Nothing can last forever, I suppose. Regrettably, after more than 8,000 posts and nearly a decade of writing about all manner of movie, TV, and home theater topics, the Bonus View blog at High-Def Digest must close its doors effective today.
In the early days of its life, High-Def Digest was devoted almost exclusively to news and reviews about the Blu-ray format and its (now-defunct) competitor, HD DVD. Even after HD DVD conceded and the great High-Def Format War ended, the site maintained a focus on movie discs and software. To be fair, despite the waning presence of physical media in the marketplace, that remains a significant interest to most of our readers.
However, this is not and has never been “Blu-ray Digest.” Starting in April of 2010 (read Post #1), I spearheaded an initiative to expand the site’s scope by opening a blog which would serve as an outlet for myself and our writers to discuss other topics related to high-definition video and the home theater hobby. These included, but were not limited to: movies in theaters, TV shows, video games, electronics, and (later on) streaming.
The original mandate for the blog was to post two to three articles a week. That seemed insufficient to me, and I made an aggressive push to post every day. At our peak, we had as many as five or six posts a day, five days a week. That slowed down a bit over time. Old writers left and new writers joined. Personally, having kids severely limited the amount of available time I have to write. Nevertheless, with limited exceptions, I’ve overseen the publishing of new content in this blog every working business day for nine-and-a-half years. Some of those posts may have been more substantive than others, but I’ve tried my best to make sure we have something interesting to read here every day, with a minimum of blatant click-bait. (I won’t say there’s been none, but I tried to keep our readers engaged.)
I appreciate the blog format because it forced me to write something every day, overcoming my inclination toward procrastination. I’ve been Managing Editor of The Bonus View since its inception. During that time, I set a goal to personally contribute at least one post on every active day, often working through vacations and illnesses. Since 2010, I’ve only had about a dozen absences, and half of those were paternity leave immediately after my kids were born. I also edited every single piece of content that ever got published in the blog (some of our writers might say too heavily), and frequently chose the images and wrote the headlines to go with them. The Bonus View is very personal to me, and I am deeply saddened to see it end. I know that everyone working here feels the same.
The following are just a small handful of my personal favorite articles that I wrote for this blog:
Home Theater Technical Articles
- A Constant Image Height Refresher
- Where Movies and Home Theater Fail Math – How 2.35 = 2.40
- The Shape of Blockbuster Movies
- Choosing the Right Subwoofer for Home Theater
- Dolby Atmos Beyond 7.1.4 (start of series)
- Making Better Bass (start of series)
- Building a Home Theater (start of series)
- A Eulogy for OPPO Digital
- Watching 4k Ultra HD on a 1080p Display
- When 4k Is Not 4k
- An Ultra HD Blu-ray Q&A
- Poll: Did You Ever Own a Laserdisc Player?
- Is There Still Room for Laserdisc in a 4k Home Theater?
- No Easy Fix for 3D Crosstalk
Movies and Discs
- The 1-2-3s of Organizing a Movie Collection
- All Deckard Out: A History of Blade Runner on Laserdisc
- Blu-ray Highlights: Week of March 29th, 2015 (you’ll understand after a few entries)
- Poll: What Did You Think of Prometheus?
- A Second Opinion on That G.I. Joe Retaliation Trailer
- Now Playing: So-So G.I. Joe
- Off the Shelf: Space Truckers
- The Crazy Eighties: Body Heat
- Nineties Noir: The Last Seduction
- Fuller House Pilot Recap (some of my finest analysis)
- A.P.B. Pilot Recap
- The Orville Pilot Recap
- MacGyver (2016) Pilot Recap
- Into the Badlands Pilot Recap
- Backstrom Pilot Recap
- 9-1-1 Pilot Recap
- American Horror Story Pilot Recap
- Star Trek: Discovery Pilot Recap
- Westworld Pilot Recap
- Westworld 2.10 Recap
- Twin Peaks 3.08 Recap
- The X Files 11.04 Recap
- The Newsroom 1.10 Recap
- Haven Series Finale Recap
- Agent Carter Series Finale Recap
- V Series Finale Recap
- Under the Dome 3.09 Recap
- Under the Dome Series Finale Recap
- True Blood Series Finale Recap
- Fringe Series Finale Recap
- Hannibal Series Finale Recap
- Game of Thrones Series Finale Recap
- Now Streaming: Love, Death + Robots
- Now Streaming: Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
- Now Streaming: Godless
- Now Streaming: Russian Doll
- Now Streaming: Undone
- “Shield Practice”
- Classic 1980s G.I. Joe Characters Ripped Off from Movies and TV
- Unboxed: Alien ReAction Egg Chamber Playset
Looking at it, I see that many of those were technical articles. I suppose I single them out because they were the hardest to write (except that Q&A piece, which was a blast), yet also the most rewarding. Of course, we also had a great deal of fun talking about movies and TV. Among countless TV posts, I wrote lengthy recaps for every single episode of Game of Thrones from start to finish over its eight seasons.
