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"Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Old 03-19-09, 07:35 PM
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"Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

http://dvd.ign.com/articles/963/963916p1.html

saw this and found it interesting. I've been on the fence myself about this whole Blu business for a while now. At first I wasn't into it. Then there was a time I was almost about to dive in and get into the Blu-ray technology. Now with each passing day (and every sneaky studio attempt to screw me out of content on DVD's) I lose more and more enthusiasm to EVER want to get into Blu.

"We weigh the pros and cons and render our verdict.
by IGN DVD

March 18, 2009 - Blu-ray may have won the format war, but with HD DVD now soundly dispatched, an old foe refuses to retreat. Standard-def DVD still has plenty of fight left in it. In fact, there are plenty of ways in which the SD format is -- dare we say -- a better choice than Blu-ray.

Heresy, you say? Listen... We aren't trying to assert that DVD has better picture quality than Blu-ray -- that would be absurd. And of course there are cool features, like BD-Live, that seemingly give Blu-ray the edge. But when you really take an examined look at the big picture, Blu-ray isn't for everybody.

There are hardware complexities, product availability issues, and most importantly -- especially in hard economic times like these -- Blu-ray is significantly more expensive. Taking all that into account, it's easy to imagine a scenario where the majority of casual home video consumers will remain devoted to DVD for quite some time.

But is DVD really better than Blu-ray? Here are some reasons why we think so. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.


It's Cheaper Than Blu-ray


Both DVD players and DVDs themselves remain affordable. Blu-ray releases tend to retail for an average of $10 more than their DVD counterparts (depending on the studio and title). Many DVDs are priced so cheaply that they could be considered impulse buys. Think about it... You probably wouldn't own that copy of Renny Harlin's Cutthroat Island had you not seen it in the checkout line display for $8.99. Would you have snatched up a Blu-ray version for double that price? Not nearly as likely.

The biggest obstacle for many consumers isn't the cost of the discs, it's the players themselves. A Blu-ray player will typically set you back an average of $250 to $300 (though the high-end players can go into the thousands). That kind of price tag is difficult to justify when you can find a perfectly decent DVD player for under $50. In fact, the most basic DVD player can be had for nearly the same price as a high-end Blu-ray movie.

And then there are the indirect costs. Most consumers will have to weigh the cost of the features they want against the cost of various players. It can be a headache before you even begin to start to consider other peripherals that will truly make upgrading to Blu-ray worth while. If you don't have a widescreen HD television -- a huge investment -- there's not much point in making the jump. And what about audio? Many home theaters are already at least 5.1 compatible, but to truly max out the new format you'll need a 7.1 system.

The bottom line is that creating an appropriately awesome Blu-ray experience is going to set you back some major skrilla. And if you can't afford to be all in, what's the point?

Mo' Technology, Mo' Problems


Any time you introduce a new piece of hardware into your setup, there are going to be complications. Blu-ray players are evolving, but everybody knows that tested and tried technology is more reliable than emerging technology. Wouldn't you rather have a product that's been around a while?

Then there's playability. We've all heard the complaints about Blu-ray load times. This sort of thing varies from player to player and title to title. The bottom line is that some people value performance and reliability more than innovation.

As long as you've got a basic DVD setup, the chances are pretty good that just about any disc you're likely to bring home will play in your player without a hassle. The advent of BD-Live has led to a disturbing trend when it comes to extras, with some studios relying heavily on online content to deliver the same kinds of special features you used to get right on the disc. And if your Blu-ray player isn't Internet compatible, you're not going to be able to access any of those features, not to mention the frequent firmware upgrades required to play the latest releases.

And what if you want to take your video entertainment with you? Not bloody likely with Blu-ray.

The term home-entertainment is quickly becoming obsolete, as the living room is no longer the only place where you can consume entertainment. There may be portable Blu-ray players on the market now, but standard-def players are still much cheaper and far more common, both in stores and in our homes. So for now -- and for the foreseeable future -- if you want to pop a movie in your laptop's DVD-rom drive, bring it with you on a long plane flight or just need something to keep the kids busy in the back of the minivan, DVD is the way to go.

