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Author Topic: Blu-Ray Quality - Is it me....?
Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted January 22, 2010 03:55 AM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After years of faithful service, my old DVD player was starting to get noisy and a bit temperamental, so I though, having just under a 1000 DVDs of various “Region ratings”, that I would purchase a HDMI “up-scaling” unit.

When in our local ASDA (Wal-Mart), checking out the HDMI capable players, I noticed a Phillips Blu-ray player at the “reasonable” price of £77.00. So I purchased this player, along with the “G-Force” Combi Pack Blu-ray + DVD pack.

Eagerly went home, set up the player with my 32” Sony Bravia T.V and loaded the disc. The quality was “stunning”. I thought that my decision to go with the Blu-ray player was “spot-on”.

However, in order to ascertain the true difference between DVD and Blu-ray, I loaded the DVD of “G-Force” and my “excitement” was somewhat diminished. The quality, to me, did not seem to be that different.

I then put the “G-Force” DVD into my DVD Recorder and then, comparing the difference between that, and the Blu-ray player, the quality difference was VERY apparent. The “up-scaling” of the DVD on the Blu-ray player really made a big difference to the picture quality. I checked a few other “normal” DVDs and continued to be impressed by the “better picture quality” afforded by the 1080i “up-scaling”.

Considering the price that I paid for the Phillips unit, and the fact that it is now “Multi-Region” for DVDs (due to a “handset hack), I am not complaining.

I will certainly not be replacing “all” of my ordinary DVD collection with Blu-ray, but will purchase any “Blu-ray combi” releases, dependent on the price. This will at least give the benefit of having the “Blu” disc and also the “ordinary” DVD, to play on my DVD projector.

No doubt the quality of the Blu-ray presentation is more apparent when seen on a larger screen, compared to a 32” television. It may be that my old eyesight is not what it used to be. Whatever the reason, I am glad that I did not “jump into the Blu-ray sea” too early, when the prices were higher.

I’m happy with what I have, for the price that I paid, and that’s all that matters really.

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"We'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth".

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Christian Bjorgen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 996
From: Kvinnherad, Norway
Registered: Oct 2009


 - posted January 22, 2010 04:55 AM      Profile for Christian Bjorgen   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Bjorgen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I too have noticed this. I currently have a PS3 which I use for Blu-Rays and video-over-LAN (1080p films), and a DVD player with HDMI that upscales to 1080p.

However, the PS3 also plays DVDs and "low-resolution" video, without upscaling. The difference is pretty noticeable. I watched the same film on both (a bootleg concert video with Pink Floyd) and it was two different worlds. On the PS3 it was pixelized and hard to watch, reminding me more of a worn old VHS then a DVD, while on the DVD player it was upscaled pretty decently and the quality was very good.

This is on a Full HD (1080p) 42" LG LCD-TV.

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Well who’s on first? Yeah. Go ahead and tell me. Who. The guy on first. Who. The guy playin’ first base. Who. The guy on first. Who is on first! What are you askin’ me for? I’m askin’ you!

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Barry Johnson
Master Film Handler

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From: United Kingdom
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 - posted January 22, 2010 06:24 AM      Profile for Barry Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Im with you chaps on this one.I show DVD and BluRay exclusively via video projection,on to a six foot wide screen.I obviously expected too much from the BR claims as my Sony DVD player gives better results from different discs.Yes,BR is positively fresh and a well produced product.The area it does excel in is the soundtracks,they really are brilliant.My kit is connected via the YCP leads and NOT scart and all audio is on seperate connections.

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Standard8 rules!!

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: Mountian Home, ID.
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 - posted January 22, 2010 08:33 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
BR may be going through what people went through with DVD compared to Laserdisc back in the day.

The truth is, currently, the same master is used for the BR as for the DVD release, it's just that the DVD is not capable of reproducing the transfer at the same level of detail as the BR.

To the trained eye, the difference is percieveable, but it really doesn't come down to enough of a difference to matter for most people.

Instead of the BR, I went to the HDMI upgrade of DVD, and have been very pleased with the results with my ole fashioned DVD's.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Steven J Kirk
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Southern England
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 - posted January 22, 2010 09:26 AM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Blu-ray IS better in both picture and sound but of course it depends on the individual release ( quality of the master ) and the size of screen and quality of sound equipment used. The VistaVision releases on BD are incredible... Try NORTH BY NORTHWEST on a big screen. Fine grain, amazing colour and depth to the image even at 80" plus diagonal. Like home IMAX.

