back to article Blu-ray to rule by 2011

Blu-ray backer Sony has announced that the format’s likely to outsell DVD globally in 2011, with over 5m Blu-ray discs having been sold around the world this year already. According to a report by Digitimes, Tim Meade, Asia Pacific Vice President for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said at a recent press conference in Taipei …


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  1. Sentient

    I predict

    That BR will not outsell DVD before theydrastically drop in price.

  2. Christian Berger

    2 Factors

    Just like with the DVD 2 factors are important for the success of that format:

    1. Cheap chineese players for less than 100 Euros which also play DRM-free formats.

    2. Lots of HD content in P2P Networks.

    Without those points it won't go anywhere.

  3. Jess
    Paris Hilton

    I only know 2 people with Blu-ray

    (I also only know 2 people with Vista). Since I know quite a few people well enough to be aware of their technology, I am dubious about these figures.

    I saw one blu-ray last night, plugged into a 42" plasma. The player makes a very good job of upscaling DVDs, and since the screen is only 720p blu-ray disks are only a tiny bit better, so my friend isn't going to both with them if there's any price premium.

    I'm not bothering with HD because the DRM means I don't expect it to work with my existing screen (DVI)

  4. Jolyon Ralph

    I predict

    That Blu-Ray will NEVER sell as well as DVD has sold in the past.

  5. Torben Mogensen

    DVD is enough for most people

    Most people are quite happy about the quality of movies on DVD, and it is indeed better than most non-HD TVs can show.

    So, until the prices of both players and disks are within 25% of the price of DVD, I doubt they will outsell. Also, for a lot of people, the ability to play disks from several regions is a must, so until you can get cheap multi-region BluRay players, I at least won't switch, and I suspect a lot of other otherwise interested people won't either.

  6. Andy

    and i predict

    that sony execs, like the dinosaurian music industry, will still see physical removable media having a place in the future.

  7. Mike Crawshaw

    Making it happen...

    At the moment, they're far too expensive for the additional benefit they deliver, compared to DVD - for the vast majority of users.

    Yes, there is an improvement in quality - but most punters "just want to watch the damned film" and won't notice / don't care enough about the difference to splash out extra for the player, and again on every film they buy.

    Add broadband speed limits into the mix, and it gets worse for Blu-Ray. How many domestic connections can download an HD film in a reasonable time, compared to a DVD-quality movie? Especially with "Fair Use" limits imposed by their ISP?

    Yes, by 2012, prices will (should!) drop, and domestic connections will improve to make it less of a PITA to download them, but I can't see these happening fast enough and going far enough to make it likely that we'll see a 3:2 outsell of DVD. Maybe they'll prove me wrong. I doubt I'll remember to check...

    <- it's Friday. I'm happy.

  8. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Just me then

    I'm buying all my new discs on BD (where available). Don't see the point of buying DVDs now. I don't notice a price differential large enough that I'll buy the DVD now and the BD in the future when it's cheaper.

    Mind you, I was an HD-DVD early adopter, so what do I know? :)

  9. FathomsDown
    Black Helicopters

    I remember in the old days...

    In the good old days we had small TVs with VCRs and the video quality was good enough.

    Then TV quality improved and wide screen came out making VCR quality look poor.

    The DVDs came along to improve the viewing quality.

    Then TVs went HD ready and gave larger screen sizes making DVD quality look poor....

    Just how long do the manufacturers think they can keep doing this before people cotton on?

  10. Monkey


    ...Sorry, not meaning to sound bitchy. The screen that the BR player was plugged into, if only 720 was poor quality. Or at least not set up properly to be able to take full advantage of BR running at 1080p.

    Off the point of the article I know, but a glaring fact nonetheless. Any BR disk running on even a PS3 and not a dedicated player, displaying on a 1080p resolution panel is bloody good. Which is only going to get better as BR movies encoding quality increases (as happened with DVD's). And those who claim there is no difference to DVD haven't looked at BR or the former HD-DVD running for any longer than it took to look in the shop window.

    Whether people are interested enough to part with their ever decreasing spare cash I think is the key point to whether this prediction is right. Not the question of quality.

  11. Alex Eaton


    I have about 10 Blu-rays and the quality on a decent 1080p screen is stunning. However, in comparison to an upscaled DVD whether it's worth the extra £5-10 is questionable. Until the price of Blu-ray films come down then I will be selective on what I buy.

  12. Craig Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Price comparison

    The reality is (prices taken from

    DVD Vantage Point £9.99

    DVD Vantage Point 2 disc £14.99

    Blu Ray Vantage Point £17.99

    Trouble is in 3 months we'll see the top two at £3.99 and £5.99 maybe, but the Blu Ray will still be £17.99, although maybe in a 3 for 2 offer so it will be down to £13 ish.

    Another example, Torchwood season 1 DVD's, £17.99, Blu Ray is £41.99. Come on!!!!!

    Errrrm, DVD it is. I've got a Blu Ray player and a 1080p upscaling multi region DVD, until Blu Ray titles track the DVD prices (e.g £17.99 drops to £8.99 in 6 months) then they'll not sell well.

    Best bargain I got was the Spiderman trilogy Blu Rays for £17.98, that's good.

