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Discussion in 'DVD' started by battlebeast, Nov 2, 2012.
I have almost ALL Best Picture Nominees on DVD. Should I Upgrade to Blu Ray? Is it worth it?
Is a loaded question.
What display do you currently have?
What DVD player do you currently have?
And that "move to BD" is often a disc by disc decision. There are some...
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
That, by themselves, are worth the upgrade...
Where others are "Really, that is what they came up with?"
Patton (this is the only one that needs in the list to prove the point)
Given that you can buy a solid player for around $80, why not? It will still play your existing DVDs, and in many cases do a fine job upscaling them. You can replace all, some or none of your existing discs, and just buy blu-rays from this point forward.
It's all in the details. For example, in my case it may not make as much sense. The current DVD player upconverts, is region free and PAL/NTSC agnostic, an important set of features given the scope of my collection. Finding similar features in a Blu player, while not impossible, is typically more expensive. And then of course there's the fact that the display is a 32" 720p. Nothing wrong with it, but hardly the type of setup that really screams a need for Blu.
The point being of course, is that it all depends.
It's usually reasonably straightforward to change a BD player to be multiregion for DVD playback. Indeed, it is often just a case of using unlocking codes, just like you do for a DVD only player.
This is because DVD region coding was a relatively late add-on to the DVD specification, which originally intended a truly universal format, where any player would be able to play any disc. Of course the studios got in on the act and got frantic over the idea that someone might import a blockbuster film on DVD from the US rather than wait six months for it to be shown in local theatres, or anothe ryear for a local DVD to come out. But anyway for this reason, DVD coding is extremely insecure and easy to defeat because in essence it is just flag checking.
Moreover, it is cheaper to design and build just one model of DVd player and then tweak it as it exists the factories for region. That's why a player's region code is often just buried in the player's secret factory menu, or changed using secret codes.
BluRay region coding was in the specification from the start and it is much stronger as is the encryption/copy protection. Moreover, it (and copy protection) is also subject to regular changes - that's why you need to keep your player up to date or it may refuse to play the latest releases.
For this reason, many players require modifying at the hardware level to enable BD multiregion and there is no guarantee a mod will survive an update. The best modded players actually contain two editions of the operating system - that's how Oppo do it for example. In essence you have two player sin one case as far as the updates are concerned, one for each region (which are usually A and B, since by far the largest interest is for Europeans to be able to play US discs, and vice versa)
The irony of this is that almost all films simultaneously release worldwide to both theatres and home video so lots of studios don;t even bother to region code their BluRays at all. The only reason you really want to import a BluRay now is not to avoid a wait to see something, but only if there's no local release, or the local censor has cut it.
Interesting that it's easy to unlock most Blus for DVD playback. Out of curiousity, do most of them play the PAL formatted discs once unlocked? It's one thing to unlock the region, yet another to support a format. A lesson I learned years ago from a cheap supposed "region free" DVD player.
With my Blu-ray purchasing, I've just replaced my favorites and pick up new releases on Blu-ray. For example, I enjoy Citizen Kane but I don't watch it enough that I need to rebuy it on Blu-ray. However, something like the Indiana Jones movies I was happy to buy on Blu-ray because I watch them more often.
In short, my advice would be to rebuy your favorite/most watched titles but replacing everything seems unneccesary.
I buy all new movies on Blu-ray. I already have a significant collection of DVDs amassed since 1997, and my Blu-ray "upgrade" policy has been:
1. If there's something wrong with the DVD I have, such as a poor transfer, wrong aspect ratio, scratched or otherwise unwatchable, then I'll upgrade to the Blu-ray.
2. If there is considerable value added to the Blu-ray edition that my DVD lacks, such as super special features, then I might upgrade.
3. If the movie is one of my absolute favorites, one that I watch often, then I'll upgrade.
4. If the Blu-ray edition is at a great price that I just can't refuse, I won't refuse to upgrade.
I have not upgraded many of my DVDs to Blu-ray yet. One of the reasons I waited for DVD to come out before I started collecting movies in the first place was so that the quality wouldn't degrade over time, like with VHS. And true enough, my DVDs bought in 1997 look just as good now as they did then. Of course, my eye is more discriminating now, and technology is better, and bigger, now. But 13 years from now we'll all have 3D 8k displays anyway, and I don't want to get on the media upgrade treadmill for no reason.
And to add this wrinkle...as here is my movie watching ratio...
In "some instances" there is the reason to own BOTH the DVD and BD of a movie...and the one I use to show that scenario...
I can only say that from a UK perspective then all our players can support both PAL and NTSC. That's because the Region-2 DVd code covers both Europe and Japan, and Europe (or a lot of it) is PAL whilst Japan used NTSC. So we share a DVD region code but have different TV standards, so any player sold here can be relied upon to support NTSC.
Of course, that's not the case in the USA so whilst region code might be easy to fix, some players may not supoprt PAL.
We're already past the point of diminishing returns, though. There's only so much information that can be squeezed out of a 35mm film frame. For the vast majority of films shot on 35mm, and made prior to about 1990, you're just not going to see much of a difference between blu-ray and 4K (or even 8K).
Additionally, the smaller your TV screen, the less benefit you will see also. If you've got a 60-inch-plus TV or a projector, then the limitations of standard definition and benefits of BluRay are instantly obvious. But the smaller your TV, the less important it becomes. If it's smaller than 40-inch then I'd really question bothering at all.
While it's true that the bigger your screen, the more you'll be able to notice the upgrade, I've seen Blu-rays and DVDs on a 32 inch HDTV and can easily tell the difference between them. I've even hooked up a Blu-ray player to a 10 year old 20 inch standard definition TV and I can tell that the picture is even slightly better than DVD there.
I can frequently tell a difference too, but it's often in the awful tweaking they've done to the Blu to make it more acceptable to younger audiences. Changes to the color timing, overall brightness, etc. Beyond that, I've found it to be diminishing returns on smaller displays.