Blu-ray format... Do you like it compared to DVD?

Before I get to my questions.
I would like you to know this is our first ventcher into boob tube home entertainment.

We have just replaced our Sony tv with a new Panasonic 37 inch LCD.
Prior to the purchase we were given a used Sony 6 channel surround with "small cube speakers" and a subwoofer, which B.T.W. passes my wife's approval.
A few days ago I mounted the speakers and had it up and running using our Sony tv.

That evening we watched a movie and the both of us enjoyed the added feature of the surround sound in our home.

The both of us are not complete strangers to home theater, we have watched movies in friends home.

Through out our marriage the both of us have never really been interested in spending hours on end in front of a tv.

I recall once having a bumber sticker many years ago that read..."Shoot Your T.V."

Anyway, here we are now.

Last night we watched two dvds on the new Panasonic tv.
Blue planet documentary and a movie called Layer Cake.
The dvds were recommended and lent to us for the weekend.

We enjoyed both of them ,however we were going to spread the time for watching the dvds for Friday and Saturday night, didn't happen, however I borrowed more.

My question to those of you that own a Blu-ray player, how do you like this format compared to standard dvd?

Which brand of player are you using also would it be worth buying into this format at this time?

The current dvd player we are using now is on short term loan.

Basically I would like to experience what this highly rated Consumer Report Panasonic tv can do.

If you have a 1080P TV = 1920 x 1080 pixels then there is no question that Blu-ray quality is better. Get Planet Earth by the BBC in HD and prepare to be gobsmacked!
You are using a very small TV (sorry, not trying to bash you, but 37" is small by modern standard) at that size it might be tough to fully appreciate the benefit of Blu-ray.

I personally run a 70" Sony and 42" Panasonic, both have had Blu-ray players on them since the format came out, and YES, it is a big step up, especially if your TV does 1080p, and the bigger the set, the bigger the difference.

FWIW I have had 5 different Blu-ray players, and my favorite to date is the new Sony BDP-S350, it loads amazingly fast, and with the addition of a memory stick (which can be had for a few dollars) it is Profile 2.0 should you ever want to use that. I got it on Amazon for $278, and with my vouchers, it cost me $148, tough to beat!
Yes our tv is 1920 x 1080.

We particularly liked the first series of Blue Planet.
Right from the beginning it had me thinking about a higher quality source/ format.
Not that the picture was flawed, I know the picture can be better. We did spend time looking at most of the brands and saw some great looking pictures.

I'll check out Planet Earth.

I can appreciate what your telling me regarding screen size.
Replacing our perfectly good Sony tube tv was purely my wife's idea.
The Sony tv sat in a cabinet/ book case and mini bar which is now gone including the tv.
This was one room in our home she felt needed a make over.

My reasoning/ protest for a larger screen including no need to buy new flooring and furniture for that one room fell short.

I was reminded I had my way with a 1000 square feet of our home for my two channel system.
The rest of the house is hers....Period

As for a Blu Ray player, we will look into them with anticipation.
OK, BluRay is better, but I don't see a big enough difference to change from DVD's, especially since I see BluRay as the 8-track of this decade. It's a stop gap. Anyone who has an AppleTV and has downloaded HD movies that I have talked to has the same impression that I do. The HD content looks so good off of the downloads, not as good as BluRay yet, that the logical next step in downloading to 1080p seems just on the horizon.

With that said, why would someon buy a very expensive single disc player (as I did)? I don't want to replace my hundreds of DVD's with BluRay discs, the difference in quality, to me, is not as noticable as say the change from VHS to DVD. Not even close.

Also, the current crop of upconverting multidisc players are so good the difference is just not that big.

I put my BluRay player in the bedroom with the LCD in there, it just didn't get used that much. I may just put it on eBay.

It may not be AppleTV but I think it, or some combination of other downloadable movie formats will be standard in the near future. If you want to keep the movie, you will download it to your network storage, which gets cheaper all the time.
I just don't get folks who are so in favor of HD downloads. Why spend the money for the download if you can buy a preowned blu for $10-15? Then watch as many times as you like. To download and keep the number of movies I think most of us want you would need several terabytes at a huge cost. Then think about backing up files?? I get pc audio but can someone explain how I'm wrong on HD video?
why store a disc, which has mechanical playback problems, by the very fact that it has to be played back, when you can access the same file on a hard drive?? I completely disagree with the cost of storage. Nothing in the tech world has fallen in price more than network storage, the same arguements were made for CD's a few years ago, now sales of CD's fall precipitously every year.