    All the extra features on Blu Ray are amazing, but I (like most people I know) generally just watch the film. I WILL pay the extra £1-£2 for a 2 disc version of a DVD just incase, but not multiply the price by 2-3 times for a Blu Ray release!

  13. Adrian Jackson

    @Mike Crawshaw

    Which is mostly a fair point. But as more people have 1080p TVs and prices drop - particularly as discs hit budget titles and appear in the three-for-a-tenner style deals at places like HMV it'll be more tempting to buy movies on BluRay. Assuming that physical media still have a place in the future, and personally I hope and believe they will.

    The difference in quality *is* noticeable to non-videophiles, even at 720p/1080i rather than 1080p. And as for the number of people with BluRay players, PS3 means there are plenty of them out there - enough to provide a handy kickstart to the user base, though not to drive the sort of success Sony are talking about, which will require cheap stand-alone players to hit quite soon.

  14. Daniel Wilkie


    I have a Blu-Ray player downstairs, hooked up to a Bravia. It looks ace playing Blu-Ray films, but it doesn't really look noticably worse playing normal DVD's either. I can tell the difference if I look REALLY hard, but it's not enough to make me want to buy any more Blu-Ray films. Mind you, I never sat there watching DVD's thinking "My god, I wish somebody would bring out a better quality format, this is awful". DVD is as good as I need.

    On the other hand, I've thought about getting a Blu-Ray burner for the PC as it's extra storage capacity would be very useful. I think high capacity optical storage definately has its uses, but I think they're excessive for movies. Games on the other hand, they would be good for. And playing Mass Effect on a normal TV then playing it on HD I can really see the difference, much more so than with HD movies and SD movies.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    DRM is the deal-breaker

    I've got a nice plasma HD TV but I've also got a DVD player which upscales quite nicely. It may not be the best system in the world but its okay for me and the family. I see no benefit worth the extra cost of moving to Blu-Ray and the DRM is a killer for me. I don't watch a lot of content on my PC but I want the option and I don't want it DRM-ed to hell and back.

    My suspicion is that HD TVs are still being outsold by non-HD and that means that the market for Blu-Ray is still niche and if I am not alone in seeing the need Blu-Ray WITH HD then that makes it a niche in a niche and these claims even more incredible (in its original sense).

    Just an attmept to drum up business methinks.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Makes perfect sense

    The natural progression of the market will mean the following happens:

    * BD players will come down in price (possibly even with scart on the cheapest ones)

    * DVD players will be phased out due to minimal price difference

    * People replacing players will end up with BD/DVD players

    At the same:

    * Prices will drop on BD disc manufacture

    * HMV et al starting BD "3 for £20" offers

    Eventually this will result in people moving to BD, almost by stealth. This is likely to be even faster than the VHS->DVD transition due to the inherent backwards compatibility. All Sony have done is put some predicted timescales based on past performances.

    All arguments of quality, cost and requirements are irrelevant to the market.

    Can we have a "no sh1t sherlock" icon please?

  17. Greg

    I won't re-buy movies

    Well, not many. I'll buy new movies on Blu-Ray, because there's not really much point doing anything else, but movies I already own - especially anything made before the mid-90s - will probably stay on DVD. If Outland wasn't filmed in HD, and no-one's willing to spend the time to re-master it in HD, then what the chuff is the point of owning it on a HD format?

  18. Dave Bell

    But why?

    I shall have to replace my TV and my DVD player to get any advantage.

    I suppose there might be an advantage in going for something that uses less power than a CRT display, but not at current prices for hardware.

    The only advantage I can see for Blu-Ray is, when prices drop, the potential for slightly easier backup of hard drives on home computers. GBP 60 for half a terabyte of hard drive at Tesco is fine, until you spend half that on blank DVDs for backup. (Software RAID? On Windows?)

    And I am not keen on being a hostage to Hollywood, which seems to be the usual consequence of DRM.

    (Actually, it's not being a hostage to Hollywood: follow the money and you soon get to the usual suspects on Wall St.)

  19. Jess


    No it wasn't poor quality. It was a plasma screen, which don't have the same resolution as LCDs, but have better viewing angles, motion and contrast.

    My friend chose it because he couldn't see the extra resolution (from his viewing distance) on a 1020 screen, but he could see the better contrast etc. (I suspect I would be able to see the difference.)

  20. Tim


    DVD player £25

    Blu-Ray £200

    Disc prices are usually at least 60% more as well.

    You do the math.

  21. Liam
    Thumb Up


    screens will keep getting bigger. i could see the artifacts and low bit depth on DVDs ages ago on my 32" CRT... although only certain DVDs - i guess its the encoding that is done. i watched the special edition of robocop recently - i had to remove my glasses as it was such poor encoding! :(

    for me BR is the way to go but prices need to drop... i remember paying £20 for pii on dvd (wtf for as its black and white lol) so BR isnt that much mroe expensive than DVD was ages ago... the problem is that people like me with shitloads of dvds are now picking up the bargain £3/4 movies (places like tesco/asda have some great bargains) - so campare that to BR the difference is massive

    as more ps3s and standalone BR players are sold (and cheaper i hope) we should see a drop in retail prices for media (blank and retail discs). once its feasibly worth copying BR we will see it take off again (i.e. blank prices arent £10/pop)

