Technology is cruel, fickle and unfair. The market and consumers alike demand that things be constantly pushed forward, that something better is always waiting right around the corner, eagerly waiting to make everything you own obsolete. While home video once filled a gap by making film and television more accessible to all, that benign purpose was inevitably subjugated in favour of the constant aggressive pursuit of the “next best thing” – the current generation of video having left technological laggards in the dust completely, as Blu-ray discs won’t even display on televisions with sub-720p resolutions. And now, as we sit on the cusp of the Next Big Thing in video technology (the jump to the 4K resolution that, allegedly, was demanded by at least someone, somewhere), the convenience of home video has been almost completely lost, as physical media becomes a luxury product, useful primarily for showing off a host of other luxury products. With digital streaming and downloads having never been easier or more practical, the effect is compounded – as anyone who’s had to sit and wait as a new Blu-ray disc installs on their player can attest, there’s precious little reason to buy video on disc anymore.
With all that said, T-Palette Records, in their admirably quixotic quest to present things as they should be, have looked at the way home video is heading and said, in their graceful way, “no thanks.” Despite the Blu-ray format making its debut close to a decade ago, the label has stayed away from the high-def format for all except one release (Up Up Girls! (Kari)’s Nakano Sun Plaza show, released on BD last September), preferring instead to stick with the convenience of the still not-yet-extinct DVD format. DVD drives come standard in computers now, you don’t need any high-definition cables to view them, the discs don’t require any fussing-over as older video formats did, and although the kind of tech obsessives who think that 4K resolution is worth buying a new TV for would disagree intensely, DVD always struck me as the perfect home video format. Congratulations, T-Palette Records. You’re doing good work.
(LIVE & LIFE: Negicco 2014-2015 Winter comes out April 7.)