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What Will A Blu-ray Player Will Do For My Movies?

Updated on October 6, 2014

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?

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Blu-ray Defeats HD-DVD
Blu-ray Defeats HD-DVD

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.

Blu-ray Picture Quality
Blu-ray Picture Quality

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.

"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.

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray Player

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...

Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi (2014 Model)
Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi (2014 Model)
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?

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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.

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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

Are you loving blu-ray?

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    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Blu Ray is the next level. I love watching my movies on it. Even non hd dvds get up converted to HD when played using a Blu Ray player.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      12 years ago

      Great lens - very helpful and informative, and I love all the Blu-Ray movie reviews!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      You have educated me, for sure! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great Lens very inspirational i have found that my PS3 plays Blu Ray really well and as a starter Blu Ray player you cant go far wrong. If you have time please check out my Blu Ray site which sells Players and Home Cineam units as well as all the latest Blu Ray DVD's. Thanks

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      You did a great job on this Blu Ray Player lens! Rated and an Angel Blessing for ya!ThomasC

    • religions7 profile image


      12 years ago

      You made a great case for blue ray. You had me on 'hd is out' :)

    • tplus profile image


      12 years ago

      Welcome to the Lensography-ography Group

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Excellent lens! I learned a ton :) Thanks for visiting qarina ;) *****


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