View Full Version : So I got a Blu-Ray movie.

10-07-2010, 03:51 AM
We've had a Playstation 3 for soem time now. I rarely play it (except for old original playstation games I downloaded on it and the occasional PS3 game). I've watched a few Blu Ray films but last night i finally got one to own. I saw a "combo pack" that had both a Blu Ray and a DVD in it. The movie was Stephen King's Misery.

I have an extensive DVD collection including many TV shows so I've been reluctant to upgrade. I decided to compare a DVD and BD movie and the combo pack seemed like the perfect chance to do so.

Here's what I noticed: The Blu Ray film seems crisper, slightly, and is also quite a bit brighter. The colors are more vivid and the sound is also crisper. Now, I realize this is a film from the early 80s that was filmed completely in analog format, so I don't expect Avatar-quality stuff. But even so it looks pretty damn good.

But here's the craziest thing: The DVD version even looks REALLY good played on a PS3 via HDMI input.

so now I have a dilema. Knowing that apparently Blu Ray players make DVDs look so good, I wonder if I should really give up DVDs completely for Blu Ray. A lot of shows and films aren't on Blu Ray.

so I've got a few questions for those who have gotten into Blu Ray pretty heavily.

How do older films like Qvo Vadis, the Ray Harryhausen films, Lawrence of Arabia, and Ben Hur look on blu Ray? Are they really wort upgrading to from DVD?

How do older TV shows look compared to their DVD counterparts? For example, I've got every season of Highlander the Series on DVD. Are the BD versions really that much better?

Brutal Mustang
10-07-2010, 04:22 AM
I notice a HUGE difference when watching Blu-rays vs. DVDs on my PS3. In fact, it's getting harder and harder for me to watch DVDs, or anything 'non-def'. My dad, on the other hand, does not seem to notice much of a difference. This is because I have the better eye and ear.

Sigh. You must have a rotten eye and ear for quality. :tongue

10-07-2010, 04:56 AM
Blu-rays will almost always be better for films because they have 8-10x more storage space and so the original print can be scanned at a higher resolution, meaning higher quality. The only problem is if if the print is degraded, or has dust and scratches. Thankfully, most of those artefacts can be cleaned up digitally, and most classic films are getting that treatment. Even films which seemed doomed to the bowels of grainy, washed-outedness are getting a new lease of life on Blu-ray. Case in point, it's a long time since my jaw hit the floor but it happened when I saw scans of the upcoming Aliens Blu-ray (http://www.jamescamerononline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2346). Assuming those are true to life, then watching that film on Blu-ray is going to be incredible.

TV is different, or certainly can be, and depends on the format and resolution of the masters. These days TV shows are shot on film or HD so it's not a problem but older shows shot on tape may not be as workable in a Blu-ray transfer and the companies may not want to pay the costly remastering fees. Your best bet is to seek out individual reviews on Blu-ray sites - they almost always discuss picture and sound quality, (usually with screenshots) and you can then make up your own mind.

I love Blu-ray but I still buy DVDs all the time; indeed, that's one of the advantages of Blu-ray - DVD prices have come way down, at least where I am, and a lot of really great films can be snatched up for a song. And, as you've discovered, DVD upscaling makes them that little bit bitter too.

10-07-2010, 06:01 AM
Blu-ray videos have a resolution of up to 1920x1080 while DVD videos are typically around 720x480. So in effect you get a 4-6 times higher resolution from Blu-ray. How noticeable that is depends mostly on how close you are to the screen (i.e. how much of your field of view it covers) and of course, whether you have a screen that can actually display the full resolution.
I don't actually know if the PS3 does post-processing on DVDs, but there are ways to make them look a little better when displayed on a higher than native resolution. Given the amount of processing power available i'd guess it does.

10-07-2010, 07:18 AM
The PS3 does an insane amount of DVD post-processing -- more than almost anything else I've encountered -- which is why even an old DVD played via the PS3's upscaling looks pretty decent provided you have a suitable DVD. Anamorphic DVDs will upscale much better than 4:3 format or letterboxed.

(Anamorphic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphic_widescreen) DVDs use the entire DVD resolution to record a widescreen picture, and rely on the DVD player to letterbox if the screen wasn't a widescreen format. Non-anamorphic letterboxed DVDs encode the black bars into the picture, and will upscale horribly because you're already at a lower resolution for the picture.)

In my experience, the difference between a properly upscaled anamorphic DVD and a Blu-Ray is not terribly significant at 720p HD, but becomes considerably more noticeable at 1080p. And of course, non-widescreen, non-anamorphic formats... well, anything you do that reduces the amount of data per frame for the DVD will affect the quality of the upscaling. A pan-and-scan 4:3 DVD can look pretty awful upscaled.

10-07-2010, 08:01 AM
The Blu-Ray version of the Lord of the Rings looks better (to me) on my 1080p HD TV than it did at the IMAX.

It's phenomenal.

10-07-2010, 08:35 AM
*still has an old low-def TV*


10-07-2010, 09:09 AM
I hear the size of your TV plays a pretty important role in what kind of difference you'll see between upscaled DVDs and BDs. On the smaller ones, it's not as noticeable (so they say. My TV's only 19", and I feel like I see a difference). So that'll be up to you to decide.

As another factor, BDs often come with more bonus features (presumably because they have extra space). So there's a plus, if you're into that.

I still favor DVDs for their affordability, but BDs are getting cheaper all the time. You can get older movies for about $10 now. For new movies, I usually only spring for BD if it's a visual spectacle, something like Inception or Toy Story 3 (can't wait for these!), or a favorite, like Harry Potter.

The biggest drawback is that most of my friends don't have BD players yet, and I want to be able to watch my movies anywhere without lugging the PS3 around. But I think that's something that'll change in time. The players are getting cheaper too (if only the HDTVs would...)

10-07-2010, 02:30 PM
Great info people, thanks. The only thing I've noticed though is not all BDs are as loaded with special features as they should be. Some are but my copy of Misery is pretty barren.

I think I am slowly going to begin buying BDs instead of DVDs. As to upgrading DVDs I already own to Blu Ray, that may have to wait.

Diana Hignutt
10-07-2010, 03:04 PM
We have one of those High Def High Res DVD Players connected to our High DEf TV with HDMI cable. I can't see how blue-ray would be that much better.

10-07-2010, 04:22 PM
There's no major difference in quality between HD DVD and Blu-ray, but Blu-ray is now the accepted standard for pretty much every studio, so you're less likely to find HD films on anything except Blu-ray in future. Not sure what you have but the major competitor was HD DVD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD), developed by Toshiba, but which fizzled out in 2008 or so when most studios decided to support just Blu-ray.

10-07-2010, 07:15 PM
We have one of those High Def High Res DVD Players connected to our High DEf TV with HDMI cable. I can't see how blue-ray would be that much better.

In some cases it wouldn't be much better Diana. But in some there would be.

You're now talking about the difference between Digital Audio Tape or CD's for audio sound quality... how many people would truly notice a difference?

10-07-2010, 07:23 PM
Yes, HD DVD is the Betamax of its time.

*still has an old low-def TV*


Ditto. :(