back to article Over half of US HD TV owners blurry on Blu-ray

Fewer than ten per cent of US HD TV owners plan to buy a Blu-ray Disc player, local market watcher NPD has said. The company bases its claim on an online survey carried out around the middle of March - a month after Toshiba effectively killed off the HD DVD format, but still almos three months ago. NPD's results allowed it to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BD vs. upscaled DVD

    ...there's no comparison. BD is so vastly better it's not even funny - I'm running a PC for DVD playback with a massive amount of scaling and image processing, and while you can make it look good, you can't make it look anywhere near as good as HD. Not even remotely close, any more than you can make a cell phone photo look as good as a top-line digital SLR photo.

    Yes, you need more than a fifteen degree field of view to tell the difference. But there's a reason we don't go to a movie theater with a 40" TV instead of a 15 foot screen. If you want to take advantage of BD, sit close or use projection. Full stop.

    Saying that HD has no future vs. SD, now, is like saying in 1996 that DVD had no future vs. VHS because people had tiny, crappy TVs using RF adapters.

    If you can't tell the difference, either your hardware is lousy, the setup is lousy, or you've got lousy vision.

  2. Alastair

    (BD vs upscaled DVD) ...or you don't care

    HD is nice. I occasionally download stuff and watch it on my laptop in HD. Some of the scenery in Lost looks amazing.

    Am I going to get an HD set? God, no. The price vs. benefit ratio just isn't there yet- DVD quality does me fine for now. By the time I roll around to getting an HD set (once everyone gets one at least the economies of scale will kick in) I still don't know if I'll get a Bluray player- downloadable HD content might be more than a pipe dream by that point.

  3. filholder

    Disc prices are a huge issue

    Quite obviously bluray and in fact hd-dvd are massive leaps over dvd in terms of image quality and the more mature the formats are the better the images produced are. Like DVD, authoring and encoding techniques aren't perfected when a format come out and the think now we are starting to see the possibilities of bluray. Also as TV seem to grow ever larger and LCD in particular have come on in terms of quality hugely over the last 5 years, all of these things allow people at home to get close to a sort fo near master reproduction environment for there films watching enviroment.

    One thing i would say though is that prices of the disc is way way too high, i own a reasonable HD display and a PS3, and working in tv production really want to watch as high a quality as possible but serious there is no way i would pay £22 for a film. These just aren't mass market prices and until they realise this disc sales will not take off. I understand that production cost are higher than DVD and that due to the smaller market sales are orders of magnitude lower, but disc prices are keeping these even lower, there are millions of PS3 out there and since the HD disc war is now won, people should be more inclined to buy bluray disc.

    Peopel often site the player price as the obstacle but i think this is far from the truth, software prices are so high and player now represent reasonable value. Ok they need to get down to £100 before you get massive sales but still all of that will mean nothing if disc are priced at £25

  4. Andy Bright

    Screen Size

    The theory is that the size of the screen horizontally should be equal to twice the distance you sit from it - if you want a cinematic experience. So if you sit 3 feet away, a 36"-40" TV will give you the same sense of going to the movies - or at least that is what the TV dealerships will tell you.

    Personally I'm not convinced. I sit probably 5 feet away from a 52" DLP HDTV. That's a bit further than recommended, but I definitely don't get the impression I would feel like I'm at a cinema if I moved forward 12".

    Still having said that I'm not complaining. I love my TV, and as space isn't an issue for me, don't see the value in buying an LCD TV. For the same picture quality (or better, because what point would there be in replacing a TV for the same picture quality), I would need to spend 3 times what I paid for my DLP. For those that don't know, a DLP HDTV is the modern version of a projection TV. It's about the same thickness as a 26" tube TV, and the new ones are capable 1080p resolution, have better refresh rates than LCD, have better response times (no trails) and have better contrast ratios than all but the latest and absolutely most expensive LCDs. Is 1080p important? Not if it costs any more than the 1080i equivalent, but these days it doesn't. The reason I say this is that most HDTV via satellite or cable is only 1080i anyway, and many Blu-ray and HD-DVDs aren't particularly well mastered, and therefore don't look any better than upscaled DVDs. There's no rhyme or reason for this, big studios do as badly as the small - I suppose it depends on who they contract to make the originals.

