally understand the convenience of downloadable content and the need to break away from archaic discs.

    Using the 360 distribution system as an example, because overall it’s a pretty good system. It is awesome not having to mess around with discs and start up an arcade game or an Xbox original game. Sometimes I wish all of my games were that way so I never had to mess around with discs. However, underneath the convenience, evil lurks in the form of badly utilized DRM, loss quality, and exploding media.

    If you’ve ever had to send in a 360 and got a refurb back, and quite honestly what 360 owner hasn’t gone through this rite of passage at least once already………….but I digress, you know that now in order to enjoy your Marketplace content you have to be signed into Live, which is very convenient when Live is down for 3 weeks during a holiday.

    Then there is the pricing, which pretty much everything is insanely priced for the most part. No arcade game should be $15, most shouldn’t be $10, and Atari games should not be $5. Xbox original games are $15 which seems fair until you find the disc in the bargain bin at your local neon lit idiot holding cell otherwise known as Gamestop for $2 or less. (

  17. Then the movie downloads, they are definitely twice what my local video store charges. I can deal with the cost, the restrictions are kind of crap, 14 days to hold it on your hard drive, 24 hours after you press start. Anyway, even with late fees it comes out cheaper and you could do pretty much do whatever you want with the disc in your rental time frame and view it a million times if you want.

    Quality is also still a big issue, Xbox HD movie downloads and Cable video on demand is no match for the quality of a Blu-ray or HD DVD movie, it just isn’t, there is a substantial quality difference there and I’m not even a huge home theater nut or anything.

    I would hope in the future with better technology the convenience of downloads doesn’t keep quality at a loss like mp3 and video on demand, but I haven’t seen any real improvements with music so far, although to be fair it is still kind of new even at a few years old and still gaining the market, we’ll see.

  18. This pretty much sums it up.

    I reneged on my stance on not buying anymore HD DVDs. I had to get Bourne Ultimatum to finish the trilogy. I just couldn’t go back to DVD.

    On the Blu-ray side Die Hard 4 is awesome. The Pixar films have some of the best PQ. Cars and Ratatouille look outstanding.

  19. dude you are genius about the xbox 360 laptop sell it to me for $200. see ya when your next laptop comes out.bye

  20. Pingback: Eric
  21. Круто, хотя не мешало бы чуть поподробнее написать, а то есть несколько непонятных моментов 🙂

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