I'm wondering what should be my strategy with forthcoming purchases. How much more should I be willing to pay for stuff that I essentially can't use for several years (assuming that I don't upgrade our bedroom TV). 4 Stars

I have a UHD HDR 3D player (Oppo 203) but my TV is a Viera ST60 [ last 3D plasma from about 2013 ]. Since I’m retired I will probably not upgrade my main TV for a while (maybe 5 years). I’ve gotten several 4K disks in the past — 4K/3D combos of Ghostbusters. Passengers, Guardians 2, and a couple of 4K only when the price difference was minimal — typically black friday specials when the 4K was 12.99 and the regular was 10.99. But now I’m wondering what should be my strategy with forthcoming purchases. How much more should I be willing to pay for stuff that I essentially can’t use for several years (assuming that I don’t upgrade our bedroom TV). At the moment I’m still buying 3D over 4K if no combo is available and buying the combo if it is and I want the movie.

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Josh Steinberg

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I'm on the fence with this too.

3D is my priority over UHD, so in instances where it's a choice between 3D or UHD, 3D is the clear winner for me. But for titles where the movie is 2D-only to begin with, that's a tougher call. I think it'll depend on what the price difference is. It seems that most studios are putting all of the bonus features on the BD version, and including that with the UHD, so it would seem that I wouldn't be at a disadvantage having the UHD and not being able to play it yet. It's not like the early BD/DVD combos where the bonus features tended to be only on the BD and not the included DVD, but were on the stand-alone DVD.

The thing I'm also keeping in mind is, how many Blu-rays have been redone since their original release, and how much cheaper is BD now than ten years ago? I don't necessarily want to pay $10-15 extra for a UHD today, only to find out that in a couple years they remaster the UHD, and then it's still cheaper to buy that remaster in the future than the amount extra I paid for the UHD today. At the moment, I'm leaning towards whatever is cheaper now, but I'm not sure that I'm always making the right call.
 

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a couple of 4K only when the price difference was minimal -- typically black friday specials when the 4K was 12.99 and the regular was 10.99.
That's what I'm doing. I have little interest in 4K, but have picked up a couple of 4K 2D only titles when the price was equivalent to the blu-ray version. I just upgraded to 3D and have no intention of moving to 4K until forced to do so by equipment failure or if they actually start making 4K the only physical media option.

I do have a 4K compatible player and AVR, but my current displays are HD/3D only.
 

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My advice is not to waste your money on discs you aren't going to look at for the next few years. Remember early blu-ray? Early DVD? All of the titles were rather quickly supplanted by remasters and upgrades in a few short years. Quality went up and prices came down.

If you buy them now you're likely going to want to upgrade them before you even remove the shrinkwrap.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I have a UHD HDR 3D player (Oppo 203) but my TV is a Viera ST60 [ last 3D plasma from about 2013 ]. Since I'm retired I will probably not upgrade my main TV for a while (maybe 5 years). I've gotten several 4K disks in the past -- 4K/3D combos of Ghostbusters. Passengers, Guardians 2, and a couple of 4K only when the price difference was minimal -- typically black friday specials when the 4K was 12.99 and the regular was 10.99. But now I'm wondering what should be my strategy with forthcoming purchases. How much more should I be willing to pay for stuff that I essentially can't use for several years (assuming that I don't upgrade our bedroom TV). At the moment I'm still buying 3D over 4K if no combo is available and buying the combo if it is and I want the movie.
I wouldn't buy any 4K discs if you're not going to upgrade anytime soon. Good luck to your ST60 lasting another five years.
 

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Good luck to your ST60 lasting another five years.
That's pretty much the gist of the question, ain't it?

Dick: I've got an Oppo 203 and 4k-capable Denon receiver. But an ST55. We're in pretty much the same boat.

I certainly don't want my ST55 (purchased in '12) to crap out on me. I love it. But we all know these things don't last forever.

I'm not buying every new release I want in the 4k format (if available), but I'm cherry-picking those that promise to be sensational whenever I DO get a 4k display. I also went out of my way to pick up the new 4k Groundhog Day (exclusive at Best Buy) since it's one of my all-time favorite films.

