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Figures show blu-ray continues to gain ground


HollywoodGolightly
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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> If I wanted to spend more, I'd purchase a Criterion DVD over a BR.

>

 

Well, wait until you watch a Criterion blu-ray. ;)

 

In all seriousness, there's really never been a better time for a classic movie fan to get into blu-ray - and I'll tell you why:

 

First, you can now get a fairly decent player in the $100 range - that's about half what you'd have paid a year ago.

 

Secondly, renting blu-rays is becoming easier, especially through Netflix.

 

Thirdly, many retailers are using blu-rays as a loss leader to attract customers and/or gain market share. That means in some cases they're willing to sell them at a loss or for a minimal profit, just to get people to shop in their stores/websites. And as a result, prices for blu-rays have plummeted much faster the studios would have liked.

 

Many new releases on blu-ray have been selling for less than $20. Amazon and B&N both had sales on Criterion DVDs and blu-rays in which the blu-rays were sometimes even cheaper (or at least the same price) as the DVDs. I even got The 400 Blows on Criterion blu-ray from amazon for $12.99!! :D

 

The studios might not have wanted the prices of blu-ray movies to fall so fast, but there probably isn't much they can do.

 

Lastly, there are quite a few classics on blu-ray now that are truly stunning to look at - from Disney's Snow White and Pinocchio to Warner Home Video's Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and North by Northwest.

 

Even a few classic TV series have been remastered for hi-def - since they were originally filmed in 35mm, they can now be transfered and look way better than they ever did on TV. The most obvious examples of course are the original Star Trek and The Prisoner.

 

All in all, it's a good time to have a blu-ray player - in fact, it's hard for me to think of a better investment for a classic movie fan right now.

 

(Obviously, the blu-ray player will also upconvert Standard Definition DVDs, so those will also look sharper)

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The whole thing about blu-ray is just another way for companies and studios to make MONEY!

MONEY TALKS AND BS WALKS!!!!!!!

 

 

DVD to me is perfect!! I have well over 1000 DVDs and they have beautiful picture quality and you know what a good name is for Blu-Ray? Blu-crap!!

 

There are MANY who feel as I do about it all, its just another way to get money and also it means having to BUY THE SAME MOVIE YOU ALLREADY HAVE AND PAY MORE!!!

 

Seems people feel they all have to do what everyone else does when something new comes along and, it seems no one ever thinks of the IF IT AINT BROKE DON'T FIX IT way.

 

DVD IS BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I have been into DVD since 1998 and will stay with it always and, I am not the only one who feels this way about DVD and blu-crap!!

 

 

LONG LIVE DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Edited by: classicstarletsfan on Dec 3, 2009 11:48 AM

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> I'm a bit suspect on the entire Blu-ray thing.

>

> As someone who absolutely appreciates the visual quality of film (vs digital or vs a bad print) I find 80% of people don't really notice or even give a hoot. Blu-ray (and high definition for that matter) seem to be a "marketing tool" to simply charge more while creating an exclusive fad for the masses who don't really understand film & film quality.

>

> If I wanted to spend more, I'd purchase a Criterion DVD over a BR.

>

> I was in the store yesterday buying a replacement DVD player. The guys in Best Buy told me that within 2 years you won't be able to buy a regular DVD player, only Blu-ray players. They assured me the BR players can still play regular DVDs, so I should just buy one of those now.

> Why? Most likely, the cheapie DVD player I bought will be dead in 5 years anyway. The entire thing just seems crazy.

 

TikiSoo, I'm sorry but I can't let your post go unchallenged.

