I have been thinking about getting a Blu Ray player for some time now but have always been held back by the cost. I already have a up converting dvd player and my HD tv is only 19 inches. Plus I don’t have surround sound. In my current condition would you say it was worth it to upgrade to Blu Ray or should I hold off until they become cheaper and I can get a bigger tv?
Good question. To my mind, there’s no doubt that you SHOULD get a Bluray player (at some point). I don’t have surround-sound, either, but that doesn’t bother me. The 19 inches might be an issue, though. I mean, it’s still HD, and so you’ll still see a better image, methinks. I just cannot be sure. I have a Bluray player, and I’d rather not NOT have it. You might just want to wait until you have a bigger TV. That being said, if a movie comes out on Blu, I’d say not to buy the SD.
I’m probably the least picky person when it comes to image quality (I’ll watch anything) so it doesn’t matter to me either way. I have a Blu-Ray player, but I only have a couple of BR’s right now, so it just acts as a glorified DVD player at the moment. I don’t really see a huge difference between BR and DVD, but that’s just me. There’s probably going to be tech nerds who will rip me apart over that comment, but I don’t care about that sort of thing. I’m content with simply being able to see the film.
Corudroy, although I think the Criterion Bluray cases are usually pretty cool. :D Or, at least, you know, not blue…
Nah, I won’t rip you a new one for that, but I will say that, when I watch a Bluray, I notice a substantial difference between that and SD. I’m not a tech nerd, but I just thought I’d bring that up for the OP. :)
EDIT: But you are right. Being able to see the movie at all is worth it. :D
I find that you can now (at least here in the US) often find BD for cheaper than the same film on DVD. For example, Criterion BD, for example, are generally priced under the same film on DVD @ Amazon. I’ve also gotten a couple of the Kubricks—2001, Clockwork Orange—for $9.99 each (in fact, so far, I’ve rarely paid more than $9.99 for a BD).
The cost of the player may be a little more daunting, but again if you look around you can find deals. I got a player that at the time was typically sell for around $150 for about $89.
The picture and sound quality is measurably better, however, on the other hand, how much of an impact this will have on you is, as you say, limited by your other equipment, but also to a certain degree subjective.
The difference is definitely noticeable, but it honestly makes me dizzy.
I’m sure they’ll (whoever “they” are) phase out DVDs with time, but I’d wait until everything is cheaper before buying a blu-ray player. Unless you’re a high def fanatic, or something. I worry about some positive imperfections being lost with blu-rays, though. Does this happen?
Yes, even on a 19 inch display, you will notice a substantial difference. Bluray players are pretty cheap now so I would go ahead and make the upgrade. I got mine a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. It may sound cheesy but I will pop in a bluray NOW, watch it with some friends and STILL shout out loud “Thank God for bluray, I love it!” whenever an amazing shot comes up and it looks so glorious. I only have a stereo (not surround) and can tell you that the audio is a step up but you will notice the biggest difference in video quality for sure.
Most of the new movies I buy are on bluray (unless it’s only on DVD). After you get a bluray player, grab some of Criterion’s blurays, they are AMAZING! Then, once you save up and get a bigger TV, you will be in heaven. I know I was when I upgraded from an old ass 32" 4:3 blurry TV to a 42" widescreen beauty.
My nephew showed me the difference between Blu-ray and standard DVD one Christmas when he put in a DVD of JUNO and then put in a Blu-ray of same. Sure, one looked sharper than the other. But, so what? It’s still JUNO, a pretty annoying movie when I saw it in a theater. I’m glad I saw it when I did and got it out of the way, but it’s not a film I ever particularly want to see again. I don’t care how sharp it looks or how it sounds. And that’s how I feel about the overwhelming number of titles that have come out on Blu-ray so far. Even the classics I like are not attracting me because…I’ve seen them a lot.
Are there movies I’d want to see in the best possible format? Sure. LUST FOR LIFE (1956), the film about Van Gogh, is probably my first choice. Yet, I’m sure it’s not on Blu-ray. (I don’t even have the DVD yet.) Certain westerns. Certain anime and animation classics. But not a whole lot. And if I want to see a current film, I see it in a theater. There are very few Hollywood movies made in recent years that I feel any compulsion to see again. (KILL BILL VOL. 1 being a notable exception.)
Most of the stuff I watch on a regular basis is pretty obscure. Some of it is available ONLY on VHS. And I watch a lot of VHS. Nearly all are out of print. Most DVDs I watch are either out-of-print by now or acquired from overseas (R2 and R3). The last DVDs I watched were a 1971 Yakuza movie from Japan and a 1971 kung fu movie from Hong Kong. One’s out of print already. I doubt either will come out on Blu-ray anytime soon. Nor would I care if they did. The DVDs I watched were perfectly fine. Good films but not masterpieces like SEVEN SAMURAI or SWORD OF DOOM. You don’t have to see everything at its most pristine.
