On Blu-Ray in a time of Transition

Currently Blu-Ray is quickly becoming the standard format for films, and to a certain extend games, waiting with baited breath for the time of DVD's to end so that it may take its place as the ubiquitous film format. Currently every major release appears on both Blu-Ray and DVD to sell to those who are already on the new format and to those who have till yet to upgrade.

I purchased a PS3 earlier this year which introduced me into the world of High Definition movies with "The Dark Knight" which is rated as one of technically best video and audio transfers on Blu-Ray. In anticipation of my newfound access to High Definition content I bought seven films on Blu-Ray. But now it is almost six months later and I have to ask myself why I currently still own seven films on Blu-Ray. In my mind most of the reasons I dont own more Blu-Rays since my introduction are the same as the reasons why most people dont own Blu-Rays and why currently DVD's are still the main format for films afa ter years of Blu-Rays.

A main reason I have as to why I dont own more Blu-Rays is that I dont see that much benefit in the technical video aspects of a Blu-Ray due to the fact that I only have a 22" TV, though it is capable of 1080p resolution, which makes most DVD's look essentially the same as their DVD counterparts. I have access to a 42" television which I have played some of my Blu-Rays, including crucially "The Dark Knight" which is technically the best Blu-Ray I own currently, and athough I noticed certain things which show off the increased resolution very litle of what I saw added anything to the enjoyment I would have had with a lower resolution DVD of the same film.

Ubiquity is another reason why I dont own more Blu-Rays, to be exact the ubiquitous of the DVD format. I have a fairly modest DVD collection, in fact I dont know where most of it is or it would be a fairly large collection, but I often lend my DVD's to friends and family for their enjoyment and as such I factor this in to the value of a purchase. Blu-Rays currently prevent me from doing this because of my friends I am the only one who can play Blu-Ray films since I am the only one to own a device capable of playing Blu-Ray player. To me this severly reduces the value of a product.

In addition to all this the the fact that currently Blu-Rays tend to retail around 200% of the price of the DVD release severly decreased my chances of purchasing over the DVD version. So much that everytime I have almost purchased a Blu-Ray in the past six months I have looked at the DVD price and chosen that over the Blu-Ray so that I have the option of lending it even knowing I will have worse video and audio quality.

Blu-Ray players have become remarkably cheap in a fast time, I have seen a Blu-Ray player selling for £100 in chain stores, but currently most people tend to be thinking about saving money. The idea of buying another peice of hardware and then buying media for double the price when you could already enjoy the film is out of most peoples minds. The PS3 is the ubiquitous Blu-Ray for most people, due to I beleive the marketing push at the PS3's launch featuring heavily the Blu-Ray drive, and it currently retails at £250 which means that many people think that to play Blu-Ray you must start by paying £250. In order to overcome this then the price of Blu-Ray players must be substantially lower than it currently which seems unlikely to happen due to hardware manufactor's and shops requiring a markup to stay in business and the relative newness of the technology. Though overtime the amount of Blu-Ray players is almost certainly going to increase to the point where it becomes the ubiquitous platform for films and DVD begins to get phased out.

Almost all of the concerns people have over Blu-Ray are the same concerns people thought about with the introduction of DVD's such as the ubiquity, in terms of who else can watch it, and the price, which was substantially higher, so I have to beleive that over time these issues will go away as they have with DVD's and allow people to freely purchase Blu-Rays but in this time of transition its very hard to commit to both a Blu-Ray player or Blu-Ray's themselves.

Until such time as Blu-Ray players become a lot more common then my purchase's of Blu-Rays is likely to remain low. My television's screen size is also a factor in this and if history is to be beleived then in the years to come I will have much larger Televisions which wills how the diffrence between a Blu-Ray and a DVD.

I have to apolagise and read this and you thought it was obvious and pointless, for those that read it and disagree with any point I made then please feel free to correct me since I know myself that I wrote this on a whim at 5am. Thank you for reading though no matter what you thought of it.
10 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by Pazy

Currently Blu-Ray is quickly becoming the standard format for films, and to a certain extend games, waiting with baited breath for the time of DVD's to end so that it may take its place as the ubiquitous film format. Currently every major release appears on both Blu-Ray and DVD to sell to those who are already on the new format and to those who have till yet to upgrade.

I purchased a PS3 earlier this year which introduced me into the world of High Definition movies with "The Dark Knight" which is rated as one of technically best video and audio transfers on Blu-Ray. In anticipation of my newfound access to High Definition content I bought seven films on Blu-Ray. But now it is almost six months later and I have to ask myself why I currently still own seven films on Blu-Ray. In my mind most of the reasons I dont own more Blu-Rays since my introduction are the same as the reasons why most people dont own Blu-Rays and why currently DVD's are still the main format for films afa ter years of Blu-Rays.

