Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Technically-oriented discussion of classic films on everything from 35mm to Blu-Ray
Brad Moore
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Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Brad Moore » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:54 am

I'm sure this has been discussed in one way or another. I don't own a Blu-Ray player, and don't foresee buying one in the future. I have a perfectly nice working Sony DVD player, and have no problem with the image seen through my RCA Television. I'm frustrated with new releases coming out in Blu-Ray only. Its forcing people too give up on their perfectly well working players and discs, for something new, that could be obsolete in 5 years for something new and improved. Its seems a bit controlling on their part too, that a Blu-Ray player will play both, but a DVD player will only play DVD'S.

In the past with film, which I'm still a large collector, you had the choice of collecting 8mm, super 8, and 16mm, and there were some projectors that would allow you to play both 8mm, and super 8. I miss the right to choose, not to mention that CD'S are said to be stopped being made within a year, and everything will be downloaded. I for one enjoy hard copy. I collect and play records, tapes, and cd's too. There is something about holding the album or cd in your hand, and looking at the cover, and reading what ever liner notes or pictures it may have.

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Mike Gebert
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:31 am

They make DVD players that can play blu-rays. They're called blu-ray players. When you can get either one for as little as $50, the distinction is pretty academic.

What releases have been in blu-ray only? I don't doubt that there are a few, but I can't think of any offhand.
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Christopher Jacobs
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Christopher Jacobs » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:11 am

From what I've seen, there are still substantially more DVD-only releases coming out than DVD/Blu-ray combo or Blu-ray only (the latter of which I've never seen yet). As Mike said, a Blu-ray player IS also a DVD player (and also a CD player), and not only that, but it will upscale your DVDs to look noticeably sharper on an HDTV set than they would look through an old DVD player. I don't see any problem there at all with backwards compatability, whereas the introduction of DVD in the 1990s immediately made VHS obsolete and required two separate players (or clunky combination players), and once DVD recorders were introduced, VHS became the modern equivalent of the 78 rpm record player.

As far as 8mm and Super 8 film, I don't know of any companies releasing new titles in either format and can't recall any new Super 8 film prints being made for at least 20-25 years now. They're only for collectors of nostalgic artifacts rather than for people who actually want to watch the films, most of which are readily available for drastically lower prices at equal or better quality on DVD (and drastically better quality on Blu-ray if they can be found in that format). Those of us who have been collecting 16mm lost our two largest sources for brand-new film prints within the past five years, and even those were print-to-order specialty items by that point.

If you don't yet have an HDTV, there's no need to get a Blu-ray player yet. As soon as you get an HDTV set, you will want to get a Blu-ray player, and the longer you wait, the cheaper they'll likely be.

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greta de groat
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:16 am

Hmmm, we have an HD monitor here at work, with a DVD player and Blu-Ray player attached. And for some reason the blu-rays are really grainy. Even Barry Lyndon looked terrible. Much worse than the DVDs. Is there some bonehead setting that we need to make or something? It's not crucial to our work (we use it just to look at credits and identify special features and language/subtitle options), but it makes me wonder about "upgrading" to HDTV and Blu-Ray at home.

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Paul Penna
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Paul Penna » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:49 am

greta de groat wrote:Hmmm, we have an HD monitor here at work, with a DVD player and Blu-Ray player attached. And for some reason the blu-rays are really grainy. Even Barry Lyndon looked terrible. Much worse than the DVDs. Is there some bonehead setting that we need to make or something? It's not crucial to our work (we use it just to look at credits and identify special features and language/subtitle options), but it makes me wonder about "upgrading" to HDTV and Blu-Ray at home.
Assuming it's not a connection issue (should be via HDMI cables), one thing that could make both sources look grainy is having the monitor's sharpness control turned too high.

