Blu-Ray vs. DVD: The New Format War?

By Patrick Biz
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

With HD DVD now buried six feet under and all major Hollywood studios onboard in the Blu-ray camp, the stars are aligned for next-generation format sales to finally take off. Surprisingly, prices aren’t falling, and customers still aren’t buying.

The War Has Just Begun

Don’t laugh, Blu-ray vs. DVD is really THE new format war. When comparing specs from Blu-ray and DVD players, on paper, Blu-ray has a clear advantage. But on the field, it’s a different story. Truth is, there are many reasons why consumers are happy with the traditional DVD format:

  • They barely see the audio/video improvement
  • They already own a DVD player
  • DVD Players are much cheaper to buy
  • DVDs are 30% to 40% cheaper than Blu-ray disks
  • Video stores have considerably more DVDs for rental
  • While this one may seem odd, the fact that DVDs are easier to copy also plays in favor of the old poorly protected format

Upconverting DVD Players: Simply Too Good?

If you want to take your DVD collection to the next level on your sexy high-definition television, get yourself an upscalling DVD player, also known as an up-converter, such as the Sony DVP-NS700H/B, the OPPO DV-980H or the Panasonic DVD-S54K. Equipped with an HDMI cable, these players upscale the 480p signal to 1080i/1080p by using complex maths to improve color ratios, contrasts and the overall picture quality. Of course, with a native signal of 480p, they cannot beat the native resolution of a Blu-ray disk that’s 1080p. But the wow effect is not significant enough to make people drop 400 bucks (and up) on a Blu-ray player.

Not Enough Bang For The Buck

This is where DVDs overtake Blu-ray by a mile. Looking at the concept of bang for the buck from a mathematical and graphical perspective, we understand that when prices go up, devices usually provide more features. At a certain price though, quality cannot sustain value as cost increases substantially, while the product itself has less and less to offer. DVDs and up-converting DVD players are comfortably sitting in the bang for the buck area of the graph, while Blu-ray has not yet fallen from the overpriced zone.

Christmas 2008

While many of you may be tempted to wait for the holiday season before taking the next-generation format highway, experts are expecting no significant decrease in price in the upcoming months. Surprisingly, Blu-ray prices have gone up since the death of HD-DVD. Also, the rising price of oil increases transportation costs, and directly impacts the production of plastic.

The format war is far from being over, and the economical situation resulting may restrain the Blu-ray group from making it to your living room. All things considered, DVD may end up being a stronger contender than HD DVD ever was.

Edit: Nearly 6 months have past since we wrote this article, and the situation has changed quite a lot since then. With Christmas time coming, it is now possible to get a very good blu-ray player for around $200, namely the Samsung BD-1500. Amazon.com is the cheapest place to get it right now.

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74 Responses to Blu-Ray vs. DVD: The New Format War?

  1. I think a new format is too soon. VHS needed to replaced and its 20+ life was great, but everyone understood the benefits of DVD.

    To only replace a disc with a disc this soon just isn't convincing anyone of a benefit.

    • I have yet to read any article, etc., that makes a convincing case that Blu-Ray is superior to DVD in performance. I suspect this introduction of Blu-Ray is just a move to to stir the waters by disgruntled manufacturers who felt they hadn't captured their fair share of the DVD market and see their salvation in the promotion and sale of a new format. similsr things happened when CD was forst introduced and later when numerous formats for digital tape were promoted by all the potential players

  2. I think a new format is too soon. VHS needed to replaced and its 20+ life was great, but everyone understood the benefits of DVD.

    To only replace a disc with a disc this soon just isn’t convincing anyone of a benefit.

    • I have yet to read any article, etc., that makes a convincing case that Blu-Ray is superior to DVD in performance. I suspect this introduction of Blu-Ray is just a move to to stir the waters by disgruntled manufacturers who felt they hadn’t captured their fair share of the DVD market and see their salvation in the promotion and sale of a new format. similsr things happened when CD was forst introduced and later when numerous formats for digital tape were promoted by all the potential players

  3. With more sales, production costs go down, therefore prices go down.

    I think it is more of a catch 22.

    Prices are high because no one is buying, and no one is buying because prices are high.

  4. With more sales, production costs go down, therefore prices go down.

    I think it is more of a catch 22.

    Prices are high because no one is buying, and no one is buying because prices are high.

  5. i've stopped really buying dvds a whole lot hoping for blu rays to come down, but it doesn't seem like it'll happen anytime soon. my parents would never see the difference between blu ray and dvd no matter if i told them blu ray was much better. besides it would take forever for all the dvds i do have to be rereleased on blu ray. i think that as soon as blu rays become standard pirate media in china that it'll be the media consumers buy here.

  6. i’ve stopped really buying dvds a whole lot hoping for blu rays to come down, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll happen anytime soon. my parents would never see the difference between blu ray and dvd no matter if i told them blu ray was much better. besides it would take forever for all the dvds i do have to be rereleased on blu ray. i think that as soon as blu rays become standard pirate media in china that it’ll be the media consumers buy here.

  7. I think there is something that is being overlooked. I own 3 standard def TVs and several computers with regular DVD players. Buying a blu-ray dvd player is not going to give me any better of a picture on SDTV, and quite frankly, I am not prepared to invest that much money when prices of HDTVs have not come down enough to be affordable. I am extremely satisfied with digital satellite and digital tv quality with a set top converter with antenna and a regular tv set really suprised the heck out of me! So let me see… I have to get new TVs, new DVD players, a new entertainment center to house it (I happen to like the one I have) and of course buy higher priced DVDs?!? …um…no thanks.

    What I would like to see is an apple TV with standard outputs…oh well.

    • I understand your point Chris, but when you can get a 32" LCD HDTV for around $500, I don't think we can say that these TVs aren't affordable.

      But if you're happy with the ones you have, wait until their give their last breath to change :)

      • There is no doubt prices have dropped. $500 may be (more) affordable, but good price and good value are two different things. And you're right, I am happy with my 12 yr old tv – will keep it until it dies. My parents bought an HDTV 4 years ago and paid too much for it. Last week it went out on them and fixing it is now marginally cheaper than buying new. They opted to downgrade by buying a $25 used one as a replacement, and since there is nothing good on TV anymore anyway, (was there ever?) they are probably going to drop their cable too.

        To me, quality of DVD vs blu-ray is less important than quality of the content of program I am watching. The story is all too familiar. The more we push the envelope on one front, the more we have to upgrade on all other fronts to maintain the status quo. It reminds me of software bloat. Bigger hard drives, faster processors, higher bandwidth are required to accommodate growing OSes, clunkier software, and bigger files. At the end of the day, are we really any more productive? I resent the fact that the industry changes so quickly and people are more or less forced into a perpetual upgrade cycle.

