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Author Topic: DVD vs. Blu Ray
krynn
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I know there is a lot of info regarding the two, but i thought i would ask the hatrackers about this as well.

I want to get a blu ray player. we have a good HD TV and i think watching stuff in blu ray would be cool. there is a noticeable difference between watching regular and HD channels, like sports games for instance. my question is, with movies on an HD TV, is Blu Ray really any noticeably better? i would very much like to buy the Planet Earth blu ray box set, but i wantto read around and hear back from you guys before making my purchasing decision.

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Elmer's Glue
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If you think there is a noticeable difference between HD channels and SD channels, then there will be from DVD to Bluray.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
If you think there is a noticeable difference between HD channels and SD channels, then there will be from DVD to Bluray.
This is not necessarily true. SD channels carry considerably less information than DVDs, and are often "grainier." I have trouble telling the difference between a DVD (played on a decent upconverting player) and a Bluray disc at more than ten feet, but the difference between the local cable channels and a DVD is stark.
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Elmer's Glue
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And Bluray carries more information than HD channels.
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Mucus
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If you do get a Blu-ray player, consider getting the one that has a web browser stuck to it. I think its called a PS3 or some such.
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Sterling
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My new computer has a Blu-Ray compatable drive, so I'm hoping to check some out at some point.

I have to say, though, that the big thing I've noticed in in-store demonstrations is that the higher frame rate on some Blu-Ray disks has the odd effect of making some movies look more like video tape.

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camus
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I see a noticeable difference between Planet Earth on Blu-ray and Planet Earth on my HD channel.

For other movies, the difference between Blu-ray and DVD seem less obvious to me, but there are usually at least some scenes in each Blu-Ray movie where I am impressed with the quality.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I see a noticeable difference between Planet Earth on Blu-ray and Planet Earth on my HD channel.
How big is your TV, and who's your HD provider? I ask the latter because cable providers in particular are famous for providing extremely crappy, condensed HD signals.
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MattP
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I see a substantial difference between DVD and Blu-Ray on a 67" 1080p display.
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TomDavidson
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On a 67" display, yeah, I'd imagine you would. Your pixels must be the size of houseflies.
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Fyfe
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My friend just got a Blu-Ray player and an HD-TV. We watched The Dark Knight and it was much like when I first got glasses. Excellent.
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Lostinspace
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I see a huge difference between the Planet Earth DVDs and the Planet Earth Blu-ray DVDs but I also have 1080p Television bought after getting the blu-ray player. To me my Blu-ray DVDs are a little better than the HD on my television but I do not buy all my DVDs in blu-ray either since my bluray also up comverts regular DVDs.
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krynn
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ah, im glad you can can vouch for the Planet Earth blu rays specifically, since those are the main things i want. and yes, i would get a PS3 and not just a regular blu ray player. im alittle scared to have the Wii, my computer, AND a PS3 at my home. too many distractions. i think i can manage. i hope.

Thanks for all the speedy feedback people. I've decided to get the PS3 and the blu ray box set of Planet Earth.

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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
How big is your TV, and who's your HD provider? I ask the latter because cable providers in particular are famous for providing extremely crappy, condensed HD signals.

50" TV. Comcast is the cable provider. Discover HD is supposed to be 1080i, and so I hadn't expected to actually notice a difference. Perhaps it's the interlaced part because it seemed especially noticeable when the objects on screen were moving around a lot. Not really an expert on any of that, though.


Krynn, my first purchase after buying a PS3 was the Planet Earth Blu-ray set, and I couldn't have been happier.

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Starsnuffer
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quote:
Your pixels must be the size of houseflies.
Hahahahahaha. oh man.
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BlueWizard
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High Definition is definitely good. But you need to look at the availability of movies, the cost of those movies, and the cost of a Blu-Ray player. They are not exactly cheap. But they will get cheap and quickly.

Blu-Ray already has competition and many people think before Blu-Ray is fully developed, it will already be obsolete. If Internet speeds continue to rise, then HiDef over the phone lines will kill the need for a Blu-Ray player.

Netflicks has already convinced LG Electronics to deliver TVs with a Netflicks video streamer built in. Other sources of video are also selling set top boxes to stream HiDef TV directly into your living room.

As you know for a fixed fee to Netflicks, you get virtually unlimited videos (not quite true, but close enough). So rather than deliver the videos by mail, it is far more cost effective to stream them directly to your house.

Now, if you own a lot of movies, and you eventually plan to own a lot more of Blu-Ray movies on disk, then a Blu-Ray player might make sense.

Or if you have a few hundred dollars laying around, then it might be worth it to by a Blu-Ray player.