A main reason I have as to why I dont own more Blu-Rays is that I dont see that much benefit in the technical video aspects of a Blu-Ray due to the fact that I only have a 22" TV, though it is capable of 1080p resolution, which makes most DVD's look essentially the same as their DVD counterparts. I have access to a 42" television which I have played some of my Blu-Rays, including crucially "The Dark Knight" which is technically the best Blu-Ray I own currently, and athough I noticed certain things which show off the increased resolution very litle of what I saw added anything to the enjoyment I would have had with a lower resolution DVD of the same film.

Ubiquity is another reason why I dont own more Blu-Rays, to be exact the ubiquitous of the DVD format. I have a fairly modest DVD collection, in fact I dont know where most of it is or it would be a fairly large collection, but I often lend my DVD's to friends and family for their enjoyment and as such I factor this in to the value of a purchase. Blu-Rays currently prevent me from doing this because of my friends I am the only one who can play Blu-Ray films since I am the only one to own a device capable of playing Blu-Ray player. To me this severly reduces the value of a product.

In addition to all this the the fact that currently Blu-Rays tend to retail around 200% of the price of the DVD release severly decreased my chances of purchasing over the DVD version. So much that everytime I have almost purchased a Blu-Ray in the past six months I have looked at the DVD price and chosen that over the Blu-Ray so that I have the option of lending it even knowing I will have worse video and audio quality.

Blu-Ray players have become remarkably cheap in a fast time, I have seen a Blu-Ray player selling for £100 in chain stores, but currently most people tend to be thinking about saving money. The idea of buying another peice of hardware and then buying media for double the price when you could already enjoy the film is out of most peoples minds. The PS3 is the ubiquitous Blu-Ray for most people, due to I beleive the marketing push at the PS3's launch featuring heavily the Blu-Ray drive, and it currently retails at £250 which means that many people think that to play Blu-Ray you must start by paying £250. In order to overcome this then the price of Blu-Ray players must be substantially lower than it currently which seems unlikely to happen due to hardware manufactor's and shops requiring a markup to stay in business and the relative newness of the technology. Though overtime the amount of Blu-Ray players is almost certainly going to increase to the point where it becomes the ubiquitous platform for films and DVD begins to get phased out.

Almost all of the concerns people have over Blu-Ray are the same concerns people thought about with the introduction of DVD's such as the ubiquity, in terms of who else can watch it, and the price, which was substantially higher, so I have to beleive that over time these issues will go away as they have with DVD's and allow people to freely purchase Blu-Rays but in this time of transition its very hard to commit to both a Blu-Ray player or Blu-Ray's themselves.

Until such time as Blu-Ray players become a lot more common then my purchase's of Blu-Rays is likely to remain low. My television's screen size is also a factor in this and if history is to be beleived then in the years to come I will have much larger Televisions which wills how the diffrence between a Blu-Ray and a DVD.

I have to apolagise and read this and you thought it was obvious and pointless, for those that read it and disagree with any point I made then please feel free to correct me since I know myself that I wrote this on a whim at 5am. Thank you for reading though no matter what you thought of it.
Posted by WilliamRLBaker

yeah they need to do something about the price of blurays that is what keeps me from buying them and why my hd dvd collection keeps growing i can find them cheap and they work.

Posted by JeffGoldblum
@WilliamRLBaker said:
" yeah they need to do something about the price of blurays that is what keeps me from buying them and why my hd dvd collection keeps growing i can find them cheap and they work. "
I don't see a lot of Blu-Rays over $20 and that's not bad.
Posted by Manatassi

The benefits of DVD over VHS were extremely obvious to everyone...  Bluray however. When it comes to movies the image quality is better, but not to the point that most people would care. The pricing is a big problem, there is little reason at this point Bluray should be more expensive than DVD releases. Thw movie industry simply isnt behind the format like it should be, the transfers simply are not impressive enough and having huge peices of the bottom and tops of the screen blacked out on a wide screen HDTV is just waste of the resolution increase.  
 
Dark Knight on Bluray was stunning and the moments it opened up and filled the screen were amazing to watch, however few other films are this quality and many look grainy and messy when transfered to Bluray.

Edited by Pazy
@JeffGoldblum said:

" @WilliamRLBaker said:
" yeah they need to do something about the price of blurays that is what keeps me from buying them and why my hd dvd collection keeps growing i can find them cheap and they work. "I don't see a lot of Blu-Rays over $20 and that's not bad. "


Perhaps its not the price itself since for me £16 for a DVD is too terrible (though its not what id like to pay) but for example the new "Star Trek", which as a side note I hate the name since its hard to refer to it without description, is £10 on DVD and £18 on Blu-Ray (which appears to be marked down from £20). I was also looking at getting the Rocky Collection, which I have never ever seen, and it was £45 on Blu-Ray for 6 films which is perfectly reasnoble in itself I though but the DVD release is £12. Most Blu-Rays I see are about 200% or at least 150% of the price of the DVD and sadly humans tend to think not in isolation, i.e. think only of the price of the blu-ray, but in relation, so they compared it to the DVD release or similer Blu-Rays.