What you're seeing is not at all typical of Blu-Ray or DVD vs. Blu-Ray.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Brad Moore » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:54 pm

I'm a collector of film, and watch them all the time. I would rather sit down and watch a reel film on film, than watching it on a DVD. I know there aren't any new companies releasing film, except for Derran which just went out of business. For me there has always been something special about threading a projector and watching the image project through a light on a screen. I do a weekly film series, and only show film. Most of what I show are films from the 20's and early 30's. For a lot of the silents I have musician friends who will either play piano, and or fiddle along with the films. It always a lot of fun. 8)

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Jim Roots
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:02 pm

Really? Blu-Ray players will play ordinary DVD's? I didn't know that. I've been concerned that maybe I should buy two or three DVD players now for the future, since they don't generally seem to last more than a few years.

I'm not on the Blu-Ray bandwagon and have no intention of getting on it. I've had enough of being forced to change entire formats and collections just to make profits for the corporate-technological greedsucks. Downloads are already making Blu-Ray obsolete, anyway.

The "clunky" DVD-VHS combo players are good value for the money. My family has boatloads of VHS films -- and probably half of my silent comedy collection is VHS because I had more money in the 1990s (had fewer kids back then). I'm re-watching them these days, happy to see they haven't rotted or turned to glue. VHS-only players are still fine. DVD-VHS hybrids sometimes get streaks on VHS playback. That's their only problem.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:19 pm

Brad Moore wrote:... not to mention that CD'S are said to be stopped being made within a year,
I can't see this happening. Where did you get this info?

Regarding the DVD/Blu Ray thing I've not "upgraded" to Blu. I'm quite happy with my DVDs at the moment. I also enjoy film but these days can't be bothered to even set up the equipment.
:D

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Harold Aherne
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Harold Aherne » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:41 pm

As for BR-only releases, there are a few, most notably the upcoming slate for Twilight Time (the company that licenses Fox and now Columbia films). See the last couple pages of this HTF thread:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/30680 ... light-time

I'm also not aware that the recent Image Phantom of the Opera had a direct DVD equivalent.

If a silent or early talkie that's completely new to home video gets released on BR only, I'd probably buy it, but with teeth clenched. I refuse on principle to buy BRs of titles I already have on DVD, because I really don't want to have any part in the format treadmill (to borrow and modify a phrase from Steven Pinker).

Now, off to listen to some shellac...

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by ColemanShedman » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:28 pm

To each his or her own. If you have an HDTV, I can't imagine not having a bluray player. I don't replace all my DVDs...depends on how much I like the movie. The ones I do replace I can usually sell on amazon and get some of the money back.

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Jim Reid
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Jim Reid » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:04 pm

I don't understand something. All television is converting to high-definition. A high definitiion disc format is developed and marketed, being backward compatible so it plays all your old DVDs. How again is this a personal insult to some people?

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ymmv
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by ymmv » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:25 pm

Jim Reid wrote:I don't understand something. All television is converting to high-definition. A high definition disc format is developed and marketed, being backward compatible so it plays all your old DVDs. How again is this a personal insult to some people?
Because of the misunderstanding that Blu-Ray players don't play DVDs. A lot of people think they have to replace their entire DVD collection when they get a Blu-Ray player. Nonsense of course.

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ymmv
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by ymmv » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:31 pm

Paul Penna wrote:
greta de groat wrote:Hmmm, we have an HD monitor here at work, with a DVD player and Blu-Ray player attached. And for some reason the blu-rays are really grainy. Even Barry Lyndon looked terrible. Much worse than the DVDs. Is there some bonehead setting that we need to make or something? It's not crucial to our work (we use it just to look at credits and identify special features and language/subtitle options), but it makes me wonder about "upgrading" to HDTV and Blu-Ray at home.
Assuming it's not a connection issue (should be via HDMI cables), one thing that could make both sources look grainy is having the monitor's sharpness control turned too high.

