Why Blu-ray Is Worth The Extra Price

Published 5 years ago by

Blu ray player Why Blu ray Is Worth The Extra Price

It seems every time a Blu-ray is mentioned, specifically in the context of a remastered classic film, the discussion becomes an argument over the true benefit of Blu-ray. While nothing will ever put the debate to rest, it is time to clear the air on some misconceptions regarding the wonders of Blu-ray.

There are two sides to every argument, and one of these is that Blu-ray is a waste of money for only a slight improvement in quality. In fact, many argue there is no noticeable improvement at all. It’s hard to sit back and let these people watch their standard definition DVDs without some kind of rebuttal. The anti-Blu-ray corps will give plenty of reasons why the format is not worth their time or money, so let’s debunk those myths right now.

The most important thing to recognize about Blu-ray is its incomparable storage space. The reason the format is called Blu-ray comes from the blue laser used to read  the regular-sized disc. The process allows for five times more information to be held on a disc no different in size than a regular DVD. Naturally, this increased storage space gives the disc room for better quality in audio, video and supplements.

But that doesn’t help convince a consumer to dish out a few extra dollars for a Blu-ray and at least $100 for a Blu-ray player. The key is to understand that the enhancement is about more than just pleasing cinephiles looking for crisp picture quality. The format gives every consumer the most comprehensive home entertainment experience possible without forcing a two-month paycheck binge.

Blu ray logo Why Blu ray Is Worth The Extra Price

Right now, you can start from scratch and get a Blu-ray system ready to go for only a few hundred dollars; some Blu-ray players cost as low as $100 these days. Blu-ray movies are continuously lowering in price – they almost meet the new release price of DVDs. But if you want the optimal Blu-ray experience, you’ll need an HDTV, an HDMI cable and possibly a surround sound system. We’ll get into those details later.

Skip to 1:33 in the following video for a number of examples on the video quality improvement from DVD to Blu-ray.

VIDEO QUALITY

The most common concern raised about Blu-ray is the actual visual difference. Can a regular home video consumer actually recognize the difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray? There are certain improvements that the untrained eye will not see, but that becomes irrelevant. There is absolutely no question that the Blu-ray format presents the best picture quality of all the options in the home video market.

The best way to prove the naysayers wrong is to simply compare screenshots from original DVD releases to remastered Blu-rays. Look on any message board about Blu-rays and you will see a handful of people complaining that they see no point in buying a remastered print of an old movie. The common excuse is somewhere along the lines of, “It wasn’t shot in HD, so why would it be any better enhanced?” I challenge those people to spend just one day in the laboratories where technicians spend months remastering every frame of classic films.

Countless hours are spent removing dust particles, film strip malfunctions and other miniscule details that are compounded when a reel is projected. Picture quality on remastered Blu-rays are pristine. Films from a time where DVDs were not even in development look perfect. That exhausted film cutter’s eyelash that dropped on a frame in the 3rd reel is now gone. We are literally changing history. Just look at the screencaps below for proof that new technology has given us a brand new look at classic films.

Terminator 2 Sarah Connor Blu ray DVD comparison Why Blu ray Is Worth The Extra Price

Top: Blu-ray, bottom: DVD

Alien Anthology Blu ray DVD comparison Why Blu ray Is Worth The Extra Price

Top: Blu-ray, bottom: DVD

While most Blu-ray transfers bring our favorite movies back to life in a new light, not all showcase the same effort. There have admittedly been some underwhelming transfers. After all, the Blu-ray market is still new and is always evolving, but it is most definitely ready for the consumer. The process is getting better and better every year. The new Alien Anthology release is getting fantastic buzz for its video and audio transfer, which bodes well for one of the most beloved anthologies in film history.

A great example of the latest transfer work is last week’s release of The Thin Red Line. The Criterion Collection is one of the world’s best at bringing classic films to the Blu-ray format with a plethora of new features and enhancements. The new release is possibly the greatest example of the power of Blu-ray. The picture quality makes even John Toll’s brilliant cinematography jump off the screen like never before.

Home Entertainment Center Blu ray system  Why Blu ray Is Worth The Extra Price

At the end of the day, the argument can be compared to television. HD television is here to stay. Most Americans pay an extra amount of cash on their cable bills to have access to hundreds of HD channels. These channels present the same products as the standard definition counterparts – the only difference is in the picture quality and full utilization of the now-commonplace widescreen televisions. If you are willing to pay for HD television at a marginal extra cost each month, wouldn’t you like to do the same for your home movies?

Continue to audio quality and cost of Blu-ray…

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  3. Actually mate this s**** has killed cinema. And FYI the second screenshot looks better of The Terminator.

    • Offer “better” context, for a proper comment. “Better”, is subjective. You might like squashed faces and maybe to you the colors are “better”, because the’ve polarized contast for dramatic appeal, however to me it’s better if the color is more realistic.

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  9. Forums are great because you can see how some of us thought years ago.
    Many people have Blu-ray today as compared to back then. DVDs are still going strong as well. However, some thought that 3D Blu-rays would take off. I didn’t see 3D Blu-ray back then, nor do I see it now, as anything more than a fad. Reason being that some cannot physically see 3D because of physiological differences, and no one wants to sit around wearing 3D glasses within a narrow arc in front of their tv.