  8. I think there is something that is being overlooked. I own 3 standard def TVs and several computers with regular DVD players. Buying a blu-ray dvd player is not going to give me any better of a picture on SDTV, and quite frankly, I am not prepared to invest that much money when prices of HDTVs have not come down enough to be affordable. I am extremely satisfied with digital satellite and digital tv quality with a set top converter with antenna and a regular tv set really suprised the heck out of me! So let me see… I have to get new TVs, new DVD players, a new entertainment center to house it (I happen to like the one I have) and of course buy higher priced DVDs?!? …um…no thanks.
    What I would like to see is an apple TV with standard outputs…oh well.

    • I understand your point Chris, but when you can get a 32″ LCD HDTV for around $500, I don’t think we can say that these TVs aren’t affordable.

      But if you’re happy with the ones you have, wait until their give their last breath to change :)

      • There is no doubt prices have dropped. $500 may be (more) affordable, but good price and good value are two different things. And you’re right, I am happy with my 12 yr old tv – will keep it until it dies. My parents bought an HDTV 4 years ago and paid too much for it. Last week it went out on them and fixing it is now marginally cheaper than buying new. They opted to downgrade by buying a $25 used one as a replacement, and since there is nothing good on TV anymore anyway, (was there ever?) they are probably going to drop their cable too.
        To me, quality of DVD vs blu-ray is less important than quality of the content of program I am watching. The story is all too familiar. The more we push the envelope on one front, the more we have to upgrade on all other fronts to maintain the status quo. It reminds me of software bloat. Bigger hard drives, faster processors, higher bandwidth are required to accommodate growing OSes, clunkier software, and bigger files. At the end of the day, are we really any more productive? I resent the fact that the industry changes so quickly and people are more or less forced into a perpetual upgrade cycle.

  9. BlueRay is the SuperAudio and DVD Audio of the video world. The marginal value improvement will never be there given the costs of having to put up with DRM. My Alpha Geek says "stillborn".

    I have no intention of getting BlueRay, ever, except if they drop *all* of the DRM, especially through out the HDMI chain. Yeah, unlikely, just like me buying into it either. There is no usability advantage at all – it's actually an extreme drop in customer usability from what is already a pain with DVD region coding.

    Firewire originally was the answer to moving video and audio for maximum usability and use options but it was trod under by the MPAA before it had a chance at adoption. It would have allowed full *digital* transfer between *any* device at all. The need has never gone away. We can still dream.

    What the MPAA needs to worry about is substitutes. Not substitutes for the technology broken by their DRM but rather entire attention span substitutes like *simply not watching movies*. It's apparently an unthinkable concept to them.

    I've substituted *all* broadcast TV and Radio or newspapers here in the states because all are such awful infotainment/propaganda wastelands. I prefer to spend my attention on something more valuable (which is almost anything else). It's well withing the realm of possibility for many more to embrace this option broadly. Who would thought that newspapers would be doomed as badly as their are back in the 1980s?

  10. BlueRay is the SuperAudio and DVD Audio of the video world. The marginal value improvement will never be there given the costs of having to put up with DRM. My Alpha Geek says “stillborn”.

    I have no intention of getting BlueRay, ever, except if they drop *all* of the DRM, especially through out the HDMI chain. Yeah, unlikely, just like me buying into it either. There is no usability advantage at all – it’s actually an extreme drop in customer usability from what is already a pain with DVD region coding.

    Firewire originally was the answer to moving video and audio for maximum usability and use options but it was trod under by the MPAA before it had a chance at adoption. It would have allowed full *digital* transfer between *any* device at all. The need has never gone away. We can still dream.

    What the MPAA needs to worry about is substitutes. Not substitutes for the technology broken by their DRM but rather entire attention span substitutes like *simply not watching movies*. It’s apparently an unthinkable concept to them.

    I’ve substituted *all* broadcast TV and Radio or newspapers here in the states because all are such awful infotainment/propaganda wastelands. I prefer to spend my attention on something more valuable (which is almost anything else). It’s well withing the realm of possibility for many more to embrace this option broadly. Who would thought that newspapers would be doomed as badly as their are back in the 1980s?

  11. I think that for the blu-ray format to be installed like DVD's did, they need to start pushing them towards PC Data storage, IMHO.

    I know many will say that Hard drives today are really cheap, but a hard drive is not the best medium for backup.

  12. I think that for the blu-ray format to be installed like DVD’s did, they need to start pushing them towards PC Data storage, IMHO.

    I know many will say that Hard drives today are really cheap, but a hard drive is not the best medium for backup.

  13. Chris is right on target: so much must be upgraded to benefit. We *just* got surround sound in my house. We have a several year old $250 32" SDTV which can only handle component video input at 480i. A normal DVD player produces a fine picture for that screen. To bother with Blu-Ray, we'd need an expensive player, expensive discs, and an expensive screen. The picture from such a setup looks great, but there are a great many more things we need to spend money on.

    When our TV quits, we'll necessarily replace it with an HDTV. Then might it be sensible to get a Blu-Ray player, but not before.

  14. Chris is right on target: so much must be upgraded to benefit. We *just* got surround sound in my house. We have a several year old $250 32″ SDTV which can only handle component video input at 480i. A normal DVD player produces a fine picture for that screen. To bother with Blu-Ray, we’d need an expensive player, expensive discs, and an expensive screen. The picture from such a setup looks great, but there are a great many more things we need to spend money on.

    When our TV quits, we’ll necessarily replace it with an HDTV. Then might it be sensible to get a Blu-Ray player, but not before.

  15. If DVD is enough and people are so satisfied with the product, then why are sales declining? Why is BR selling on par with DVD at the same point in its lifecycle? Adoption doesn't happen overnight period. Deal with it. Get over it. When TVs/discs that support UHD come out, the cycle will restart.

  16. If DVD is enough and people are so satisfied with the product, then why are sales declining? Why is BR selling on par with DVD at the same point in its lifecycle? Adoption doesn’t happen overnight period. Deal with it. Get over it. When TVs/discs that support UHD come out, the cycle will restart.

  17. I m fully satisfied with blu-ray product, and i se blu-ray is now big winner almost every studio start production in blu-ray.

  18. I m fully satisfied with blu-ray product, and i se blu-ray is now big winner almost every studio start production in blu-ray.

  19. I recently purchased a Sony DVP-NS700H from Circuit City and they threw in an HDMI cable for a total of $79.00 plus tax. When I looked at this player next to a Blu-Ray I honestly could not tell a difference. Paying $350.00 or more for a dvd player is just insane. And don't forget you need to purchase Blu-ray dvd's which also cost more.

  20. I recently purchased a Sony DVP-NS700H from Circuit City and they threw in an HDMI cable for a total of $79.00 plus tax. When I looked at this player next to a Blu-Ray I honestly could not tell a difference. Paying $350.00 or more for a dvd player is just insane. And don’t forget you need to purchase Blu-ray dvd’s which also cost more.

  21. I'm not really caring about Blue Ray. I'm the same as Chris above. Watching television is a bother most of the time since the content is important not the quality of picture. So, we can get better resolution to realize that the Star we thought was hot has a face full of pock marks and big pores (I'd rather not know tee hee).

