In 2006, my Dad and I purchased an HD DVD player. For reasons unknown I felt that that was the better decision at the time. But we bit the bullet on that investment as Blu-Ray won the HD media player battle. Then in 2009 I bought a Playstation 3. I could have gone with an X-Box 360, but I liked that the PS3 had the ability to play Blu-Rays.
Whenever I went into Best Buy I would stop at an endcap display that contained a Sony Bravia TV hooked up to a Blu-Ray player. It was 1080p HDTV with 120 HZ TruMotion capability. Essentially it blurs and smooths motion on the TV. So I eventually bought an LG HDTV with the same features. The new TV and the PS3/Blu-Ray went together splendidly. The picture was so sharp, and the motion was so smooth. I was in awe. Thats when the collection process began.
My first Blu-Ray I purchased was Step Brothers. I used to be intimidated by the higher cost of Blu-Rays and the fact they only came with Blu-Ray discs. But progressively the prices have declined and are coming in Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy combo packs for a little over $20. Plus with my taste in movies usually being big, epic, sweeping blockbusters with beautiful cinematography, I figured it’d be worth the money.
Lately I’ve been on a big Blu-Ray kick. Mainly because I’ve started to get back into movies, having finished marathons of several of my favorite TV Shows. I’ve started to replace some of my favorite movies such as Apollo 13, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Boondock Saints, Kingdom of Heaven, the Transformers trilogy, Avatark etc. I’ve also started purchasing Blu-Ray packs. I bought the 9-disc Star Wars Blu-Ray trilogy, The Pacific, and most recently 15-disc The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition. The Blu-Rays I’m looking forward to getting are The Five Year Engagement, Titanic, and possibly the Hunger Games.
I have always been a big baseball fan. My favorite team is the Seattle Mariners, thanks to legends Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki. The unfortunate part about being a Mariners fan in central Iowa is that I never get to see them play, both in person and especially on TV. So I decided to purchase MLB.tv Premium for the 2012 season.
For only $125 I am able to watch every out of market game live in HD on my MacBook Pro, Playstation 3 or iPod touch. Plus I got to watch every single spring training game for free, without blackout restrictions. I also got a free subscription to At Bat 12 mobile app for my iPod touch. That’s a lot of bang for the buck!
I rarely miss a Mariners game now. I’ve never been able to follow my team this closely. Although their record doesn’t show it, the Mariners have had a pretty exciting season. They’ve been part of a perfect game, a 6 pitcher no-hitter, and Ichiro’s 2500th career hit. I’ve come to love the ROOTS Sports Northwest broadcasts. Which is very important to me because I’ve worked on many sports broadcasting crews over the past few years. I could definitely see myself filming pro baseball someday.
The only drawback to MLB.tv is the MLB’s blackout rules (which are absolutely ridiculous). If you are within a radius of so many miles of a team’s home city, you are not able to watch that team’s games live, even if they are on the road. Unless you are subscribed to the local cable or satellite provider, that carries that teams’ broadcasts. Iowa is the worst state when it comes to blackouts. We are within in the blackout radius of all 6 midwest teams (the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Kansas City Royals). Thanks to Mediacom, us Iowans are only able to watch all the Cardinals games on FOX Sports Network: Midwest, or whenever the Cubs or White Sox are on WGN, plus the occasional game on ESPN or TBS. When the Mariners play against, or at any of those team’s, I have to wait till the game is completed before I can watch the broadcast. Luckily the Mariners are in the American League West division so they don’t play many games against AL or NL Central teams.
Besides the blackout rules. MLB.tv Premium was a fantastic deal, compared to the prices of NFL Sunday Ticket, or the NHL and NBA’s full season packages. I’ve greatly enjoyed being able to watch my Mariners this season and will gladly renew my subscription for many seasons to come!
SEARCH FOR NEW CAMERA
The official camera of Chris Hansen Productions for the past 6 years has kicked the bucket. It was a Sony HDR-HC3, which captured video at a very crisp 1080i. It was a useful tool for my video productions over the years. However, as I have learned more about cameras I eventually outgrew the HDR-HC3. As a consumer grade camcorder it posed several challenges when it was being used for more professional purposes.
Sony is known for not outsourcing their accessories to be produced by 3rd party vendors. Because of this, for example, the only external, wireless microphone attachment available for the HDR-HC3 was a Sony Bluetooth wireless microphone for over $200. Another issue I had with the camera was the focus ring, or in this case, the lack of a focus ring, which made manual focus almost impossible. In order to adjust any settings manually, you would have to scroll through the touch screen menus, which tended to be very inconvenient. The easiest way to operate the camera was when everything was set on automatic, which wasn’t appropriate for some settings especially in low light situations. Overall, the camera suited my needs perfectly. However, now as a professional I will require more advanced features and settings from my camera.
I am in search of a low end professional camera, with an adjustable iris, and duo XLR audio inputs (among other features). These are important because two of the most common and most difficult parts of producing quality video is capturing quality light and sound. I shoot a lot of weddings, and no two weddings are the same especially when it comes to this. With a consumer camera with fully automatic settings, you loose a lot of control over what you are capturing.
My search for a new camera has only just began. I’ve been fortunate to be able to use Drake University’s cameras during the past two football seasons. I would love to have cameras of that caliber but they are easily over $5000, which is way out of my price range. The picture of the second camera is similar to the kind my roommate had freshman year. This would be a perfect example of what I’m looking for, however, I don’t remember the exact model number. I am open to suggestions from any media professionals who know their way around a camera. As my search continues, I am open to suggestions from people who have good ideas on what model or brand to look for. Please comment below!