You Already Own A Ton of DVDs

You probably already own your favorite movies and TV shows on DVD. And if you've been in the home video game a while, you might even own them on Laserdisc and (gasp!) VHS. Exactly how many copies of Blade Runner can one man legally own? And now you're suppose to shell out even more to get it on Blu-ray? Fuggedaboutit.

The DVD has been around since 1997 -- near ancient in tech years. In the 12 years since the format was launched, home video buyers have snatched up movies on DVD at an astonishing rate. The DVD has even been called the most successful consumer product of all time.

Even the most casual movie fan has amassed a sizable DVD library. And the collections of avid film buffs can stretch into the hundreds of titles -- or even thousands. With that many movies in a collection, it's not likely that most people are going to rush out and try to upgrade every title -- not that they could even if they wanted to, because the product just isn't available. And sure, Blu-ray players will play DVDs, but with the upgrade comes the feeling that you're rendering your entire collection obsolete.

To paraphrase Roy Batty himself, are all those discs to be lost in time like tears in rain? No way.

Up-Conversation Really Works

There's no denying that, visually and technically speaking, Blu-ray is undoubtedly a higher-quality home entertainment experience. That said, most people – the average, non-uber-geek viewer – have already invested a lot of money in a respectable DVD library and dread the idea of forking over the cash to re-up their collection as they once might have done in the latter days of VHS. This is especially true for those who can afford the minor investment of an up-converting DVD player, which to most of the general masses can offer an HD-quality visual experience close-enough for comfort's sake.

DVD upscaling works by creating a new line of pixels -- this is accomplished by a process that copies parts of the surrounding pixels. It's essentially a technologically-enhanced guess at how a true high-def picture should appear.

Toshiba's XD-E500 player, for instance, brings close to HD quality to DVDs by using this advanced edge-enhancement technology. You can pick one up for less than $99. That's a helluva lot cheaper than most Blu-ray players. And it really does work.

You Can't Get That on Blu-ray

Content is king. And while studios are working to make more video product available on Blu-ray, the fact remains that there are innumerably more titles on DVD. There's also no indication that manufacturers will cease production on DVDs in the foreseeable future.

If you're particularly into something non-mainstream, like Hong Kong cinema, what's the point of upgrading when most of the movies you love aren't available in the new format.

Collectors of special edition movies and boxed sets of TV shows are also currently getting the shaft when it comes to Blu-ray. While Blu-rays are starting to get the fancy slipcovers and whatnot, DVD still gets the really creative stuff. If you're a nerd about packaging, DVD is still for you.

And in the online rental, the chances of you getting a DVD quickly from Netflix are significantly higher. With a Blu-ray disc, you might even run into a "long wait" or the dreaded "very long wait."

Blu-ray is A Stop-Gap

It's a fact. It may not happen tomorrow, or next year, or even five years from now, but sooner or later digital downloads are going to replace physical media for the most part. Sure, you'll have the classicists who still collect their old LPs (or, ahem, standard-def DVDs), but Blu-ray is going to fall by the wayside when high-definition downloads become fully available and affordable.

With services like the IPTV-based Verizon's FIOS and AT&T's Uverse expanding more and more quickly, the shift to digital over physical media may happen sooner than later.

In the meantime, it's your prerogative (apologies to Bobby Brown) if you want to invest in another eventual boat anchor, and fill the coffers of the major studios yet again by indulging in their latest technical stunt -- Blu-ray -- and all the double- and triple-dips that are sure to come with it.

Don't worry, we won't say, "We told you so," when the time comes.

Think back to the late 1990s -- if you can remember back that far -- when DVD replaced VHS. It didn't take long then to realize how dramatically superior the new technology was. It's clear now, in the case of DVD vs. Blu-ray, that we're dealing with a much more incremental evolution in video entertainment. The mass adoption of Blu-ray is going to take place much more slowly, if it happens at all.