    Because when comparing either HD format to upscaled DVD - it depends on the quality of the original master. I've seen some terrible HD-DVDs and Bluray disks, and some awesome upscaled DVDs. But if done properly there's no comparison.

  5. Glenn Amspaugh

    Spinning disks are so Victorian

    I only have a 720P flat panel TV and will wait another year or two before upgrading to a full 1080P set. By then, am hoping download network speeds will be available (hear me Comcast?!!!) allowing full HD Movie downloads.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    You won't catch me using BD yet

    You won't catch me touching BD until they do 2 things:

    1) Make the costs of disks half-way sensible. I'm not going to pay double the amount of a DVD for a BD. They already screwed us with Vinyl to CD as well as VHS to DVD - I'm not getting taken for a ride again with BD - especially when the improvement is only marginal.

    2) Make multi-region players. I already only buy DVD players that are multi-region. The fact that I moved from the UK to the US a while back doesn't help - I've got a big region 2 DVD collection, but not live in region 1.

  7. IR

    Don't need it

    I can get HD movies sent to my cable box on demand. Sure, HD looks better than my ordinary DVDs, but not enough for me to pay all that extra. If I had a PS3 then I might get the disks, but I don't plan to.

  8. John

    or maybe..

    "If you can't tell the difference, either your hardware is lousy, the setup is lousy, or you've got lousy vision."

    Or maybe you just don't care! Not everybody is a audio/videophile. I'm all for a good picture, but my upscaling DVD player coupled with my HDTV is just fine. Most of the movies I have look fine. Lots of them are older films that will never be re-mastered in HD, so having an HD player to watch them is pointless. Most of the new movies that are out in HD are crap anyway! And how many times can you watch them before you go back to your old library...

    Sorry, but until the players are cheap, the movies are cheap, and the HUGE inventory of old movies are re-mastered to take advantage of the higher res capabilities of this format, its going to continue to stagnate. FFS, you can still go into any electronics store and buy a VHS player of some sort. That should show you how long the demand for an old format is going to stay around...

    Mines the one with the built in OLED, HDDVD player and 7.2 surround - cause I GOTTA have the latest thing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Wiernicki

    It really depends on the transfer and the source. If the source is TV then you'd best be hoping they mastered it on film or one of the newer HD tape formats, otherwise it's going to look ugly from the start. But even then, the love of modern TV directors for a gritty appearance is a real problem. Anyone who expects the HD-DVD of Battlestar Galactica to be much better than the DVD transfer is in for a nasty shock - all that seems to have happened is that the digital grain that ruins the series is now crisper than ever before.

    But the people doing the transfers seem to be responsible for the remarkable number of shoddily mastered Blu-rays and HD-DVDs. Blacks that aren't black is a real bugbear. Not to mention the seriously ugly 25Gb Blu-rays in circulation. Strangely, although HD-DVD only offers a bit more capacity than the 25Gb disks, I haven't seen so many bad transfers to HD-DVD - perhaps it was Sony's decision to master early Blu-rays in MPEG-2ovision?

    At its best Blu-ray and HD-DVD are *MUCH* better than their DVD equivalents. Hopefully as the switch is made to 50Gb disks and better encoding they'll all start showing their true colours (quite literally).

    And the movie studios are really liking the switch to 50Gb because they're planning on selling the same movies to early adopters - this time as they always should have been seen. Step forward Disney...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, who cares?

    LCD TVs primarily took off because they were better for retailers: more profit margin for less warehousing space - even though the image quality, gaming lag etc are not all they're cracked up to be.

    But oh no, the resolution's not matched to SD and they show up all the warts no-one ever saw with CRTs, so let's persuade everyone they need HD sources too, when quite plainly, for one reason or another, 95% of people don't. Perhaps we do all have lousy vision, but it seems to be the reality of the matter!

    Focus on end users' needs rather than retailers' and manufacturers' and suddenly the picture looks quite different - pun entirely intended.

  11. Eric


    It's not that people can't tell the difference, it's just that the difference may not be large enough to justify the purchase, that's the boat I'm in. With gas and food prices going at the rate they are, I suspect the trusty ole' DVD player will look better and better to people everyday.

  12. Keith Doyle

    @Tony Smith: Depends on what you like to watch...

