I don't get all the hype about Blu-ray

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
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Chicago, Illinois
Seriously- what's the big deal? My roommate bought a player last weekend and we've been watching Blu-ray discs and we see a slight difference, but not enough to go "Wow, how did we ever live without this?" It's just not that great. And yes, we have a nice 1080 TV, a gold tipped HDMI cable, etc. But comparing the Blu-ray discs to regular DVDs just doesn't make that much of a difference.

As downloads get better, I see Blu-ray going away. I honestly just don't get it. I won't be rushing out to replace my whole DVD library.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,137
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FL
And most people can't hear (or don't care about) the difference between audio from a CD or in compressed format from an iPod. Only true videophiles are passionate about Blu-Ray. DVD, were adopted because there WAS a huge step-up from VHS in terms of quality. And DVD's were smaller than tapes and more durable.

Blu-Ray offers marginal increases in quality most people can't appreciate. This increase does not offset the cost of having to get a new player, nor the convenience of digital media. Blu-Ray will never take root before digital takes it over.
 
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nobunaga209

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2009
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Some movies take full advantage of Blu-ray and look fantastic! A few examples: Ratatouille, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, Speed Racer for a non kiddie flick, and Planet Earth for flat out eye candy. Most of the old stuff that's been 'remastered' or up-converted for Blu-ray kinda sucks IMO.
 
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djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
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Pasadena CA
I notice the difference, massively. It may be that you were watching some not-very-good BR's? They are a mixed batch at the moment, some being utterly amazing, some being not so great.

One thing I will say is this - after a minute, tops, you forget that it's HD and enjoy the movie exactly the same as you would have enjoyed it in SD :)
 
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0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,909
I'm not sold on it either. I have a 46" living room TV and a 40" bedroom TV, Sony and Samsung respectively so they're a good breed. When sat back watching them I honestly do not see a difference between Pal DVD and Bluray. I do notice the difference between US and UK shows on Sky though (US shows look blurrier, usually 4:3) so it's not just my eyes. I don't think my DVD players upscale either, one of them is a cheap portable one and another is a Sony DVR.
 
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jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
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AR
If you can’t see the difference, then by all means continue to buy or rent DVDs.

However, there is a large technical difference in terms of pixel size, compression techniques, bit rate and sound quality that’s going to take years to match on the on-demand download side.

The average Blu-ray film encode is between 25GB and 30GB. Good luck getting that via downloadable or streaming services.

Take something like Toy Story or Sleeping Beauty and watch it on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. The difference in detail is staggering even on a 720p HDTV.

Is it for everyone? Maybe not, but Blu-ray players are around $120 now and they do great job upscaling your DVDs. Also, Blu-ray discs have really come down in price. You can get Blu-ray discs at Amazon for about the price of the DVD for new releases.

Also, studios like Disney offer ridiculous $10—$15 off coupons at places like Best Buy and Target. I think I paid $18 together for Toy Story and Toy Story 2, $23 together for UP and Monster’s Inc, $10 for Princess and the Frog, $10 for Snow White, etc on Blu-ray. And most of those came with a DVD of the film included in the packaging.

At that point, it’s pretty much a no brainer.
 
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P-Worm

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Jul 16, 2002
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Salt Lake City, UT
Just out of curiosity, Lee, what was the TV size you were watching on? You said 1080p, but that doesn't tell you how big the screen was. 30", 40", 50", 100"?

You will notice a much bigger difference with a bigger screen size.

P-Worm
 
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leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
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Chicago, Illinois
Just out of curiosity, Lee, what was the TV size you were watching on? You said 1080p, but that doesn't tell you how big the screen was. 30", 40", 50", 100"?

You will notice a much bigger difference with a bigger screen size.

P-Worm
30", which is a decent sized TV. We were watching Ninja Assassin, which I expected to look much better than some of the older ones we watched. Honestly? Not that big of a difference.

But maybe because it's not 40" or larger is why.
 
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littleman23408

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2009
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I have been buying blu-ray and watching HD TV for quite some time now, and it still blows me away that it is such a big difference for me. I never understood how to some you can't tell.

As for the prices, I never buy them in store, as they are all generally $25 and up (unless there is a sale). So I go to Amazon and Ebay and get them for an average of $17. Like someone said, some of them include a DVD, and a digital copy. So I can have the blu-ray, a rip to my ipod and another just for whatever reasons. Pretty good bargain.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
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Probably won't notice as much of a difference on 30" as you might on larger TVs. I have a 42" 1080P LCD and Stevie Wonder would be able to see the difference between DVD and Blu Ray on my TV.
 
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iowamensan

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Feb 19, 2006
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Until the entire U.S. has high broadband speeds (10-25 Mb/s), download/streaming won't replace any kind of physical media. I love my :apple:TV, but I've never rented or bought anything from iTunes because I don't want to wait to watch something because my 768Kb/s DSL is too slow.
 