    Plus for all this I don't see the need for discs anymore since I converted all my dvds to divx, xvid and really I don't know where those are even at now (perhaps in the attic or basement?) I use a set top box about the size of a book to watch movies on that.

  22. I’m not really caring about Blue Ray. I’m the same as Chris above. Watching television is a bother most of the time since the content is important not the quality of picture. So, we can get better resolution to realize that the Star we thought was hot has a face full of pock marks and big pores (I’d rather not know tee hee).

    Plus for all this I don’t see the need for discs anymore since I converted all my dvds to divx, xvid and really I don’t know where those are even at now (perhaps in the attic or basement?) I use a set top box about the size of a book to watch movies on that.

  23. I purchased a Sony upconverting DVD player with an HDMI cable for $69.99 at Circuit City and connected it to my 57" HDTV and it has a big WOW effect over my old (1998) Panasonic DVD player. Going to a blu-ray player will not get you a better picture with regular dvd's. Unless you have hit the lottery or are a lawyer, dentist or used car salesman don't bother.

  24. I purchased a Sony upconverting DVD player with an HDMI cable for $69.99 at Circuit City and connected it to my 57″ HDTV and it has a big WOW effect over my old (1998) Panasonic DVD player. Going to a blu-ray player will not get you a better picture with regular dvd’s. Unless you have hit the lottery or are a lawyer, dentist or used car salesman don’t bother.

  25. I'm with a lot of these people. I have an SDTV so, I will probably get a better television when mine dies off or run into an extremely good deal because honestly I'm not that interested in television. I would like to see better content with better picture coming in distant 2nd.

    I would like to use hi def discs for storage as one could shrink several seasons of a well liked show into high quality compressed format. That is where I think this should be going more towards the idea of how music was compressed and put into a smaller place to take the whole collection along. I don't want walls of CDs, DVD's and certainly not Blu-Ray's.

    I'm dating myself but, at one time I had a car trunk full of audio discs, walls of them! Now all the music I love fits in my pocket. That's the revolution movies need. I already copy DVD's into high quality Xvid onto a storage box that sits on my tv and the DVD gets put in it's own cardboard box and stored in the attic. I have no interest in walls of discs anymore as that time and concept is so old now.

  26. I’m with a lot of these people. I have an SDTV so, I will probably get a better television when mine dies off or run into an extremely good deal because honestly I’m not that interested in television. I would like to see better content with better picture coming in distant 2nd.

    I would like to use hi def discs for storage as one could shrink several seasons of a well liked show into high quality compressed format. That is where I think this should be going more towards the idea of how music was compressed and put into a smaller place to take the whole collection along. I don’t want walls of CDs, DVD’s and certainly not Blu-Ray’s.

    I’m dating myself but, at one time I had a car trunk full of audio discs, walls of them! Now all the music I love fits in my pocket. That’s the revolution movies need. I already copy DVD’s into high quality Xvid onto a storage box that sits on my tv and the DVD gets put in it’s own cardboard box and stored in the attic. I have no interest in walls of discs anymore as that time and concept is so old now.

  27. The new format is not DVD vs. Blu-ray, because, let’s face it, the significance in the difference is not great enough to warrant paying the extra money. The next format war is moving from disc to SD cards. Now that you can by SD cards with 32 mg of memory, it will only increase over time, especially when micro SD cards get to large memory capacity. Then, you’ll see the true format war. And, at that point, DVD & Blu-ray players will be obsolete because people will be attaching their PDAs to their HDTVs and watching movies that way…or taking them with them. Portability is the key.

  28. The new format is not DVD vs. Blu-ray, because, let's face it, the significance in the difference is not great enough to warrant paying the extra money. The next format war is moving from disc to SD cards. Now that you can by SD cards with 32 mg of memory, it will only increase over time, especially when micro SD cards get to large memory capacity. Then, you'll see the true format war. And, at that point, DVD & Blu-ray players will be obsolete because people will be attaching their PDAs to their HDTVs and watching movies that way…or taking them with them. Portability is the key.

  29. Yeah, I’m with Chris. Got a nice SDTV projector (60″+ screen), and DVDs look fantastic on it. I can convert them to other formats and stick several on my laptop or a flash drive for viewing anywhere.

    I’m looking for the next generation of usability, like the elimination of fast-forward lockouts, no more region coding, and easy format shifting to PC/CD/DVD/flash card without the use of MPAA-approved software.

  30. Yeah, I'm with Chris. Got a nice SDTV projector (60"+ screen), and DVDs look fantastic on it. I can convert them to other formats and stick several on my laptop or a flash drive for viewing anywhere.

    I'm looking for the next generation of usability, like the elimination of fast-forward lockouts, no more region coding, and easy format shifting to PC/CD/DVD/flash card without the use of MPAA-approved software.

  31. This reminds me of the format war of the 1980’s. BetaMax was a superior resulution product, but only provided 5 1/2 hours of movies. VHS was 6 hours and then extended to 8 hours with a poorer quality of resolution. VHS (Panasonic)and Beta (Sony)engaged in an advertising war. VHS won out. Is this history repeating itself?

  32. This reminds me of the format war of the 1980's. BetaMax was a superior resulution product, but only provided 5 1/2 hours of movies. VHS was 6 hours and then extended to 8 hours with a poorer quality of resolution. VHS (Panasonic)and Beta (Sony)engaged in an advertising war. VHS won out. Is this history repeating itself?

  33. At what size tv can you tell a big difference between Blu-Ray and an upconverted DVD? We have two HDTVs, a 20″ 720p and 26″ 720p. I’m not about to get anything that won’t fit into my old enterainment center. I have been told that at that size of television, the average person can not see a significant difference between an upconverted DVD and a Blu-ray disc.
    How many people are willing to buy the necessary hardware to see the benefits of Blu-ray? Changing from a VHS tape to a DVD seemed like quite a jump. Swapping one disc for another that physically looks the same may be a harder sell. Except for the videophile and those who have to have the latest, what does Blu-ray offer…maybe even some disadvantages? Well, for one thing switching to a newer format seems like a pain in the butt. So far, I don’t think there are recordable Blue-ray discs. In technical terms certainly Blu-ray is supposed to be undeniably superior to regular DVDs. On the other hand, in the “Bang-for-the-Buck” category, DVDs totally smoke Blu-ray. I buy them new at places like Big Lots and Walmart for between $3 and $9. Of course you can pay more. They may fall into the “good-enough” category for the common shmo like myself. For the common person who is looking for the best value, Blu-ray may leave many wondering if the emporer really has new clothes at all.
    Add to this the fact that the economy seems to be worsening and many people are afraid… Do I want to stick my neck out for something new that may not really benefit me at all? A fellow at the business that works on our two cars made the observation that they would see a car with 200,000 miles on it every once in a while. Now they are seeen almost daily.
    While I’m not a technophile and certainly would fail as a psychic, I don’t think that it is an obvious conclusion that Blu-ray will be the successor to the DVD. Is it a revolutionary enough change with such obvious benefits as to cause the masses to abandon DVDs? Will another obviously superior and more practical technology enter the market place before Blu-ray has the time to establish market dominance? Why not an ipod for movies as others have suggested. Now that would have obvious practical advantages. Will switching one disc for another that appears the same physically and that may have some disadvantages and not an obvious advantage to everyone be enough? It may be like CRO2 and metal cassette tapes were before they were supplanted by compact discs. I think its just us older people who use CDs anymore. All the kids seem to have moved beyond compact discs. As for me, CDs are more than good enough. I still remember eight track tapes, LPs and cassettes. How about the same with video? Are there still enough of us that remember the old analog technolgy well enough that we are still wowed with DVDs? I’m betting there are.