Are you among the multitudes that are resisting the urge to move up to Blu-ray? Or are you a Blu-ray early adopter? Tell us where you stand in the comments. And check back next week for our Blu-ray counterpoint.

Last edited by chris_sc77; 03-19-09 at 07:38 PM.
Old 03-19-09, 07:41 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

1) All those standard DVDs you already own will work just as nicely on a Blu-ray player.

2) "Up-conversation"? Need I say more?
Old 03-19-09, 09:37 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Well, that knocks down one argument against. Bizzare how folks aren't rushing out to buy one when taking that into account.
Old 03-19-09, 09:48 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I dread the day when digital downloads become the norm.
Old 03-19-09, 09:56 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by IGN View Post
And sure, Blu-ray players will play DVDs, but with the upgrade comes the feeling that you're rendering your entire collection obsolete.
...and at the end of the day, that's all IGN is really concerned about. Some people hate feeling that they're being left behind, so they frown on whatever's new and shiny to make themselves feel better. It's ridiculous.

If you don't want to upgrade to Blu-ray -- or just don't want to right now -- then don't. I don't see what the big deal is. I don't know why anyone has to write long, rambling articles to justify it to themselves. Just don't. Sticking with DVDs doesn't make you a bad person. Promise.

While I agree that some of the points are genuine disincentives, some are just silly. You're not under any obligation to upgrade any movie/TV boxed set/whatever that you don't want to. You don't have to chuck out your entire DVD collection. The bulk of "You Can't Get That on Blu-ray" block is ridiculous; I mean, you CAN still buy DVDs even if you own a Blu-ray player. It's not an either/or.

Posting barely-half-thought-out but argumentative articles does get people talking about IGN and flinging page views their way, and I guess at the end of the day, that's all they're really concerned about.
Old 03-19-09, 09:58 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by mdnitoil View Post
Well, that knocks down one argument against. Bizzare how folks aren't rushing out to buy one when taking that into account.
If someone actually looks at the picture quality of Blu-ray vs. DVD, particularly on a larger size television, no further argument is needed.

The technology concerns are overstated. I have had a BD player for almost a year and have never run into problems playing a disc. I have performed only two firmware updates, both of which I completed without my player being connected to the Internet.

Blu-ray disc startup does take a little longer than with DVDs, but the enhanced picture quality is well worth the (literally) few extra seconds.

The one and only gripe I have with BD vs. DVD is that some discs won't remember where you left off if you power down the player and later resume viewing. Most newer discs include bookmarking capability to address that issue, however.

My existing DVD collection works perfectly well with my Blu-ray player. It is nice to now be able to add discs to my collection with noticeably enhanced video and audio quality, however.
Old 03-19-09, 10:02 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I agree with pretty much everything there.

I'm not against BD per se' but I'll never invest in it.

The main thing that decided it for me was seeing BD on a 1080p set. It looked pretty good. It didn't blow me away though.

My personal opinion, and it's just that, is that BD is a small incremental step up from standard DVD, which doesn't really warrant me laying out the cash for it.

Say what you will about upconverting but it works great for me and looks fantastic. Honestly I have seen upconverted standard DVDs look better than Blu-Ray discs before. It's a case by case basis, sure, but that's just been my experience.

Again, to the Blu-Ray supporters, I'm not downing your beloved format at all. It's just not for me and I think that IGN article states the case perfectly.

Originally Posted by DVD Guy ATL View Post
If someone actually looks at the picture quality of Blu-ray vs. DVD, particularly on a larger size television, no further argument is needed.
I agree. I compared and realized the difference was SO small that it was negligible on my 55" HDTV. I've never looked at a Blu-Ray version of a film and been blown away or even moved to remark on the difference in quality. In my humble opinion, upconverted DVDs look incredible (at least on my TV) and are so close in quality to BD as to make the extra cost unreasonable.

