- Entertainment and Media
What Will A Blu-ray Player Will Do For My Movies?
What Is The Best Blu-ray Player? Should I Buy One?
If you have invested in a high-definition television already and then signed up for high-definition television channels, you are probably looking for the best blu-ray player. This page is a very basic, low-tech guide to blu-ray players. I have not chosen one as 'the best blu-ray player.' Instead, I have shared some of the information that I have learned about players in general and links to more valuable information from the experts.
While creating this page I learned a lot about blu-ray; my husband is pleased. I knew very little about it beforehand but could see a need for a very basic page that will help individuals like myself with little or no knowledge of blu-ray technology and, perhaps, technology in general. My most important discovery? Well, that must be that the best blu ray players do allow you to watch your favorite movies in the very best possible quality from the comfort and safety of your home!
A note about the spelling of 'blu-ray' movies. There is a lot of confusion (I had to figure it out myself) and you will no doubt see it these movies and players referred to as blue-ray, bluray, blueray, blu ray and blue ray but it is really properly spelled 'blu-ray.' You will be more successful with your searches online if you spell the term correctly.
If you already know a lot about blu-ray players, you may well know more than what is on this page! Please choose to share some of your knowledge through the comments box!
I wish you Happy Blu-ray Viewing!
A simple poll to determine how you feel about your blu-ray knowledge before you read this page.
How Much Do You Know About Blu-ray?
Should I Buy a Blu-ray Player or HD-DVD?
Once a hard choice now made quite simple.
You should definitely buy a blu-ray player because in January 2008, HD-DVD or high-definition DVD conceded the battle to blu-ray. That means HD-DVD is finished. I assume that it also means both HD-DVD players and discs either are no longer in production or will cease production shortly.
If you are wondering about streaming movies, there are definitely people doing this but surveys indicate that more people prefer blu-ray discs to streaming movies which means that the move to blu-ray is on.
In the last six-months, blu-ray manufacturers have made valuable advances to entice us into buying their technology. The cost of players has dropped significantly and so has the cost of the discs. Amazon (who I am most familiar with) as well as other companies are offering amazing package deals -- sometimes bundling free discs with players and other times bundling groups of discs.
The movie companies, including Disney and Imax, have increased the release of movies on blu-ray format and now there are over 1,000 movies available on the format. It certainly appears that blu-ray has arrived!
A SmithGeiger survey of 1,600 high-definition television owners discovered that users in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan prefer discs to streaming by a ratio of 10-to-1.
What Do You Need Before You Buy A Blu-ray Player?
A high-definition television! To make the most of your blu-ray player, you will definitely need a high-definition television. Together, they will be an unbeatable team!
No, you CANNOT play your blu-ray discs on your DVD player because the blu-ray discs have a much larger capacity and are read differently.
But you CAN play your DVDs on your blu-ray player and they are going to look great.
A Blu-Ray Player Equals Excellent Picture Quality
Blu-ray offers up to six times better resolution than DVDs did. They provide even better quality than your high definition television channels. If you value the best quality picture, you are going to love blu-ray.
To understand why blu-ray discs provide better pictures, you need to know the difference between high definition signals known as 1080i and 1080p. Both offer the highest resolution possible today with a television but they are different.
1080i signals are 'interlaced' meaning that the pictures on the screen are displayed half a screen at a time. This picture flips many times a second so that one half and then the other half is displayed. Sounds odd, but this happens so quickly that your eye cannot tell it is going on although you may sense a very slight flicker.
1080p signals are 'progressive' meaning that screen displays the entire picture which updates many times a second so that there is only a full image rather than halves. The result is that the pictures from 1080p are absolutely steady.
Most high-definition televisions support 1080p but the only method for obtaining progressive-scan high definition pictures is from a blu-ray. The signal from your provider -- be it satellite, cable or phone -- can only stream at 1080p.
A Blu-Ray Player Equals Amazing Sound
Along with the fantastic increase in picture quality comes an increase in sound quality. High definition video has high definition audio, as it should. Because blu-ray discs have so much more space on them, the music can be stored uncompressed which translates directly into better sound for you and me.
The two companies involved with the sound are Dolby (they are familiar to me) and DTS (who are not familiar to me.) Each of these companies has a new sound format for blu-ray simply meant to deliver high quality that can be as good as the original from the studio.
It would not be too bad if the choices were that simple -- Dolby and DTS but no, there are a whole bunch of options which I will NOT go into here other than to list them: Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution, PCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.
Simply put, you can expect much better sound quality with your blu-ray player. If this issue is important to you, I recommend you follow this link for a very thorough discussion of these sound options.
- High-Def Digest
Follow this link to read the very thorough explanation of the sound options for your blu-ray listening pleasure.
"Blu-ray has so much capacity that the quality of the audio is the best since vinyl (records). That has some great implications around the audio that comes out of the home-theatre environment."
-- Eric Stockner, Future Shop
A Blu-Ray Player Equals Extra Special Features
Because of the larger storage capacity of a blu-ray disc, these discs can hold a larger selection of extra features.
Version 1.0 players bring you the ability to watch more content or play games while you watch the movie. For instance, you can see how the movie was made as you watch it. If you do not need or want all of the extras, you can save some money (perhaps $100 or so) by buying this version.
Version 2.0 players bring you a new feature know as BD Live and 1 gigabyte of memory. This allows you to access much more content. With your blu-ray player conntected to the internet, you can access the content that is available.
The Sony Playstation 3 -- plays blu-rays and can be upgraded to Version 2.0 with an online upgrade.
Should I buy now, or should I wait?
If you love movies, buy now. If you don't; wait as prices are still coming down.
Are Blu-Ray Players and Discs Very Expensive?