  34. At what size tv can you tell a big difference between Blu-Ray and an upconverted DVD? We have two HDTVs, a 20" 720p and 26" 720p. I'm not about to get anything that won't fit into my old enterainment center. I have been told that at that size of television, the average person can not see a significant difference between an upconverted DVD and a Blu-ray disc.

    How many people are willing to buy the necessary hardware to see the benefits of Blu-ray? Changing from a VHS tape to a DVD seemed like quite a jump. Swapping one disc for another that physically looks the same may be a harder sell. Except for the videophile and those who have to have the latest, what does Blu-ray offer…maybe even some disadvantages? Well, for one thing switching to a newer format seems like a pain in the butt. So far, I don't think there are recordable Blue-ray discs. In technical terms certainly Blu-ray is supposed to be undeniably superior to regular DVDs. On the other hand, in the "Bang-for-the-Buck" category, DVDs totally smoke Blu-ray. I buy them new at places like Big Lots and Walmart for between $3 and $9. Of course you can pay more. They may fall into the "good-enough" category for the common shmo like myself. For the common person who is looking for the best value, Blu-ray may leave many wondering if the emporer really has new clothes at all.

    Add to this the fact that the economy seems to be worsening and many people are afraid… Do I want to stick my neck out for something new that may not really benefit me at all? A fellow at the business that works on our two cars made the observation that they would see a car with 200,000 miles on it every once in a while. Now they are seeen almost daily.

    While I'm not a technophile and certainly would fail as a psychic, I don't think that it is an obvious conclusion that Blu-ray will be the successor to the DVD. Is it a revolutionary enough change with such obvious benefits as to cause the masses to abandon DVDs? Will another obviously superior and more practical technology enter the market place before Blu-ray has the time to establish market dominance? Why not an ipod for movies as others have suggested. Now that would have obvious practical advantages. Will switching one disc for another that appears the same physically and that may have some disadvantages and not an obvious advantage to everyone be enough? It may be like CRO2 and metal cassette tapes were before they were supplanted by compact discs. I think its just us older people who use CDs anymore. All the kids seem to have moved beyond compact discs. As for me, CDs are more than good enough. I still remember eight track tapes, LPs and cassettes. How about the same with video? Are there still enough of us that remember the old analog technolgy well enough that we are still wowed with DVDs? I'm betting there are.

  35. I’m genuinely surprised at the comments so far in this thread. I would have guessed there would be an even split between people who had adopted Blu-Ray and those who appreciated it but didn’t want to invest in a new technology until it had been more widely accepted.

    Rather, most of the comments seem to suggest that there isn’t any appreciable value in purchasing a Blu-Ray player and movies.

    Blu-Ray is a spectacular medium to view, and maybe more importantly, listen to movies. I can’t imagine a person watching a DVD and a Blu-Ray movie side by side and suggesting that the two were roughly equivalent. The blacks are pure black without granulation or grey patches, the colors sharper, and motion appears very sharp without a lot of motion blur or fuzziness. But even better still is the audio, with most discs using a Dolby TrueHD track. The Dolby track is a reproduction of the studio master, so when you’re watching the Millenium Falcon take off, you’re hearing the same sound George Lucas heard in the editing room. There’s just no real-world comparison.

    In response to specific points, it seems unlikely that in the near future we’ll have SD or other solid state media that will have the capacity to hold a high-resolution movie without being prohibitively expensive. You could copy a movie onto a 32gb flash drive, but those are trading at about 50 bucks per unit.

    Some others have suggested that they wont see the difference on older, standard def tvs. This is unfortunately true, but really you’re not yet in the market that Blu-Ray is targetting. If the expectation of your video experience is low enough that you’re happy with DVDs and Standard Def TVs then you’re not likely to invest in this kind of improvement.

    Regarding the fact that Blu-Ray is shaped the same way as a DVD, I don’t really understand that as a criticism. Blu-Ray discs are just an extension of existing DVD technology, using different wavelengths to read more data at high speeds. The fact that the discs are the same shape means that you don’t have to own a DVD player and a Blu-Ray player. The Blu-Ray player plays your DVDs and almost every model of Blu-Ray player upconverts the signal to 1080i/1080p. It would be particularly sinister if Blu-Ray manufacturers made the discs slightly larger or smaller, therefore forcing you to replace all the DVDs you already have or run two machines exclusively.

    As far as cost/value, I’m not an economist. It’s true you can buy DVDs for $3 at Wal-Mart. You have to pick from The Jerry Springer Show (Outtakes), Invasion of the Spider Moneys and one of John Wayne’s least known epics, but they’re cheap and after you’ve watched the movie you only feel bad about losing $3 instead of $30. I know that after DVDs took off landfills were topped off with VHS tapes, because once customers got used to the quality they weren’t going back, and so they tossed out their old tapes. That was true of audio cassettes, CDs, 8 track tapes, etc.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the Playstation 3, which is an excellent Blu-Ray player and game console, giving Blu-Ray another avenue into your home.

    There may be a format war between Blu-Ray and DVD, and the tough economy may slow the growth of what seems like the next logical step in media delivery. But HiDef TVs, True HiDef sound, HiDef gaming, and even HiDef porn are not going away.

  36. I'm genuinely surprised at the comments so far in this thread. I would have guessed there would be an even split between people who had adopted Blu-Ray and those who appreciated it but didn't want to invest in a new technology until it had been more widely accepted.

    Rather, most of the comments seem to suggest that there isn't any appreciable value in purchasing a Blu-Ray player and movies.

    Blu-Ray is a spectacular medium to view, and maybe more importantly, listen to movies. I can't imagine a person watching a DVD and a Blu-Ray movie side by side and suggesting that the two were roughly equivalent. The blacks are pure black without granulation or grey patches, the colors sharper, and motion appears very sharp without a lot of motion blur or fuzziness. But even better still is the audio, with most discs using a Dolby TrueHD track. The Dolby track is a reproduction of the studio master, so when you're watching the Millenium Falcon take off, you're hearing the same sound George Lucas heard in the editing room. There's just no real-world comparison.

    In response to specific points, it seems unlikely that in the near future we'll have SD or other solid state media that will have the capacity to hold a high-resolution movie without being prohibitively expensive. You could copy a movie onto a 32gb flash drive, but those are trading at about 50 bucks per unit.