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VistaVision
Motion Picture High-Fidelity

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Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted January 22, 2010 11:50 AM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steven - you are no doubt correct about Blu-ray being better on a "Big screen" but I must have been expecting too much. As I said, initially when I viewed the Blu-ray disc, I was very impressed with the amount of detail and clarity on the 32" television screen. It was only when I put in the "normal" DVD of the same film, in the Blu-ray player, that the difference between the two was not that noticable.

Perhaps I was expecting the old "VHS to DVD" comparison?

I would say that that criteria would certainly apply from "DVD to HDMI DVD". But the difference, in my opinion, between HDMI and Blu-ray is very little.

I am still happy that I purchased the Blu-ray player, instead of just an HDMI machine. At least I now have the ability to watch either format.

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"We'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth".

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Mark Howard
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: Manchester, U.K.
Registered: Jul 2007


 - posted January 22, 2010 12:39 PM      Profile for Mark Howard   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Howard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I can't comment on how good blu-ray is. My wife says our upscaling dvd through hdmi leads is fine and that's how it's staying. In our house it's best not to rock the boat, that way she won't notice the film prints going in through the back door! [Razz]

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 22, 2010 12:47 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Blu ray discs are quite variable in quality (kind of like super 8 prints [Big Grin] ). The best BD's are visually stunning and clearly a step up over DVD'S. In this category I put all the Disney BD's and the classics such as Wizard of Oz, North by Northwest, South Pacific
Others, perhaps the majority, are not much better than regular DVD's and I suspect most people would not notice the difference even on an 8ft wide screen.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: Mountian Home, ID.
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 - posted January 23, 2010 09:09 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Something I'd forgotten about, a BR, DVD will only show as good as the monitor it is displayed on. For instance, I could buy a BR, but with an ole fashioned 27 inch Sanyo TV, (which we have) it will only display as many lines of resolution as is possible for that TV, (which I believe is somewhere around 500 lines), so it wouldn't matter if I showed it even on my 1080p DVD upgrade, it will still display at 500 lines. Not all digital or plasma TV's are created equal, as I'm sure that many on this forum can
verify.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Joerg Polzfusz
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From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted January 25, 2010 05:54 AM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi,

the question is: What's the real resolution of a Bluray?
The official page only says "up to 1920 × 1080 pixel"...
... well, I don't doubt that the video was 1920 × 1080 before getting compressed. But I doubt that the details really survived the compression! E.g. let's take a look at these two images. Both have been made from the same uncompressed 64x64-pixel image (using Gimp). The first one ("high") was made with JPEG-compression set to "100", the second one ("low") was made with JPEG-compression set to "0".
 -
 -
Even though the computer will tell you that both images are 64x64 pixel, you'll have to agree that "low" looks worse than this scaled image ("high" scaled down to 24x24, then blown up to 64x64 again) and that "low" looks more like 16x16 pixel:
 -

I guess that this example probably explains why some DVDs with up-scaling look better than the same film on BD.
And as the compression factor used for BDs isn't "100", you can easily see that the current "high" definition is kind of a hoax. You would probably have a much better image when using the BD as a storage for uncompressed video @ PAL-resolution (or at least using a loss-less compression).
I'm pretty sure that the industry is fully aware of this and hence is hiding behind "up to"-terms. Because this industry doesn't want us to have the best possible quality at home (as they fear that we all could be video-pirates). And because this industry wants us to get new devices at least every 5 years (and that hence need room for improvements to make us buy the new gadgets).

Jörg

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 25, 2010 06:14 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IMO, DVD is good enough isn't it?
Why the constant upgrades to HD, BluRay, etc. I'll never understand.
Bigger, better, clearer, higher resolution.......so what!!!
These are all becoming ends in themselves rather than adding ANYTHING to the quality of the actual film.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 25, 2010 08:42 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hear hear Micheal!

I'd much rather have a superb movie like "It's a Wonderful Life" on a crappy VHS, than have the latest lousy fratboy comedy on a BR with stunning quality.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 25, 2010 08:47 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well just wait til ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE comes out on BluRay, Osi (if it hasn't already!) - it'll be like watching the film for the first time.....NOT!!!