Another accomplishment I rather enjoyed was systematically working through the entire career of filmmaker David Lynch for a series of posts under the heading Auteur Theory. Grouped with these are recaps for every episode of the Twin Peaks revival series, through which I attempted to make some sense of the infamous, mind-warping Episode 8.
Counting this one, The Bonus View published 8,197 posts during its lifetime, from 27 different authors. Most of those were regular contributors in some fashion, while a few were one-shot guests. Among all those posts were 1,954 TV recaps; 1,466 theatrical reviews; 484 Blu-ray Highlights articles; 466 Weekend Roundtables; and 394 reports from film festivals.
Intended as a weekly buying guide for everything released on Blu-ray and Ultra HD, the Blu-ray Highlights pieces were a tremendous amount of work to put together and write every week. As someone who remains passionate about watching movies on these formats, my goal was for the posts to serve as a useful resource for other fans and collectors. They were (and still are) the sort of thing that I wanted to read somewhere, and not seeing anyone else doing it as comprehensively as I liked, I took on the responsibility myself. I can only hope that came through.
This is the final post for the Bonus View blog. After today, the Comments section will remain open, but I’m not sure whether (or how long) it will be moderated. I am told that the wealth of content we’ve amassed over the last 9+ years will remain where it is. Unfortunately, no further posts will be published.
Some of our blog writers may remain on the site staff to contribute Blu-ray reviews. Starting next month, I have accepted a position to write about television for Primetimer and will be found there. I’m also exploring some other options to continue writing about movies and home theater, but don’t have anything to announce yet. (Sorry, I don’t do Twitter and my Facebook is only open to people I know personally.)
Before we shut the doors, here are some stats you might find of interest.
Months active: 114
Posts per month: 71.9
Avg words per post: 796
View all posts
Soon to be found at: Primetimer
Months active: 114
Posts per month: 32.5
Avg words per post: 927
Months active: 111
Posts per month: 0.5
Avg words per post: 1,507
[Note: David’s numbers are somewhat skewed because he wrote a few posts in the early days of the blog but only became a regular contributor about a year ago.]
View all posts
Months active: 16
Posts per month: 11.3
Avg words per post: 525
View all posts
Also found at: ThatShelf
Months active: 18
Posts per month: 9.4
Avg words per post: 534
View all posts
Also found at: DVDTalk
Months active: 93
Posts per month: 0.5
Avg words per post: 1,052
View all posts
Months active: 58
Posts per month: 19.1
Avg words per post: 752
View all posts
Months active: 66
Posts per month: 4.3
Avg words per post: 1,019
Months active: 26
Posts per month: 6.5
Avg words per post: 739
Months active: 84
Posts per month: 11.8
Avg words per post: 561
Months active: 34
Posts per month: 10.8
Avg words per post: 763
M. Enois Duarte
Months active: 72
Posts per month: 2.3
Avg words per post: 522
Months active: 81
Posts per month: 0.9
Avg words per post: 621
View all posts
Months active: 23
Posts per month: 18.8
Avg words per post: 538
Months active: 49
Posts per month: 1.3
Avg words per post: 722
I’m very proud of all the work we’ve accomplished here over the last decade, and very appreciative of the writers who have worked with me, both past and present. I know that I speak for the whole staff when I say that we’re extremely grateful to all of our readers for following us. Perhaps we’ll meet again, somewhere else. Until then, all I can say is…
This was a sad surprise.
I had to check my calendar for a sec to make sure it wasn’t April. Unfortunately, we’re far from it.
Even though I often had differing opinions to those on this site, I’m sad to see it go. Thanks for the memories (and the two or three free discs). Good luck on your new ventures.
I have never made any comment on this site, but loved reading the reviews, the technical stuff, and how a movie rated. I will really miss reading this blog. It was a an at least once a week go to on the internet. Thanks guys for all the great reviews and so much more!
I’ve been with the blog for most of its 9 years and I’ve always appreciated the time, energy and thought you’ve put into it. I can honestly say I’ve learned a heck of a lot about two of my favorite topics in the world: movies and home theatre. Haven’t always been able to follow some of your more technical pieces but I’ve always enjoyed them.
On the reviewing side of things, my two personal highlights have been your original Dune piece (of course) and Transformers: Revenge of the Filth. I’ll admit here at the end (*sob* *sniff*) that for me Dune has always been more successful as a sleeping aid than as a movie, but thanks to your writing on the subject, The Passion Of The Josh and Dune will always be inextricably linked in my mind. In fact I may just dust off my copy of Dune as a Celebration of Life for this dearly departed blog and all things Zyber. “Long live the figh… er, the Zyber!”