    BR is noticably better than DVD... if you cant see it you're using a shitty cheap tv (720i/p - wtf is the point?) or have no eyes. also the audio quality is noticably better too... of course the people moaning are the same tight ass people who bought a £20 dvd player and wondered why dvds didnt look much better than VHS... strangely if you buy fisher price gadgetry you get fisher price quality too...

    remember - when you go to comet etc to see quality they have a couple of cources plugged into hundreds of devices... its going to look shite... plus many people dont know what cables to use (ffs some people still use composite cables over RGB scart for their dvd players! the difference between those 2 is like comparing DVD to youtube!)

    i dont think some people care about image quality - these people using divx on large tvs need their eyes testing... i stop watching divx ~6 years ago when i got a 32" TV as the quality was too bad to watch. now im using a 42" tv im waiting for BR prices to drop... i use a DVD rental scheme so i still get DVDs from there.

    BR WILL take off - eventually... i wonder if the new HD++ will be here by then - that can carry 4x the resolution....

    1080p on a large tv isnt that great resolution when you think about it.... ffs even this 24" monitor does higher resolution than that natively (1920x1200)!

  22. Alex


    There seems to be so many people basically not understanding the idea of DRM. yes it's a pain, yes it's caused no end of trouble in the past. BUT, and there is a huge but(t), DRM is here to stay so long as people rip off the movies/films/etc without paying for them.

    Come on, seriously, it's not just SONY that have been going down this route(!! Really?? You believe it's just them??). All major players in the creative pool that sell creative merchandise want to make sure that their investment is secure. If they can't then it's not worth them releasing.. I see DRM as a future hassle that is also not going to go away - anyone who thinks that they can just 'boycott' a company because they have DRM is just delusional and missing out.

    Personally, I hate DRM, but the fact is, it's going to stay (or more likely evolve).

    As for whether Blu-ray as a physical removeable media is here to stay? Well, I for one WANT physical media... who in the hell wants downloadable media? Not for years friends... YEARS! the infrastructure in the Europe (or the US for that matter) is still years away. I'm not saying it's not coming, just not as quickly as people would like it to be. The cost for an upgrade in the data infrastructure is significant enough to not do it overnight.. maybe in the year 2015 when a DRM-like appendage has been established.

    "Blu-Ray is Dead, Long Live Blu-Ray"

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh why is it so crap...

    The whole HD marketing bandwagon is just so flawed on so many practical levels, largely covered by previous posts. I know 1 person with an LCD screen and as they have no HD input it looks totally kack.

    As for buyiing disks, I have never understood why people will routinely pay £10 and more to own a film on DVD they will in all probability watch once. Only the stupid and thise with too much cash.

    As people become more tech savvy (p2p etc) and as the global recession bites both the 'stupid' and 'rich' camps are dwindling.

    The fact is for most families the 'Brave New HD World' doesn't add up

  24. Nick Charlton


    Films shot in 35mm, are of a higher "res" than HD. There is more detail that what DVD can fit - that's why you can get old films in HD. Even if it isn't specifically made for HD, the quality is there and just requires recapturing from the original film stock in a better quality.

    Given BD's backwards compatibility I can assume that DVD's will rocket to nothing, people will start to buy BD players but still buy DVD as it's the same real price. That is assuming that we still have SD *free-to-air* TV. If we don't and have HD, then it will be a little different. I can't see HD taking over as fast as VHS did though, and that was shockingly slow...

    At the end of the day it's all about cost.

  25. A J Stiles

    Blu-ray will become popular .....

    ..... when, and not until, home Blu-ray recorders (with built-in HDTV tuners capable of receiving movies in HD) are available to the masses.

    Play-only devices are nothing more than toys.

  26. John Robson Silver badge

    Not for a while

    DVD's are good enough for home use, in the same way that mp3 is good enough for almost all listening.

    I'm not going to spend a grand or more to get a telly that looks no better than my current (decent) CRT.

    The most likely change is to a projector, and I'll try to get one with proper HD resolution, that will simply use a smaller section of the screen for DVD playback (maybe put each pixel out as a 2*2 block, but no more "sophisticated" processing than that please...

  27. Eric Van Haesendonck
    Thumb Down

    DRM and price a still an issue

    It is true that Blu-Ray look better than DVD on a big (42 inches or more) 1080p TV, but how many people even have that (or even the space for that) in their living rooms?

    Also there are still a lot of issues with Blu-Ray DRM: there is no official Linux player (and with MythTV a lot of HTPCs are running Linux) or even Mac players. In the US that's probably around 10% (Mac + Linux + 'legacy' windows) of computers that are incompatible just on the DRM side. Add to that that a lot of people like ripping their DVD to hard disks, transcode them for viewing on their iPods, Zen, EEE PC etc... and you have a lot of usage scenarios that become impossible. To me the gain in quality isn't worth the loss in convenience.

    And there is also the added price of media (25€ for a movie that's 10€ on DVD, no way) or equipment (the cheapest players cost 300€). The price of player will also never go as far down as DVD only because Blu-Ray include so much more patented technology (add VC, H264, TruHD, ACSS, BD+) for which manufacturers have to pay royalties in addition of the DVD's (CSS and MPEG2). On a $40 DVD player the most expensive component is patent royalties (around $8, or 20% of the sale's price), I bet on a blu-ray player the cost of royalties is two or tree times that.