    Some others have suggested that they wont see the difference on older, standard def tvs. This is unfortunately true, but really you're not yet in the market that Blu-Ray is targetting. If the expectation of your video experience is low enough that you're happy with DVDs and Standard Def TVs then you're not likely to invest in this kind of improvement.

    Regarding the fact that Blu-Ray is shaped the same way as a DVD, I don't really understand that as a criticism. Blu-Ray discs are just an extension of existing DVD technology, using different wavelengths to read more data at high speeds. The fact that the discs are the same shape means that you don't have to own a DVD player and a Blu-Ray player. The Blu-Ray player plays your DVDs and almost every model of Blu-Ray player upconverts the signal to 1080i/1080p. It would be particularly sinister if Blu-Ray manufacturers made the discs slightly larger or smaller, therefore forcing you to replace all the DVDs you already have or run two machines exclusively.

    As far as cost/value, I'm not an economist. It's true you can buy DVDs for $3 at Wal-Mart. You have to pick from The Jerry Springer Show (Outtakes), Invasion of the Spider Moneys and one of John Wayne's least known epics, but they're cheap and after you've watched the movie you only feel bad about losing $3 instead of $30. I know that after DVDs took off landfills were topped off with VHS tapes, because once customers got used to the quality they weren't going back, and so they tossed out their old tapes. That was true of audio cassettes, CDs, 8 track tapes, etc.

    And I haven't even mentioned the Playstation 3, which is an excellent Blu-Ray player and game console, giving Blu-Ray another avenue into your home.

    There may be a format war between Blu-Ray and DVD, and the tough economy may slow the growth of what seems like the next logical step in media delivery. But HiDef TVs, True HiDef sound, HiDef gaming, and even HiDef porn are not going away.

  37. I’ve found the idea of high def porn as kind of comical. I’m not sure seeing every imperfection in stunning detail is such a great idea.
    Instead of getting lost in the enthusiasm and marketing of a new technology, I wanted to explore the matter practically. Many people will spend a lot of money on something and not be able to tell the difference. That is not to say that the difference does not exist. Clearly Blu-ray is technically superior. My question is at what point does a person see the benefits of this technology? Considering that I do not own and do not plan to buy a monster sized television, I wondered if I would see the benefits of Blu-ray technology on a smaller television.
    The fact that the Blu-ray disc is the same size and shape of a regular DVD was in no way a criticism of Blu-ray. It is a huge advantage that the technology has backward compatibility. The comment was an exploration of human psychology. Would people perceive enough of a difference between the two to make the switch to Blu-ray seem like a great step forward?
    At the Best Buy closest to home, they compare the picture of a standard DVD with that of a Blu-ray disc on an enormous television. No denying the superiority of Blu-ray. The sceptic in me wonders what would the difference be if the DVD were upconverted? What would the difference be on a 26″ 720p television like the one I own? Best Buy’s job is to sell product, not to think critically for the consumer. The whole discussion is about cost/benefit ratio and practicality. If Blu-ray is the next thing, that is fine. I’m waiting for the Blu-ray media prices to drop to DVD levels before jumping in with both feet. It’s all cost/benefit to me.

    • Well, if you shop on amazon.com… you can get blu-ray movies anywhere from $14 to $25… not THAT expensive when you think of it. they also often have promotion where the second movie is half-price… etc.

  38. I've found the idea of high def porn as kind of comical. I'm not sure seeing every imperfection in stunning detail is such a great idea.

    Instead of getting lost in the enthusiasm and marketing of a new technology, I wanted to explore the matter practically. Many people will spend a lot of money on something and not be able to tell the difference. That is not to say that the difference does not exist. Clearly Blu-ray is technically superior. My question is at what point does a person see the benefits of this technology? Considering that I do not own and do not plan to buy a monster sized television, I wondered if I would see the benefits of Blu-ray technology on a smaller television.

    The fact that the Blu-ray disc is the same size and shape of a regular DVD was in no way a criticism of Blu-ray. It is a huge advantage that the technology has backward compatibility. The comment was an exploration of human psychology. Would people perceive enough of a difference between the two to make the switch to Blu-ray seem like a great step forward?

    At the Best Buy closest to home, they compare the picture of a standard DVD with that of a Blu-ray disc on an enormous television. No denying the superiority of Blu-ray. The sceptic in me wonders what would the difference be if the DVD were upconverted? What would the difference be on a 26" 720p television like the one I own? Best Buy's job is to sell product, not to think critically for the consumer. The whole discussion is about cost/benefit ratio and practicality. If Blu-ray is the next thing, that is fine. I'm waiting for the Blu-ray media prices to drop to DVD levels before jumping in with both feet. It's all cost/benefit to me.

    • Well, if you shop on amazon.com… you can get blu-ray movies anywhere from $14 to $25… not THAT expensive when you think of it. they also often have promotion where the second movie is half-price… etc.

  39. I guess they are getting there. Are Blu-ray players as good at up-converting regular DVDs as, say, something like a Toshiba XDE-500? When my current DVD player, a Yamaha, gives up the ghost it might be something to consider. BTW, when it was new, my Yamaha DVD player retailed for over $300. You can find a Blu-ray player for less than that. I can’t see replacing my favorite DVDs with Blu-ray discs the way I replaced a lot of my VHS tapes with DVDs. The thing that is most likely to cause a mass migration from DVD to Blu-ray is when and if studios start putting out movies on Blu-ray that are not available on DVD.

  40. I guess they are getting there. Are Blu-ray players as good at up-converting regular DVDs as, say, something like a Toshiba XDE-500? When my current DVD player, a Yamaha, gives up the ghost it might be something to consider. BTW, when it was new, my Yamaha DVD player retailed for over $300. You can find a Blu-ray player for less than that. I can't see replacing my favorite DVDs with Blu-ray discs the way I replaced a lot of my VHS tapes with DVDs. The thing that is most likely to cause a mass migration from DVD to Blu-ray is when and if studios start putting out movies on Blu-ray that are not available on DVD.

  41. Another sign that Blu-ray has not yet quite made it is that our local Block Buster Video stores have so far made a decision not to carry Blu-ray discs. I talked to the manager and he said that there is just not the market. When Block Buster Video stores begin to get into Blu-ray in a big way then that is a sign that DVDs are headed the way of CRTs and the dinosaurs. Our local Block Buster stores still have some VHS tapes. Besides price, that is another disincentive to jumping into Blu-ray. If Blu-ray eventually dominates the market, that is not bad. Prices will fall and we can still watch our old DVDs.

  42. Another sign that Blu-ray has not yet quite made it is that our local Block Buster Video stores have so far made a decision not to carry Blu-ray discs. I talked to the manager and he said that there is just not the market. When Block Buster Video stores begin to get into Blu-ray in a big way then that is a sign that DVDs are headed the way of CRTs and the dinosaurs. Our local Block Buster stores still have some VHS tapes. Besides price, that is another disincentive to jumping into Blu-ray. If Blu-ray eventually dominates the market, that is not bad. Prices will fall and we can still watch our old DVDs.

  43. It makes me laugh, everyone I know wants/buys a HDTV. Yet none of them appreciate Blu-Ray or any other HD services on offer.