I figure that way I'll have some content to watch when I want to dial in my new display and put it through its paces! :D
 
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I've kind of jumped into the 4k world, as my Panny ST30 series crapped out earlier this month and I replaced it with a Vizio M series. I'm getting ready to move from an older Panny HTIB sound system to a newer Nakamichi soundbar which has 4k/HDR passthrough, so I figure at some point in the next year I'll upgrade to a 4k player as well (for now, I'm going to just use the BD player functionality of the old HTIB for playing discs as its still a great BD player). All this while just a few months ago I had ZERO plans to upgrade anything. But the plasma dying changed all that.

As for discs, I'm resolute that I won't replace my existing 800+ BD's with 4k upgrades. I might upgrade here and there (LOA, Ben-Hur, Guns of Navarone, the Bond series) but my plan is to be content with upscaled BD's for the majority of my collection. And I'm pretty sure a lot of the deep catalog titles in my collection won't get 4k discs anyhow.
 
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My primary display device is a projector. Not only is it still working fine, but a comparable 4K/HDR replacement goes for $5000 (Sony). When the Sony (or a legitimate contender) 4K/HDR projector comes down to $2000 I may consider it. Until then I see no reason to invest any additional money for a 4K/HDR blu-ray that will probably have been replaced with a superior release by the time I can support it.
 

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I don't buy them yet, even though I am salivating over 4K and will take the plunge as soon as prices become reasonable. It's the classic cart before the horse scenario in that the titles can be had for prices we can mostly handle but the gear required to render said content is out of range for most. I've lived through enough of these iterations to know that you have to let the dust settle before a clear path will emerge. I commend early adopters but I am usually not one of them as I need value for my dollars.
 
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(From a contrarian perspective).

I'm in a semi-long term "wait and see mode" in regard to 4Kbluray discs.

What immediately turned me off on 4Kbluray, is when I first heard that Sonopress manufactured 4Kbluray discs for Universal and Warner. (Dunno about other movie companies).

Sonopress is one of the worst bluray disc manufacturers. Many years ago some Criterion and WellGo bluray discs manufactured by Sonopress apparently went bad due to premature "bronzing". Since then, I don't trust anything made by them.


Compounding my distrust in a tangential mannaer, is Sony recently closing down their cd/dvd/bluray manufacturing lines at their large Terre Haute, Indiana disc manufacturing plant. No definitive word yet on whether 4Kbluray disc manufacturing will also be discontinued, whether soon or in the intermediate future.
 

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I bought a 4K UHD LG/3D while 3D sets were still available. I’ve got the Oppo 203 so I can watch 4K, 3D, and blu ray. I’ve got some 4K discs and I wonder “where’s the 4K?” I just watched a DVD (Tombstone) and was surprised how good it looked. If you can’t watch 4K, why pay the preimium price? By the time you get a 4K set, the discs may be a lot cheaper.

Let’s see, I’ve gone from VHS/Beta to DVD to Blu Ray to 3D to 4K. I skipped laser. I tired of upgrading.
 
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I suppose if you have no plans to EVER upgrade to a 4K TV 4K blu-rays may not make sense.

For me I eventually plan to get a 4K TV within the next 5 years.

In the meantime, my Sony UHD player will "downscale" to 1080p on the fly. It may be a maladjustment on my part on the TV I have but when I play 4K discs the blacks look blacker the colors look truer using the 4k disc.

The only movie I've had a chance to compare is Dunkirk (out of the Christopher Nolan 4K UHD set) and the blu-ray appears lighter with less shadow detail for the first sequence (when one of the lead characters makes it to the beach) than the 4k UHD disc downscaled.

My suggestion might be if you run in to a situation like mine where the blu-ray player seemed to struggle on some disc and hasn't had an update in 3 years. To consider purchasing a 4K UHD player virtually all of them (except X-Box one) should have the downscale feature with varying degrees of success.

The build quality on most of these units is far superior to the standard mass-market blu-ray players that i've seen available.
 

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I started out with VHS in the 1980s and changed to laserdiscs in 1990. Watching laserdiscs with a Dolby Pro Logic surround soundtrack on a 29 inch CRT TV was incredibly exciting - I'll never forget watching The Right Stuff and The Abyss and watching all my friends get blown away by the enormous, enveloping, sound! My dream was always to be able to be able to project a picture large enough in my living room, to be able to match the sound experience - and what I felt in the cinema.