 

Let's start with the statement, "I find 80% of people don't really notice..." I would guess by that that you have asked at least 5 people (need at least 5 to be able to say 80%) what they thought of Blu-ray. Now, it begs the question, under what circumstances did they observe Blu-ray (if they have)? Are they Blu-ray owners? Are they regular Joe Plumbers with only a standard TV? Were they using HDMI connections for the best picture? So many variables. It's easy for them to say, "I watched a Blu-ray film in the store, where they have the best set up, and I couldn't tell a difference. Did they observe the same film in a side by side test of two TVs with a standard DVD of a particular film playing on one and the same film on a Blu-ray in high def playing on an HDTV? More than likely not, they were just looking at one without being able to see that the DVD would suffer in comparison.

 

What about yourself? Do you have an HDTV? Would you say that you can't tell the difference between a high-def channel and a standard def channel? The same can be said about Blu-ray and DVD in many cases.

 

"Blu-ray (and high definition for that matter) seem to be a "marketing tool" to simply charge more while creating an exclusive fad for the masses who don't really understand film & film quality."

 

LOL, I'm sorry, what?? And standard definition is meant for those who really understand film & film quality??? I wouldn't mention that around too much, if I were you. I guess someone like Martin Scorsese (a major Blu-ray supporter) doesn't understand fillm and film quality, then.

 

"If I wanted to spend more, I'd purchase a Criterion DVD over a BR."

 

Criterions Blu-ray selection is growing, in case you hadn't noticed. In an number of cases, they price titles the same whether it is Blu or DVD, so why not get the Blu with superior picture and sound? Also, if you look at Amazon right now, you can get some Blu Criterion titles for less than their DVD counterpart: The 400 Blows, Last Year at Marienbad, to name two.

 

"I was in the store yesterday buying a replacement DVD player. The guys in Best Buy told me that within 2 years you won't be able to buy a regular DVD player, only Blu-ray players. They assured me the BR players can still play regular DVDs, so I should just buy one of those now. Why? Most likely, the cheapie DVD player I bought will be dead in 5 years anyway. The entire thing just seems crazy."

 

Now, I doubt DVD players will stop being made in 2 years, so that sounds like a salesman's line. But how much did you pay for your DVD replacement player? You mentioned it was a cheapie, and would probably be dead in a few years. Sticking to just DVD players for the moment, wouldn't a better quality, say a Sony or whatever, bet better in the long run since you wouldn't likely have to replace it and spend more money to get another?

 

Now moving to a Blu-ray player, around Black Friday, you could have picked up one for about $78, and with internet connectivity (not something I care about, but some do). Was that much more than what a DVD player goes for now? And, yes, you can play your DVDs on it, and they upconvert better on a Blu player than a DVD player (I've tried both).

 

Some Blu-ray movies are priced more expensive, but then how does one explain a number of new DVD titles still being released in the $20-30 price range? I've found that one can get Blus at excellent prices by shopping around (Amazon is good for that) or being patient for price drops. In the Classic Film DVD Reviews forum here on TCM, you can find a thread where I list DVD and Blu special sales: http://forums.turnerclassicmovies.com/jive/tcm/forum.jspa?forumID=362

 

Here are some Amazon prices for Blus I quoted in a recent post:

 

The Searchers $7.99

Bullitt $8.49

Blazing Saddles $8.99

Unforgiven $8.99

2001: A Space Odyssey $9.49

Batman (Adam West) $9.49

The Silence of the Lambs $9.99

Superman: the Movie $9.99

A Clockwork Orange $9.99

The Wild Bunch $9.99

Being There $9.99

The Graduate $9.99

Battle of Britain $9.99

The Getaway (Steve McQueen) $9.99

Beneath the Planet of the Apes $9.99

Battle of the Bulge $10.49

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly $11.49

 

Of course, what it comes down to is picture quality, which includes sharpness and color, and audio quality. Blu has it over DVD.

 

I am a very longtime DVD fan with about 2,000-3,000 titles in my collection. But I have also begun to replace a number of titles when I can get a better picture, etc.