[Roll Eyes]

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 25, 2010 09:09 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think, to a large extent, the public has already voted on blu-ray. Whereas Blu Ray sales are up quite a bit over the past year, they still only account for about 8% of the disc market. DVD is still the overwhelming choice, with a far superior catalogue of titles, and at much lower cost. My latest visit to super Wal-Mart shows the display of BD titles almost non existant, down to one little shelf unit, while DVD has hundreds of titles on display. So for 99% of the public DVD is ,quite simply, good enough.
After 6 months I still have mixed feelings about blu ray. There is no doubt that BD can provide a superior quality picture if its done right, as in the Disney releases and the Warner Brothers transfers. On the other hand I have DVD titles like Vertigo that look every bit as good as a BD. For 'prestige' films like Snow White, Wizard of Oz, North by NorthWest the extra cost of a BD version is well worth it to me as a film collector, and I relish the extra PQ that those BD's provide. But for run of the mill titles of recent films, which unfortunately is 99% of the BD catalogue, forget it. And I know now that BD releases will just never happen for over 95% of the classic titles in my DVD collection. And I agree with everything that Osi and Michael have said - high definition means nothing if its a crappy film, which unfortunately most of the BD releases are.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 25, 2010 09:24 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Fair points, but it's not just Blu Ray. It's HD televisions, and dedicated HD channels - it's nonsensical "keeping up with the Jones's" in many ways.
Just how much detail do you need to see on Derek Jeter's face, or Cary Grant's for that matter.

My son was extolling the virtues of Blu Ray to me just the other week - "it's like you're looking through the window at the characters - they're that real" he said. SO WHAT???!!

DVD and regular sports and movie broadcasts on regular TV are more than adequate.

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Martin Jones
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From: Thetford , Norfolk,England
Registered: May 2008


 - posted January 25, 2010 10:25 AM      Profile for Martin Jones     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Michael,
It's not difficult keeping up with me! A TV engineer for 45 years dealing with the finest TV system in the world, I am still using CRT televisions working on 625 lines, which were capable on displaying EVERY spot and blemish on Irene Handl's face in all their glory. ALL those spots and blemishes simply disappeared
into a flat smudge when Digital TV broadcasts were introduced: the introduction of HD television is simply an attempt to re-establish the status quo. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; it depends on programme content and on the type of screen it's being displayed on. For resolution, contrast and general picture quality the CRT still reigns supreme: I will be using mine until they no longer work.
BUT, the progression from VHS/BETA, through CED Videodisc, to Laserdisc, DVD and now Blu-Ray is a definite step by step improvement in the recording and display of visual content AT THE DOMESTIC LEVEL. None of these can yet equal the ability of professional Videotape and of (the ultimate) photographic film to produce images approaching natural vision.
Martin

--------------------
Retired TV Service Engineer
Ongoing interest in Telecine....

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
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 - posted January 25, 2010 01:04 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm gettin slightly off track, but the last post has a good point. I'm fond of looking at digital or plasma monitors at stores and such (our back, for instance, has them), and I'm struck that, while things are pin sharp when things are standing still, but as soon as things move, you that "boxing", pixilated blur that is just off putting, even with a straight digital signal into the TV.

Granted, TV broadcasts are, in general, not as the same grade of digital quality as a BR release, but it quite of putting. When we watch wrestling on Friday nights, (we have a digital converter box), and there's a big explosion, (as a wrestler enters the arena) it just becomes a big mess on the TV, which we never had with analog ...

... and the same thing happens on those digital TV's.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Bill Phelps
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From: USA
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 - posted January 25, 2010 01:22 PM      Profile for Bill Phelps     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Smile]

[ August 01, 2014, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Bill Phelps ]

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Graham Ritchie
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From: New Zealand
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 - posted January 25, 2010 07:25 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last year we took the plunge and replaced our old TV with a 42 inch Panasonic Plasma even with normal DVDs is good but when we added a Panasonic Blu-ray the picture quality is impressive. One of the Blu-ray disc was "Logans Run" the improvement picture wise over the standard dvd of that title is huge also check out the Blu-ray disc of "Baraka" its truly amazing.

Graham. [Smile]

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Thomas Murin, Jr.
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From: Lanoka Harbor, NJ, USA
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 - posted January 25, 2010 11:39 PM      Profile for Thomas Murin, Jr.   Author's Homepage   Email Thomas Murin, Jr.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dunno. Why trash Blu-Ray simply because some people want a better home video experience? DVD is good enough for you? Great! But don't bash a format you don't even own. It's bad form.