As for back up, that gets cheaper too. You can right now, go on line and buy a Drobo with 4TB of completely redundant no hassle, automatic storage and back up in a bundle for a little less than $1000. Next year that will be $500, and 2yrs from now that will be $400 for 10TB. Even without the inevitable file compression developments, that will store a lot of movies, and you won't need an expensive player to play it back.
OK, BluRay is better, but I don't see a big enough difference to change from DVD's, especially since I see BluRay as the 8-track of this decade. It's a stop gap.

Have you seen Blade Runner in BD compared to DVD? I mean it is like night and day. Same for Harry Potter. Same for Pirates of the Caribbean. I agree there is the odd movie where there is no improvement and I would not suggest to replace an entire DVD collection but it makes sense to be buying BD rather than DVD these days, IMHO
without a 1080p capability in your display, you will not see the benefit of blue ray as mentioned in prior posts. however, the costs of the blue ray player, and the blue ray dvd's cannot be justified. paying 3 times the price for a player, and double the price for the disc is shameful.

one alternative is to hedge the current generation of players, because blue ray is still evolving, and buy a sony play station3, and use it for a player until blue ray is fully supported by the players, and stable, then sell the playstation 3 (you may want to go to amazon to buy a real sony remote instead of using the supplied gamer type included with the unit)

cutting to the chase, theblue ray picture is very good, but not worth the money for a format that is due for more updates until it is worthy of a sizeable investment.
I run a 1080P projector with an 106" diagonal screen. Blue Ray is far superior. No comparison.
4k may be the next HD standard in the near future with 4X the resolution of blu-ray. Projectors are already available. But you'll need to get rid of those tiny 70-inch TVs and get something more like 150-inches (or just go wall-to-wall) so you can truly appreciate the format...
At the rediculous current Blu-Ray prices ($25 - $35 per title), I won't be making many purchases.
I WILL buy movies I love but my semi-vast DVD collection and Netflix Blu-Ray rentals will see me through to 4K.

My recently released Pioneer BDP-51FD upsampling (DVD) Blu-ray player has problems synchronizing dialog with the picture if I use slow-motion, pause, fast-forward/backward, etc.
Sometimes I must power down (hold the power button in for 10 seconds) when the platform freezes up.
Then I must sit through all of the FBI bully-chatter, previews, etc. to get to the main menu to restart the movie. Isn't the future fun!
I think that resolutions higher than 1080p are going to be in development for a long time before coming out...sure the projectors are available but that's a small piece of the puzzle...
I think blu-ray will be around for a while. there are many issues around the emergence of downloading HD movies including DRM, High-speed availability, copyright, collecting fees...
I really like my blu-ray. it's a little strange sometimes seeing the nuances of actor's skin on close-ups (and more obvious makeup) but for some material (like the aforementioned Planet Earth) the higher resolution is truly stunning!
My Blu-ray: the Sony PS3 - a great player at a decent price, with console abilities as well as music playing (even SACD) to boot.
And yes you will appreciate it, even on a 37-inch - I had a 34 inch HD SONY CRT that still has one of the best pictures I have ever seen (actually, LCD and Plasma still lag far behind the venerable CRT, although the OLED looks promising, but years away).
Hi all, thanks for your comments.
Currently we are hooked up to satellite program and will get a HD receiver including some hd programing of course.

At this early stage we can take advantage of any methods for entertainment be it player, satellite subscription, down loads, rentals and what have you coming in the near future.

The price of owning Bluray disk's at this time is ridiculous, especially if your building a library of movies ect.
We have no plans at this time building any sizable collection, the digital industry is ever evolving.
However, I guess this will depend on what you are satisfied with in the here and now.

Just a comment...
Back in the day when select 70mm film movie theaters existed ,I saw countless movies through out the mid 1970s and 1980s.
The movie theaters of today including many of its patrons and staff pale in comparison.

Blade Runner was one memorable movie mentioned above by Shadorne that we saw in one of these near extinct movie houses.
I understand in New York city there exist one or two, perhaps the only remaining big comfortable movie houses left on this continent.

Strick rules apply .
You show up late, you don't get in.
You talk and annoy other movie goers , you will be kicked out, or punched out.
Today, no conversations on your cell phone during a movie.
Serious patrons including the staff are intolerant and at times vicious toward jack asses.

Also no string of commercials at the beginning.
As it once was....

My memory of many 70 mm films that I saw back then compared to what I have seen so far with today's technology in movie theaters and in the home.
I understand why it's still has a way to go before it matures.