But for most people, I think the best approach is a wait and see approach, and to jump in when prices are a little more reasonable.

But to the core question, yes, Blu-Ray movie look fantastic. But is that enough to justify the additional cost?

Steve/bluewizard

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Vadon
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I don't know the technical aspects of blu-ray and high-def television all that well, but I do know that when I watched a blu-ray on my brother's screen, there was an incredible difference between it and a DVD.

I think his television has an extra feature or something that helped enhance the blu-ray. I think it somehow increased the frame-rate to 120 fps. From what I've heard, the human eye can only see around 90 fps, so the transition between frames was near perfect. It also removed motion blur in real-time because the frame-rate was such that it wasn't needed.

(All of that techno-babble is to the best of my recollection, afterall, it was around 3:00 AM when all that was said and done.)

I guess what I'm getting at is the picture was so incredible we thought it was 'real,' like we were just looking through a window.

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fugu13
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A good upsampling DVD player can make them look about as good as blu-ray on anything but very large HD televisions, and can be cheaper.
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Lostinspace
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
A good upsampling DVD player can make them look about as good as blu-ray on anything but very large HD televisions, and can be cheaper.

Depends on the HD television. On a 1080p no, on a 790p (1080i) yes. 480 up converted gets to about 650 or so depending on the converter. Blu-ray puts out at 1080p but can only go to a 1080p television. Most high def that is broadcast is 780p. So there is a huge difference between the two.
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Stephan
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If you have the disposable income, go for it.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:

I have to say, though, that the big thing I've noticed in in-store demonstrations is that the higher frame rate on some Blu-Ray disks has the odd effect of making some movies look more like video tape.

The effect might be caused by the color saturation in the transfer process. When you consider that in fact videotape has a higher nominal bandwidth than a DVD, or even a Blu-Ray, a videotape would introduce certain peculiarities in the picture because it refreshes the entire image in every frame, just like film. This means that under perfect conditions a videotape holds more information because it is an analog source, but in practice the effect is that imperfections in individual frames bleed into each other and reduce the perceptible quality of the image. With a DVD, the information is not contained in individual frames, so the individual pixels will never change unless they are told to. I don't know the ins and outs of a Blu-Ray, but basically it contains more finite values for each individual pixel's color and brightness at any given moment, and so it will change more often. But if the original medium was film, as most are, then it will only represent the best possible digital capture of an analog source- meaning that those same original problems with the videotape are still present.

Or, aside from all that, it's also possible (and I find this likely) that you have seen in-store presentations of Blu-Ray in which the TV was not calibrated or set properly, so the information going into it was too high a bandwidth for the picture setting, which would create a cheap "video" look to the picture. I have experienced this creeping weird feeling while watching Terminator on a TV in a bar, and the thing looking like it had been filmed on a camcorder- it was the TV, not the storage medium.

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Speed
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I got on board way early when DVD replaced VHS. In that case, the improvement in formats was huge and obvious. You got better picture, surround sound, special features, easy navigation, no rewinding, language selection (dubs and subtitles), and reduced storage space. Even though it was a lot more expensive at first, it was obviously worth it.

I'm still waiting to see on Blu-Ray. It also is way more expensive, but in this case, all you're getting is slightly better picture. I can't imagine it making any difference in the experience of watching an episode of Seinfeld or an old Jackie Chan movie, and even if I'm watching The Dark Knight, is it really worth installing an expensive player and a giant hi-def TV in any room that I might want to watch a movie in, and paying twice as much for the movie?

And it's not just a matter of having the disposable income. I could afford to buy all those things, but I'm not convinced that it would be worth the money for something that might make the experience slightly better for some movies.

The Blu-Ray format kind of reminds me of SACDs. When CDs replaced audio cassettes, the difference was overwhelming, and switching was a no-brainer. But when Sony tried to convince the public that they needed to throw out all their CDs and buy a new CD-like format with demonstrably better sound quality, it tanked, because no one needed better sound quality.

Blu-Ray seems to be doing better than SACD so far, and I'm sure it does have definite data-storage and gaming advantages, but I'm a long way from convinced that my movie-watching experience is suffering. I may get one eventually, depending on whether the market makes it inevitable, but I wouldn't buy one tomorrow if I won the lottery.

That's just me, though.

[EDIT: removed a complaint about high-cost HDMI cable--good tip, scifibum of two posts in the future]

[ January 06, 2009, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: Speed ]

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krynn
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OK, so im going to get a PS3, but i have a couple questions about it as well.

1. can it still play regular DVD's?

2. in order to take full advantage of the blu ray player, i would need the HDMI cables right? can i get those cheap somewhere?