When I purchased my first projector in 1999 (a Philips), I was so disappointed at how awful laserdiscs looked projected on to a big screen. I remember watching West Side Story, with a DTS soundtrack. The picture was so blurry and drained of colour. Laserdiscs disappeared right about that time and I stopped collecting for ten years. DVDs were hardly any better projected and the sound was worse than laserdiscs. When blu ray discs first appeared, I started collecting them at least a year before I purchased my first blu ray player. The first blu ray discs I bought were No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood in 2008. After a year I purchased a Panasonic projector - which wasn't full HD - and a blu ray player and I was quite impressed at how much better than laserdiscs and DVD the blu ray picture looked, although it wasn't close to cinema quality. The sound, however, was fantastic.

Since then, I've upgraded projectors with two HD Sonys and my screen has now enlarged to 120 inches. When I last upgraded in 2015, I projected Gravity and was disappointed that the reference blu ray did not look like film when projected so large. The picture quality was good, but not what I experienced in the cinema. But watching old films - ones that I'd owned since VHS - like Robocop, that were upgraded to blu ray with 4K scans, was indeed a treat. I guessed that 4K would provide that extra quality in resolution and colour, that was missing from blu ray. I started buying 4K discs just over a year ago. Downscaled to HD, I didn't notice any difference. I figured I was going to have to wait at least three years before being able to upgrade my projector.

Two weeks ago, I chanced into my local store, where they had a cheap 4K Optoma for $1500 in their demo room. I was very skeptical that such a cheap projector would work, but I was able to take it home and test it. With 4K discs from 4K DIs, such as The Revenant, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Fifth Element, Unforgiven, Dunkirk, Blade Runner and Planet Earth II, the picture was stunning. I was up all night! I saw Dunkirk in 70 mm last summer and the picture and sound at home were equally as good! After 30 years, the quality I have at home is equal to the local multiplex! The picture from 2K DIs don't have more resolution than blu ray, but the colour is more lifelike from a 4K disc. The differences in watching 4K discs of Get Out, Logan Lucky and Trainspotting 2, was negligible, compared to the blu rays. I have to switch off HDR, as the projected picture is too dark. Also, the DLP chip in the Optoma gives annoying rainbow artefacts, when watching black and white movies - I watched Criterion's Yojimbo and the rainbow artefacts were there all through the film and subtitles. I premiered Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the same friends that saw the horrible West Side Story laserdisc 20 years ago and they were simply amazed.

I'm glad I didn't wait three more years before upgrading. If I know a 4K disc is coming of a new release, I will no longer go to the cinema because the picture and sound I have at home is equal to what I can see in the local multiplex. The Optoma is cheap enough to tide me over until laser projectors from Sony become affordable and compact enough. I think it is really worth upgrading to 4K if you can project. On a screen with a smaller dimension than 100 inches, the difference in picture quality (apart from HDR, which I don't use), will be more subtle. I can't wait to see 2001 in 4K!
 

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I started out with VHS in the 1980s and changed to laserdiscs in 1990. Watching laserdiscs with a Dolby Pro Logic surround soundtrack on a 29 inch CRT TV was incredibly exciting - I'll never forget watching The Right Stuff and The Abyss and watching all my friends get blown away by the enormous, enveloping, sound! My dream was always to be able to be able to project a picture large enough in my living room, to be able to match the sound experience - and what I felt in the cinema.

When I purchased my first projector in 1999 (a Philips), I was so disappointed at how awful laserdiscs looked projected on to a big screen. I remember watching West Side Story, with a DTS soundtrack. The picture was so blurry and drained of colour. Laserdiscs disappeared right about that time and I stopped collecting for ten years. DVDs were hardly any better projected and the sound was worse than laserdiscs. When blu ray discs first appeared, I started collecting them at least a year before I purchased my first blu ray player. The first blu ray discs I bought were No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood in 2008. After a year I purchased a Panasonic projector - which wasn't full HD - and a blu ray player and I was quite impressed at how much better than laserdiscs and DVD the blu ray picture looked, although it wasn't close to cinema quality. The sound, however, was fantastic.