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LouisBlack

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2007
313
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Balham, London
Some older movies can look no different on Blu Ray than they do on DVD. I suppose it's just a bad conversion in the same way you sometimes get god awful DVDs.

Certain films look really nice (apparently District 9 is one to watch if you want to experience proper Blu Ray) and it is satisfying to know that you're at least using your shiny HD TV as it was meant to be used.

I still think games have been the biggest reason to upgrade to HD - much more noticeable than TV/movies.
 
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flopticalcube

macrumors G4
Its not just the TV size but how close you were sitting. At 30" you need to be about 6 feet or closer to the TV to notice any difference between 1080p and 720p. Anything greater than 8 feet and a standard DVD looks the same as 1080p.

Having said that, the differences between VHS and DVD were far greater than DVD and BD. People have forgotten how truly horrible most VHS players were. The real benefits were garnered moving from the analog to the digital world.
 
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®îçhå®?

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Mar 7, 2006
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I still think games have been the biggest reason to upgrade to HD - much more noticeable than TV/movies.
Sports too. Watching a game of rugby or, very occasionally, football in HD is far superior to standard def. Flicking between the two, standard def becomes almost unwatchable when you see what it can actually look like
 
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mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
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I have been buying blu-ray and watching HD TV for quite some time now, and it still blows me away that it is such a big difference for me. I never understood how to some you can't tell.
As others have said...the OP never said there wasn't a difference. He said there wasn't as big a difference, as going from viewing VHS to DVD. PLUS DVD also wouldn't suffer from degradation as the magnetic tape got older. DVD and BR are in the same category on that level.

I am in his boat too...although my TV is 42". I do not own a BR player...basically because I don't want to re-purchase my movies again. I am pleased to see a BR player mentioned here for $120. It's getting close to the price point at which I would consider buying one. I do own ONE BR disc which was a combo pack of the latest Harry Potter movie, so I would have something to play AND I would be able to buy strictly BR from now on.

Although I am very happy with AppleTV and buying movies there that I am not sure I would be buying many BluRays. And I think that's the real issue: that people have other abilities to watch high quality content that they didn't have when DVD was coming of age. It's not going to be a rosy outcome for the BR format.
 
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sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
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Sarcasmville.
Watch a Pixar BR release. Compare those to the DVD releases.

Blows. You. Away. Especially UP.

FWIW, ever since I saw my first BR/720p movie, I'm finding it hard to see past the lower quality that DVD has. It's easier for quality dramas/comedies, but animations and action (ie high CGI) movies the higher the bitrate the better.

Addendum: It also depends on your generation (doubtful that Lee is old :)) but just saying that beyond a certain point you just don't care. Eyesight might also be factor, no need to release of this info Lee :p

The price of admission is moderate, but the price is coming down pretty fast. Would you buy another new release DVD at retail price?
 
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littleman23408

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2009
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As others have said...the OP never said there wasn't a difference. He said there wasn't as big a difference, as going from viewing VHS to DVD. PLUS DVD also wouldn't suffer from degradation as the magnetic tape got older. DVD and BR are in the same category on that level.

Understood, although just in my opinion I think it is a big difference.
 
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leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
21
Chicago, Illinois
As others have said...the OP never said there wasn't a difference. He said there wasn't as big a difference, as going from viewing VHS to DVD. PLUS DVD also wouldn't suffer from degradation as the magnetic tape got older. DVD and BR are in the same category on that level.

I am in his boat too...although my TV is 42". I do not own a BR player...basically because I don't want to re-purchase my movies again. I am pleased to see a BR player mentioned here for $120. It's getting close to the price point at which I would consider buying one. I do own ONE BR disc which was a combo pack of the latest Harry Potter movie, so I would have something to play AND I would be able to buy strictly BR from now on.

Although I am very happy with AppleTV and buying movies there that I am not sure I would be buying many BluRays. And I think that's the real issue: that people have other abilities to watch high quality content that they didn't have when DVD was coming of age. It's not going to be a rosy outcome for the BR format.
Exactly- it's not that there isn't a difference, it's just not enough for me to care about it all that much. I'm just not going to run out and replace my regular DVDs, especially since they're backward compatible anyway.

Agreed on ATV- I will continue to rent from there as the content is more than good enough. I do think that Netflix needs to do better with their on line movies. We watched those through the Blu-ray player and they kind of suck quality-wise. But for things like comedies, it's fine.

I will try watching a Pixar movie though.
 
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EZ-PZ

macrumors member
Apr 6, 2010
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0
My hubby got me one for Christmas and I rolled my eyes, wondering what the big deal was...until we watched the first blue-ray movie on it. Nice, clear, crisp pictures and I was actually surprised that I liked it this much.

Animated movies and outdoor scenes seem the best.
 
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