    It's only better if you're watching mainstream content-- and since I for one, prefer old movies, foreign films, Anime and classic TV shows, 1) that content isn't even available on Boo-ray yet, and once it is, 2) it ain't gonna look any better because the originals aren't that good.

    So DVD is just fine for me thank you very much (cheaper, too!)...

  13. Gary
    Thumb Down

    DVD + resolution + DRM + $$$ = BD

    Sure, BD offers better resolution that DVD or even upscaled DVD, but it's definitely not worth the much larger price premium. That, in addition to the cripple-ware DRM seals the deal for me in not having any desire to get BD. Maybe when it comes down to commodity-level pricing around what a current decent DVD player costs.

  14. peter wegrzyn

    Whatever, sales of Blu-ray films are booming

    Sales so far this year to May have surpassed the whole of 2007. Some Blu-ray titles have sold 28% of the DVD volume. 400% growth doesn't seem to back up NPD's numbers.

  15. Dippy

    Snobish Attitude Towards HD

    Don't you just love snobbish attitudes towards HD!

    So now to enjoy a film at home, we all need to invest over £3000 or HD equipment capable to displaying the crinkles on arses or freckles on a horse!

    Also why should I have to sit 7' from my TV to enjoy a film? I thought you got square eyes from sitting that close?

    How about we use upscaled DVD players, sit comfortably away from the TV, watch the films we have already forked out £15 or less on rather than the £25+ for the BD version, and feel just as happy?

    And in 2012 when the next wave of must have quality sets come out, you can preach to me then why I should have 75" LCPlas Crystal Dylithium, Carbon filtered, Holographic setup rather than the BD players were are paying a £5 for ;-)

  16. J-Wick
    Thumb Down

    @BD vs. upscaled DVD

    This is all true. But content drives purchases (at least for me). When most of what's being released these days is utter pants, why bother? I'm not particularly impressed with special effects, primarily because they're so overused. I'd actually be more tempted to buy an upscaling DVD player which would squeeze more life out of my existing DVD collection, rather than buying a BD player and then having to buy new BD films to enjoy it...

    I'm an old fart when it comes to films anyway...

  17. Jess
    Thumb Down

    Why I'm not in a hurry to go bluray

    I have a 1600 x 1200 LCD panel with DVI and S-video inputs. The resolution is enough beyond double 720 x 575 to look good on PAL signals. (Nyquist and all that).

    HD's 1080 lines is less than double PAL's 575 so PAL is not going to look ideal if I were to get a new screen.

    My AV amplifier switches s-video only.

    I'm not even sure bluray will work with my non-hdcp screen anyway. (I have a DVD player that will be being returned soon because it blanks the screen with CSS DVDs on non-hdcp displays.)

    So I shall be sticking to my combi Laserdisk / DVD player for a little bit longer.

  18. Tigre Marino


    720p Matroska encoded files are impressive compared to regular DiVX.

  19. James Pickett


    "When most of what's being released these days is utter pants, why bother?"

    It's always struck me as ironic that as the hardware improves, the content goes the other way (perhaps that's why Sky do HD). If a film is good enough, then even VHS will do, although I still regard seeing a film at a cinema as a bit of a treat, and some material demands to be seen that way. For everything else, good analogue SD and DVD's are a fair compromise, so don't count me among the early adopters.

    Like Imax cinema, HD looks wonderful, but there's not enough on either yet...

  20. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton

    Joe 6 pack

    The problem you have here is Joe 6 pack. They enjoy having a bigger thinner screen for the same price as an old CRT was. But the HD? I bet they don't give a toss really. More likely this will have to happen. BD players/recorders and media will have to end up in the budget priced section of a large chain store before they start buying it en masse. Look at how DVD took off. Initially it was the price that stopped many people from buying into it. But now we are at saturation point whereby you can buy one for less that £30 at your local Tesco's that plays most everything (Well maybe not MKV but that's besides the point).

    Joe 6 pack will decide the outcome of this.

  21. Bigwookie

    BD looks amazing

    We've had a PS3 in our house for about 4 months and recently my housemate bought the HDMI cable to connect it to our 40" LCD TV. Have to say that the only Blu-Ray I've watched "The Assassination of Jesse James" looked amazing. A lot better than normal DVD. I would like to get all my films on Blu-Ray now, but I'm still not prepared to pay twice as much for the same film. When Blu-Rays come down in price I'll start buying them, I'm sure this is true for the vast majority of people who have a PS3

  22. b166er


    Muchos agreement. Gimme movies on an SDHC and maybe i'll bite.

