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Blue Ray vs DVD... what is the difference? Seriously?


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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted November 14 2010 - 03:02 PM

Figured I would put this in the "beginners" section since I am new to HD as of October when I switched from a 31" square picture tube to a flat panel. And so no one would scold or flame me in the blue ray area! Blue Ray vs DVD... what is the difference? What am I supposed to be seeing? Because I see no difference whatsoever. I have a 42" Samsung plasma TV and a PlayStation 3 I am watching Blue ray and DVD on using HDMI direct from TV to PS3 with component cables for audio to the receiver. Also a Zenith combo DVD/VCR. Now I can tell a difference between VHS and DVD on my flat panel, and a slight difference in the two players with DVD. But I blame that on the composite RCA cable hookup. I am watching movies from around 10 feet away. Is this a difference only seen up close? Do I need new glasses? Because the only difference I see is price! :P Seriously, what IS THE DIFFERENCE? :confused:

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 14 2010 - 03:49 PM

First, make sure that your bluray player correctly ID's your set and sends out the correct picture format. (like 1080P). The difference between a well mastered bluray disc and a DVD can be pretty stunning. Bluray, at 1080P (1920x1080 pixels or 2073600 total pix) is significantly greater resolution then even the best DVD can muster (720x480 resolution, or 345600 pix) by several magnitude. If it's setup correctly, the visual difference is stunning. Watch something like "Toy Story 3" on blu vs. DVD; the lines are finer, color is as close as it can be to the theatrical appearance. The difference for most part is strikingly different ;) If it's not visible to you, you might need to check the settings in your PS3 or check your glasses ;) Even with the best upscaler, DVDs will never look as close to the theatrical experience as Blu, and outside of a few titles I would consider "poor" the difference is spectacular. Avatar on Blu vs DVD? Star Trek? Etc. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder; my wife with cataracts in her eyes has a hard time telling apart SD TV from HDTV.. even though to me, SDTV is almost unwatchable.
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#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 14 2010 - 03:50 PM

I'm not surprised you don't see any difference with your setup. A 42" set is not very big, and you're sitting too far away from your set. If you were using a projector with a 106" diagonal screen like I do, you would definitely notice a difference.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 14 2010 - 04:10 PM

Just out of curiosity, what are "component cables for audio"?
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#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 14 2010 - 08:03 PM



Originally Posted by Michael Reuben 

Just out of curiosity, what are "component cables for audio"?



They must be for the hearing impaired.



#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted November 15 2010 - 01:57 AM

Also, if you have pretty good speakers, you should be able to hear a difference between Dolby Digital or DTS, and Dolby TrueHD or dtsHD Master Audio.

DD and DTS are "Lossy" (compressed) audio, and Dolby TrueHD and dtsHD Master Audio is "Lossless" (uncompressed) audio.


I think most of us can see and hear the differences between DVD and blu ray, or we probably wouldn't spend the money on the gear and movies, that we've spent. The bigger the screen, the easier it is to see the difference. The better the speakers, the easier it is to hear the difference. Plus age and condition of eyes and ears play a part too. I think a 30 yr. old will see and hear the difference better than a 75 yr. old. I could be wrong on that though........


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#7 of 19 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted November 15 2010 - 03:27 AM

I agree with much of what the others have said.


Blu-Ray offers both a video and audio advantage over DVD, but those advantages are most apparant if you have the rest of the equipment to realize the benefits.


10 feet from a 42" screen is too far away to fully benefit from 1080p.  Here are some guidelines to what seating distances are generally required to be able to fully discern the image improvement of 1080p vs. 720p.  Of course, eyesight also comes into play - these are simply guidelines, but regardless for a 42" set, you are definitely too far at 10 feet.


HDTV Seating Distance Chart

Viewing Distance Calculator (enter your own specs and calculate!)

1080p Distance to Screen (webpage loaded funky for me today, but still discernable)


When I upgraded to Blu-Ray - the improvement in audio was more astonishing than the video improvement (my projector is only 720p anyway).  Of course, I needed a receiver to decode the lossless audio formats.


I have told my dad on numerous occassions that Blu-Ray probably isn't worth it to him.  He has a nice, big TV, and sits close enough, but the TV is 720p so the video improvment would be slight, but not "blow you out of your seat" good.  Also, his receiver (HTiB, actually) won't cut it on the audio side.  He'd have to replace the whole dang system, and with his worsening eyesight and hearing, it's just not worth it.