 

Why would anyone want to stick with this (the differences could be seen MUCH better if we could be allowed to make pictures bigger here, but trust me the difference is dramatic):

 

Zulu DVD:

4066552838_4caa29b322.jpg

 

Zulu Blu-ray:

4065803377_3f523724d3.jpg

 

Hamlet DVD (Criterion):

4051201445_a42c027a45.jpg

 

Hamlet Blu-ray:

4051945864_8c3a3ebf96.jpg

 

The Red Shoes DVD:

3776205681_eeb3fe02e2.jpg

 

The Red Shoes Blu-ray:

3776205849_b7dfbb796a.jpg

 

I took these next four photos CLOSE to the screen, that is the reason for the grain or other in the picture, but the picture detail difference can still be easily detected:

 

The Robe DVD:

3371828785_8f4d82dbbd.jpg

 

The Robe Blu-ray:

3371829225_f64a1c0858.jpg

 

Pinocchio DVD:

3350504025_65df76db3d.jpg

 

Pinocchio Blu-ray:

3350504281_889c3efb0c.jpg

 

ClassicStarlet, that seem more like an uninformed rant. I've seem people complain like this when they are afraid that their DVDs will be useless. No one is taking away from DVD. And if you are old enough to remember VHS, you will recall we bought the titles we had on that format and then did so again on DVD. Thus it is with new formats. Silents gave way to sound, black and white to color, audio from two speakers to many more. And so it goes. Burying your head in the sand while screaming at the top of your lungs will only get you a mouthful of sand.

 

filmlover

 

Edited by: filmlover on Dec 3, 2009 12:06 PM

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filmlover,

 

Well, when they release the restored THE BIG PARADE on Blu-ray which will likely never happen since it is still not even on DVD, than I'll buy a Blu-ray player. Maybe WINGS, but that title will probably never see the light of day either. Especially, as a Paramount Silent.

 

I hope to be proven wrong, but the sad truth is with each year that goes by, the less chance their becomes of these films ever getting released. That's how I see it. THE BIG PARADE has been put off for 5 years, and I am very skeptical that it will be out about a year from now as I heard back in July. Late 2010 I was told. I'll believe it when I see it. Just isn't happening.

 

I agree that most people are ignorant about film in general. I know of plenty of people that can't tell the difference between a regular DVD and a DVD-R.

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> > {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> > I'm a bit suspect on the entire Blu-ray thing.

 

> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> TikiSoo, I'm sorry but I can't let your post go unchallenged.

 

Thanks FL, I'm glad you responded and more thanks for being so detailed & thoughtful about it.

 

When I say "most people don't notice or care about picture quality" it's just encompassing the average people I come in contact with; Mr Tiki, my Mom, my brother's family, cousins, friends, etc.

When I go to someone else's house to watch TV, I see pixelation, distorted color, etc that they couldn't care less about. In fact, I'm the only person I know with a 5.1 surround system. Most people just don't care if the sound comes from those tinny TV speakers (silly of them, but it's the truth)

 

Note: I belong to a Cinefile group and they ABSOLUTELY care about picture quality, which is why I belong to it, kindred spirits you know. But *cough* we're above average ;)

 

Do I have high definition? No sir. Your comparison photos reinforce my feeling about HD & BR. I simply don't care for the super sharp contrast, color corrected image. Nothing is worse looking than Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid on that awful '70's film stock that I jokingly call "all orange, all the time." But to me, it's part of the original vision. I don't enjoy everything looking "new", and I realize that's just me.

 

As for buying a replacement DVD player, it was a $40 Sony. Like I said, the person I'm buying it for is 12 years old who doesn't care about picture quality of her cartoons (although I do) I'm hoping the TV/audio/DVD player are ALL upgraded eventually, but it's just *something for now*, which is why I didn't invest in better.

 

And I have always been Sony brand loyal. Sony's color & contrast has _always_ been different than other brands. It's almost "low high definition" if you follow me. (My Sony VCR is 22 y/o, my Sony DVD player is 12 y/o and Sony TV is 8 y/o and you can't kill them) Plus, I like the way the picture looks.