    It seems to me that Sony is trying to push the quality of SACD when people want the convenience and portability of MP3s.

  28. Rob Beard
    Gates Halo

    Old films in HD

    Having watched some older films in HD on my 720p telly, I can't help but think that the quality isn't drastically better. I think if it was me I'd still buy older releases on DVD as they're so cheap (£3 to £4 compared to the same film on Blu-ray for around £15 to £20).

    I'm also considering investing in an XBOX HD-DVD drive which are now about £20 in Gamestation/Game with movies in Gamestation costing £5 each.

    That'll keep me going until Bluray comes down a bit more.

    Angel Bill because M$ dropped the price of the HD-DVD drive.


  29. Matthew

    He's right but....

    DVD was sufficiently better than VHS/LD/VCD to warrant replacing your entire library whereas BD isn't as with a decent upscaler DVD's still look good. So although I'll buy new films on BD I'm not going to replace my old discs any time soon.

  30. Xpositor

    @jess / @monkey

    I think you'll find that a 1080p plasma is the same resolution as a 1080p LCD, and a 720p plasma the same as a 720p lcd.

    re disc cost - I bought the Bladerunner 5 disc set for £11.99 and I am legend for £9.99 - so it is possible to get the software at a reasonable price.

    My main concern is the mix of platforms in my house now - I had to invest in a BD reader for my PC to enable me to backup films to DVD so that my kids could watch them on their portables (I consider this no different to buying a Vista licence but actually installing XP...)

  31. James Bassett

    Re: I Only know two people with Blu-Ray players

    You know two more than I do then. And I'm in the 30-something target demographic for the Sony marketing. Mind you, most of my friends and I don't buy many DVD's anymore either. DVD rental by post is so cheap and convenient it seems a complete waste to spend £10 on a crap film you'll only watch once. I'm certainly not going to spend double that on the Blu-Ray version.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: RM is the deal-breaker

    The only people that worry about DRM, are the movie pirates, who make movies more expensive for the rest of us.

    Get a job

    Buy the movie.

    Typical of the Xbox parasites that live here...

  33. Iain

    @Rob Beard

    I wouldn't bother with the HD-DVD drive. It's a perfectly fine format; I've got three shelves of the things myself, along with two players (the XBox one and the standalone I subsequently bought because the 360's fan noise is annoying). But that boat has sailed; the last of the bargains are starting to dry up now and many of the best titles are becoming difficult to find.

    On the other hand, I was watching Batman Begins last night. Shot on 35mm with no digital intermediate, so just like 'old films' that some people claim not to see the point of HD for, but it both looked and sounded absolutely stunning. The HD formats look a lot more like film than DVD did; I've grown so tired of the look of the latter format, with its mosquito noise and macroblocking artifacts that I find myself preferring even Laserdisc some of the time.

  34. Abe

    @ AC RE: RM is the deal-breaker

    "Typical of the Xbox parasites that live here..."

    Whats this thread got to do with Xbox?

    Typical of sony fanboi's, virgins and bitter.

  35. Jess


    1080 plasmas tend to be big. Normal price/size ones tend to be 720.

  36. Robin Don


    Interestingly I have a not-actually-HD Ready TV (Acer AL2671W) and have my PS3 connected to it via DVI, and it plays Blu-Ray films at 720p or 1080i resolution - *BUT* it won't upscale DVDs for me (before someone asks: yes, the setting is on).

    So, it seems the absence of HDCP doesn't degrade Blu-Ray on PS3 (currently), but does stop upscaling. I'm not too fussed by the DVDs, they still look ok, but I'm *very* happy with the Blu-Ray quality :o)

  37. Robert Harrison

    Good enough

    To agree with one of the earlier posters I don't know anyone with a Blu-ray player, but lots of people with DVDs.

    Besides, all this HD TV is a load of crap, who cares? Surely it only really makes a difference if you're a videophile with an ever expanding tardis-like lounge which will accomodate a bigger and bigger TV. Most people are not videophiles and find that DVD on their existing entertainment systems are just fine. I've got a mid to small sized widescreen TV in the corner of my lounge with a couple of SCART inputs, I bought it for about 150 quid. DVD films on it suit me down to the ground. When it dies, I'll buy another budget TV, if it happens to have HD then whup-te-doo. Who actually spends a couple of grand on a TV anyway? "I must do something with my credit card but I just can't think what". Anyone with this problem, I can help[1].

    [1] That started to sound a little bit like the A-Team in my head, but I couldn't be arsed to find the actual quote.

  38. Mark


    Liam, you are somewhat talking out of your arse and have clearly been taken in by the blu-ray propaganda machine. The "if you can't see the difference you must be using a cheap shit tv" argument is arrogant in the extreme. I have a modern Pioneer plasma screen which certainly isn't cheap - often rated as one of the best plasma panels around - and, given that both it and the denon dvd player attached to it are excellent at upscaling, there isn't really too much to write home about in terms of difference between a recent DVD and it's blu-ray equivalent. Possibly because of differences between a mature codec and an immature one like comparing LAME mp3 with AAC. I think HD's advantage is in the very large screen formats not in your typical household sized screen (think 60 inch +) that you find in the UK.