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#8 of 19 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted November 15 2010 - 06:47 AM

Also, when you say you can't tell the difference, are you comparing the same film on DVD and Blu-ray? Because comparing two different films isn't going to tell you anything.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted November 15 2010 - 02:05 PM

OK, first, I am using 5 way COMPONENT cables through my Yamaha 7 channel receiver/amp for DVD, VHS, and satellite. I am running a 3 way component directly into TV (not HDMI, may switch later if is really better..IS IT?) and component cables split off of it to the receiver for audio for blue ray. For just TV viewing I am using optical cable to receiver. And no, I haven't compared with same titles. Also my TV is 720p.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Eddie W.

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Posted November 15 2010 - 02:25 PM

Well, therein lies your problem.   Although it's technically possible to output HD via component, the majority of Blu Ray discs/players will only output HD via HDMI.  I tried hooking my Samsung up via component to see if I could use the HDMI for something else & was amazing at how downgraded the picture was with component.  It looked exactly like a DVD, maybe even worse. Pick up a cheap HDMI cable & be prepared to be amazed.

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 15 2010 - 03:24 PM


Originally Posted by JoeCool6972 

OK, first, I am using 5 way COMPONENT cables through my Yamaha 7 channel receiver/amp for DVD, VHS, and satellite. I am running a 3 way component directly into TV (not HDMI, may switch later if is really better..IS IT?) and component cables split off of it to the receiver for audio for blue ray. For just TV viewing I am using optical cable to receiver. And no, I haven't compared with same titles. Also my TV is 720p.


With the following:


  • A 720p TV; and
  • Component instead of HDMI;
you are not getting the full resolution available from your Blu-ray player. However, there will still be a visible difference between Blu-ray and DVD, if you compare the same title. If you compare different titles, the difference will not be obvious, because no two films look alike.


And to answer your question, yes, HDMI does make a difference, but not so much at 720p.


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#12 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted January 06 2011 - 12:13 PM

Problem solved... OPERATOR ERROR, AKA I AM AN IDIOT! :rolleyes: I was messing with the settings on the PS3 tonight and learned it was still set up for my old Picture tube style TV. TV setting was 480i , video output was set at composite, and audio output was composite. After making changes such as 720p, 1080i, component video, and optical audio, THEN playing a bluray disc... I now see and hear a big difference!!! May make the switch to HDMI next...

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted January 06 2011 - 12:51 PM

I feel bad that you spent 2 months watching blu-rays scaled down to 480i. Not to make you feel even worse, but the very first response to your initial post said to make sure that your output was set correctly!

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted January 07 2011 - 11:42 AM

Just out of curiosity, what are "component cables for audio"?

Posted Image 5 way component cables... duh! :rolleyes:

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted January 07 2011 - 11:46 AM

I feel bad that you spent 2 months watching blu-rays scaled down to 480i. Not to make you feel even worse, but the very first response to your initial post said to make sure that your output was set correctly!

No kidding! I had no idea what the poster was talking about! I feel even more stupid now! :D I didn't know you had to set the PS3 up for screen size! DOH! :o ( I also did the same for the DVD player as well)

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted January 07 2011 - 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by JoeCool6972 [url=/forum/thread/305843/blue-ray-vs-dvd-what-is-the-difference-seriously#post_3768755]


That's a component video cable, joined together with an analog stereo audio cable. The fact that two cables have been stranded together for convenience does not create a new category of cable. Component connections are strictly for video, and they have three connectors. There is no such thing as a "component cable for audio" or a "5-way component cable".


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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeCool6972

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Posted January 09 2011 - 02:30 PM

Well, that is what the PACKAGING called it. :rolleyes: I love how some "know it alls" on here try to make everyone else feel stupid.... FAIL! :P

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 09 2011 - 03:24 PM

What you have are component cables for video and rca cables for audio. Blame it on the packaging, not the "know it all's"  . You should also be using an optical cable from the BR player to the receiver for audio instead of the rca cables. And yes, I also believe BR is much better than dvd but it also depends on the players. As with anything else there are some BR players that are better than others. It's abillity to up-convert standard dvd's to near HD quality is one of the ways some BR players, like the OPPO's, really stand out. But there are also some oustanding dvd discs out there that look very good, even in 480P. But as others have said, BR through component cables on a 42"  720P screen with rca cables for audio won't look or sound as good as a larger 1080P display hooked up with HDMI for both audio and video.
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#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted January 09 2011 - 03:38 PM


Originally Posted by JoeCool6972 [url=/forum/thread/305843/blue-ray-vs-dvd-what-is-the-difference-seriously#post_3769405]


All I did was provide accurate information. Lose the attitude, please.


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