Since then, I've upgraded projectors with two HD Sonys and my screen has now enlarged to 120 inches. When I last upgraded in 2015, I projected Gravity and was disappointed that the reference blu ray did not look like film when projected so large. The picture quality was good, but not what I experienced in the cinema. But watching old films - ones that I'd owned since VHS - like Robocop, that were upgraded to blu ray with 4K scans, was indeed a treat. I guessed that 4K would provide that extra quality in resolution and colour, that was missing from blu ray. I started buying 4K discs just over a year ago. Downscaled to HD, I didn't notice any difference. I figured I was going to have to wait at least three years before being able to upgrade my projector.

Two weeks ago, I chanced into my local store, where they had a cheap 4K Optoma for $1500 in their demo room. I was very skeptical that such a cheap projector would work, but I was able to take it home and test it. With 4K discs from 4K DIs, such as The Revenant, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Fifth Element, Unforgiven, Dunkirk, Blade Runner and Planet Earth II, the picture was stunning. I was up all night! I saw Dunkirk in 70 mm last summer and the picture and sound at home were equally as good! After 30 years, the quality I have at home is equal to the local multiplex! The picture from 2K DIs don't have more resolution than blu ray, but the colour is more lifelike from a 4K disc. The differences in watching 4K discs of Get Out, Logan Lucky and Trainspotting 2, was negligible, compared to the blu rays. I have to switch off HDR, as the projected picture is too dark. Also, the DLP chip in the Optoma gives annoying rainbow artefacts, when watching black and white movies - I watched Criterion's Yojimbo and the rainbow artefacts were there all through the film and subtitles. I premiered Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the same friends that saw the horrible West Side Story laserdisc 20 years ago and they were simply amazed.

I'm glad I didn't wait three more years before upgrading. If I know a 4K disc is coming of a new release, I will no longer go to the cinema because the picture and sound I have at home is equal to what I can see in the local multiplex. The Optoma is cheap enough to tide me over until laser projectors from Sony become affordable and compact enough. I think it is really worth upgrading to 4K if you can project. On a screen with a smaller dimension than 100 inches, the difference in picture quality (apart from HDR, which I don't use), will be more subtle. I can't wait to see 2001 in 4K!
Very informative! Your situation is similar to mine and I'm waiting for the right moment to go 4K as 1080P just doesn't really pop on my 135" screen.
 

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I am buying 4K Blu-ray now over standard Blu-ray on new releases and older titles that are for sale at a good price.

I bought the Sony 800player for half price and a new Denon that handles all the new stuff.

My five year old 3D Vizio is still going strong so new tv won’t happen for at least another year.

Good thing about 4K is that you can still play them on your non 4K tv with a 4K player.
 

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Very informative! Your situation is similar to mine and I'm waiting for the right moment to go 4K as 1080P just doesn't really pop on my 135" screen.
Cheaper laser phosphor projectors are coming out this year, so hopefully you won't have to wait too much longer. Prices are coming down fast. The main challenge is the lamp brightness in 4K projectors - the increase in contrast and dark mastering of 4K discs craves a much more powerful lamp than 1080p projectors. My Optoma is supposedly 3000 ANSI lumens, but that is only possible with a "bright" setting that renders the picture completely green! One has to have complete control of ambient light in the viewing room too. Very important to be able to test a projector in your home before you buy! Good 1080p blu ray masters look fabulous projected in 4K - Criterion's The Breakfast Club is superb.
 
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Mike Frezon

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Good thing about 4K is that you can still play them on your non 4K tv with a 4K player.
I was advised NOT to do this, Tony, after I got my Oppo 203. IIRC, I was told I'd be better off playing the standard Blu-ray that comes in the package instead. I wasn't sure at the time that that made sense. But I'm also not very smart about these things so tend to do as advised. :unsure:
 

Robert Crawford

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I was advised NOT to do this, Tony, after I got my Oppo 203. IIRC, I was told I'd be better off playing the standard Blu-ray that comes in the package instead. I wasn't sure at the time that that made sense. But I'm also not very smart about these things so tend to do as advised. :unsure:
I would give it a try to see if it’s true or you can tell a difference.
 

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The only issue I’ve come across is a he discs that have the added HDR.
Sometimes it makes the picture very dark.

My player allows for lowering the setting of hdr. So that works pretty good.

Otherwise what reason could there be to advise against it? Did that person say?

I think it looks better than Blu-ray even though it’s downed to 1080p
 
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