 

For myself, watching ANY film at home, digitally is a concession. I much prefer to watch 35mm projected onto a big screen with an audience (even though sometimes people are pia noisy) Regular DVDs are just fine for me; High definition and Blu-ray digital images just looked "cooked in PhotoShop" to me. And as a PShop color corrector for photography studios for many years, I know what I'm seeing.

 

I certainly appreciate films restored digitally, like taking out scratches and correcting contrast from generational prints. But High Definition & Blu-ray images are just "too far" for my tastes-I'm just not convinced or sold on it. I think the only reason it's "gaining ground" is because of marketing, there no longer will be any alternative.

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well said tiki... and i totally agree with everything you say.

 

in my circle of friends, family, co-workers, etc., who have hdtvs it is about the same. maybe one in ten will upgrade to blu ray players or even to hd channels on cable. the majority of them have plugged in the same standard equiptment to their tv's. just plug & play.

 

when i discuss with them the idea of upgrading the rest of their dvd players & cable boxes to hd, there is no interest in that whatsoever....even as i try to explain how low a 480p signal is for a 1080p tv set.

 

i myself had to buy a tv this year.... i got a 720p hdtv, with an upconverting dvd player connected with an hdmi cable.... an all digital connection. i'm very pleased with the look of my standard dvd library, in fact my dvds have never looked better than on this new set.

 

i'm not knocking blu ray enthusiasts, go for it and enjoy!! but i just know it is not for me......i still have hundreds of (mostly TCM!) films on analog videotapes (which is 240p?!)... videotape and standard dvds are enough for me.

 

and i also agree with gagman...it will take MANY years for studios to convert and remaster their ENTIRE back catalog of classic films & tv shows to 1080p transfers for consumers, and for 1080p to be the standard for ALL types of programs, broadcasts, etc .

 

there has been much hoopla for the recent 8k resolution scans of 'north by northwest', 'the wizard of oz' & 'gone with the wind' on blu ray. i believe this is an expensive process, but this must be done EVENTUALLY for all classic films & television if the future is 1080p... and that could take 10-20 years, if not longer.

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One thing you seem to have overlooked is that thanks to the increasing popularity of blu-ray, studios now have a new incentive to remaster and restore many of their classics - something they might not have bothered to do otherwise.

 

Warner Home Video, for example, carried out expensive restorations of Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and North by Northwest, and is currently working on A Star is Born and Ben-Hur (among others) for eventual blu-ray release. Disney has restored and remastered Pinocchio, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, and is working on Dumbo.

 

Of course, when these movies are released on blu-ray, that same video master is also used for the DVDs that are part of the re-issue. And although you may not get the full benefit without a blu-ray player, you still get a painstakingly restored version that is much better than anything you'd have been able to get otherwise. ;)

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but i have all these titles already, all remastered, on sd dvd.

 

a few posts back someone showed some image-quality comparisons of five films. and yes, to me, the standard def dvd images looked inferior and unacceptable---- when screened on a 1080p television set. on a regular 480p set they look just fine.

 

once again, i am not attacking blu ray enthusiasts! take no offense!

 

my only gripe, really, is with these television manufacturers.... when designing these 'high def' sets, they've come up with machines that display 6 times more information than the average content out there. this content will be blown up & will look blurry and distorted on these sets, there is too little information in a 480p signal. you are almost forced to buy blu ray -for movies- if you want an excellent picture, otherwise you are stuck with an inferior quality image, not to mention your cable programs & videogames.

 

to me, the cruel and callous part of all this is that these sets are foisted on poor johnQ public with almost no alternatives. and i agree with tiki that your average joe is not that interested in upgrading all of their equiptment.

 

this is the first time in my memory where buying a new television will give you an inferior picture unless you upgrade everything, and that costs money....which, of course is what they want, for you to endlessly spend money on this stuff.

 

i've gone 720p to get the best image quality all around... for my dvds, my cable, my videotapes, my old gaming systems.

and yes, they got me... i forked out the dough for hd channels. i've been working hard to get the best possible image in all areas.