    As for DivX being too bad to watch - try getting a film that's been encoded properly in future. DivX is an mpeg4 codec like blu-ray (although not AVC) and the quality comes down to the encoding but it's certainly capable of being used on HD screens.

  39. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    DRM is dying - get used to it

    I wait for DVD's to reach £5 before I buy. Some people do not wait, and pay £5 for illegal copies. If distributors just sold at £5, they would do far more to prevent illegal copying than DRM ever did, and they would make more money (by taking a larger percentage of the market and by not having to pay for DRM licenses.)

    When £5 blue ray disks play on Linux I will be interested.

    In the mean time people - please stop paying huge amount of money for films. The price is only that high because people are prepared to pay it, and the exorbitant prices are just funding a market for illegal copies.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Et tu Brute!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rob Beard and @Iain

    Iain; you missed one other drawback with Rob Beard's plan to buy films on "bargain" HD-DVD. You/he'll have to keep an old HD-DVD player lying around, tying your films to it, because they won't work with DVD or Blu Ray players.

    If your HD-DVD player goes belly up in a few years time, you'll either have to abandon the films or scrabble on EBay for another drive, because no-one's going to be making them any more.

    It's incredibly unlikely that future players will support HD-DVD either- it never got mass-market established before it died, so backwards compatibility won't be enough of a sell for them to bother. Especially not if the machines are selling for the price that most DVD players sell for now.

  42. Mage


    It's invented for 50" to 60" TVs... At normal viewing distance on 37" only 10% of people will see much difference, most will see none.

    If the TV is any good it will accept 576p or 480p progressive DVD and upscale as well as any BluRay and handle 576i nearly as well. USA 480i and 1080i has the 3:2 telecine issue, hence progressive and 720p modes more important in USA/Japan than Europe.

    Most UK/Ireland "HD ready" TVs already sold and most in shops now are either too small, or 1366x768 or both. Unless it's at least 50% bigger than your current TV (32" WS --> 48"WS, or 28"4:3 -> 54" WS, height is the issue) then you won't see much value in HD format vs upscaled or even native DVD (assuming 576 line part of world, not USA/Japan).

    Actually my PAL S-VHS looks better than USA DVDs as it has really 576 lines vs 480 and at 4:3, the 500 equivalent pixel is close to 720 16:9 !

    Most Europe/Australia DVDs look much better than the S-VHS thought we have had a few poor quality titles. (I'm comparing off air recordings as pre-recorded VHS are not as good and not S-VHS).

  43. Monkey

    Jess and a general addition to the discussion

    It might not be a true 1080p panel (1021 I think), so will only display up to 720. I know a couple of people who bought older plasmas and got stung with this. 720 won't look any different than DVD upscaled, and not much better if not upscaled.

    BR through a true 1080p panel (LCD or Plasma), looks the business. it really does, and whilst a decent upscaler works wonders with standard DVD, the lack of noise and artifacting in the picture of BR stands out in the depth of field and clarrity. The difference in quality is there and will become more markedly so as encoding on BR films improves, as it has done so already.

    But with the emergence of alternative media sources coming into the home the last few years, the sheer colosus of the DVD user base, dwindling amounts of spare cash most and consumers just not seeming to be interested enough, can BR really get the size of market share claimed in the article? I'm sceptical and so are a lot of people here it seems.

  44. Liam
    Thumb Up

    hmmmm II

    @ Jess

    no offence mate "It was a plasma screen, which don't have the same resolution as LCDs, but have better viewing angles, motion and contrast.

    " is just bollocks. it all depends on several things - mainly the manufacturer and spec of the actual TV. i guarantee my lcd is a damn site better than any 720 only offering...

    yes, plasma CAN have a better image (if i could justify the 000s on a top end TV it would most likely be a plasma) but you cannot just give a blanket statement like that... many low end plasmas are CRAP compared to mid-range LCDs like mine

    legal downloads will never take off fully... you cant lend discs to mates, you cannot take movies round to watch on other systems etc... i prefer a physical piece of CAPITOL that i can resell if i wanted... fair enough if legal downloads are a fraction of the retail price (i.e. you can OWN a HD film [with proper surround not some shitty stereo only option] for about 5£) since you are paying for delivery, storage and everything else)

    there is real trend of accessible shitty quality audio/video these days... all these numptys watching shitty divx and 128kbps mp3s... think of your eyes and ears people... you are losing the ability to hear decently (bass hunter anyone) and seemingly can handle some truely terrible visuals (youtube etc)

    the internet has a lot to do with this... yes media is easy to obtain - but generally worse quality than we had 10 years ago..

    @ "Having watched some older films in HD on my 720p telly, I can't help but think that the quality isn't drastically better" - erm, is that because they were badly made films anyway? films like aliens etc arent even good enough for DVD due to shittiest film stock ever... some stuff will not be worth having in HD...

    wheras new films like transformers, LOTR, rocketman will be massively better. DVD and VHS, due to their poor quality, actually hide some problems...

    one film that springs to mind was the new james bond - which was so grainy it looked pants on 1080p... this was down to bad film stock/poor use of technology i guess? grain filters should be banned!

    @"Angel Bill because M$ dropped the price of the HD-DVD drive." - only due to it being completely obsolete almost straight away!

