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Author Topic: What's the appeal of watching movies on the PSP?  (Read 1340 times)
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Andrew Mallon
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« on: June 21, 2004, 05:10:31 PM »

I was reading some stuff on the PSP in a magazine this weekend and I'm hoping someone can explain the appeal of buying and watching movies on the PSP via UMD because I just don't get it at all. First off, living in the West there are very few times when watching a movie on the go is possible, let alone appealing. Besides, who wants to watch a movie in five to twenty minute chunks?

Even if that was OK, it brings up the second problem: the UMD format. I just came got back in the house and I've watched an hour of Spider Man 3 and am itching to finish it up. It'd be nice to finish watching it on my HD TV. Oh wait, I can't, because it's a UMD disc. I assume that there won't be any places where I can rent UMD movies, so I'm stuck paying probably $20 bucks a pop to for a movie that'll be tied to a 4.5" display. If I want to watch the movie on a TV, I'll be forced to buy the same movie a second time in a different format.

Eif Sony releases an add-on device that lets you watch UMD movies on TV, I'm assuming that the 1.8 GB maximum size limitation involves some pretty hefty compression that'll cause artifacting that won't be noticeable on a small screen but would be unacceptable on a normal TV, especially compared to normal DVD and high def.

Am I way off base with this? I'm very interested in the PSP as a portable gaming platform, but I keep seeing all of these breathless comments about how it'll play movies as if that is the killer app that handheld gaming has been waiting for. I just see it as a novelty that will eventually be considered impractical under the PSP model.
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2004, 07:04:51 PM »

Ask Nickelodeon, as they have been putting out a bunch of cartoons on the GBA lately.

Personally I'm not going to watch movies on a PSP, or any other portable device for that matter.  If I wanted portable, I would buy a portable DVD player.  Wow, some of those look nice, don't they!

The thing that I absolutely hate is the proprietary format.  Oh how Sony is just salivating at the prospect of everybody buying into their new UMD format.  That way they can not only sell you the same film twice, but on their own licensed format as well.  Mini Disc!  Um, no.

I would say 1.8GB should be enough for a movie, though.  As you said, it is formatted for the small PSP screen, not the HDTV.  I've seen 90-minute movies compressed under 50 megs.  Now that isn't something you want to watch, but it's easy enough to do.  On a tiny screen I imagine 1.8GB would leave a very nice picture on the small screen.  Super high quality surround sound (like DTS) is what takes up a TON of space.

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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2004, 07:10:32 PM »

Andrew, this is exactly what I've been saying about the movie playback thing from the get-go.  Personally, unless there's some way to transfer movies from DVD to UMD, it's a gimmick at best.  You know they won't offer something like that, because Sony stands to make money on selling movies, especially since Sony has an interest in movie distribution, so if they can convince you to buy a movie both on DVD and UMD, they make money at least three times that I can count.

I just don't get why this is selling point on the system.  If you think about it for a few minutes, it just doesn't make much sense to me.

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