EDIT: Actually scratch that the Rocky Collection was £54 which is a lot less reasnoble I feel.

Posted by KamasamaK

The past week has had a ton of Blu-ray deals with Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Cheap shit day. I'm fine with the modest size of my collection as I don't buy many movies, but the ones I do are Blu-ray when its available.

Posted by Slippy

I find the prices of Blu-rays to be pretty decent, at least in the UK. Yes they are still 200% higher than DVD, like you say - but you have to understand that DVD is now a dirt cheap format to begin with. I look at the price of the BR format for what it is, not in comparison with something else. I often pick up my BRs for around £10-12, which is a fair price that DVD would've dreamt of back in 1999 or so. They are dropping in price at a much faster rate than DVD, anecdotally and according to some graphs I once saw. 
 
As far as picture quality is concerned, there's many sides to that story. Sometimes they don't look a great deal better than DVD, I agree, so it's probably best to pick up the DVD version instead. Upscaling technology is also pretty good on some players so you could be forgiven for not being able to tell the difference at times. Elsewhere, Blu-ray can be jawdropping and totally worth the price, particularly with CGI and modern films. I will always read the Blu-ray.com, AVS, DVDBeaver and HiDefDigest reviews before I take the plunge so that I know the extra money i'm investing is worth it. I really do recommend DVDBeaver as they post 1080p screenshots of BR movies, and AVS forums will do a DVD vs BR comparison for many films. 
 
The Dark Knight is actually not that amazing on BR imo - at least compared to many other films I own. AVS picked up on the fact that a lot of detail appears to have been 'smoothed' out in the transfer. I just picked up King Kong on BR and it blows it out the water in terms of detail. I Am Legend, anything by Pixar and 2001: A Space Odyssey are also excellent 'reference' quality titles that i'd say are a good leap above DVD. Surprisingly, you should also check out How the West Was Won on BR - my jaw hit the floor on that one, it looks better than even the modern digital movies. So technically i'd say the format presents a great leap above DVD, but often to varying degrees - it just takes some research to get the best out of it.
Posted by cspiffo

I just don't see this growth that everyone else sees in bluray.  My local Walmart sells a bunch of cheap Bluray players yet the actual number of Bluray discs they sell is confined to a 4X4 ft. square of shelf space.  Where is this growth that people keep talking about.  I gave up on the physical formats a long time ago.  There are just too many options now.

Posted by super_machine

I just don't see the advantage over DVD unless you have a large full HD TV. I have a 40" LCD and the only Blu-ray movies that blow me away are Pixar type animations.

Posted by Pazy

As a short addendum to the post I thought it might be important to say this (though I doubt its important enough to edit into the original post). After writing this post and reading some of the comments ive been looking into getting some blu-rays again (looking up multiple review sources to see which show of "HD" best) and am going to try and get some more around christmas to see if its worth my time. Though even after Christmas I will (most likely at least) only have a 22" TV (with occasional access to the 40" in the living room but not enough) it will take a techically amazing film to make me really get into Blu-Ray. Im going to go and watch, on the 40" TV which no one is using since its 6am, The Dark Knight and Blade Runner: The Final Cut (both Blu-Ray and supposed to be rated really highly). If you guys have anymore suggestions (I might make the suggestions its own blog post if anyone cares) then post them below to give me ideas as to what will hook me into Blu-Ray. The only films which im thinking of getting on Blu-Ray are the Harry Potter films and thats not a technical thing, I just love harry potter lol I need to get the new one and the box set with all the films (including the newest, Half-Blood Prince) (which I own on UMD, except half-blood prince, since I like the portability) is only £40.

Posted by JCGamer

I love the Blu-ray format.  After having a 52 inch 1080p HDTV for about 3 years now, it's really hard watching something on standard def--even my DVD's that are upscaled are starting to look "not so fresh".  Also, I love the lossless audio formats--which is something people tend to forget when talking about the entire "hi-def" experience.  I also like to jump around from disk to disk--watching my favorite scenes from time-to-time which is something I can't do as easily with streaming media.  I really don't think price is really that big of an issue (if you're in the US) because I find that amazon.com's prices are pretty damn good--around $20.  Granted, this may be more than the DVD, but usually by $5-10, a small price to pay for the upgrade in video and audio quality.