    Now back to Blu-ray vs DVD today. The biggest issue I have that I believe is in favor of DVD is connectivity. I have found that if you are in an area where your internet is down, very slow, or cannot constantly update your Blu-ray players firmware, you may have trouble viewing a certain Blu-ray disc. DVD players do not require internet and are faster at loading in a movie.

    That being said, 3 years from now their may be a completely different medium coming our way! DVDs had a decent run, and may continue as long if not longer than VHS. Blu-ray I do not believe will have the same life-span. Already 4K HD TVs are on the horizon, so the clock is ticking. There is talk of a “redray” to support 4K HD, and I wouldn’t be surprised if physical disc libraries start to convert over to proprietary memory sticks or cards (like the Sony PS Vita) containing movies. I stress the word “physical”, because I think companies realize people like to have the feel of some kind of physical ownership that pure digital copies can’t provide.

  10. I love Blu-Ray movies! I stopped buying DVDs about 3 years ago since I had my Blu-Ray player for 4 years now 2010 Magnavox model. I am so glad the Discs are scratch free and the pictures are way better! I currently have 20 BRs and donated 100 DVDs over the years. But yeah, I was shocked with the picture quality and the sound and the text in the movies- much clearer and better! it is worth the price! The make-overs Hollywood did is fantastic!!

  11. I love Blu-Ray! I have about 50 movies on Blu-Ray! Walmart has those $8-10 Blu-Rays and I love the price, picture and sound on the Blu-Ray! I stopped buying DVDs last year and I will never buy a scratched DVD again. Blu-Rays are great because they do not scratch. They also have bigger shelf space and I can purchase a lot at Walmart and Target stores.

  12. Blu Ray – another thing supposedly better to fleece gullible sheep from their money

  13. I read your article.

    I WAS one of the “there’s no difference between DVD and Blu-Ray People”. I still am with my 42″ flat screen TV. I don’t notice a difference. At least not any that would make me run out and pay extra for Blu-Ray.

    However, I now own an Epson 5200 projector and Blu-ray player. My projection screen is 7.5′ x 4.5′. There is an immense difference between watching a Blu-ray which look exactly like a movie theatre, and a DVD which pixelates at the most inopportune times, especially the dramatic Close Up.

    Old movies (which I love) DVD is not as poor quality as new films. However, there’s no square frame with projectors. So, the ends stretch. It makes a larger picture, but it also stretches faces off center.

    If you’re watching on a flat screen the quality is not noticeable (and I watch a ton of movies). But, if you get into projectors and theatre size screens, you have to go with Blu-Ray.

    • Man you are either legaly blind or just one of those people who love to argue anything. I have a 55 inch samsung and can tell you that there is a HUGE difference, there is even a difference from cable tv 1080p HD to bluray. Stop being a troll, there are people looking for an answer to make a buying decision. To those people i can honestly tell you, if you are a graphical junkie like myself that really want a MUCH better picture then buy a bluray player and a decent 1080p TV. The video and audio will immerse you into the movie. I would not persuade people to spend their hard earned money if i did not know 100%, this guy is a troll.If yoou have any doubts go to a friends house that has a decent set up and compare the two, you will see the difference immediately.

  14. The one thing that has stopped me adopting Blu-ray as format of choice is the ridiculous regional disc locking. More & more films I would love to see on Blu-Ray are being released by American studios but unless I pay £100 above the odds for a modified region free player there is no way I can watch them in the U.K.
    What’s the point, I’ll stick to multi-region DVD & Netflix thanks very much.

    • I agree this is my problem at the moment. The trouble with streaming is that it isn’t really full HD. It’s compressed to heck along with the audio.

  15. What a load of tripe.
    Another Idiot with more expendable funds, probably overpaid for a menial job, or buying into all this because you still get an allowance to piss away on whatever the T.V. tells you is in fashion.

    the majority of the public will never perceive the difference unless you have a screen larger than 50″ or if you sit within 3 feet in the dark. FACT.
    Unless you are operating a home cinema purley for the demonstration of this equipment there is little point.

    Cinema over the last 100 years has been enjoyed just as well on a B&W 7″ screen, do you know why?
    Because its about the content not the presentation or resolution.

    The ONLY other possible argument for blu-ray as a video format may have been over the media size and cost.
    The transition from VHS to DVD made sense because you have lighter, cheaper*, easier and smaller physical format with other benefits like lifespan, rewinding, resolution and extra features.

    However, Blu-Ray is Identical with the exception of just one improvement… Resolution! and to enjoy this, you have to either upgrade your T.V. to a Massive and expensive overkill monster and be ready to present public screenings.
    or you just have to be that rich show off, who everyone thinks is a stupid jerk for pissing away money.

    Blu-Ray will make a nice replacement storage solution for DVDR as the storage capacity is larger.
    that is it.
    HD Streaming is the logical step from DVD if you choose to do that, and blu-ray was nothing more than this decades betamax, sales prove it.