Last edited by An4h0ny; 03-19-09 at 10:06 PM.
Old 03-19-09, 10:15 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Well, if that is your experience, I am not one to second-guess. My eyes and my A/V setup perceive a very pronounced difference in quality between the two formats.
Old 03-19-09, 10:32 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by An4h0ny View Post
I agree with pretty much everything there.

I'm not against BD per se' but I'll never invest in it.

The main thing that decided it for me was seeing BD on a 1080p set. It looked pretty good. It didn't blow me away though.

My personal opinion, and it's just that, is that BD is a small incremental step up from standard DVD, which doesn't really warrant me laying out the cash for it.

Say what you will about upconverting but it works great for me and looks fantastic. Honestly I have seen upconverted standard DVDs look better than Blu-Ray discs before. It's a case by case basis, sure, but that's just been my experience.

Again, to the Blu-Ray supporters, I'm not downing your beloved format at all. It's just not for me and I think that IGN article states the case perfectly.



I agree. I compared and realized the difference was SO small that it was negligible on my 55" HDTV. I've never looked at a Blu-Ray version of a film and been blown away or even moved to remark on the difference in quality. In my humble opinion, upconverted DVDs look incredible (at least on my TV) and are so close in quality to BD as to make the extra cost unreasonable.
Hey, to each his own. I see a noticeable difference on my 32 inch 720p Toshiba REGZA. DVDs look washed out to me (upconverted via PS3). Not every BD is spectacular, but I am blown away rather often: I recently watched Dr. No and was very, very impressed; Mad Men looks gorgeous, as do many others in my collection.
____________
The day we transition to downloads is the day I save a ton of money. I like my tangible media.
Old 03-19-09, 11:18 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by awil1026 View Post
Hey, to each his own. I see a noticeable difference on my 32 inch 720p Toshiba REGZA. DVDs look washed out to me (upconverted via PS3). Not every BD is spectacular, but I am blown away rather often: I recently watched Dr. No and was very, very impressed; Mad Men looks gorgeous, as do many others in my collection.
____________
The day we transition to downloads is the day I save a ton of money. I like my tangible media.
There are some BD titles that are breathtaking (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) but most only look noticeably better (not "I think I'm gonna plotz!!!" better) than upconverted DVDs on the PS3.

When I buy a DVD, I can play it (or convert it to play) on my Zune, iPod, PSP, PS3, T-Mobile Dash smartphone, Optoma MovieTime projector, and notebook. If I buy a BD, I can only play it on my PS3.

So I am very selective about the BD titles I buy.
Old 03-19-09, 11:42 PM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Article sounds like it was written by someone that is very ill informed about Blu-ray. Just sounds like an article from someone that is reassuring himself that dvds are still good enough. To each his own I guess.

Last edited by tonymontana313; 03-20-09 at 01:43 AM.
Old 03-20-09, 12:14 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I agree with a lot of that. I recently upgraded an aging DVD player with a PS3 (Blu-Ray and gaming bonus). I've bought a total of 2 Blu-Rays so far- and those both were on sale to within a dollar of the price of the normal DVD. Everything else I bought lately has been on DVD, because of price and/or unavailability on Blu-Ray.

What I Netflix is on Blu-Ray if available, but I'm not going out of my way, or out of my price range to get this format. It's nice, but it's not THAT essential to me.

One thing the article doesn't mention is kids in the minivan. With many family cars coming equipped with DVD players for the kids in the backseat, if they get a Blu-Ray player in the house, those discs won't travel. That's something my sister ran into over Christmas. She had to try to explain to a 4 and 2 year old why Wall-E couldn't come in the car with them on a trip- he was on a different disc that won't work in that player.

Last edited by Tscott; 03-20-09 at 12:22 AM.
Old 03-20-09, 12:25 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

The newer Disney releases now come with a DVD, which I think is cool.

