The discussion below...

Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:49 pm

February 25th, 2012, 6:19 am #11

I start by telling people about the mathematics. There are many factors involved in image quality but I like to start with the math because it has a clearly definable quality.

The first lesson is: 1080 x 1920 = 2,073,600. That's number of pixels available in the frame of a Blu-ray image (BTW, note the spelling of "Blu-ray"...a hyphenated word, capital "B", small "r"). A Blu-ray may not use every single pixel since some material may have different shapes (called aspect ratios) such as old movies which may have bars at the side or very widescreen movies that may have narrow bars at the top and bottom.

But you are starting off with over two million pixels to play with.

On the other hand DVD offers a maximum of 345,000 pixels in an image frame. And that number assumes maximum usage of an "anamorphic" DVD viewed on a widescreen TV.

The often stated rule of thumb is this: Blu-ray has 6 times the definition of DVD.

Now, to the more SUBJECTIVE sense of image quality, I admit that many people don't observe the quality improvement on smaller TV sets. It's the same as looking at a picture from a digital camera. On a small display, the image from a 12 megapixel camera may not look much better than the image from a 2 megapixel camera. With home video, if you are watching on a 32" TV you may not be aware of the quality difference of Blu-ray. If you are watching on a 60" TV, the difference can be striking.

It's extremely important to realize that your Blu-ray player will play all of your DVDs! This is not a case of "either/or". You are not forced to give up one in order to have the other. If you buy a Blu-ray player, there is no need to replace any of your DVDs. Theoretically, one could by a Blu-ray player and never buy a Blu-ray disc.

PLAYER COST: No longer a factor. When BD players came on the market, they were about $1000.00. Now, they are under $100.00. Careful shopping can often get a brand name BD player for $79.99. I have a Panasonic DMP-BD75 that would probably cost about eighty bucks in the U.S..

DISC COST: Becoming less of a factor. Here in Canada, I was at Best Buy this morning and saw Blu-rays of THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN and A BRIDGE TOO FAR for $7.99 each. This week amazon.com has been selling the recent Blu-ray of TORA! TORA! TORA! for $11.99. Most of the really expensive BDs are recent theatrical releases. However, if you like older catalogue titles (as I do) they are often quite reasonable.

MISCELLANEOUS BENEFITS: if you ever get a good sound system, Blu-ray Discs usually (not always but usually) offer high definition sound in the form of uncompressed sound or lossless compression. Also Blu-rays generally offer better menu navigation which allows you to peruse the menu without stopping the movie.

IF I HAD ONE PIECE OF ADVICE: Buy the Blu-ray player. They are cheap. Buy a couple of high quality Blu-ray discs. If you find you don't enjoy the benefits of Blu-ray Discs, then you can use it as a DVD player. The price difference between a decent BD player and a decent DVD player is about $10.00. If Blu-ray dissappoints you, it's a lesson that only cost you ten extra bucks for the player (compared to a DVD only player) and few bucks for a couple of discs.
I'll probably get off dead center and buy a Blu-ray player as soon as I get this year's tax refund.

Jim

Retirement is so great, I don't know why I didn't start 20 years ago.
Not everything had changed, only the important stuff. - Charles Stross
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Joined: June 11th, 2005, 3:19 pm

February 25th, 2012, 7:47 am #12

on "Blue Ray" collections leads me to a question. Simply, is "Blue Ray" worth it??

I've got a nice tax return coming in this year and have been wondering.

Bill Shuey
with it last year, For $798, I thought a 40 inch Sony and PlayStation 2 was a pretty decent buy....and with Blue Ray, the quality is so much better, however, I woudn't have gone out of my way had the PS 2 not had the Blu-Ray.

DVDs are nice enough for me, though I must confess, the Blu Ray is better quality....

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