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Old 01-02-2009, 08:41 AM
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Default Text size: increase text sizedecrease text size Should you buy Blu-ray?

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Remember the first time you watched a movie on DVD? You were probably instantly blown away by how much better it was than VHS. The quality of the video and audio was superior, it came in a smaller package, and you could quickly move from the beginning to the end of a movie without having to fast forward through everything in between.

The difference between DVD and Blu-ray is nowhere near as striking, despite what the consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers might have told you this holiday season. Sure, Blu-ray vs. DVD is equivalent to standard-definition vs. high-definition programming on your TV, but it's not so good that you should go out and buy a Blu-ray player and replace your DVDs.

Especially if you own an "upconverting" DVD player, which enhances the quality of DVDs so drastically, it's hard to tell it's not Blu-ray.

And with the growth of digital movie downloads through services such as iTunes and Netflix as well as the popularity of on-demand movie rentals through your cable or satellite-TV provider, you may not want to fill your shelves with discs that typically cost between $25 and $30.

Blu-ray has been around for a few years, but it still hasn't taken off - primarily because the next generation DVD format war between Blu-ray and rival HD DVD didn't end until earlier this year. Now that the war is over, manufacturers have been ramping up production of Blu-ray players and slashing prices.

Blu-ray prices have dropped drastically, especially over the holiday season.

If you are looking to replace a DVD player and can spend the money, buying a Blu-ray player makes sense, primarily because Blu-ray players can play and upconvert DVDs, so your current movie collection won't become obsolete.

Another bonus is that many Blu-ray players have a slot for a USB drive or SD card, so you can use your Blu-ray player to view photos or listen to music on your TV. And if a PlayStation 3 is on your horizon, you'll be killing two birds with one stone because the video-game console is a Blu-ray player.

I recently tested two Blu-ray players, the Sony BDP-S350 ($250) and the LG Network Blu-ray Disc Player ($350). Besides the price, the main difference is that the LG player lets you instantly watch thousands of movies and TV shows from Netflix. To do this, you must connect your Blu-ray player to the Internet and be a Netflix member.

When you pop in a Blu-ray disc, you immediately notice the increase in quality, just like you do when you tune from a standard-definition channel to a high-definition one on your HDTV. Blu-ray offers some nice new features, such as the ability to enable closed captioning and access other settings and menus without having to exit the movie, the ability to bookmark favorite scenes and a timeline that shows you where you are in the movie as you fast forward and rewind.

One thing I didn't like is that all of the Blu-ray movies I watched were widescreen, so there were black bars above and below the picture on my HDTV until I stretched it or zoomed in.

For another perspective on Blu-ray, I lent the Sony player to Roger Moore, the Sentinel's movie critic. He watched the Blu-ray version of the first Planet of the Apes movie on a 42-inch 1080p TV and compared the experience with his usual disc player, a $40 model from RCA with HDMI connection.

"The blacks were superb, the colors clear and precise, the striations of the canyon walls in the desert locations of Apes were brilliant," Moore said. "But the ugly truth of the matter is that once you've got the 1080 HDTV, once you've bought a DVD player with HDMI cable connections, Blu-ray is superfluous. The features are fancier, but the picture? No improvement. Investing in a player (unless you already have a Blu-ray-ready PlayStation) is a needless expense. Downloads are the future, not discs in a cute blue box."

I agree that movie downloads are the future, but buying a Blu-ray player is not a needless expense if you are able to use it for more than just playing Blu-ray movies, such as playing DVDs, watching Netflix movies instantly, viewing photos and accessing Internet content.

If you are planning on buying a Blu-ray player, try to get one with BD-Live, which is sometimes referred to as Blu-ray 2.0. A BD-Live-capable player can connect to the Internet for software updates and to unlock special features available on many Blu-ray movies. The BD-Live-enabled features that come on some Blu-ray movies are disappointing and mostly limited to interactive games. But there are companies working on products that will use the BD-Live connection to pull in movies and services from the Internet, potentially expanding the benefits of owning a Blu-ray player.
SOURCE: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertai...,1906473.story
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:55 AM
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One thing I didn't like is that all of the Blu-ray movies I watched were widescreen, so there were black bars above and below the picture on my HDTV until I stretched it or zoomed in.
Well, the author of the piece has spent the last 10 years not noticing that most DVDs are in widescreen, so he isn't really clued up.

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For another perspective on Blu-ray, I lent the Sony player to Roger Moore, the Sentinel's movie critic. He watched the Blu-ray version of the first Planet of the Apes movie on a 42-inch 1080p TV and compared the experience with his usual disc player, a $40 model from RCA with HDMI connection.

"The blacks were superb, the colors clear and precise, the striations of the canyon walls in the desert locations of Apes were brilliant," Moore said. "But the ugly truth of the matter is that once you've got the 1080 HDTV, once you've bought a DVD player with HDMI cable connections, Blu-ray is superfluous. The features are fancier, but the picture? No improvement. Investing in a player (unless you already have a Blu-ray-ready PlayStation) is a needless expense. Downloads are the future, not discs in a cute blue box."
And 'movie critic' Roger Moore can't tell the difference between a blu-ray picture and his $40 RCA DVD...

Fortunately, I think that people are far more observant than these two but that we'll still hear crap like this in 10 years time, just as we still hear people moaning about 'black bars' 11 years into DVDs lifespan.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:45 PM
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Wow that's crazy that a movie critic could not see a difference.