What you're seeing is not at all typical of Blu-Ray or DVD vs. Blu-Ray.
DVD Beaver has a number of screen captures from the Blu-Ray edition here:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm" target="_blank

I can't say the movie looks extremely grainy. It is true however that grain is more noticeable in HD, but that's only because the image resolution is high enough that it becomes visible. I actually like grain (in moderation), it makes a digital movie more like cinema.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:44 pm

As I stated elsewhere, my general rule is not to buy the same movie in two formats in a row. Sometimes, though, you see The Adventures of Robin Hood for $10 at Target and, well... I certainly have no qualms about spending $20 to get a favorite movie in a version ten times better than the laserdisc I bought in 1996, though.
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Christopher Jacobs
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Christopher Jacobs » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:08 pm

greta de groat wrote:Hmmm, we have an HD monitor here at work, with a DVD player and Blu-Ray player attached. And for some reason the blu-rays are really grainy. Even Barry Lyndon looked terrible. Much worse than the DVDs. Is there some bonehead setting that we need to make or something? It's not crucial to our work (we use it just to look at credits and identify special features and language/subtitle options), but it makes me wonder about "upgrading" to HDTV and Blu-Ray at home.

greta
The Blu-ray of BARRY LYNDON projected through my HD projector to about seven feet wide and sitting about eight or ten feet away looked exactly as I remember seeing it in 35mm blown up to about 44 feet wide and sitting 50-60 feet away. You may have a bad player (I've always had problems with every Samsung player I've used and different problems with various others on occasion), or most likely a bad connection (bad HDMI cable or not using the HDMI output).

There is no pressing reason to buy the Blu-ray version of the same title you already have on a perfectly good DVD in an identical version (not a different "director's cut" or alternate preview cut, etc.) -- unless you want to. A good DVD played on a Blu-ray player, as I've noted in several other topic threads, usually looks much better than the same DVD played on a DVD player, and in some cases looks as good as or even better than some Blu-rays that are mastered with too much video noise reduction to reduce the appearance of film grain. Too much digital enhancement in the mastering and/or in the player and/or monitor settings will soften the image to the point that it's virtually indistinguishable from a standard-resolution DVD and sometimes looks worse. Too many video companies fail to realize that the film grain is what contains the picture information, and eliminating it will degrade the picture and defeat the entire purpose of a high-definition format.

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greta de groat
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:08 pm

ymmv wrote:
Paul Penna wrote:
greta de groat wrote:Hmmm, we have an HD monitor here at work, with a DVD player and Blu-Ray player attached. And for some reason the blu-rays are really grainy. Even Barry Lyndon looked terrible. Much worse than the DVDs. Is there some bonehead setting that we need to make or something? It's not crucial to our work (we use it just to look at credits and identify special features and language/subtitle options), but it makes me wonder about "upgrading" to HDTV and Blu-Ray at home.
Assuming it's not a connection issue (should be via HDMI cables), one thing that could make both sources look grainy is having the monitor's sharpness control turned too high.

What you're seeing is not at all typical of Blu-Ray or DVD vs. Blu-Ray.
DVD Beaver has a number of screen captures from the Blu-Ray edition here:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm" target="_blank" target="_blank

I can't say the movie looks extremely grainy. It is true however that grain is more noticeable in HD, but that's only because the image resolution is high enough that it becomes visible. I actually like grain (in moderation), it makes a digital movie more like cinema.
Wow, mine sure doesn't look like that. I just pulled out the Superman box set, and Superman Returns looks fine, but the original Superman and Superman IV have huge swimming grains that look like speckly things turning on and off. It's really noticable on faces. Curiously, i'm remembering that when i've notice a particularly bad picture, it's always an older film. Back to the Future looks bad, also Trainspostting, Salò, Dressed to Kill, Orpheus. Worst i've seen was the credits of Easy Rider, and i think that was Criterion. Surprisingly, Back to the future III doesn't look as bad, and Trainspotting had previews, some of which look ok. Graphics seem to look fine. I can see grain on the DVD of The Magician when i play it on that player, but it doesn't seem so bothersome.

Perhaps i'm sitting too close to the monitor? I'm sitting right in front of it (it's on a desk) and it's definitely not as noticible if i move 3-4 feet away. It's a smallish monitor (maybe 20 in.), but seems like if it was a big monitor the grain would be that much bigger--i mean, if i had a big one filling my field of vision, it seems like it would be really noticable.