Then again ,it's what your satisfied with in the here and now.
FWIW - A $250 BD player can play DVD's too....just because you own one does not mean you are forced to buy every $35 release that comes out. I use common sense. I only buy movies that I really want - the others I wait until they show up on TV. Besides taking the family to a movie is even more expenisve!

FWIW: HALF the movie experience is sound - if you can't achieve the dynamic loud surround sound in a movie theatre then you will be missing half of it. IN that sense it is better to go to the movies if you don't have a high end HT (of similar quality to high end two channel).
I am always amazed to hear that some people don't see a dramatic difference between standard DVD and Blu Ray. To my eye it is night and day and if only my audio purchases were as dramatic I would be very happy indeed. I find that with Audio gear it is much more incremental.

At any rate, I have a 50" 720p plasma and as I don't care a great deal for much on TV I just run analog cable which looks pretty awful. I picked up an Oppo player which was highly regarded and it does a great job on standard DVD's. When I got into high def movies I found it to be a significant upgrade and at this point I hardly consider watching a standard DVD. Even if you don't have a 1080p TV the results are extremely impressive, to the point that I haven't even been tempted to upgrade my panel at all.

All that being said, just like with recorded music, some Blu Ray discs look better than others. The biggest thing that you have to get over is that because film has grain, many movies will have a grain to them especially on darker scenes but the detail will still be considerably better. To compare to the audio world, some great recordings have a bit of background noise or hiss but they can still be great recordings all the same. There is a website called High Def Digest which has great reviews listing content, picture quality and sound quality of each disc. It's a great resource to find out if the disc you are considering buying is actually a good transfer etc. The better discs should certainly impress though. If not, you should pay a visit to your local optometrist.
Playstation 3 Plays SACD?? Is that right??
((Playstation 3 Plays SACD?? Is that right??))

Has anyone noticed that 720p TVs seem to look slightly better on hi def TV and regular DVD? I was at Circuit City this morning and I compared some of the same brands with the only real difference being 720 or 1080p.

"I am always amazed to hear that some people don't see a dramatic difference between standard DVD and Blu Ray."

I watched "Into the Blue" (Paul Walker & Jessica Alba) on my upsampling player and saw a damn fine picture (for a DVD). It was extremely close to Blu-Ray quality.

Blu-Ray is a lot better with complex scenes e.g. the overhead shot of Madrid (with the bull ring) in "Bourne Ultimatum".
OK, I'm still going to save this thread and come back to it in 2010 when I think we will all be discussing what our download speeds are, and how good are the DAC's we use to decode our AppleLossless/WAV/FLAC files (and vinyl still of course), and BluRay will be a distant memory. But..... I actually didn't know that Playstation 3 also supports SACD, in fact, it was not easy to find that on the internet. Since it does, I may sell my 1 yr old BluRay player that I never use and buy a PS3. I'm not a gamer, but I have 3 kids who would love it, and I could play DVD's/SACD's/BluRay/Games/CD's that sounds pretty good.

I am assuming since it's a Sony the SACD play back is good? Can I use just the R & L analog outputs for SACD or do I have to go through the HDMI cable?

I don't buy many discs, I'm more of a Netflix guy. But the costs of discs have dropped a lot recently. If you keep an eye on Amazon, they have a lot of 40-50% deals on Blu-ray discs, including new releases.
"Has anyone noticed that 720p TVs seem to look slightly better on hi def TV
and regular DVD? "

It is an issue of pixels. If you have a TV with 1920 x 1080 pixels then it will
display HD 1080P as perfectly as possibly. If you have a different number of
pixels then it must interpolate and it will create blurring.

The reason many people find DVD's look better is that they may have a native
pixel resolution better suited to it - such as an EDTV. I find EDTV works very
with cable HD TV (which for me is all at 720P, so far) and DVD's - perhaps
better than a full 1920 x 1080 TV with the 720P signal or an upconverted
however, neither are as good with a full 1080p signal from a BD disc when
playing to the proper 1920 x 1080 pixel TV!

I hope this clears up why people have different opinions...a lot of it has to do
with the pixels and how they match the source signal....
Back to my original question...

What are your top choice's of dvd's and Blu-ray disc's that stand out on your screen's?...

Also has anyone done a direct comparison of one of your favorite dvd's played through a good dvd player then the same disc played through a good Blu-ray player?

I should also include reissue Blu-ray disc's compared to a dvd of the same documentary, movie or what have you played through a Blu-ray machine of course.
I have a 71" 1080p DLP television and a 240" projection screen.

As the picture gets bigger, blu-ray really shows its stuff and the differences in regular dvd and blu-ray become more apparent.