    @"I'm not going to spend a grand or more to get a telly that looks no better than my current (decent) CRT." - believe me it will - this is someone who had a sony wega CRT before his lovely toshiba...

    "The most likely change is to a projector, and I'll try to get one with proper HD resolution, that will simply use a smaller section of the screen for DVD playback (maybe put each pixel out as a 2*2 block, but no more "sophisticated" processing than that please..." - wtf? spoken like a true luddite... motion conmensation etc is amazing on a decent TV... like when you go to comet and see some quite cheap TV and think 'oh that looks ok' until something moves and the screen is blurred to hell... this doesnt happen on decent TVs now.. and projectors have shitty contrast compared to even the crappest LCD TV. ive seen plenty of projectors working and none of them can display an image anywhere near as good as my mates 20 year old TV... contrast is king

    as to cost of media - has anyone looked to see that places like tescodvdrental do BD films - no extra cost... worth looking at...

    @ "Typical of sony fanboi's, virgins and bitter." - wtf? playstations have always been the cool gadget... x-boxes seem to be owned by spotty freaks who often still live at home...

    @mark's "and, given that both it and the denon dvd player attached to it are excellent at upscaling, there isn't really too much to write home about in terms of difference between a recent DVD and it's blu-ray equivalent" - your kit is wasted on you then mate.. cant you see the difference in colour? and HEAR the difference in HD audio? see the massive amounts of clarity that are there that no matter how good your dvd player is it CANNOT ADD DETAIL THAT IT HASNT GOT. i also said ive not used divx for years... due to it looking crap on a 32" tv... plus i love my surround sound... yes its an mp4 codec... i wonder if a 1 gig file will look as good as a 50gig one? ffs porches and ladas both use petrol and an engine... but the difference is massive

    maybe i have too much of a critical eye - but working as a designer for years gives me this...

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @Daniel Wilkie

    So... how do you watch said DVDs? Is it perchance in the BD player which does its best to upscale it for your TV? If not, have you tried playing the same film (BD and DVD) and flicking between them? I can definitely spot the difference.

    Thank the Lord that some people in the world don't look at a something and think "that's good enough, we just won't try anymore". Granted, BD/HD is a revolution and not an evolution, but that is the norm in technology. Frankly I don't remember ever watching VHS when there was no better quality available and thinking "oh I wish someone would improve it"

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Don't care what you say

    DRM is the killer on this product. When the manufacturer has the ability to kill your machine via a firmware update or the disc seller can change the drm so you can't even watch the disc you just bought.... sorry, folks; that's all she wrote.

    I have a work-mate who has screw-ray(tm) and he says the picture on a bit telly is "georgeous"; but then he's got the money to piss away on both the pieces parts needed for that. I can't afford to replace all the VPS tapes the kids have with DVD much less entirely replace the library built up over years with new disc formats (sound familiar to you LP owners out there?).

    Paris, 'coz even she's not that stupid.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well to counter.

    I know about 30 or so people here at work with Blu-ray players. Most of them PS3, and only a handful standalone.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @Rob Beard

    "Having watched some older films in HD on my 720p telly, I can't help but think that the quality isn't drastically better"

    Indeed, but if you will watch in 720p! Assuming you're in the UK, DVD was effectively 576i, so a 25% increase in v-resolution (but granted an increase in the spatial resolution). The US (480i) got a 50% bump with 720p.

    Freeze-frame comparison between DVD and 720p will show little increase for a UK consumer. Motion should be smoother though. Find something with a slow panning shot and spot the difference. I can still see juddery movements in cinemas with this sort of test.

  49. Liam

    hmmmmmmmmm III

    why do people think that we will need to replace all our collection of DVDs with BRs?

    i will buy the odd new BR film if i think it warrants it - but as someone with over 1000 dvds (many seem many times) its never gonna happen. i might buy the odd title that i know will look great on BR (star wars, LOTR & batman etc) but i will still keep most of my DVDs

  50. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    @ Flocke Kroes

    "In the mean time people - please stop paying huge amount of money for films. The price is only that high because people are prepared to pay it, and the exorbitant prices are just funding a market for illegal copies."

    Won't work. If they released a movie and nobody bought it, they would still just blame it on "pirates" and introduce even worse restrictions.

  51. W


    re: "have you tried playing the same film (BD and DVD) and flicking between them? I can definitely spot the difference."

    No. Have you tried watching a whole film on DVD and then watching it on BD? Would the BD experience be _that_ much more satisfying?

    I tried flicking between Sky HD and Sky SD at my sister's gaff, and couldn't tell the difference. But that's just an invitation to come up with some excuses as to why it wasn't any better. Probably that the TV wasn't true 1080p HD or that it was set up badly or that Sky HD isn't as good as a BD or or or...

    The argument for HD _always_ relies on the need for getting better kit and being a spod about it's setup.

    Guess what? There's a concensus that PC's are plateau-ing in terms of necessary spec for the average user. Ever thought the same might be happening in the living room?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    regarding "re-buys"

    Enhanced quality... (IF you can notice it and IF you are really bothered by it) does it change the ending of the film? Do you feel better for being able to see individual splats of sweat or blood? Am I about to go and shell out another wad of hard earned cash for the same film I already own? naaaa - I bought it once... sod that for a game of soldiers.