I can't find a sharpness control on my monitor.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Paul Penna » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:18 pm

greta de groat wrote:
I can't find a sharpness control on my monitor.
If you mean a physical button somewhere on the monitor case (fusilage?), chances are there isn't one. Picture controls are usually brought up in an on-screen menu. There's possibly a menu button on the monitor fusilage but almost definitely on the remote. Once that comes up navigate around until you come to the picture controls. Some monitors come with the sharpness setting already cranked up too high. I wouldn't be surprised if the contrast was up too high as well; that could also tend to exacerbate the graininess problem. These controls often get set that way at the factory under the assumption that those settings will make the image look "good" to most people. Also I think you are definitely sitting too close.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:07 am

I'm not sure who put these out:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marx-Brothers-C ... 849&sr=1-4" target="_blank

but they look fine on my DVD player, very sharp. Play them on my son's Blu Ray and 50ins TV and they are grainy as hell.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by ymmv » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:47 am

Michael O'Regan wrote:I'm not sure who put these out:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marx-Brothers-C ... 849&sr=1-4" target="_blank" target="_blank

but they look fine on my DVD player, very sharp. Play them on my son's Blu Ray and 50ins TV and they are grainy as hell.
If that's the case, either your son's Blu-Ray player/HDTV is setup incorrectly, or you're used to watching DVDs on a very small TV and you're surprised to find that standard defintion doesn't look as good on a TV that's a lot bigger because small defects are blown up.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:35 pm

ymmv wrote:
Jim Reid wrote:I don't understand something. All television is converting to high-definition. A high definition disc format is developed and marketed, being backward compatible so it plays all your old DVDs. How again is this a personal insult to some people?
Because of the misunderstanding that Blu-Ray players don't play DVDs. A lot of people think they have to replace their entire DVD collection when they get a Blu-Ray player. Nonsense of course.
Then the logical thing would be for Blu-Ray manufacturers to educate consumers on this point in order to sell more players. But that won't happen because they and the production houses want you to go out and not only buy Blu-Ray players but also buy your entire collections all over again and make them even richer than they already are.

Jim

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Jim Reid
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Jim Reid » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:48 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Then the logical thing would be for Blu-Ray manufacturers to educate consumers on this point in order to sell more players. But that won't happen because they and the production houses want you to go out and not only buy Blu-Ray players but also buy your entire collections all over again and make them even richer than they already are.
Execpt for the fact that every piece of literature I've seen from blu-ray manufacturers and sellers make a strong point of stating that all your regular DVDs will play. Yes, the primary reason for this machine to exist is to play blu-ray discs. You can't blame everyone else when you don't check out what is an incorrect assumption on your part.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:56 pm

ymmv wrote:
Michael O'Regan wrote:I'm not sure who put these out:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marx-Brothers-C ... 849&sr=1-4" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

but they look fine on my DVD player, very sharp. Play them on my son's Blu Ray and 50ins TV and they are grainy as hell.
If that's the case, either your son's Blu-Ray player/HDTV is setup incorrectly, or you're used to watching DVDs on a very small TV and you're surprised to find that standard defintion doesn't look as good on a TV that's a lot bigger because small defects are blown up.
But, his player and HDTV play all of his DVDs nicely. From what I've seen they all look great.
My own TV is a 42ins so it's not that much smaller.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Changsham » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:06 pm

I have both Blu Ray and standard DVD players. The DVD player a $30 cheepo gets more use because it is region free coded.
At this stage I am not too concerned about watching old films on Blu Ray unless they are fully restored and remastered.

As for HDTV, I am now annoyed with myself that I bought a LCD LED TV. Should have got a Plasma. The jerkiness of the image and poor B&W contrast of LCD's is tiring not ideal for watching old B&W films. My old CRT was far better.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:39 pm

But, his player and HDTV play all of his DVDs nicely. From what I've seen they all look great.
My own TV is a 42ins so it's not that much smaller.
You must be right then. DVDs are actually higher resolution than high definition. You actually see less information on blu-ray, and even less on 35mm.
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Rick Lanham » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:27 pm

Real life is blurry by comparison. In fact, they must have gotten "blu-ray" from blurry.