As runners-up I have to also mention Apocalypse Now and all your Bond pieces, right up to your fair and balanced review of Spectre. I also appreciate all the knowledge I’ve gained about Lynch and his work.
Might I also suggest for the above highlights list the Thing (Arrow edition) debate. What a doozy! I don’t yet have a region-free player to watch my copy on but I’ll certainly be watching closely when I do!
Also, as a postscript to the great Avatar Massacre of April 2010, when I mailed my sister my copy of Avatar after upgrading to the Extended SE disc, I made sure to include a copy of your humble review. In doing so I may have fatally skewed her outlook as she hadn’t yet seen the movie but what the heck.
Every episode of Game of Thrones! Wow! I’m a Game of Thrones virgin although I do have the season 1-6 Blu boxset which I still haven’t dug into, but once I do I’ll be referring back to this blog as a companion guide.
My reading for the next few days is decided with the above highlights list. I’ll keep a tissue handy…..
To finish I can only steal your line and say…
I am really stunned. And a little upset because you didn’t give us the real reasons for that. 🙂
Your idea of making a list of your personal post is great, but at the same time very risky, You are certainly leaving important things out.
“When 4k Is Not 4k” is certainly one of the most most enlightening posts on Internet regarding 4k content.
If I may, I woul like to point out “High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray and HD DVD Audio Explained” (I know it was not a post of the Bonus View), but for me, it was the single most useful article I have ever read about home theater.
Let me also congratulate and regret the lack of the “HD Adisor” series of post. Also extremely helpful and full of contents. On top of that you kindly anwswered 3 or 4 questions of mine.
Please, try to just give us the reasons…
Wait, so is this the end of High Def Digest?
It is the end of the blog and some other sections of the site.
The product reviews will continue. The editorial content, such as you found here on The Bonus View is dead. Basically anything that doesn’t link to/lead to selling product. 🙂
Thank you for the clarification. I’ve been visiting this site for years now and have enjoyed the content. So I will continue to do so!
Sigh. Late to the party as usual. I was really hoping that something would change and that at least the lights could be left on for a few more days/posts but alas no.
It is nice to see some friendly reactions. I can’t relate how special the the Bonus View is to me in my life (thanks so much JZ), but I’m glad I’m not the only one who wishes that the end had not been handed down.
On that subject, I too know what it is like to deliver bad news and have people offer sensible rational and generous ideas about how to keep going. All I can say is that is also rough to go through when those options aren’t really at your disposal.
I want to salute the content as well as the community for the Bonus View. Even in the last few weeks, Josh has done such a great job of producing unique and awesome posts that are like catnip- to do so under the shade of this end is no small task.
I have my Oppo in my home theater. Just this weekend I started looking for a small CRT to use with old game systems. Likewise, I just watched a movie that I really dislike because it is a part of a series that I do like (License to Kill). I still dislike it, and this is one community where it is ok and welcome to discuss such things. I could even talk about buying the whole Ultimate James Bond Collection on Blu-ray this past summer (not once but twice, as the first one did not include Spectre and had to be returned), and how I wanted the digital copies and how many other times I’ve bought the “whole set” and how kind of bummed I was that the Quantum of Solace disc is the same one (cover art aside) from when it first hit home video… sigh. If anyone wants to do a roundtable, let me know!
Way, way too sad. What a wonderful site. This is one that will be sorely missed !
So, I’ve been waiting patiently, but I guess this means Josh Z won’t be posting his review of the 4K UHD version of Prometheus?
Here’s my review:
The movie is still shit. It will continue to be shit no matter how many “Ks” you throw at it.
Let me take this last opportunity to remind you that you are, in fact, 100% incorrect.
Good luck with your future projects!
If anything, that movie has only gotten worse with age.
It’s only been 7 years and that movie has already not aged well.
It’s better than Covenant!
That’s a pretty low bar to clear.
Oh man, this is hitting me hard today. I need my Watchmen recaps.
To quote Senator Palpatine: “Nooo, Nooo, Nooo!”
I’ve added several more posts to the list of favorites and organized them into broad categories.
Feeling nostalgic today. I’ve just added a lot more links.
I’m late to the party, but damn! I will miss this. I loved these posts-especially the nostalgic ones about the old days and older formats. This truly is the Bad Place.
Good luck on your next gig-all of you.
Been a reader since the beginning and sad to see the end of an era. Thank to Josh and the many contributors for always reminding us what it means to be a home theater enthusiast.
Gutted. Definitely going to miss this site.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for nine entertaining, thought‐provoking years of the Bonus View. Thank you to Josh, the other contributing bloggers, my fellow reader‐commentators, and High‐Def Digest for making it possible.
One of the biggest tragedies is that we won’t get Josh’s review of the Dune movie he said would never happen.