  23. BobVB

    Its the distance

    Had friends say they couldn't tell the difference finally saw their setup - they were watching from across the room! Of course you can't see the difference if you are too far away for the human eye to resolve the screen resolution. The watched a blu-ray 1080p on my set up with a 60" at 7' away and they were blown away.

    Far too many people are watching from too great a distance to get any benefit from HD so they are right, they can't see a difference! Old TV viewing habits die hard.

    (oh and watch Amazon for blu-ray specials - I got the entire Harry Potter series for $11 each a while back. Also watch the sales rack at Best Buy - just got the 5 disc Blade Runner set for $15!!! You can be frugal and still get a nice Blu-ray collection going and Netflix has many Blu-rays too if you don't want to own them.)

  24. Will
    Thumb Up

    Blu-Ray Pricing

    The reason why blu-rays are so expensive at the moment is that there is far more demand for discs than there is supply. Once Sony and Co. start manufacturing large number of plants to press blu-ray disks (rather than just the one that they have at the moment) then the prices will start to go down. Although I'm happy to pay about £18 for a decent film on blu-ray, I'm not prepared to shell out the £24 that occasional films somehow seem to demand.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of ordering blu-rays from (US site) as there is no region coding enabled for blu-ray discs yet.

    For those who say that they're waiting for the 'next' generation of HD discs, bear in mind that Sony have indicated that for consumers 1080p is about as much as you can notice on anything smaller than a 52". By all means wait for 4k films to be released, but you'd better be prepared to shell out on a 100" plasma to make it worthwhile.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'm staying DVD

    I'm another person for who the quality isn't a push. I got six DVD's from a certain well known on-line retailer for the cost of one and a small fraction BD's.

    I'm not investing in new kit until HD comes to UK terestrial freeview, which I've heard is in a year or two and will at the very least require a new receiver. I'm sticking until all this chaos has settles down, by which time flash will have knocked blu-ray out of the water for good and we'll all be buying blank flash cards and trandfering our DVD collections to a less scratchable media.

    Unless you're in a detached house or have installed a soundproof room, there's little point to many of the home theatre systems anyway apart from the size of the telly, and personally, I don't want a TV that is so large it has to be mounted in my living room corner to corner.

  26. Seán

    TV people are slow on the uptake

    What is this rubbish of "oh who needs it", I bet stereo is just fine too, that newfangled surround sound is just a vast left wing conspiracy. A PS3 and a 46" LCD HD screen is well under €2000 and they're both going to last 4-5 years at least. If that's big money then just stop reading these articles because you can't afford shit.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who is surprised?

    Lets face it, Blu-Ray won due to the PS3 and that appeals to a fairly specific demographic of young men, and not the mass market.

    It is too late now, but Toshiba and HD-DVD actually offered (note past tense before the fanboys jump in) the best opportunity for mainstream acceptance of HD media. Why? A couple of reasons but primarily :

    - their superior sales of standalones showed an ability to appeal to a wider market

    - they did have what would have been the right strategy in place to promote dvd-upscaling and combo HD-DVD/DVDs leading to stealth market inflitration

    - the big price advantage for standalones which is always going to be a requirement for any true mass market acceptance

    And of course with HD-DVD out of the picture the pressure is off Sony & co to keep up the agressive promotions and marketing.

    Just a shame that the outcome of the studio split meant they couldn't stay around long enough to make this happen.

    Isn't it ironic that Blu-Ray (and the PS3) winning may have killed the chances of HD media mass-adoption?

  28. Eric Van Haesendonck

    BD isn' worth it compared to DVD.

    let's not forget that DVD has also many advantages over Blu-Ray.

    - Content is much cheaper.

    - On 95% of TV series availlabe the quality is the same as Blu-Ray because the serie was shot / mastered in SD.

    - It's effectively multi region. (BD will not be)

    - You can buy a portable DVD player for on the go usage (can't do it with BD).

    - You can rip it and transfer it to your ipod, zen etc with ease (more difficult for BD until they actually roll out managed copy).