The prices have come down quickly. If you have not looked lately, be sure to look now. A simple standalone player can be had for around $200.
In terms of the costs of the discs themselves, Casino Royale is available on blu-ray from Amazon for $12.99 or on DVD for $10.00. There is not much difference left then, is there?
New release blu-ray discs do, of course, cost more. The Star Trek blu-ray disc is $19.99; DVD, $14.99.
Should I Consider a Sony PlayStation 3 As A Blu-ray Player?
"The Sony PlayStation 3 is the most recommendable Blu-ray player available today. Some home theater die hards will insist on a standalone player, but everyone else should stick with the PS3 until standalones cost much less and perform comparably." -- Matthew Moskovciak, CNET Reviews
If you are interested in the gaming aspects of the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), then it seems like choosing the console may be one of the best blu-ray players. The PS3 at $399 costs more than many standalone players but some consider it one of the best choices. To check out the PlayStation's and its blu-ray capabilities or to purchase it from Amazon, . click here
Yes, you CAN use your blu-ray player to play your DVDs! In addition, a blu-ray player will upscale the quality of your DVDs on your high-definition television.
One Of The Best Blu-Ray Players...
The Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi is the #1 best selling blu-ray player on Amazon plus it is very affordable at close to just $50.
Are You Planning To Buy A Blu-ray Player?
More Home Entertainment Reading
- What You Need To Watch Blu-ray 3D Movies At Home
Considering investing in blu-ray 3D? Check out what you'll need to make it work at home.
- The Sony PlayStation 3 and 4 Blu-ray Player
The Sony Playstation blu-ray player (or the PS 3 blu-ray player) was for quite awhile considered to be the best blu-ray player and it still is a great choice and more affordable than ever. On this page, you will find a list of the pros and cons of...
- The Toshiba REGZA 47ZV650U 47-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV, A...
The Toshiba REGZA 47ZV650U 47-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV with ClearScan 240, Black is an affordable LCD HDTV that looks good and has a good looking picture. If you are looking for a television that does most things pretty well at a good price point, you...
- Our New Home Theatre: Our Love Affair With Blu-ray Movies
This picture is of me, Brenda, a blu-ray movies convert. Not a fantastic picture but it is me, nevertheless. With me is my blu-ray player and my high definition television (HDTV.) Well, maybe not MY blu-ray player and not MY HD television. Perhaps...
Blu-ray Movie Lists
- The Top 10 Best Blu-ray Movies EVER
Love blu-ray? Wondering what the best movies on blu-ray disc are?
- The Five Best Disney Movies on Blu-ray
The five best Disney blu-ray movies with which to show-off your home entertainment system will also please both the young and the young-at-heart Disney fans in your life.
- Build Your Blu-ray Collection Quickly With A Blu-ray...
If you are collecting blu-ray movies, you will not want to miss these boxed sets.
- What is The Disney Vault? What Is Disney Releasing F...
Curious about Disney's Vault? Learn all about it and what movies Disney is releasing from it here on this page.
- The Best Christmas Movies on Blu-ray
If you love Christmas, you'll want to own some of these great Christmas films on blu-ray disc.
More Blu-ray Information and Reviews
- Best Blu-ray players of 2014 - CNET
Looking for the best blu-ray players? CNET editors' review of the best blu-ray players includes product photos and video and user reviews.
- Blu-Ray DVD Player Review: Pros and Cons
The blu-ray DVD player: should we give it the green light now? A blu-ray DVD player review: some pros and cons of the blu-ray.
- Home Page | Sound & Vision
Sound and Vision Magazine provides authoratative tests and reviews of home theater equipment such as HDTVs, surround sound speakers, home theater systems, Blu-ray and HD DVD players, LCD and Plasma TVs, amps and preamps, speakers and subwoofers and m
- Find the right Blu-ray player for you - CNET
CNET rounds up its latest Blu-ray coverage, from Blu-ray players available for less than $250 to players that feature multichannel analog outputs. Read this blog post by Matthew Moskovciak on Crave.
Five Blu-ray Movie Reviews
- Batman: The Dark Knight Blu-ray Movie Review
We'd like to share with you our Dark Knight Blu-ray Review. We are not technical experts so you will find mostly our impressions of the movie, whether or not we liked it and would recommend it and perhaps a bit about the format, blu-ray. To...
- Star Trek (2009) Blu-ray Movie Review
When I first saw Star Trek (2009), I loved it. When I left the movie theatre, I proclaimed it, "THE BEST MOVIE THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN." I have no idea if that is the truth or not, but that was definitely how I was feeling about the m
- Paul Newman Blu-ray Movie Reviews
As I write this, Paul Newman's blu-ray movies number just five. I read somewhere that Paul Newman made 60 movies in his lifetime so that leaves quite a few to come, that is if they are eventually transferred to blu-ray. Many of Mr. Newman's works...
- Disney's Beauty and The Beast Blu-ray Movie Review
Beauty and the Beast is an amazing Disney movie. Find out how the blu-ray version was received.
- Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie Review
Find out what the world thought when Disney removed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the vault, remastered it and released it on blu-ray disc.
Have you learned anything about blu-ray from this page?
Have you learned anything about blu-ray from this page? If you called yourself an expert earlier, you can pass on this poll.
Are you loving blu-ray?
As I said originally, I am not a tech expert. I have put some time into gathering some basic information for you here because I know that the questions about blu-ray are swirling around out there. Because I am not an expert, I have made a real effort to include links that I have found useful. Please use them to educate yourself.
With that in mind, I would love to hear what you thought of this page. I should add that this page is a work in progress; blu-ray is already changing and evolving...
Thank you for visiting!
© 2008 Treasures By Brenda