Younger film buffs who recoil at film grain and scratches never experienced the joy of discovering movies in battered prints at grindhouse theaters and rep houses. They also never had to set their alarms to get up at 4AM to watch their first Sam Fuller movie on the Late Late Show, interrupted by commercials, as I did when I was a college freshman. That’s how we discovered movies back then in the pre-VCR, pre-cable era. B&W TV broadcasts, with commercials, often cut to fit into 90-minut or two-hour time slots. After discovering them that way, we sought them out at revival theaters, so we could see them properly, on the big screen. Were any of these prints “restored”? Very few.
If you only watch stuff on Blu-ray, there’s a whole world of cinema you’ll never see.
Yes, even on a 19 inch display, you will notice a substantial difference.
(for all I care)
Personally I have no interest in Blu Ray.
Main reason for this being the rather limited selection of films available for Blu Ray at this moment. Most stores over here have maybe one row of Blu Ray discs and they are mostly either films I don’t care for or films I already own on DVD/VHS.
There are still so many films that are not yet out on DVD, it will take Blu Ray years to catch up (if they ever do – I doubt that titles which sold poorly on DVD will get released anytime soon)
I would advice you to wait for a while until the prizes drop and until there will be a bigger selection of titles in stores (and even then it’s debatable if switching to Blu Ray is actually worth it)
Blu Ray is completely useless unless you’re Michael Bay, Spielberg, James Cameron, etc. Point is nothing really belong on a super hi-def format unless it’s shiny, metallic and has a lot of explosions. But I’m against blu ray altogether and unlike VHS to DVD, Blu-Ray is a completely illogical step down. I’m still very fond of and collect vhs as well but to give an example the step to standard dvd made a lot of sense. First of all you got a movie that wasn’t contained in a bulky rectangle, it was now in compact, shiny disc form. Second, you weren’t going to pay as much as a laserdisc, an even bulkier format but now you could have all the special features contained on those for way cheaper and smaller.
Lastly you got way better picture quality and aspect ratios as intended, no cropping, no pan and scan. I say all those examples from an average movie collector’s point of view, one who has completely abandoned VHS to DVD. The ONLY thing Blu-Ray is offer way better picture. But still what exactly is new? special features ONLY put on blu-ray but not on the SD so they can convert people over? Nah, it’s just not a step up in any way. Not physically or technically really. It’s just a big ass scam plus I think certain movies view better on VHS still than on any other format.
PLUS think about who really needs/wants funny people on blu or Drillbit Taylor? Like I said above not everything belongs on blu and often times it’s completely absurd what makes it on
I have yet to see a blueray film that has that much sharper a presentation than the dvd version
Den, not going lie, in my eyes, you haven’t been paying attention… :/
blu-ray? i’m still irritated at having to up-grade from vhs to dvd. as long as i can see things moving about in a general way, i’m happy…couldn’t have voted in the youtube-mediated cup otherwise…what to do with all my poor vhs tapes….some of which still haven’t made it to dvd (take a bow my little dusty copies of la maman et la putain/borowczyk’s blanche)
i’ll allow that blu-ray is fine for everyone, except the MoC guys who have gone mental over it and denied me the opportunity to watch profound desires of the gods…. grumble grumble
zach nothing beats the cinema experience of course but it also could be my (on the small side) tv. If there is a difference (and I doubt it somehow) it is not worth shelling out the extra bucks for.
@Grey Daisies, I did a comparison of a movie on DVD and on Bluray on a friend’s 15" laptop and there was quite a noticeable difference. If you can’t tell the difference, you are not trying.
Human Form: Nah, it’s just not a step up in any way.
Ha, dude, that’s completely wrong. I’m not saying Bluray is a quantum leap or anything but it boasts far better picture and better audio quality. It’s a quality upgrade, pure and simple. I think some of you are forgetting that just because you buy a bluray player, it doesn’t mean you have to throw your entire DVD collection in the garbage. You can watch both but now you have an upgraded option.
Vic Pardo: Younger film buffs who recoil at film grain and scratches never experienced the joy of discovering movies in battered prints at grindhouse theaters and rep houses.
Film grain and scratches are definitely intact on blurays. If you don’t believe, check out any of Criterion’s release of a 60’s film. Take Last Year at Marienbad for example. It’s gorgeous and full of film grain.
One of the most important things that hasn’t been mentioned is that bluray presents a picture quality that is more true to what the director/filmmakers intended. It’s closer to a fresh, new film print that would be shown in a theater than DVD will ever get to.
Just curious, you guys aren’t the same people who say there’s no difference between an MP3 and a vinyl record, are you?
Blueray is nice if you’re really concerned about image quality, but you have to take all of the other factors (tv etc.) into consideration before buying it. In your case, I’d probabally say don’t bother. More generally however, you’re only really looking at a moderate impovement for most movies. Unless the the movie was filmed digitally (so, post 1999 or some such) or if it’s an animated movie, there isn’t much of a big difference. Just think about the way it’s marketed. You’ll see ad’s of people watching Star Wars or whatever and being “blown away” by the grand effects. Considering this is MUBI, I imagine noone here really cares that much about effects. Unless you’re not constantly disracted by static or something, you’ll surely like/dislike the movie just as much with or without blueray.
In your situation, I’d say no. Surround sound and a bigger television really does make a difference. I got a PS3 a few weeks ago and I couldn’t believe how great my regular DVD’s looked. Blu-Ray looks amazing, but DVD does too when it’s upconverted.