    - There is way more content availlable.

    - You don't need HDCP equipment to view it.

    - With players at 40 euros and portable players at 100 euros equipment is much cheaper and ubiquitous, not to mention that if you have a PC there's 99% chance you have a DVD player and a graphic chipset that will do upscalling in it.

    - As a PC storage medium BD is so expensive that' it's not competitive with HDD and even DVD.

    When you think about it Blu Ray is really for movie fanatics who want the best quality at any price. In it's current form I don't see it going anywhere beyond that.

    Normal people who what mainly TV series use the HD capabilities of there TV to watch HD TV if availlable. (or if you are a geek like me to watch HD podcasts in iTunes, Miro or on VUZE).

  29. bluesxman


    "watched a blu-ray 1080p on my set up with a 60" at 7' away and they were blown away." ... by the heat, eye strain and ear-bleeding level you probably have the amp turned up to, I assume :)

  30. Booty Inspector


    ...if you don't know about Blew-Rey you don't want it.

    If you're a tech-savvy 'early adopter' you're downloading HD torrents and playing them via a wireless box.

    So that leaves the non-technical everyman to shell out the big bucks. He's just spent 70 quid filling his car up, so it might have to wait until...never.


    Mine's the one with I Love IsoHunt screen-printed on the back.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @Who is surprised?

    Sorry but that's not strictly true about the target demographic.

    I'm 37 and I've adopted Blu Ray, and my father is 76 and has just ordered a 1080p LCD TV and a Blu Ray player.

    We hardly fit into the "fairly specific demographic of young men"

  32. Iain

    Not enough time...

    I don't have enough time to watch the obscene pile of HD-DVDs I've accumulated at £5 a shot (nothing like seeing prices come down from £25 to make you get carried away with "bargains") any time soon; buying a Blu-ray player and yet more movies isn't top of my priority list right now.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    > - their superior sales of standalones showed an ability to appeal

    > to a wider market

    so everybody who bought a ps3 did it to get a game console, not because at the time it was the most future proof blu ray player...

    > - they did have what would have been the right strategy in

    > place to promote dvd-upscaling and combo HD-DVD/DVDs

    > leading to stealth market inflitration

    every blu ray player i've seen does a good job at upscaling, but thats really down to how shiny you want that turd and combos how many we're actually sold to people who may have intended to buy a hd player in the future

    > - the big price advantage for standalones which is always going

    > to be a requirement for any true mass market acceptance

    the price advantage was from toshiba slashing prices in an attempt to stimulate demand but bleeding to death instead

    anyhow since when did the mass market demographic drive any kind of format war?

    any how i hope the the waaahmbulance is on its way to sort out your case of sourgrapery?

  34. Pondlife

    Oh please!

    "What is this rubbish of 'oh who needs it'...If that's big money then just stop reading these articles because you can't afford shit"

    Exactly. I'm not rich but I don't have a problem buying blu-ray disks for my PS3/40" LCD setup. Yes it costs more than DVD. Yes it costs more than VHS. But I honestly don't care as it looks and sounds better and technology moves on! All this whining about extreme costs and no visible/audible difference sounds a lot like sour grapes to me.

  35. Paul R

    USA vs UK

    One reason that HD took off so well in the USA was due to the quality of their SD broadcasts. They truly were awful, far behind what we had here in the UK.

    I have watched some HD 1080P stuff on my PC. I agree the quality is amazing, but only if sat up close, or pausing the action. Under normal circumstances DVD is more than good enough, and a cheap upscaling player just makes it better.

  36. Jon G

    Too much hardware

    This is typical of the culture within the entertainment and electronics industry at present - there is too much emphasis on hardware, and not enough on providing quality entertainment that is worth paying for. Does it really matter if you can make out detailed skin tones on a performer ? I would like to think that people watch a film or TV show to be entertained by the storyline and script, not simply as an expensive way of demonstrating otherwise pointless technology. And when we are constantly being preached at about "green" issues, can the manufacturers explain just how flogging this unnecessary equipment will benefit the environment ?