3. im also getting a wireless router for my home. i would very much like to connect the PS3 via wireless as well. can it do that?


Thanks again for everyone's speedy and great feedback.

@camus: thanks for the positive reinforcement. i have never seen a full part of the PLanet earth series cuz i was watching it my old house with roommates, but I've always loved the Discovery channel and Planet Earth just looks soooo cool. im excited to watch it all in HD.

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scifibum
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"2. in order to take full advantage of the blu ray player, i would need the HDMI cables right? can i get those cheap somewhere?"

You can find them cheap, yes. Look online. It's been a while since I've checked prices directly, but in my experience they will charge you a ridiculous price at a retail electronics store. "Monster" brand cables seem popular at those stores but they are extremely overpriced IMO. Unless reducing visual imperfections that no one with ordinary perceptual powers would ever notice is important to you, using cheap cables will probably be just as good. (And even if you want high end cables you can almost certainly find them much cheaper online.)

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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by krynn:
1. can it still play regular DVD's?

2. in order to take full advantage of the blu ray player, i would need the HDMI cables right? can i get those cheap somewhere?

3. im also getting a wireless router for my home. i would very much like to connect the PS3 via wireless as well. can it do that?


1. Yes, it has a built-in DVD upscaling, so DVDs actually look very nice as well.

2. Look around and you can find good deals. Best Buy had HDMI cables for around $60, but I got a couple from Radio Shack for $15 and $25. You can find them with a quick Google search online for even less. CNET says you shouldn't need to pay more than $10 for a six foot cable.

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Trent Destian
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3. Yes, it is quite possible to set up a connection between your newly aquired gaming system and your wireless router.
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krynn
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w00t!

ok im go for launch. im home sick yesterday and today from work, and so i might pick one up on my way home. i went to a walmart and they didnt have any PS3's. I also asked about the bundles and the lady working looked at me like i was retarded. yet on the webiste they have like 6 different PS3 bundles.

SO the new question is, WHERE do i get my ps3 for the best deal?

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BandoCommando
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PS3 is a great choice, IMO. It also can access media servers (like Windows Media 11, but, alas, not iTunes) so you can stream music/videos to your home theater system.

I would have recommended walmart, but that already didn't work. My local Costco had them at a pretty good price with a decent bundle, so that's an option too.

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MattP
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I got the $1.83 HDMI cables from Amazon and they work great.

PS3 prices are pretty consistent across vendors. Most deals are in the form of bundles or freebies rather than discounts. I bought mine last year at Walmart when they offered a free $100 gift card with the purchase of any Blu-Ray player including the PS3. A Walmart giftcard is as good as cash for me.

Costco usually has a good price on bundles for game systems, though I don't know what their current PS3 bundle includes.

Depending on your setup you may also need an optical audio cable. If you are using the TV speakers then you probably will not, though if you run through a receiver/amp to external speakers there's a good chance you will. You have to get into the mid- to upper-level receiver models before you'll find one that decodes HDMI audio rather than requiring a separate digital audio cable.

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krynn
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ok, so i got the ps3 from some sketchy dude off craigslist, but for a really price. i also bought transformers on blu ray and watchedmy first blu ray movie lastnight. it was good.

i also saw those $2 hdmi cables on amazon and i think i will be getting those.i was surprised that both walmart and bestbuy didnt have the ratchet and clank game. im also at my limit for spending on "extra" stuff outside of what i need tobe spending money on. so hopefully next paycheck i can find it. i also heargood things about little bigplanet,but i still dont understand what that game is all about.

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scifibum
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"ok, so i got the ps3 from some sketchy dude off craigslist, but for a really price."

(Emphasis added)

At first I thought there was a word missing, but on second thought I think this works. Example:

k: Really? That's the price?
sd: Really.

I think it would be fair to call that a "really price."

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MattP
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quote:
i also heargood things about little bigplanet,but i still dont understand what that game is all about.
LittleBigPlanet is this generation's side-scrolling platformer. It's like Super Mario Bros but with a physics engine, photorealistic graphics, co-op play, gobs of collectibles and customizations, a level editor, and a huge collection of clever user-created levels to play once you've finished the story mode.

I own all three current gen game systems and about 50 games. LittleBigPlanet is the only game I own for the PS3, though a handful of the Xbox 360 games I own are also available on the PS3.

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twinky
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I think Wipeout HD has a demo now. It's my favourite game on the console and the primary reason I bought one.
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krynn
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oooh, i played the snot out of Wipeout XL on the PSOne and loved it. i will have to look into that.

LOL @ scifibum. i meant to say "really great price." which was actually 275 for an 80 gb ps3.

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