    We, as consumers, are being shafted left, right and centre (mostly in the [shopping] centre)... Is it any wonder the world is so tuned in to illegal downloads?

  53. Thanasonic

    52 comments and nobody mentioned the following....

    52 comments about how much difference exists between dvds and bluray and if the upgrade worths its pennies...

    except the 1:1 pixel mapping chipset of the screen, encoder quality used to encode the blueray from its source, video convertor quality on the blueray player, inches and others - surprisingly, nobody mentioned the following:


    There is an optimal viewing position while watching HD material as well as SD. A general rule of thumb for the average joe to understand is the following:

    screen size(diagonal) * 2 = the distance your eyes must be from the screen(not your feet).

    For a more idiot proof online calculator visit this:

    (more skilled videophiles must search it their own - google is man's best friend (like dog used to be once)

    Watching a HD film in a shorter or bigger distance than this, will end up you loosing the "HD experience".

    STOP sign, because ppl must always research more before adapting a new technology.

    Best Regards

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Interesting ratio...

    40:60? Anybody with a gradeschool education knows that's the same as 2:3. Why inflate the numbers?

    Anybody remember the episode where Spock spouted the impressive fiigure "One to the third power?" It's kind of like that.

    As for other arguments about quality: I don't think anybody is claiming that BD isn't better than DVD. It's not entirely a question of how much better it is. It's a question of perception by the general public. Yeah, the quality is better, but is DVD Good Enough? Once again I bring up Laserdisc vs. VHS. Anybody who has seen them side-by-side -- especially if they saw them at their peak, before DVD was even a gleam in its daddy's eye -- would agree that Laserdisc quality was far superior to that of VHS, and it was a permanent medium -- no wear, no breakage, no deterioration (with a few notable exceptions). Yet adoption was poor. Why? Because most people cared less about the quality, within reason, than the convenience.

    BD has less of a hill to climb. They're physically small and convenient to handle and store -- unlike Laserdisc -- and backwards-compatible with the most popular current format -- unlike Laserdisc -- and can be written to by the consumer -- unlike Laserdisc. The current prices are forbidding if you're just a casual viewer.

    Eventually players will come down in price, nobody will sell DVD players any more (but the BD players will play your DVD collection), people will stop manufacturing movies on DVDs. Convenience is not the factor it was with LD because it's the same as for DVD.

    ... Unless the studios insist on weighing it down with DRM that makes it impossible to play the damned things. That make it easier and more convenient to download the movie via P2P, stripped of Draconian copy protection and region coding, than it is to buy the disc legally and play it as you want to. People are starting to get pissed off, guys. Cut the crap, it's getting real old. And the more customers you alienate by treating them like criminals, the fewer you'll have.

    So there's this VHS tape my daughter likes to watch, that we checked out of the local library. Guess what? It's got Macrovision, which some of you will remember from the bad old days. Guess what? Doesn't play on her setup, which is an old but rather nice Mitsubishi VHS deck and a capture card in her computer. Most tapes aren't a problem, but this one wouldn't play. It wasn't the tape deck, it was the Macrovision -- the capture card couldn't hold synch.

    So she played it in my room a few times, which has an old but rather nice Sony VHS deck and a regular television. But that was kind of inconvenient for me. Know what I did next?

    You probably guessed it. I would have been happy checking out the tape from the library every few weeks, but noooo. Now I'm a criminal.

    Know how much the studio lost on that? Zilch. Zip. Nada. But I'm sure they'll try to turn it into a statistic showing that they lost millions of dollars because of me.


    I don't generally post anonymously but I think I'd better this time.

  55. Martin Usher

    You get HD because you buy a TV these days

    Sales of HD TV sets are misleading because you can't buy anything other than 1080p sets these days. So HD is not a consumer choice, just someone replacing a clapped out TV.

    What you're getting with a 1080p, especially if you're upconverting, is the experience you used to get with a typical projection TV (of any quality, that is). They all used non-interlacing and line doubling, its the only way to stop the picture looking grainy. Adding a proper 1080p feed doesn't really make much difference to the picture because your eyes are having to resolve too much detail -- they're just not built for it (especially if the scene's got movement in it)(whch explains why HD demonstrators in the stores usually have a slide show, the impact of a movie is size and sound).

    As for BD disks taking over. They might except that most people have several players, not just the one. I think the only way you could really get the BD market to catch fire is if you packaged SD DVDs along with the HD ones. Otherwise you're locking out equipment which means you've got to make a choice, and the delta isn't that good to sell just HD for most people and most material.

  56. Zmodem

    Digitaky capture a movie

    with a studio camera that has megapixels and the picture would probaly looj HD on a tv made back in the 80s

  57. jason

    A few points I have -

    1. Like many others I dont know anyone with a BD player or PS3 yet and my friends love their gadgets. Something wrong there for a start!

    2. Yes DVD is good enough. I watch a £3 dvd on a Saturday night with the Gf, a bottle of wine and a pizza. I appreciate HD stuff (I see a lot of movies at the cinema) but I'm not bothered about HD use at home. A well mastered DVD looks more then fine to me.

    3. How many DVD/BD's do you watch more than once? In my collection I have maybe 5 that have been watched more than once. The question I really need to keep any of these disks that are just taking up space? Do I really need to pay a premium to have the disk? Downloads please.