  37. Liam


    how many people have SEEN the difference though?

    my parents are both in their 60s - they wont notice the difference as they have a cheapo tosh HD tv (probably 720p) and their eyesight isnt as good as it was.

    i mean some people didnt get how much better quality DVD was over VHS.. that said i had a top end VHS player that was bloody decent if the VHS was of good quality. compare this to people using £20 DVD players that really dont do films justice

    now, i have a top end tosh 1080p Tv with all the bells and whistles and the differnce to me is MASSIVE! ok, its not always good, the cheerleader in HEROES isnt as cute in HD! also i love the fact that the bbc HD channel is mainly in DOLBY DIGITAL too... so proper 5.1 over stereo is nice :)

    i must admit i dont own and BD media yet.. its expensive and only certain types of film really warrant HD. when the prices drop and you can 'backup' for a low enough price (good blank dvd media is only ~ 20-30p!) i will look more into it.

    of course the yanks will buy into HD quicker than the brits as we have PAL and then have the awful NTSC.... (never the same coloUr twice :))

    @ - Jess

    "I have a 1600 x 1200 LCD panel with DVI and S-video inputs. The resolution is enough beyond double 720 x 575 to look good on PAL signals. (Nyquist and all that).

    HD's 1080 lines is less than double PAL's 575 so PAL is not going to look ideal if I were to get a new screen"

    thats why you need a proper TV and not a monitor. also that res is 4:3 - wheras 1080p is 16:9 format. i must admit i dont use the video through my AV amp as sometimes i like to listen to music while watching tv etc...

    as someone else said, the original quality is the most important thing. i have over 1000 dvds, the vast majority of which arent good enough to be on HD media as the original film stock is very grainy... its a lot less forgiving than SD media. BUT with recent knowledge all new filming should be shot on decent equipment without the grain. things like BBCs robin hood look VASTLY better in HD over SD

    remember tho, HD is only as good as the media you play it on. using a budget player and a £400 Tv you wont notice the difference as much. but with a decent tv (1.3 hdmi, image stabilisation, high contrast ratio, full 1080p etc) you will get a better image. also HD sound is noticably better quality through a decent audio setup

    all the stuff about price is amusing... i remember paying £20 for a dvd 8 years ago - the price drops as more people buy and manufacturing costs lessen

    @ - Andy Bright - DLP? ewww never seen a decent quality DLP tv and the viewing angles were always bad... unless you have a few £000 one that is.. i cetainly prefer my 42" 7.1 setup to the cinema as i can smoke a phatty and pause when i need to pee... plus my sound is far superior and the screen (i sit about 5ft from my screen) is about the same size relatively

    @ john - "Mines the one with the built in OLED, HDDVD player and 7.2 surround - cause I GOTTA have the latest thing." - 10.1 or 9.1 is the next big thing lol.... i think its way off as 10.1 and 9.1 are quite different setups :) 7.1 is fine for me! and to be honest most movies cannot even take 7.1 properly lol, i think 6.1 is the best i have. but 7 channel stereo sounds great in my lounge :)

    remember VHS kind of died out as all its content (mostly) was in 4:3 format... a lot of us have had widescreen TVs for years... plus the increase in audio (stereo to 5.1 etc)

    @ Bigwookie - no HDMI for 4 months? wtf you playing at? i hope you didnt get ripped and pay a ton for a super hdmi cable too - any old hdmi will do - its not like analogue where cable quality is king. 0 and 1 travel down almost any cables without problems! :)

    @ Who is surprised? - "their superior sales of standalones showed an ability to appeal to a wider market" - thats cos loads of us bought PS3s... if you take PS3s into acount BD hammered HDDVD...

    enough of my thesis :)

    mines the one with a highly res pockets..

  38. Scott Mckenzie


    Comparing any format to Divx suggests that HD is not high on the list for many people.... VHS is comparable to Divx!!!!

    For many they simply can't tell the difference, so why invest... as stated a 720p HD rip in MKV is pretty damn impressive for the file size, but HD-DVD/BR quality it is not, plus you do miss out on the other significant side of HD, the audio.... True HD and DTS MA are stunning, but as with all things and as said above, it all depends on the transfer, i've seen HD movies that you simply couldn't tell apart from DVD in terms of video and audio, but then there are films like Transformers which take your breath away in the quality of the transfer.

    You don't have to have the best of everything to get good results, but in my opinion if you have less than a 40" screen or sit a fair distance from it, i really wouldn't bother!

  39. Matt

    all you BD critics, have you spent time watching BD movies??