    (Most claiming they can’t see the difference between standard DVD and a Blu-ray. Which just makes me think they are actually going blind or is it they are blind to new technology? ).

  44. P.S At least Blockbusters in Bristol are in the 21st century and DO stock all the latest Blu-ray’s (Just for the record) ; )

  45. It makes me laugh, everyone I know wants/buys a HDTV. Yet none of them appreciate Blu-Ray or any other HD services on offer.

    (Most claiming they can't see the difference between standard DVD and a Blu-ray. Which just makes me think they are actually going blind or is it they are blind to new technology? ).

  46. P.S At least Blockbusters in Bristol are in the 21st century and DO stock all the latest Blu-ray's (Just for the record) ; )

  47. CNET has posted an interesting article giving 9 reasons Blu-ray will succeed. Among their predictions are falling prices. I think that is the key. It is all cost/benefit to me. Yesterday I was at Walmart and I saw some Blu-ray discs for $13.00, so that seems doable. I also purchased an upconverting DVD player two days ago. It does improve a regular DVD significantly, but flaws are still visible. When Blue-ray players hit a certain price-point, and Block Busters in our area start carrying Blu-ray discs, then I figure I’ll probably go to Blue-ray. That sure does not mean replacing my movies on DVD with Blu-ray versions.
    I will disagree with the person who said that basically only older or crappy grade-B movies are inexpensive DVDs. I’ve seen newer movies that are fantastic, such as WE WERE SOLDIERS, for as little as $5.00. That being said, if CNET is correct, and they probably are, in a few years I’ll have a Blue-ray player too. The fact that Blu-ray has backward compatiblity makes it all the more attractive. I don’t have to forsake my DVD collection. If I am seeming to switch sides..it just means I’m open to new data. Anyway, I don’t have a dog in this fight. It is just very intersting and enjoyable to consider all opinions and mull over ideas. Perhaps this is the 21rst century equivalent to a bunch of guys gathering at the old general store, sitting around discussing ideas (bull********). Yes, I’m one of those who has to be pulled into the tweny-first century kicking and screaming.

  48. CNET has posted an interesting article giving 9 reasons Blu-ray will succeed. Among their predictions are falling prices. I think that is the key. It is all cost/benefit to me. Yesterday I was at Walmart and I saw some Blu-ray discs for $13.00, so that seems doable. I also purchased an upconverting DVD player two days ago. It does improve a regular DVD significantly, but flaws are still visible. When Blue-ray players hit a certain price-point, and Block Busters in our area start carrying Blu-ray discs, then I figure I'll probably go to Blue-ray. That sure does not mean replacing my movies on DVD with Blu-ray versions.

    I will disagree with the person who said that basically only older or crappy grade-B movies are inexpensive DVDs. I've seen newer movies that are fantastic, such as WE WERE SOLDIERS, for as little as $5.00. That being said, if CNET is correct, and they probably are, in a few years I'll have a Blue-ray player too. The fact that Blu-ray has backward compatiblity makes it all the more attractive. I don't have to forsake my DVD collection. If I am seeming to switch sides..it just means I'm open to new data. Anyway, I don't have a dog in this fight. It is just very intersting and enjoyable to consider all opinions and mull over ideas. Perhaps this is the 21rst century equivalent to a bunch of guys gathering at the old general store, sitting around discussing ideas (bull********). Yes, I'm one of those who has to be pulled into the tweny-first century kicking and screaming.

  49. I just purchased a lap top and it has a Blu-ray player with an HDMI port on it. I didn't really want a blu-ray player on it, but it was there. I bought a Blue-ray disc of Cars, I have it on DVD, and a 12' HDMI cord. I can't wait to try it out to see if Blu-ray makes much of a difference on a 26" 720p television.

  50. I just purchased a lap top and it has a Blu-ray player with an HDMI port on it. I didn’t really want a blu-ray player on it, but it was there. I bought a Blue-ray disc of Cars, I have it on DVD, and a 12′ HDMI cord. I can’t wait to try it out to see if Blu-ray makes much of a difference on a 26″ 720p television.

  51. Well, aparently there are software issues with windows, Blu-ray and such. The Blu-ray works on the laptop, however, when the HDMI cable is used, error codes etc. come up. So, I found out that while a laptop plays Blu-ray discs, that doesn't mean it is a portable Blu-ray player to hook into a television. It seems that the Blu-ray technology is a little more involved than a DVD. I didn't realize that Blu-ray players require software updates from time to time. For now I have decided to wait before jumping into Blu-ray. Another consideration is when the movie was originally filmed. I bought a Blu-ray copy of Twister. It wasn't filmed with the newest technology, being at least 10 to 15 years old. It is not going to look as good as some Blu-ray discs that were filmed in HD, or so I am told. At Best Buy they played a Blue-ray disc on the same 26" HD 720p lcd television I have, and I'm not sure how much of a difference BR made. I didn't see the same movie on DVD beside the BR to compare the two. Where I live, BR discs are not nearly as available as DVDs, the added complexity of the software is a pain, and the fact that the BR movie I saw on the same television I own looked good but wasn't stunning…well…I haven't fallen in love with BR quite yet. If I had a large 1080p television, BR would be far more tempting.

  52. Well, aparently there are software issues with windows, Blu-ray and such. The Blu-ray works on the laptop, however, when the HDMI cable is used, error codes etc. come up. So, I found out that while a laptop plays Blu-ray discs, that doesn’t mean it is a portable Blu-ray player to hook into a television. It seems that the Blu-ray technology is a little more involved than a DVD. I didn’t realize that Blu-ray players require software updates from time to time. For now I have decided to wait before jumping into Blu-ray. Another consideration is when the movie was originally filmed. I bought a Blu-ray copy of Twister. It wasn’t filmed with the newest technology, being at least 10 to 15 years old. It is not going to look as good as some Blu-ray discs that were filmed in HD, or so I am told. At Best Buy they played a Blue-ray disc on the same 26″ HD 720p lcd television I have, and I’m not sure how much of a difference BR made. I didn’t see the same movie on DVD beside the BR to compare the two. Where I live, BR discs are not nearly as available as DVDs, the added complexity of the software is a pain, and the fact that the BR movie I saw on the same television I own looked good but wasn’t stunning…well…I haven’t fallen in love with BR quite yet. If I had a large 1080p television, BR would be far more tempting.

  53. I think Blu-ray is fantastic. I am not fanatical about movies, but I do enjoy them. But let me put things into a clear picture…

    first of all the prices have come down. In the UK you can buy blu ray starting at £8.00 for movies such as War to 3:10 yuma. I bought superbad on blu-ray new and the same store sold it dvd new the same price (which was £8.00). Yes some cost more, but shop around online also, you will be surprised.

    So is this too much to spend? Well if you go to the movies then no! You pay to go to the movies, the price of one seat is a price of almost a blu-ray movie!

    I understand you need a HD tv first. Okay well if you need to replace your old one when it packs up like I did, I felt good, but I only got it because I was living in a small room and had no space for a big old style.

