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Randy The Tech Professor

January 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Just Say Nay To Blu-ray!

Hello everyone,

Today I would like to address the many video enthusiasts who may be considering buying a Blu-ray Disc player and/or the Blu-ray discs to go with it. As you can see by the title of this post, I’m not convinced by Blu-ray and I advise you to “tread carefully” when considering investing in Blu-ray. I firmly believe that Blu-ray is not going to have the same awesome impact that DVD did when it first came out and ever since. Optical discs will soon be a thing of the past as many netbook and notebook PC makers opt for disc-less designs in their computers (less weight, more room for a bigger battery). Let’s investigate further:

1) Some quick history:

In 2006, a format war began between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. These two high-definition optical disc formats were incompatible with each other and were attempting to improve upon and eventually replace the DVD standard (high- definition video resolution of 1080p compared to DVD’s 480p). Two years later in February 2008, Toshiba, the main company supporting HD DVD “raised the white flag” and the format war was over – Blu-ray was the victor! Blu-ray would now set the new standard and become the high-definition “king”! Blu-ray all the way! Right? Well, read on!!

2) Some revealing facts:

In 2009 (fully three years after the advent of Blu-ray), digital movies and TV shows generated more income than did Blu-ray. Digital movies generated almost twice as much income as Blu-ray, while DVD’s generated nine times as much income as Blu-ray!

3) Some key points to consider:

A) Without a doubt if you have a large screen HDTV (≈ 50″ or bigger), then a Blu-ray player will give you the best picture and sound quality on the planet. You will sit at home and say “wow”! You will think that you’re actually in the theater – which of course is the point! However, if your HDTV screen size is smaller than ≈ 50″ then it simply won’t be able to take full advantage of the color and detail information that’s on the Blu-ray disc. In my opinion it’s not worth the expense.

B) Up-scaled DVD’s look fantastic on a smaller HDTV screen. Any decent up-conversion DVD player (much less expensive than a Blu-ray player) will convert the DVD 480p to 1080i and it will be hard to tell the difference in image quality with the Blu-ray. DVD also looks very good on any non high-definition TV (digital SDTV).

C) DVD’s have been around for 12 years and consequently are more numerous (1,900 Blu-ray movie titles available compared to 105,000 DVD movie titles available). In addition, there are only 7 to 8 new Blu-ray releases per month compared to 900 new DVD releases each month. Many times you can’t find the movie that you’re looking for in the Blu-ray format!

D) Do you really want to start another video disc/player collection again? First I bought a VHS player and built up a nice collection of movie titles in VHS format, then I bought a DVD player and amassed a good collection of DVD’s videos. Am I now going to start yet another collection of expensive Blu-ray Discs and player? I think you know the answer! Just Say Nay To Blu-ray!!

E) Last but certainly not least: The future of accessing and watching video is by delivering it digitally through the Internet. Very soon all TV’s will come with ethernet jacks or wi-fi in them allowing you to buy, watch, and stream video content directly from the Internet. Right now Microsoft’s Xbox Live instantly streams from Netflix over the Internet to your TV and the incredible Roku box instantly streams high quality movies from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand. This is just the beginning. Online digital download of movies on Internet enabled TV’s will soon make discs and disc players practically obsolete.

Professor Randy says: Don’t buy another disc player nor start another collection of discs! Stick with your DVD’s for the moment and wait for online video to take over. Streaming video is the future!

  • Dave H
    4:14 am on January 26th, 2010 1

    Interesting concept. I do agree that movies will move to a file based delivery, though having a physical disc is important to many. My problem is the lack of devices that connect to HDTVs that play HD video formats. There is always “something” missing – No network connectivity, no support for certain file formats, no muli-channel audio support, crappy remote, etc.

    If someone builds a perfect device with good design, connectivity, and file support it would go a long way toward moving away from physical discs and tidying up living rooms around the world!


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