    I bought my PS3 as a combination player the odd game and the odd movie - my plan was to replace my broken DVD player... My TV is a cheapy 720p and my surround setup is a THX 5.1 system...

    well the PS3 does a wonderful job on upscaling DVD, but watch the DVD version of cars or Ratattoulie then try the BD NO comparison, the picture is AMAZING!!!! the difference narrows with age and type of film, but overall watch a few BD and you will soon change your minds!

    most of the modern BD releases can be had for £16 which is more than the equivalent DVD but the increase in colour and contrast is more than worth it to me... Blockbuster rent BD for the same price as DVD so no difference there...

    i cant belive all you 'tech nerds' wanting to live with yesterdays low res crap! i take it your all viewing this site on an 800x600 vga CRT monitor, as 256 colours is all thats really needed...

  40. Steven Freeman

    @ BobVB (Viewing Distance)

    Im sorry, but saying that they were blown away @ 7 inches from the screen is just mental (in a nice way, no the knife wielding psychopath way).

    For a single guy or gal this might be ok, but Ive got a family and we have to be a certain distance away from the telly so we can all watch it at once.

    Your best bet (and it has been mentioned before) is to project it. I have a 10ft display area for my projector and on this you can definitely see the difference over DVD. But then again, not everyone is gonna splash out on a projector and screen just so they can get the benefit of Blu-Ray.

    For the families out there, keep yer DVD collections, get an upscaler if you really want, but until you have that projector there I simply wouldnt bother.

  41. Ken McColl
    Thumb Down

    sitting too close

    @viewing distance

    What is this utter nonsense regarding how far people should be sitting from their screens? The last time I sat as close as being advised was typing BASIC code into a Vic20.

    "60" at 7' away"

    Darn tootin' when I want to watch a movie at home I'll be sitting on my sofa 10' away with a cup of tea and my lovely lady wife's feet tucked under my legs. That's the way to watch a movie at home.

    VHS and DVD is perfectly fine for me on my 29" traditional CRT with antiquated stereo. I don't even notice the black letter box strips. If I want cinematic experience I go to the cinema. Yup VHS < DVD < HD but get "a sense of proportion!"

    - hope you all remembered Towel Day!

    When our telly dies I'll buy a new one for sure and that will be HD (or whatever it is by then) and that's fine - but one aspect of this whole HD 'agenda' that disgusts me about this is the PUSH to tell people their telly is shit and they need something new and to throw out something that works. My pensioner mother-in-law is succumbing to the pressure to upgrade when she has no need. She has bi-focals for crying out loud, why does she need HD to watch reruns of old musicals? Don't we all have better things to spend our money on?

    Which brings me to @Sean "If that's big money then just stop reading these articles because you can't afford shit"

    You have got to be joking! I can't read technical website articles because my family and home and food and heating and petrol come before splashing out on technology I do not NEED? I don't think anyone is suffering by being denied HD.

    I guess I'm in the "just don't care" camp. I have a life.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Not surprising

    Some months ago when we were in the middle of Blu-ray vs HDV confrontation I was struck by the realisation that our local Blockbuster only had Blu-ray on the shelf. I took this as a sure sign that Blu-ray would win out.

    And now that Blu-ray has won out what does Blockbuster have on the shelf? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Well the conclusion is clear. No one is interested in HDTV.

    I am also now looking for a freesat PVR. "Well sorry guy! All there is is a Humax receiver (no PVR) or you could get Sky box with a freesat card." I am not surprised no one is interested.

    Grumpy Old Git

  43. Jess

    @ Liam & distance


    >> HD's 1080 lines is less than double PAL's 575 so PAL is not going to look ideal if I were to get a new screen"

    > thats why you need a proper TV and not a monitor. also that res is 4:3 - wheras 1080p is 16:9 format. i must admit i dont use the video through my AV amp as sometimes i like to listen to music while watching tv etc...

    My point was that there are not enough pixels in 1080 screen to display PAL really cleanly. (I specifically bought 1200 line screen to be comfortably over 2 x 575) Therefore all else being equal, a new screen would be a reduction in picture quality for my existing media. (Plus I have a monitor because I have no TV license and no tuner)

    HD created content downscaled to my existing screen would be better than my existing picture, but HDCP means I won't be able to use it. So I didn't even bother to get one of the cheap HD DVD players.


