What's Up?

Here's news about high-definition video disc ("HDVD") recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, performance art, and paintings. We've got hard-to-find critical reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

August 1.  We just finished our review of the Khatia Buniatishvili recording of the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 with Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This recording is important because it has been published in both 2K Blu-ray and as a 4K title with High Dynamic Range ("HDR"). Our review may be the first on the Internet to focus on the fact that this record is now available in what we call 4K/HDR. So we moved this up to the top of the journal.

Three performance art works have been published as HDVDs: Adam's Passion, Einstein on the Beach, and Twin Spirits. We have given all three A+ grades! Only a few people have been able to see any of these works live, and it's possible none of them will be revived. So in each case the Blu-rays may become collectors items.  To remind you again about these remarkable recordings, we just updated our screenshots and grouped them near the top of the Journal.

We recently updated and moved up near the top of the Journal two reviews of videos in the modern Belgium dance style: Babel 7.16 and C(H)ŒURS. The C(H)ŒURS story has the entire show attached in a nice HD YouTube clip! Enjoy!

We continue to port the website from Squarespace5 (best on desktop) to SS7, which looks good on mobile devices and the desktop. On the new homepage, you see 17 large "tiles" with the most recent stories. These 17 stories are native SS7. To see earlier stories, go to the Alphalist or Search. Desktop users should find old stories look about the same. If you are using a mobile device, there may be some "fit and finish" issues until we complete the conversion.

We estimate we are about 65% finished with the raw conversion. This process takes time as there are many images and PDFs that have to be handled individually. But we are making process! We expect to be finished with "convert'n"  by late August. After that point, fit and finish will be our priority.

We are getting a few new titles from the publishers the last few months.  Most of them are among the 17 stories found in the Journal on the home page.

We lament that Oppo is withdrawing from manufacturing disc playing machines --- not a vote of confidence in the Blu-ray disc! On the other hand, it appears the large Japanese consumer electronic makers plan to continue supporting Blu-ray. We also assert that the few Blu-ray discs and streamed files we have seen with 4K and High Dynamic Range images are dramatically compelling. We have no doubt that the era of showing fine-arts material with excellent video and audio is still just getting under way.

If the optical disc format dies, we are ready. The term "HDVD" also stands for "high-definition video downloading" which for our purposes includes streaming.