"The blacks were superb, the colors clear and precise, the striations of the canyon walls in the desert locations of Apes were brilliant," Moore said. "But the ugly truth of the matter is that once you've got the 1080 HDTV, once you've bought a DVD player with HDMI cable connections, Blu-ray is superfluous. The features are fancier, but the picture? No improvement. Investing in a player (unless you already have a Blu-ray-ready PlayStation) is a needless expense. Downloads are the future, not discs in a cute blue box"

I really can't believe that. I don't own POTA on BR yet so can't really comment on the actual difference. I don't remember the reviews of that disc off hand. Was it one of those transfers that doesn't show well on BR? I will say though that I have seen some very good upscaled movies at home. Dances with Wolves and Gladiator come to mind. They both looked awesome!

This is just more bad press for BR. We will have to wait and see if mainstream consumers actually adopt the format this year or not now that pricing is starting to reach their levels. All of this bad press doesn't help though.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Malanthius View Post
Wow that's crazy that a movie critic could not see a difference.

"The blacks were superb, the colors clear and precise, the striations of the canyon walls in the desert locations of Apes were brilliant," Moore said. "But the ugly truth of the matter is that once you've got the 1080 HDTV, once you've bought a DVD player with HDMI cable connections, Blu-ray is superfluous. The features are fancier, but the picture? No improvement. Investing in a player (unless you already have a Blu-ray-ready PlayStation) is a needless expense. Downloads are the future, not discs in a cute blue box"

I really can't believe that. I don't own POTA on BR yet so can't really comment on the actual difference. I don't remember the reviews of that disc off hand. Was it one of those transfers that doesn't show well on BR? I will say though that I have seen some very good upscaled movies at home. Dances with Wolves and Gladiator come to mind. They both looked awesome!

This is just more bad press for BR. We will have to wait and see if mainstream consumers actually adopt the format this year or not now that pricing is starting to reach their levels. All of this bad press doesn't help though.
Not only that but clearly he didn't start in DVD with the average person's TV back in the early days: a 25"-27" curved glass CRT TV without component or composite inputs or he wouldn't have been "blown away" by the quality. People actually questioned whether DVD was truly better in the quality department. Heck, many people that bought the 4-bit DAC (macro-blocking hell) cheap POS players were positively disgusted by the lack of quality.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:56 PM
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'"The blacks were superb, the colors clear and precise, the striations of the canyon walls in the desert locations of Apes were brilliant," Moore said. "But the ugly truth of the matter is that once you've got the 1080 HDTV, once you've bought a DVD player with HDMI cable connections, Blu-ray is superfluous. The features are fancier, but the picture? No improvement. Investing in a player (unless you already have a Blu-ray-ready PlayStation) is a needless expense. Downloads are the future, not discs in a cute blue box."'

Wow...What a steaming pile of crap that is. Given this one guy's opinion, an actual movie critic no less, I feel complelled to give an opinion I recently got. I purchased a new Samsung 630 LCD and 2550 Blu-ray for my 62 year old, glasses-wearing mother for Christmas. She wanted the Netflix streaming and a better DVD player for the new TV. She watched Tropic Thunder and Dark Knight, and was 'in awe' of the picture quality on both compared to what she was used to from normal DVD's on a standard def TV.

If someone can't tell the difference between upconverted and Blu-ray, they have other issues they should worry about rather than the overall viability of the format!
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Malanthius View Post
This is just more bad press for BR. We will have to wait and see if mainstream consumers actually adopt the format this year or not now that pricing is starting to reach their levels. All of this bad press doesn't help though.
It's the Baltimore Sun, the press is chock full of record TDK, software and player sales news.

With all due respect, I think the format has passed the stage were any article/blog/news has any mainstream influence, that's if you assume it did in the first place.

The only factors today are software and hardware selection, retailer support and advertising. (Edit, and of course Pricing)

Last edited by JAGUAR1977; 01-02-2009 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kid Banana View Post
And 'movie critic' Roger Moore can't tell the difference between a blu-ray picture and his $40 RCA DVD...
Now we know who the person here that claims to be a reviewer really is?
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Inglix the Mad View Post
Not only that but clearly he didn't start in DVD with the average person's TV back in the early days: a 25"-27" curved glass CRT TV without component or composite inputs or he wouldn't have been "blown away" by the quality. People actually questioned whether DVD was truly better in the quality department. Heck, many people that bought the 4-bit DAC (macro-blocking hell) cheap POS players were positively disgusted by the lack of quality.
Yeah, there were people who were buying RF converters so they could watch DVD players on their TV's because their TV's lack composite inputs.

Wanna know what the lines of resolution of an RF signal converter is?

http://www.shoptronics.com/rfsimotvvist1.html

This one....list 240, the same lines of resolution as VHS. And analog cable is only 340. Including the RF output of cable boxes....340 lines of resolution through the RF connection, regardless of whether the channel is analog or digital.

And people thought that everyone could see the difference between DVD and VHS?


Last edited by Cable Guru; 01-02-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:58 PM
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The difference between DVD and Blu-ray is nowhere near as striking, despite what the consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers might have told you this holiday season. Sure, Blu-ray vs. DVD is equivalent to standard-definition vs. high-definition programming on your TV, but it's not so good that you should go out and buy a Blu-ray player and replace your DVDs.
This is the bit I just dont get from people that write this.........The difference from DVD to Blu-ray just isnt as big as the difference from VHS to DVD.......To me it absolutely was.

My first experience with HDM was watching 'Batman Begins' on HD DVD and within 5 mins I knew I had to have High Def.....to see a film I had watched so many times just look so utterly different. To notice details in the picture that I had not seen since watching it at the cinema.

Maybe its because it was a film I had seen so many times on DVD. But to me the difference between upconverted DVD and HD DVD was just night and day.

and this was on a Sony 36inch CRT so I dont even get the comments about needing atleast a 60inch screen to get any advantage.

I am utterly baffled at how people can look at HDM and think it looks even close to DVD.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:10 PM
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Guy must be blind. DVD upconverted is trash compared to native HD. I bet they used composite connectors on the BD player!
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