    PAL TV was designed to be high definition. (to look as sharp as real life) but from a distance of something like 7 times the diagonal of the screen. (assuming the system delivers what it should). HDTV reduces this distance, so hence a wider view from the "correct" distance.

  44. Ian Hallsworth

    Whats wrong with good old fasioned VHS

    Whats wrong with good old fasioned VHS?. I still have it, i'm still waiting for some films to be released on DVD never mind BD or whatever. Mind you I do have a BD ad HDDVD player and an apppleTV (Yes that was me)

  45. InsaneGeek

    @Bob you are sitting too close

    60" TV with a viewing distance of 7'. The problem you are going to have is with your field of vision. To keep from having to move your eyes around to try and watch things on the screen, you need to sit further away. You are missing a good portion of activities at the sides of your TV, effectively making your nice big 60" widescreen TV into a much smaller 4x3 (you are only seeing the middle, unless you move your eyes). Sure you can "catch" something out of your perephrial vision and move your eyes, to focus on it but then you are missing something else.

    You should be sitting 2-2.5x (depends upon who you talk to) the distance relative to the size of the TV. So at 60" or 5 feet you should really be at a 10-12.5 feet viewing distance... unless you like missing things happening on the screen.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Resolution? I don't need no stinkin' resolution.

    Stuff this HD malarkey -- how about using all that capacity to give us the entire run of Monkey/Buffy/Friends/Ealing comedies/etc/etc/ad nauseum on a single disc at DVD quality?

    We all know that a lot of the rereleased old stuff is just going to be software upscaled from TV quality for the master. Any HD player can do upscale, so why not employ the extra space usefully?

  47. TimM

    RF adapters

    "Saying that HD has no future vs. SD, now, is like saying in 1996 that DVD had no future vs. VHS because people had tiny, crappy TVs using RF adapters."

    People still do. A *lot* of people. Mostly the over 60s. Little TV in the corner, and (when they're forced to) a freeview box that has an RF adapter (yes there are plenty of them), plus maybe a cheap DVD player probably with RF again or maybe using up the single non-RGB SCART socket if it's a more modern TV.

    Blindingly obvious the difference may be, it still make stuff all difference to the vast majority of the population who have relatively small TVs tucked in the corner of the room. DVD on the other hand had a blatant advantage... no bulky tapes that got chewed up.

    And what you see in Currys etc is *not* what the UK public have in their living room. Most people still have that TV they bought 5 or 10 years ago and have no plans on replacing it until it breaks. If they do they go with something that's flat because it looks nice, but don't give a stuff about HD.

  48. Seán


    The fact that you're impoverished really has nothing to do with the technical merits of Blu-ray. Carry on with your wife's feet jammed wherever you like but really money talks and ... well, you know who you are.

  49. Ken McColl


    ...and the technical merits of Blu-ray really have nothing to do with your opinion that "poor" people should not be reading technical articles.

    Actually I only re-read this comment page because a friend was interested, but just to pick up on some of your points:

    I'm not impoverished, but like a lot of people I have *financial priorities*. And that is an important point. Why should I buy into HD when there is no great benefit?

    Yes BD has a better resolution than DVD. I am not debunking the technical merits of Blu-ray at all. But why would I displace a working VHS/DVD/CRT setup with an all new, more expensive one? Because I get a higher resolution? That is not enough.

    It doesn't make the drama more dramatic.

    It doesn't make the comedy funnier.

    It doesn't make the acting any better.

    All I'm getting is a better picture. That is not a significant enough step change to justify ditching old but working kit. If we were talking about some wizzo-bang 3D-TV then that could be a whole different argument.

    Back with BD, my storage requirements stay the same, unlike DVD to VHS. I don't save even more time by not having to rewind, like DVD to VHS. But even a VHS tape chewed by infants will play, DVD and BD are not so resilient.

    By the time my existing kit goes on the blink I pretty much expect that BD will be about to be eclipsed or otherwise improved on. Then I'll consider buying it, not because it is new, but because I would have a real requirement.

    I understand the "must have it because it is new" mentality. I just don't subscribe to it.

    I know who I am. I am not someone who considers watching a movie in HD as a life fulfilling experience.

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