Anonymouse: Unless the the movie was filmed digitally (so, post 1999 or some such) or if it’s an animated movie, there isn’t much of a big difference.
That is inaccurate, when they issue blurays of older films, they usually do a brand new, high definition transfer. I won’t get into all of the technicalities (that’s what Google is for) but the film itself is scanned at a MUCH higher resolution, including lots more data and information, which results in a much better picture.
To demonstrate, here is a screenshot of the Criterion DVD edition of everyone’s beloved film, 8 1/2http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews8/8.5/01PDVD_017.jpg
As you can see, it’s kind of drab. Very gray, contrast is mediocre. All of the grass in the background looks like one slab of gray wash. Here is the same screenshot but from the Criterion bluray:
Contrast is amazing, the blacks are deep and the highlights pop. You can actually SEE the grass and the background! You can also clearly make out the marking on the stone pillar on the right.
that’s funny they both look like red x’s to me, absolutely the same
I had to edit it, apparently Mubi forums can’t handle the gigantic screenshot
Blu-ray is wonderful. And I say that as someone always reluctant to follow any new and annoying tech trends. No serious fan of movies should ever turn up their nose at HD. Why? Because it’s the first video format that looks like actual projected film instead of … well, video. Older movies looks fucking astonishing in HD. If done right the grain is ever-present and glorious. The Blue Underground and Criterion BDs are amazing, and great starter discs for a collection. I was skeptical at first too, but have seen the light. Don’t be reverse-snobs. This technology is a great boon to true film fans and not just hi-tech sytem jock/nerds.
@Ryan Estabrooks I stand corrected! Thanks the response, live and learn I suppose.
In any case, I think the best argument so far is Dennis B’s. There’s a certain appreaciation (ok, perhaps less for DVD’s, VHS and Beta &c.) for true film copies. But that’s not for everyone, ofcourse.
if you cant afford it dont buy it, if you can afford it, and you’re into films, you probably already have it
-Unless the the movie was filmed digitally (so, post 1999 or some such) or if it’s an animated movie, there isn’t much of a big difference.-
This can be disproven simply by looking at _North By Northwest on Blu-ray.
Not this again….
Blu-ray is magnificent but it all comes down to your finances….1080p TV/projector, new receiver that can take lossless, 5.1 or 7.2 setup, etc. It all comes down to what you can afford and what is most convenient for you. May it be watching it on your computer via mubi, digital streaming via netflix via your roku, PS3 or whatever, or purchasing DVD’s…
Silent films look incredible on Blu-ray and for those who say that their selections are limited…remember that in Europe, the flood gates have been opened as Masters of Cinema, Artificial Eye and BFI have begun making a good number of their Blu-ray releases all-region. Even Asian Cinema via Tartan and Showbox in Europe have been making their releases all-region.
The price of Blu-ray players are cheaper, Criterion Blu-rays are now becoming more cheaper than the DVD’s itself.
@Matt, there is a difference…not just visually but also audio-wise. And even special features as more and more of the companies are adding Blu-ray exclusives not on the DVD’s as well. “North by Northwest” is one thing…but have you seen films such as Murnau’s “Sunrise”, Keaton’s “The General”, Eisenstein’s “Battle of Potemkin”, Lang’s “M”, Reed’s “The Third Man”, Tati’s “Playtime”, Godard’s “Pierrot le fou” ala Blu or even recent films like Cameron’s “Avatar”, Miyazaki’s “Ponyo”, Otomo’s “Freedom” or even his classic “Akira”? Big difference from the DVD release.
@Vic – You know that is not entirely true. Even if you accept Blu-ray, doesn’t mean you will stop buying DVD’s… Yes, there are many classics that will never come out on DVD but I do believe one shouldn’t say goodbye to one format completely because there are plenty of movies may it be on DVD, LD and yes, even VHS as you mentioned that will never come out on Blu-ray for a very long time (or perhaps never).
@Patrick – Hey Patrick, personally I recommend having a 1080p television first. BUT…. because the players are becoming much cheaper, you can get it now, as well as Blu-rays and then save up for your television. Even price is a concern, you can always go with a Magnavox BD profile 1.1 player at Wal-Mart for $75 and a 2.0 profile player (which connects to the Internet aka BD-Live) is not so important right now and is more gimmicky.
Blu-Ray, in and of itself, produces a higher quality, as in more lines for the visuals (and, with the new codecs and the way of mixing sound, you get more sampling and thus a higher-quality stream of surround channels.)
All of this is great, it is not an issue. It is the best-looking home video format so far.
The issue is: what do you want and how much do you want to pay for it? That has nothing to do with what it is.
It has to do with if you feel you want it and if you are willing to pay for it.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your older discs and tapes. It just means if you wish to have something that gives a more faithful reproduction of 35mm film in video, Blu-Ray gives a step in the right direction.
You can also store much more on a blu ray disc. So instead of the company having to pay for 2 discs to print on you have one convenient disc. But I shouldn’t be talking….I still don’t have a blu ray player yet….im hoping to change that shortly