It's obvious that Blu-ray isn't for everyone... I do believe that it'll take a miracle for it to survive, but I'll enjoy it as long as it's around
Old 03-20-09, 12:40 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I have no interest in Blu-ray for one simple reason: PRICE. The difference in picture quality is not enough to justify me spending $10 more on average for a single movie. In my opinion, there are only a handful of movies/shows that I would say warrant the need for hi-def (national geographic series come to mind). I mean do you really need to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua in hi-def?

I used to live on a tiny island where the only films available were shitty bootlegs, so I am more than pleased with the picture quality of an actual dvd.

And the cases are ugly as hell.
Old 03-20-09, 12:45 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I actually love the smaller cases... I wish they would have released The Notebook in a regular case.
Old 03-20-09, 12:58 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by Abe. View Post
I actually love the smaller cases... I wish they would have released The Notebook in a regular case.
I agree smaller is nice, but just that huge blue banner across the top (and I believe some have it on the bottom as well) taking away from the artwork is very off-putting.
Old 03-20-09, 02:34 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by Abe. View Post
The newer Disney releases now come with a DVD, which I think is cool.

It's obvious that Blu-ray isn't for everyone... I do believe that it'll take a miracle for it to survive, but I'll enjoy it as long as it's around
To survive what? What other upcoming format do you see? Downloads?

DVD still holding?

As to the actual article...the fact that the author did not even have the guts to reveal his name should tell you a lot.

Originally Posted by An4h0ny View Post
Honestly I have seen upconverted standard DVDs look better than Blu-Ray discs before. It's a case by case basis, sure, but that's just been my experience.
I really do not know what to say. It is the type of logic/experience this forum fought during the OAR-Pan/Scan years. Really.

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 03-20-09 at 02:38 AM.
Old 03-20-09, 02:56 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

I dread the day when digital downloads become the norm.
downloads will probably be the mp3 and Itunes to the movie industry when it happens.


I watched Transformers on a upconverting dvd player on a 55' Sony HD TV and the quality looked like high def.


I would probably buy a blu-ray player but only if the price dropped to $150 or less.

that is probably not going to happen with the recession.

I want the Sony blu ray but that costs around $279
Old 03-20-09, 03:00 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Interesting article thanks for posting.
Old 03-20-09, 03:16 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Blu-ray is all about image, foremost, and then sound.

However, there are lot of Blu-ray titles out there where the image simply suck because the Studio didn´t do any re-mastering or clenup at all. Still, you have to pay twice the price (or more) than that of the DVD. Not excatly the way to introduce the Blu-ray media to a newcomer.
Old 03-20-09, 03:49 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)



I liked HD DVD, especially the combo discs. And my HD players upconvert. Win/Win.

Sorry, Pro-B.
Old 03-20-09, 04:06 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
I dread the day when digital downloads become the norm.
I welcome it.
Old 03-20-09, 04:09 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by DarkestPhoenix View Post


I liked HD DVD, especially the combo discs. And my HD players upconvert. Win/Win.

Sorry, Pro-B.
Still to suggest that an upconverted picture looks better than a hd-dvd/blu-ray is pretty ludicrous. The worst hi-def disc still looks better than the best dvd has to offer.
Old 03-20-09, 04:42 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

*sigh, we're going to have 3 major fronts here.

1. The blu ray camp

2. the dvd camp who swear to god that their DVD's look just like Hi -def!!!

3. The HD DVD fans (who I was a MASSIVE one) who say that upconverting will be just fine since HD DVD lost (otherwise HD DVD was a godsend)

and no side will come to an agreement and will belittle the other camp. These thread should just be closed because they never end well.
Old 03-20-09, 05:01 AM
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Re: "Why DVD's Better Than Blu-ray" (IGN.DVD article.)

Originally Posted by wormraper View Post
These thread should just be closed because they never end well.
But they can be quite entertaining for those of us who sit on the sidelines.


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