The lack of classic films on Blu-Ray is simple: they aren't selling well. The studios would LOVE to put more out and more are coming but they need the sales to be there. It was the same with DVD in the beginning. Most of the classic films only really started coming out on DVD within the past 5 years or so.

It's A Wonderful Life was released on Blu-Ray last November along with A Christmas Carol (1951) and Miracle on 34th Street. I only have ACC which looks fantastic. Reviews of IAWL are mixed but most seem happy with it. Haven't heard anything about MO34S.

Yes there are some compression issues with Blu-Ray. Season 1 of Robin Hood has obvious macroblocking and several titles I have from Echo Bridge have compression issues.

However, we MUST remember that this is a new format. These issues will be worked out in time as they were with DVD. Look at any early DVD and you'll see pretty much the same issues.

For the record, the actual video difference between DVD and Blu-Ray is 6%. That's it. So it just comes down to condition of the source, the mastering and pressing.

As for Wal-Mart, they only carry the new titles for any given week along with a select few popular catalog titles. It's the same at every Wal-Mart store I've been in. Target, too but their catalog selection is much larger. Best Buy has the biggest Blu-Ray section I've seen in a store with several hundred titles.

It really too soon to say "the public has spoken about Blu-Ray". DVD did not overtake VHS overnight. It took a couple of years. Blu-Ray really just came into it's own last year. Give it a couple more years.

Big things are in store for Blu-Ray. Lucasfilm announced last year that work has begun on the Star Wars titles. The original three Indiana Jones films are rumored for 4th quarter this year as well as the Jurassic Park films and several other Spielberg titles. Several of James Cameron's films may be out this year including The Abyss and True Lies.

Finally, Gone With The Wind and Wizard Of OZ were big sellers last fall so that bodes well for future classic films. Blu-Ray is just warming up so don't count it out yet!

--------------------
My crummy Deviant Art account. Read my poetic tribute to the internet comic strip Ozy & Millie and view my crappy attempts at art.

http://cougartiger.deviantart.com/

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 26, 2010 01:21 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not bashing Blu Ray in particular. If you read my posts this is pretty clear.
It's the mentality behind wanting bigger, brighter, higher resolution, clearer, BETTER.... that I don't understand.
...and that is my feeling on the matter.
[Smile]

[ January 26, 2010, 02:32 AM: Message edited by: Michael O'Regan ]

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted January 26, 2010 02:02 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Did a little comparison test tonight with the Blu-ray "Waterworld" HDMI input against the normal DVD version from another player with its component input, both players are Panasonic and connected to our plasma 42 inch TV.

On the pause mode the Blu-ray disc looked much better and during normal play while both players were running I tried switching either way from the Blu-ray to the DVD the results was the Blu-ray disc image won out big time, even my wife went into.. wow.. that looks good and she does not usually say things like that [Wink] Its certainly a far cry from our old 20 inch Philips B/W TV that we had up to the mid-eighties [Eek!] there was no VHS or DVD in those days. [Roll Eyes]

Graham. [Smile]

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 26, 2010 02:34 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Graham,
"looked much better" in what way? Did it make a crappy movie better? Did it make an excellent movie better?

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted January 26, 2010 03:24 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Michael

You can see a lot more detail.. face.. objects.. background.. etc, a cleaner image overall compared with DVD. Its much better to watch, eg with "Baraka" Blu-ray with its stunning scenery and filmed in 70mm it was scanned at 8K Ultra High Resolution and this is where 1080p High Definition really does shine. I guess it comes down to how good the master material is but with Blu-ray if its done right is really something that with standard DVD just cant be achieved.

Graham.

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Graham Sinden
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Posts: 1131
From: Kent, UK
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted January 26, 2010 06:48 AM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think we can all relate to Super 8. Its like the difference between a Walton and Derann copy of 'Beauty and the beast'. Which would you prefer to watch? I know what I would?

Blu-Ray is certaintly better and if the price was the same the BR would win hands down!

BR will eventually become the norm and the players will get much cheaper and more discs available. Yes not every BR disc is top notch but most are. As has been said, give it 2 more years.

The biggest worry however is how long BR lasts before there is yet another new format.

Graham S

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