The new site he’s writing for is about television, but I’m hoping there’s still a way.
There’s still a whole year for that release to get canceled! 🙂
Started and stopped. Walked away and kept coming back, not knowing how to say goodbye.
Thank you Josh.
How about using some cultural references of our times? Bond’s next is No Time to Die. Sadly, for the Bonus View, there’s a comma, inserted between the “No” and “Time.” You chose the Cheers motif. Josh, I tell ya, you’re the luckiest sonofabitch on earth. You get to do what you love. Hope that Snugglefish treats you better than IB. Glad that you had the chance to write this last blog, to revisit so much. It’s like you getting to straighten the crooked picture of Geronimo hanging on the wall. Bests to you, your wife and twins. Oh before you go, did I ever tell you about the time I walked into a brothel with a honeycomb and a jackass…
Just came here to say how much I’m missing the “Weekend Roundtable” posts lately. Hope everyone is doing well….
Just dropping in to say hi. I hope everyone is doing great so far this year. So I added a second subwoofer to my room, I got a really good deal on the SVS Presidents’ Day outlet sale. Anyone else get any new gear or goodies? How ‘bout them Oscars? I only watched the Joaquin acceptance speech and it made me wish that Adam Driver would’ve won. Epically moronic. Zellwegger’s was pretty awful too.
Hey CSM! Congrats on the 2nd subwoofer. I caught the big three awards and the more Joaquin spoke, the more invested I became in checking tax return emails that came in over that weekend. I don’t really recall Zellwegger’s speech, but I do remember wondering if she was on something because she looked really out of it. Very happy to see Parasite win best picture though. Wonderful movie.
Recently I’ve begun converting more of my blu-rays over to Kodi and added another Nvidia Shield so I can access everything from the bedroom. On the fence about ripping UHDs to MKV, but the process still seems rather cumbersome compared to blu-ray. I’ve slowed down on my movie purchases a little, but plan on picking up all the Star Wars movies once they come out on UHD later this year.
I hope you and everyone else are doing great! I miss not having something to look forward to on here.
Deadite! Great to hear from you buddy! Are you still in the Tampa area? I haven’t seen Parasite yet, but it’s definitely on my to-do list. I’ve never heard of Kodi before. Are you going all digital or just thinning out your collection a bit? I’m waiting for thoughts on the Star Wars uhds before I pick them up. I’ll probably get them little by little unless I change my mind and buy them on impulse. The one uhd release that has me salivating is the Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight. It sounds like this will be the definitive version. Anyways, great to hear from you and hope all is well and I’ll continue to pop in every few days to see how everyone else is.
Didn’t watch the Oscars for the first time in probably 20 years or so. Didn’t miss it at all!
But I do miss the Bonus View and Weekend Roundtable!
Julian De Backer
Agreed! I miss The Bonus View!
Did HDD close up their Forums? When I click the link it just opens up the home page.
Yes, the forum is closed.
11 months have passed. October 2019 sucked with HDD’s passing. Portends of an even worse year.
How about a 1 year reunion to update where the alumni of HDD are at and how everyone is doing?
The one year anniversary of no Bonus View🙁. I hope everyone is doing great and have a great Halloween.
Rip Sean Connery 😢
Hey CSM101! I lost your email address lol. Mines [email protected] hit a movie-brother up when you can’
I am heartened to see that a few of the old regulars still check in with these comments periodically. This has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you, Josh! I still check in, almost daily! Nothing will ever be the bonus view again! I think I speak for everyone, when I say that!
Even for those who donʼt check in!
Josh, are you no longer writing articles for Primetimer?
Work there has been sparse recently, but I’m actually working on something now. It might not be too exciting, I’m afraid.
Cool man, I look for your articles on there sometimes and noticed and hadn’t seen your name as often. You got a write up on WandaVision somewhere we can check out?
No, sorry. I am watching but haven’t written anything on that one. The past year has kind of sucked away all my will to do much of any actual work.
Adam T and I have a special project brewing, but it has nothing to do with home theater and is not a sure thing yet.
Citizenship By Investment
What is Citizenship By Investment & Different Citizenship programs?
Citizenship By Investment program provides an individual the right to be fully involved in the affairs of the state. However, Such activities include voting and owning properties and so much more. The person who is recognized by the law as a citizen of a particular nation-state has the duty of abiding with the rules and regulations of that state.
Why Will I Consider Second Citizenship Programs?
Citizenship By Investment Programs – Our Second citizenship program comes to play when one seeks to be a citizen of another country, nation, or state. Similarly, That country will become a new home country for the person. In addition, One invests due to some engagements or attachments such as business, travel, marriage, education or the person may wish to be a legal member of that country. Therefore, These reasons make up the importance of the second citizenship program.
Hey Josh, are you gonna review the new Dune movie on primetimer, or somewhere else? Maybe you could write something here?