Rick

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Paul Penna » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:22 am

Rick Lanham wrote:Real life is blurry by comparison. In fact, they must have gotten "blu-ray" from blurry.
And talk about grain; this is why I can't stand going to the beach or the desert. And don't get me started on those white specks in the night sky.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:23 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
But, his player and HDTV play all of his DVDs nicely. From what I've seen they all look great.
My own TV is a 42ins so it's not that much smaller.
You must be right then. DVDs are actually higher resolution than high definition. You actually see less information on blu-ray, and even less on 35mm.
I don't think I'm "right".
I'm just interested in that particular set.
Once again, why the sarcasm? It's very unbecoming of you.
:?

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Christopher Jacobs » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:23 pm

There are actually a number of DVDs whose encoding and authoring result in their actually looking better when played on a standard DVD player through a standard-definition monitor or "medium-resolution" projector (e.g., 1024x768) than they do played on a full-HD 1920x1080 screen, whether with or without upscaling. I don't know why this should be, but it likely has to do with the compression process that may give a smooth-looking picture at lower resolutions, but is revealed in all its blocky and smeary low-res approximation of an image by certain players and monitors that apparently can't deal appropriately with the compression schemes used for those files.

A perfectly made video transfer will reproduce whatever film grain is in its original source, and should do so, since the grain is what contains the image information on film. A video image, however, is made up of rows and columns of pixels, not randomly-dispersed grains of photosensitive emulsion. The so-called "graininess" of a video image is actually video noise, which we used to call "snow" back in analog over-the-air broadcast days. Underexposed film that is push-processed winds up increasing grain size to get a watchable image. Underexposed video that is electronically boosted winds up boosting and/or introducing more electronic video "noise" into the picture. Digital video noise reduction can smooth this out, but when taken too far will also eliminate image details. And if the video has already been compressed before it is boosted, there's really nothing there to boost so all sorts of blocky digital artifacts start showing up. Video compression and "enhancement" can be a fine art that requires a practiced eye to avoid ruining what picture is there. Some compression/decompression schemes manage to hide video noise reasonably well while others make it look worse, and if it's there to begin with some players/monitors manage to smooth it out so you barely notice it whereas others make it look even worse than it is (or display every fault so you can actually see how bad it is). I know that home-authored DVDs using Final Cut and DVD Studio Pro never look nearly as sharp as most commercially authored and mastered DVDs when viewed on a high-definition monitor or projector, but look virtually identical on a standard CRT television set or through a 1024x768 projector.

A properly-mastered and authored standard DVD should actually look SHARPER when upscaled to 1080p, but the sad fact is that a few actually look worse. Some Blu-rays are also authored with so much compression, digital noise reduction, edge-enhancement, and grain elimination that they look WORSE than a good standard DVD without such electronic "improvements." The miracle of modern electronics (aren't they wonderful?). They're digital so they've GOT to be better, right? Well, with the downgrading of commercial theatres from 35mm film to 2k digital cinema, and the upgrading of DVDs to Blu-rays, at least we can now get "theatre-quality" picture and sound at home for a relatively minimal investment in equipment. As I've noted in various other threads, with proper authoring and a good projection system, a good Blu-ray can look as good as a decent 35mm release print off a dupe negative or a 16mm printdown from a 35mm negative. A good DVD can only look as good as a high-quality 8mm film print, or a decent (softish) 16mm dupe. Actual film will continue to be the standards that we use to judge image quality for a long time to come, whatever the video format.

A lot of similar information has already been discussed in other threads in the "Tech Talk" forum relating to DVDs, Blu-rays, HDTV, 1080p upconversion, etc.

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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:58 pm

Christopher,
Thanks a lot for the reply. That covers my query.
:D
If I don't know something I'll ask, whether or not it is a dumb question.
If I come across on this forum as being uninformed in many areas, I really don't give a shit!!!
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Re: Blu-Ray Vs. DVD

Unread post by Christopher Jacobs » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:32 pm

Michael O'Regan wrote:Christopher,
Thanks a lot for the reply. That covers my query.
:D
If I don't know something I'll ask, whether or not it is a dumb question.
If I come across on this forum as being uninformed in many areas, I really don't give a shit!!!
:twisted:
We can only learn from experience, research, and asking people who might know. That's what these forums are all about!

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