  16. I feel I have to correct you on the screenshot of Aliens. The DVD screenshot is clearly better because the Blu-ray was re-colour timed to a modern teal colour scheme and that particular shot you have there the DVD had loads more detail than the Blu_ray. On all other points I agree. People who cannot see the difference need their eyes checked.

    Remember there is the compression factor too. Watching DVDs on an HD screen you notice all the artifacts and the picture looks soft.

    Also too, and many people overlook this, is the superior sound Blu-ray has. Uncompressed audio just like in the cinema.

    • I agreem that Blue ray sample, is an example, of the problem with the whole blu ray scene. Lack of information on what is actually being sold/offered. The only thing e can more or les count on, is that the pixel count is going to be higher (for the sake of the BluRay industry), not that the picture will be “better”. That enough internet posting for me for along time, fairwell.

  17. ” But if you want the optimal Blu-ray experience, you’ll need an HDTV, an HDMI cable and possibly a surround sound system. ”

    We’ll, this is misinformation, author. Many Blu Rays are published in the old television aspect of 4:3. Infact, most the Blu Rays I have are the traditional, more square shape, so an hdtv

    And i dont use HDMI.. Analog has allowed for me much higher qaulity signal than hdmi on my crt display. Many a good crt computer display, make circa 2003-2006, can deliver 4k content at 1500p, (4k, the misleading branding term, is about 2100p, 720 and 1080p being below), with much more acurate color, much “Blacker” blacks, and much more accurate motion production than any hdtv. So i dont need an hdtv or an hdmi cable to benefit from the optimal Blu-ray experience, unless you consider grayish blacks, motion blur, and 70% less true colors, and a less accurate srgb curve to provide a more optimal experience. You should say maybe “what the average joe will need”. Not only that, hdtvs might be less than optima n the case where th hdtv is only 1mp (mega pixel) like 720p displays compared to a computer monitor which can display a more accurate picture.

    Not only that most hdtv have “fixed pixels”. But just the blacks and colors alone do them in, i know, i have hdtv’s and hdmi cables. Before you pulish informatin, perhaps you can double check..

  18. I thought for sure I must have been reading an article and comments from a few years ago, but then I noticed that was not the case and am dumbfounded by some of the more recent comments. There is actually a debate if blu-ray is superior to dvd? You may argue if the differences are worth spending money on; but to not even concede that there is a noticeable difference sounds stubborn to me. Even a few years ago when the best tv I could afford was a 40 inch Phillips lcd, I bought my ps3 and popped in a blu-ray that someone let me borrow and was completely blown away by the distinct quality over any dvd that I owned. I did spend time calibrating my tv using settings from the internet for my specific model to obtain the best picture I could, and maybe people who do not do this are missing the true potential of movie viewing in their homes. Fast forward a few years now that I have my own place and wanted an impressive tv for my living room, so I purchased a 55 inch samsung led tv. This tv took a lot longer to get calibrated perfectly, but after tweaking different settings over the first couple of weeks of owning this tv I definitely feel I have this set the best possible way I can for my personal preferences. I do not know how common it is for people to own a tv of this size, but seeing as how there are much bigger tv’s in the market I do not feel mine is particularly impressive, and even I can immediately see quality differences from different media.
    Watching tv from my satellite/dvr receiver connected by hdmi does look fairly impressive, but the limitations of receiving a compressed image become clear if you pay attention to background details, and having spent time calibrating my tv these things are noticeable to me. There can be slight issues with banding and clouding if you are aware of what those terms refer to. Streaming hd content from netflix clearly shows an improvement, and maybe if someone was never exposed to blu ray would think this is as good as it gets (it’s not). I can play a dvd on my ps4 connected by hdmi, and it does a fairly good job of upscaling. However, 1080p streaming from netflix still beats this. Gladiator was added to netflix, and the image quality was much better than the dvd I owned. Artifacts in the image background are still sometimes present with upscaling of dvd’s. Now all blu-rays are not created equal, and I’ve read online that the first release of Gladiator on blu-ray was subpar quality, but the remastered version, which is the one I went out and bought, looks even better than streaming on Netflix. Now “better” can be subjective without defining what I am referring to, and that would be, to begin with, no banding or clouding of any kind even on fast-moving action scenes. Colors pop out more and details in the background are more distinct. I have started to build a blu-ray collection of some of my favorite movies, which includes T2: skynet edition. I own the dvd of this movie and let me say that this article is not misleading at all when it comes to audio superiority of blu-rays over dvds. The soundtrack of this blu-ray completely blew me away the first time I watched it; it is something you have to experience to realize the difference.
    Now everyone has different forms of entertainment they prefer to spend their hard-earned money on, and no one should tell you what to buy or not buy with your money if it is within your means. However, if watching movies at home with the best possible experience is something you want to enjoy and are willing to spend money on, then blu-rays are not a sham or marketing scheme; they really do live up to the hype.

  19. Watching that video starting at 1:32 was all I needed to see, just a couple minutes of that and I am forever convinced that blu ray is superior, period.