 

i've replaced close to 20 dvds (my hitchcock widescreen films, 'some like it hot',etc.) to get the latest 'anamorphic' widescreen editions so the images will fill the screen and not be stretched... i have a fine collection of 300+dvds (waiting on the 'hayworth' box set release in february) and a decent, lower resolution hdtv display.....i'm cool, that good enough for me!

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I need to ask a very important question about everyones DVD hookup. How is your DVD system connected to the TV. Do you use coax or the audio/video cables for the standard DVD player or recorder? A lot of people uses the coax because of ease of connection but one does not get the better picture quality compared to using audio/video cables. I do mean the heavy shielded type not the skimpy cables.

 

I always use my audio/video only and the only time I use coax is for cable to the VCR but I haven't recorded from it in the past several years - I record only from my Directv using the audio/ video connections.. I already know that HDTV and Blu-ray uses the HDMI cables but many HDTV sets also has the standard coax, audio/video and the seperate RGB hookups.

 

My computer also uses a dedicated TV / composite video / FM radio card

 

I think my player gives me a very good sharp picture. Below is a snapshot from the Platinum Edition of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". I don't see anything wrong with it. I have no plans to replace it even if I buy a Blu ray player. I don't pay twice for the same thing. Funny I just purchased a NIB Dual Cassette Deck (for a spare) so I am not giving up my cassette collection either.

 

xft544.jpg

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

> I need to ask a very important question about everyones DVD hookup. How is your DVD system connected to the TV. Do you use coax or the audio/video cables for the standard DVD player or recorder?

 

Before I had an HDTV (for which the HDMI is a no-brainer) I would use composite, component, or S-Video cables. I found they really make quite a bit of difference with SD.

 

In regards to those who've posted to say you're happy with SD - I totally understand and _respect_ your position.

 

Although it's not my intention to change anyone's mind as to the kind of set-up that is right for them, I remain convinced that it is ultimately the consumer who benefits when newer technology becomes available, and more importantly, as prices of the latest hi-tech stuff drop so that they are more affordable for everyone.

 

The more options there are, the better it is for the consumer. Generally, products that don't deliver won't ever gain acceptance in the marketplace, and will eventually be abandoned.

 

In the meantime, for those who don't already have some of these classics in their collection, it is a good thing that the same updated video transfers being used for blu-rays are also used for their SD DVD counterparts, imho.

 

And, of course, even HD doesn't make a big difference with smaller monitors (generally those under 50-inch diagonally, if I remember correctly).

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

>

> I think my player gives me a very good sharp picture. Below is a snapshot from the Platinum Edition of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". I don't see anything wrong with it.

>

> xft544.jpg4162241884_3a9a2973f9.jpg

 

Below yours, I have added the image from the Blu-ray. Because I am using my cellphone to take the picture, it is not as clear as it is on the HDTV, but I think you can see the difference in clarity and color between the DVD and the Blu-ray. (By the way, the dotted line and image at the end is the timeline that comes into play when you put this on pause (this is not standard with many Blus).

 

You said, "I don't see anything wrong with it." See, that's the thing. We are so used to something, we think everything is perfect, but it is like suddenly getting glasses and realizing you have been not seeing things as well as you could.

 

By the way, I had the Platinum DVD of Snow White but sold it when I got the Blu-ray, which has two Blu-ray discs and the DVD of the movie! The extras from the Platinum Edition have been ported over to the Blu discs. There was an excellent deal that came in to play at Best Buy...with a $10 discount coupon from Disney, and price matching the competitors price, the Snow White Blu/DVD combo ended up costing $9.99 (and a day or so later the Pinocchio Blu-ray was available for $9.99...INCREDIBLE!)

 

I know for a number of people, standard definition is good enough. But for me, "good enough" isn't good enough. Not now that I have been exposed to better...much better.

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