As someone who likes films, but spends relatively little time watching visual media, I’m in an annoying position at the moment.
I don’t own a TV, because neither I nor my wife are particularly interested in watching broadcast stuff, and because my experience is that when people have them they tend to be on all the time and to dominate rooms and take over from the other forms of entertainment which I prefer. (Note this is NOT me saying that I look down on people who watch TV or any of that nonsense. I have to point this out because so many people only say they don’t have a TV in order to look down on those who do.)
However, more and more, things I am interested in watching are being (re)issued on Blu-Ray only, without a DVD release. Most recently there’ve been the upgraded versions of the Marx Brothers’ Paramount films, and the remastered Monkees TV series, but at this point there’s something most weeks I’m interested in.
I could use an external Blu-Ray drive connected to my laptop — except that I use GNU/Linux. There is no legal way to watch Blu-Rays on GNU/Linux, the illegal ways tend to be patchy, and part of the Blu-Ray spec includes the ability to brick drives if you watch a Blu-Ray using the “wrong” systems, as I discovered when I bought a USB Blu-Ray drive.
So the only way I’m going to be able to watch a lot of things I want to see is if I buy a portable player (I am NOT installing Windows on any machine I own). But looking through Amazon there is only one single machine on there that appears to be an actual portable Blu-Ray player (a number have Blu-Ray in their title, but the description and reviews make it clear they’re just DVD players with no Blu-Ray functionality). The one available one is four hundred quid, which I’m not paying.
Now my experience in the past with this sort of thing has been that the thing I want exists, but there tends to be one manufacturer in the Czech Republic or something making them, and that they can only be bought through a Welsh-language website.
So I’m posting this to see if anyone can name somewhere I can find a portable Blu-Ray player, which will work with British-region Blu-Rays, and which costs under two hundred or so pounds. You may assume that I have tried the obvious places (Amazon, Ebay, Maplin etc).
Proper post later.