I originally started this HD-DVD look back retrospective with a list of people involved in the HD-DVD hype machine in late 2007. Most of those people didn’t have the time or desire to discuss Toshiba’s folly. But, what I did find was one gentleman willing to talk to me. He was an HD-DVD enthusiast who followed the product’s launch in Japan to its death in America. Below is a quick runthrough of my talk with him during the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. I wish there was more to this, but most of the audio I recorded from the interview didn’t fare too well on the trip back home. Maybe one day, I’ll include the audio snippets in a Special Edition update.
Harold Reinke. A 30 year old Home Theater enthusiast from the Indianapolis area. Mr. Reinke also wanted me to tell you about his immense Masters of the Universe collection. He owns one of the Eternia Guard costumes from the 1987 film. That’s the crowning achievement of his collection. Scattered throughout his HD-DVD Filmdome, you’ll find the trinkets carefully interwined among films and his border collie. The little dog named Gizmo also wears a MOTU jumper on this cold autumn day. But, enough about that…onto the interview.
Anderson = GREEN
Reinke = Normal Text
HOW DID YOU GET INTO HD-DVD?
I got into it thanks to the X-BOX. Although it didn’t come with an HD-DVD player originally, I wanted to watch the first season of HEROES and TRANSFORMERS and at the time they were only available on HD-DVD in high-definition formats.
2) IT’S BEEN A YEAR SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF HD-DVD, HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED?
HD-DVD doesn’t die. It’s merely resting. Just because a format isn’t in the limelight doesn’t mean it’s died. Remember, news stations still use Betamax in the civilized world (read: outside of America) to store and play a lot of their material. Does that mean Betamax is dead, or has it simply taken on a new format? I’d like to think the HD-DVD technology will be useful in some way like that in the future, a different encoding
3) What’s your most prized HD-DVD?
Definitely the first season of HEROES. It has the unaired pilot, as well as in-scene commentary, where Hiro Nakamura will pop up (well, ok, Masi Oka, really) and talk about the scene that’s going on while you watch without having to go find some hidden easter egg by rubbing the cursor over Little Nicky’s eyes or something equally ridiculous. The condensation of menus through making them a digital display going on while the video…
I lost bits of the interview here, as the dog continued to bark his head off at a salt truck. When the tape came back to normalcy, we were in the middle of a discussion about a couple of HD-DVDs I found hidden behind a BOSE speaker.
4) How much porn do you own on HD-DVD?
Dude, are you paying attention? I just told you I have the first season of HEROES. Masi Oka …
(ed. note TAPE WARBLES HERE)
5) Why won’t you buy Blu-Rays?
Hmm. Let’s think about that. I can get all the HD-DVDs I want for $7.99 a pop out of a discount bin, and watch a movie that’s essentially equal to a Blu-Ray release, or I can pay $24.99 or more just because that disc is closer to a Smurf. Hmm.
6) Tell me about this protest you have going on.
Well, I like to think every person who even purchases a Blu-Ray is part of the Blu-Ray protest. After all, it’s not like consumers themselves were -ever- given the choice to decide the format they preferred. It was decided for us by the same motherfuckers who postponed the latest Harry Potter movie. Well, guess what? I’m not buying it, Lord Bluraymort.
7) What’s next for your HD-DVD theater?
Well, now that I’m the proud owner of what some have redubbed an X-Box Disc Calibrator, I’m going to simply enjoy it for what it is – a home entertainments system. Conspicuous consumption would, of course, demand that I rush out and buy a billion Blu-Ray movies and even purchase new versions of what I own, but why would I want to do that when it works right now?
I’d love to put a Blu-Ray through a feed alongside an HD-DVD on th….
(Ed. Note: Tape ends here. Second tape begins with only six minutes on first side)
8) How would you bring HD-DVD back?
Bringing it back suggests it’s gone. It’s not gone. It’s sleeping, like I said at the beginning of this interview. If you want to be one of the doomsayers insisting it’s forever relegated to Dreamcast status, then fuck you.
At that point, I had to leave suddenly. Reinke was getting ready to travel to a Northern Indiana taping of a Fantasy Fan Show. Mr. Reinke offered to show me his Orko costume. I declined. In the days following this interview, I’ve been haunted by the visage that I missed. A rather obese man in an Orko costume that surely stank of Funjuns and Despair. The horror….the horror.