    If you want to wait, wait because it will drop a little more, especially the players. Do hunt for bargains for the movies, they are priced from £8.00 in the UK at least. I use my PC to watch on my tv DVI to HDMI so no loss of quality (You need a graphics card which can do this though) and I only spent £57 on the blu-ray player which also burns and plays DVDs, CDs.

    I hope this opens your eyes a little. But if you want to save every penny then DVD's you can buy £3 each on sales and even then, every penny counts right?

  54. I think Blu-ray is fantastic. I am not fanatical about movies, but I do enjoy them. But let me put things into a clear picture…

    first of all the prices have come down. In the UK you can buy blu ray starting at £8.00 for movies such as War to 3:10 yuma. I bought superbad on blu-ray new and the same store sold it dvd new the same price (which was £8.00). Yes some cost more, but shop around online also, you will be surprised.

    So is this too much to spend? Well if you go to the movies then no! You pay to go to the movies, the price of one seat is a price of almost a blu-ray movie!

    I understand you need a HD tv first. Okay well if you need to replace your old one when it packs up like I did, I felt good, but I only got it because I was living in a small room and had no space for a big old style.

    If you want to wait, wait because it will drop a little more, especially the players. Do hunt for bargains for the movies, they are priced from £8.00 in the UK at least. I use my PC to watch on my tv DVI to HDMI so no loss of quality (You need a graphics card which can do this though) and I only spent £57 on the blu-ray player which also burns and plays DVDs, CDs.

    I hope this opens your eyes a little. But if you want to save every penny then DVD’s you can buy £3 each on sales and even then, every penny counts right?

  55. Look I kind of understand where you guys are coming from cause I thought the same till I was educated at a friend’s house…….meaning once I saw his LCD playing a blu-ray in 1080P I was hooked, if you guys want to lie to yourselves saying you don’t see much of a difference than by all means go ahead but anyone that has decent vision and hearing can see a clear crisp difference, I for one am a collector or movies it’s my hobby so spending a little coin on it doesn’t kill me when I see a beautiful picture that spanks even the local movie theater. My old dvd’s are not usless and I will not be replacing them but I do go on amazon and buy used blu-rays for the same price I would have normally bought a dvd.

  56. Look I kind of understand where you guys are coming from cause I thought the same till I was educated at a friend’s house…….meaning once I saw his LCD playing a blu-ray in 1080P I was hooked, if you guys want to lie to yourselves saying you don’t see much of a difference than by all means go ahead but anyone that has decent vision and hearing can see a clear crisp difference, I for one am a collector or movies it’s my hobby so spending a little coin on it doesn’t kill me when I see a beautiful picture that spanks even the local movie theater. My old dvd’s are not usless and I will not be replacing them but I do go on amazon and buy used blu-rays for the same price I would have normally bought a dvd.

  57. A lot of the comments here seem to be talking about the exorbitant price and the negligible benefits, and I find a lot of fallacy in many of the arguments. Yes, it's true that with a 20' SDTV and internal speakers with a DVD player attached you're looking at a lot of upgrade, but that's looking at it from a vacuum.

    As things get replaced, it gives new incentive to upgrade complimentary hardware. I remember when Lord of the Rings came out, my father finally decided it was time to get a DVD player (~100). The difference in picture quality was amazing, but the sound was lacking, so after a couple of years, we sprang for a midrange 5.1 system (~$500). The difference in sound was incredible. Now, a few years later, we finally decided prices had dropped enough and purchased an HDTV, a 42' 1080P LCD on sale (~$650). We spent a little more for HD access from our satellite provider and even my incredible skeptical mother was made a convert in a matter of seconds watching Planet Earth in 1080i with Dolby Digital 5.1 (HDTV channels are generally in surround). Yes, that's $1250 spent over a few years for entertainment to keep up with the general progression of technology, but every individual step of the way has been worth the cost 150%. Now I've finally purchased a blu-ray player after looking around and getting a good deal for $160 on a refurbished Panasonic BD35. We aren't extraordinarily well off in my family, we certainly don't "need" these things (we live in a warm state and spend much of our time outside), but the difference is staggering with each technological step we take, and well worth the price to make entertainment that much better. Yes, even as my BRD player comes by mail, my father still insists that DVD is "fine" (the same way SDTV and 2 channel sound was fine), but I know it'll only take a few minutes of watching Prince Caspian in 1080P to convince him.

    That's what any skeptic here should do. Go see for yourself on a good sized screen (I've found 42'to be the point at which 1080P begins to become noticeable) with a good surround sound setup and see just how dramatic the difference is. I'm mostly a National Geographic or History Channel type guy, and only intermittently into high-octane movies and the like, but HD really allows one to connect with their entertainment in a way never-before possible outside of the theater. Given the $10 it costs these days for a movie ticket anyways, I'll spend the cash to have the theater at home. You don't have to blow your life's saving right off either. Just buy things as prices drop. Blu-ray is fairly new. It's just getting on its feet. DVDs and players were just as expensive at this stage (if not more so). Still, a rather nice HDTV can be had for WELL under $1000 these days (and even under $500 for slightly smaller sets in the 32' range). If you really want to dive in, just start with that and get some basic HD service through your television provider. Where we are, a basic HD package can be had for $30 a month through satellite.

  58. A lot of the comments here seem to be talking about the exorbitant price and the negligible benefits, and I find a lot of fallacy in many of the arguments. Yes, it’s true that with a 20′ SDTV and internal speakers with a DVD player attached you’re looking at a lot of upgrade, but that’s looking at it from a vacuum.

    As things get replaced, it gives new incentive to upgrade complimentary hardware. I remember when Lord of the Rings came out, my father finally decided it was time to get a DVD player (~100). The difference in picture quality was amazing, but the sound was lacking, so after a couple of years, we sprang for a midrange 5.1 system (~$500). The difference in sound was incredible. Now, a few years later, we finally decided prices had dropped enough and purchased an HDTV, a 42′ 1080P LCD on sale (~$650). We spent a little more for HD access from our satellite provider and even my incredible skeptical mother was made a convert in a matter of seconds watching Planet Earth in 1080i with Dolby Digital 5.1 (HDTV channels are generally in surround). Yes, that’s $1250 spent over a few years for entertainment to keep up with the general progression of technology, but every individual step of the way has been worth the cost 150%. Now I’ve finally purchased a blu-ray player after looking around and getting a good deal for $160 on a refurbished Panasonic BD35. We aren’t extraordinarily well off in my family, we certainly don’t “need” these things (we live in a warm state and spend much of our time outside), but the difference is staggering with each technological step we take, and well worth the price to make entertainment that much better. Yes, even as my BRD player comes by mail, my father still insists that DVD is “fine” (the same way SDTV and 2 channel sound was fine), but I know it’ll only take a few minutes of watching Prince Caspian in 1080P to convince him.