You will get more benefit from blu-ray as your screen gets larger.
It should not be forgotten that higher resolution video is not the only benefit of Blu Ray.

I am equally impressed with the ability of Blu Ray to have either uncompressed 5.1, or lossless 5.1 (TrueHD or Master Audio HD) audio. These audio formats beat the pants off of compressed DTS or Dolby, and add tremendously to the movie experience.

BTW, Playstation 3 will output these formats in PCM via HDMI, so any AVR that can handle multi channel digital input can give you great audio.

Also, one more footnote on PS3, the 40 gb model will not handle SACD.
I have a 55" rear projection LCD HDTV which is just 720P in native mode. 1080p has twice the pixels, and I look forward to the day I can upgrade to it.

Even so, once I saw my first HD DVD on my 720p display 1-1/2 years ago I decided then and there that I would *never* waste money buying another std-def DVD again. Since HD DVD went in the crapper I've gotten a PS3 for Blu-ray and my opinion hasn't changed. I rent only HD DVD and Blu-ray from Netflix and I'll rent a std-def DVD if it's the only way to see a film I really want to see, but I won't buy it.

What the other respondents say about 37" is also true; the difference in resolution becomes more evident with bigger screen sizes. With a 42" 1080p, you can't see the pixels unless you're less than a foot from the TV.
Only the 80gb and now defunct 60gb ps3 plays sacd's.
Those complaining about the cost of BD disks and players obviously haven't looked at them in a while. Blu-Ray players are currently available for $299. and under and will routinely be available after Thanksgiving for less than $200. I haven't paid more than $22. for any of the last 10 discs I've purchased at Amazon and Sam's Club. Sure, they'll be slightly more if you're buying the newest discs to hit the street - but that always applied to regular DVD too. Prices on all things Blu-Ray are continuing to drop significantly.

I also agree totally with "audionudge": "I am equally impressed with the ability of Blu Ray to have either uncompressed 5.1, or lossless 5.1 (TrueHD or Master Audio HD) audio. These audio formats beat the pants off of compressed DTS or Dolby, and add tremendously to the movie experience."

We get togther with 2-3 other couples on a Saturday night one or twice a month and watch concert video's on my 67" Samsung LED/DLP with Pioneer Elite SC-07 receiver and Pioneer BDP-51 Blue Ray player and it's wonderful. Like being there, but without all the hassles!

But I do agree with the comments above that you probably won't benefit from this technology on a 37" screen unless you get extremely close. Good luck, whatever you decide.
@Macdadtexas stated: "OK, BluRay is better, but I don't see a big enough difference to change from DVD's....Anyone who has an AppleTV and has downloaded HD movies that I have talked to has the same impression that I do. The HD content looks so good off of the downloads, not as good as BluRay yet, that the logical next step in downloading to 1080p seems just on the horizon."

What you're stating here is not a difference between AppleTV HD movies and BluRay movies, but a difference in downloading HD movies either filmed originally in that format or CLEARLY a better DVD transfer to Blu-Ray/High-Def format that you're noticing. Blu-Ray is only visibly better when the content on the media is using its bandwidth and storage capabilities fully. What I mean by that is that cheap-ass publishing studios often times cut corners to not properly do a good transfer from DVD > Blu-Ray and sometimes the consumer is just better off buying a nice upconverter for their DVD collection, but even then you'll notice a BIG difference as it's one thing to upconvert a video and another to see a higher bitrate video with more "content" on a 780p or 1080p blu-ray title. Like another poster said, Blade Runner in 1080p (correct transfer to Blu-Ray) is absolutely beautiful compared to the DVD version.

Again, all of this is because awesome compression standards like H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 10 or MPGE-4 AVC is pushing higher resolution video at better compression which allows it to be delivered either as a streamed product (ala AppleTV) or download via H.264 movies. I agree with you that disc based media will go the way of the CDs as MP3s and the iPOD did for audio, high-def content revenues will be downloaded or streamed through other means. Blu-Ray discs will remain, but the future is in delivery of content not retail.
No contest: the only thing Blu Ray has a disadvatange is boot up time....
blu ray disadvantages
boot time

the picture quality on all but the worst done transfers justifies the expense

the new Godfather restorations - although not pristine by today's standards, totally revitalizes the films

Check out the new Sony's, I have the BDP-S350 and it boots even notoriously slow discs like POTC almost instantly!!!

Load time no longer is an issue, cost is reasonable and FWIW if you buy discs off Amazon, they run ~$18 (at least that has been my experience)