    That’s what any skeptic here should do. Go see for yourself on a good sized screen (I’ve found 42’to be the point at which 1080P begins to become noticeable) with a good surround sound setup and see just how dramatic the difference is. I’m mostly a National Geographic or History Channel type guy, and only intermittently into high-octane movies and the like, but HD really allows one to connect with their entertainment in a way never-before possible outside of the theater. Given the $10 it costs these days for a movie ticket anyways, I’ll spend the cash to have the theater at home. You don’t have to blow your life’s saving right off either. Just buy things as prices drop. Blu-ray is fairly new. It’s just getting on its feet. DVDs and players were just as expensive at this stage (if not more so). Still, a rather nice HDTV can be had for WELL under $1000 these days (and even under $500 for slightly smaller sets in the 32′ range). If you really want to dive in, just start with that and get some basic HD service through your television provider. Where we are, a basic HD package can be had for $30 a month through satellite.

  59. Now I'm not saying Blu-Ray ISN'T better quality. But you really do need a huge amount of hardware to take any advantage of it. Something like 40 inches of screen – minimum. That's going to cost you about £1000, if not more. Then a Blu-Ray player (duh). A decent one of those is another £200. At least. And then of course an improved sound system of at least £500 to take advantage of all of the better sound. And THEN you're going to have to buy Blu-Ray disks, which cost at least £30 when new, and for that matter, there's less movies to choose from. And to add to THAT, movies older than a few years will NEVER get that extra super-quality anyway. There are very few people who are willing to spend that much money on a bedroom TV.

    Oh, sure, Blu-Ray is backwards compatible and you don't HAVE to have all that megariffic hardware to get some improvement out of your Blu-Ray player, but if that's the case you might as well get a regular 21" HDTV and Upscaling DVD player and save yourself a few hundred buckaroonies.

    DVD made a HUGE leap in quality for movies, not just for the new movies but also showed capable of improving viewing of the old ones too. You could really see the difference, and not just with two screens frozen side by side either. You could see it in the playing. And there were the various features produced by being in a CD format. And your movies didn't deterioate just by EXISTING.

    Now Blu-Ray makes another improvement, but unlike DVD vs VHS, you DO need a direct comparison. You see it best on a frozen screen, and if you've got 13 speakers and a cinema-sized screen, of COURSE you're going to see a difference – but then you'd see one with DVDs too.

    For the movie fanatic in us, with a lot of money to spend and a desire to be absolutely up to date with the best, there's no reason NOT to upgrade to Blu-Ray – if you don't mind the fact that when push comes to shove, the majority of your movies will inevitably be upscaled DVDs anyway.

    But for the rest of us, which is most of us, since movies are still coming out on DVD, cost less, there are more of them, and the quality difference is negligible, DVD has quite some running distance yet. Those old movies weren't DESIGNED to be shown on our modern 1080p screens, so there's a limit to how much better they're going to look.

    And despite Blu-Ray's success over HD-DVD, with the current economic crisis tightening our belts and constricting our wallets, there's no guarantee that Blu-Ray will truly win the race against DVD.

    After all… does anybody remember the magnificent failure that was mini-discs? Sure, people are buying Blu-Ray players, but you only buy one of those. The REAL money is made in the selling of the movies, and somehow I don't see people going out and replacing their entire DVD collection with Blu-Ray disks, the way they did with DVDs and VHS.

    Nobody's FORCING you to buy Blu-Ray. We can vote with our wallets, and for once we aren't going to be losing out substantially by doing so. We CAN show Sony where they can stick their smug new upgrades, and stick with DVDs for a good long while yet.

    It's a maximum outlay for a minimal return. And I think I'll pass on this upgrade, and wait for Supa-Ray (or whatever the next one is) when I'll actually be able to SEE a difference between the formats.

  60. Now I’m not saying Blu-Ray ISN’T better quality. But you really do need a huge amount of hardware to take any advantage of it. Something like 40 inches of screen – minimum. That’s going to cost you about £1000, if not more. Then a Blu-Ray player (duh). A decent one of those is another £200. At least. And then of course an improved sound system of at least £500 to take advantage of all of the better sound. And THEN you’re going to have to buy Blu-Ray disks, which cost at least £30 when new, and for that matter, there’s less movies to choose from. And to add to THAT, movies older than a few years will NEVER get that extra super-quality anyway. There are very few people who are willing to spend that much money on a bedroom TV.

    Oh, sure, Blu-Ray is backwards compatible and you don’t HAVE to have all that megariffic hardware to get some improvement out of your Blu-Ray player, but if that’s the case you might as well get a regular 21″ HDTV and Upscaling DVD player and save yourself a few hundred buckaroonies.

    DVD made a HUGE leap in quality for movies, not just for the new movies but also showed capable of improving viewing of the old ones too. You could really see the difference, and not just with two screens frozen side by side either. You could see it in the playing. And there were the various features produced by being in a CD format. And your movies didn’t deterioate just by EXISTING.

    Now Blu-Ray makes another improvement, but unlike DVD vs VHS, you DO need a direct comparison. You see it best on a frozen screen, and if you’ve got 13 speakers and a cinema-sized screen, of COURSE you’re going to see a difference – but then you’d see one with DVDs too.

    For the movie fanatic in us, with a lot of money to spend and a desire to be absolutely up to date with the best, there’s no reason NOT to upgrade to Blu-Ray – if you don’t mind the fact that when push comes to shove, the majority of your movies will inevitably be upscaled DVDs anyway.

    But for the rest of us, which is most of us, since movies are still coming out on DVD, cost less, there are more of them, and the quality difference is negligible, DVD has quite some running distance yet. Those old movies weren’t DESIGNED to be shown on our modern 1080p screens, so there’s a limit to how much better they’re going to look.

    And despite Blu-Ray’s success over HD-DVD, with the current economic crisis tightening our belts and constricting our wallets, there’s no guarantee that Blu-Ray will truly win the race against DVD.

    After all… does anybody remember the magnificent failure that was mini-discs? Sure, people are buying Blu-Ray players, but you only buy one of those. The REAL money is made in the selling of the movies, and somehow I don’t see people going out and replacing their entire DVD collection with Blu-Ray disks, the way they did with DVDs and VHS.

    Nobody’s FORCING you to buy Blu-Ray. We can vote with our wallets, and for once we aren’t going to be losing out substantially by doing so. We CAN show Sony where they can stick their smug new upgrades, and stick with DVDs for a good long while yet.

    It’s a maximum outlay for a minimal return. And I think I’ll pass on this upgrade, and wait for Supa-Ray (or whatever the next one is) when I’ll actually be able to SEE a difference between the formats.

  61. Does anyone actually see a difference when comparing dvd and blu ray? I brought a bluray and then next week i returned it as i couldnt see a difference and the blu rays discs cost a lot. I own a 22" HDTV so that is probally the reason but im wandering if anyone else sees a difference? :)

  62. Does anyone actually see a difference when comparing dvd and blu ray? I brought a bluray and then next week i returned it as i couldnt see a difference and the blu rays discs cost a lot. I own a 22″ HDTV so that is probally the reason but im wandering if anyone else sees a difference? :)