    4. Does 95% of the Hollywood output really warrant the HD treatment? Do I need Dodgeball/anything by Eddie Murphy or Adam Sandler/bad remake if 1080p? Not really.

    BD is just too late really. It will be a niche product, by 2010 we'll be looking elsewhere. If not then if I can hold out till 2015 then I can just jump on the next ultra-HD format that you know they are working on right now.

    Market churn anyone?

  58. Leo Maxwell

    BD is a dead end, too poor, too complex, too late

    Disk media is a dead end.

    Strange, nobody seems to have mentioned that you can pick up a 1Gb USB pendrive for less than a pound these days, a 2Gb one costs 99p plus VAT from Aria.

    How long before there is a solid state format that is cheaper, more convenient, and more compact than a disk?

    It takes longer to burn a DVD than copy the files to a pendrive.

    I have a 4Gb SDcard that is the size of my fingernail.

    I agree generally with the Quality isn't important comments.

    I watch TV and DVD on a 22" Widescreen monitor, via DVI from a Linux HTPC, so no Blu-ray for me (despite the fact that Sony Blu-ray players actually run Linux- check out their website download section!) I have the added bonus that I can hide it with a painting when not in use (which is most of the time),

    Given the size of my living room, I would have to give up too much space to a 46" monster, and I would have to sit at the opposite end of the room to watch it- no thank you.

    I put in 6.1 surround sound, but the family insisted I remove it- they said it just sounded too strange, so back to plain old stereo.

    If you want to spend lots of money on the cinema "experience" fine - But the great majority won't.

  59. Anonymous Coward





  60. al
    Thumb Down

    ferrite ringers

    Jeesus, Does anyone actually watch the movie anymore or does everyone just pixel peep the DVD encoding with a box of kleenex...

    Recently moved to a 37" LCD, normal dvd player via scart, not impressed, transformed my vast £3.99 tesco DVD collection.

    bought a £30 sumvision upscaling player with HDMI, bloody hell, now there's a difference worth £30,

    funny though, a shit film is still shit, but.... Coyote Ugly looks a whole lot better, oi' pixel geeks, pass the kleenex :-) .

    nearly forgot, ferrite rings, way back in the eighties I worked in an upmarket high end hifi shop, I bought ferrite rings for pennies and sold them for pounds, (attach them to your speaker cable) the hi fi audiophile mags of the day told everyone that it would make their listening experience sooo much better....... but these folk listened to the hifi not to the music

    my point, well, if the moles in my garden are too lazy to put the scaffolding clips on securely then.........................

  61. Andy Worth

    I have to point out.......

    I have had a HD LCD TV and a Blu-Ray player for almost a year now, and to be honest until fairly recently I was struggling to tell the difference between an upscaled DVD and a Blu-Ray.

    Then I got my eyes tested and discovered that I needed glasses for a relatively minor sight issue. My sight didn't seem bad, but I was getting tired looking at VDU's all day.

    Now the difference is plainly obvious between Blu-Ray and upscaled DVD.

    I'm not saying that everyone should go and rush out to buy one because there's no point in watching anything not in HD. My purchase was the result of "post-bonus money spunking" and I still buy as many DVD's as I do Blu-Rays, if not even slightly more. But I AM suggesting that those people who say they "can't tell the difference", are either using the wrong kit, or should consider a visit to the optician.

  62. Jim

    Re: I have to point out.......

    Good point to make Andy!

    My local optician has an ad in the window ... "Are your eyes HD ready? Come in for a test."

    I wonder how many people think that SD DVDs are perfectly acceptable because they are just as fuzzy as 'real life'? If you're getting by in life with no (or the wrong) glasses, HD is a wake up call ... I have specs which I wear at the cinema or when watching a powerpoint on the office projector or when watching HD Sky TV and BD movies on my PS3 but otherwise I don't wear them.

  63. Alex


    "I tried flicking between Sky HD and Sky SD at my sister's gaff, and couldn't tell the difference. But that's just an invitation to come up with some excuses as to why it wasn't any better. Probably that the TV wasn't true 1080p HD or that it was set up badly or that Sky HD isn't as good as a BD or or or..."

    Shirley, you can't be serious ....? Now that IS night and day! Sky HD vs Sky SD is very much different. Artifacting on most channels seem like bad DVDs, where as Sky HD gives them in a sort of sharper detail (ala DVDs). Personally think that SkyHD is a complete waste of money, but there you go..

    (Oh, Sky HD is only in 720, and not 1080 - if it was 1080, it still wouldn't be worth it until they added more quality channels ["quality" being the word for today])


    [Physical format is here to stay for quite some time.. and unfortunately so is DRM - Fact, so deal with it - I'll still be here in 5 years time]

  64. Liam

    good point...

    i tend to wear my glasses for ps3 games and nice looking movies... but with some DVDs i have to take them off as i can see the artifacts too much (v poor encoding).

    sky is only 720? im on virgin and their box can output 1080i.

    just watching the difference between planet earth SD and HD is enough for anyone surely? the additional stuff you can make out really makes the world of difference!

  65. Jay


    Sometimes on Sky the HD channels are showing *exactly* (ie same pic quality etc) what the SD channels are. Sky One and C4 do this quite a bit.

    So before doing a comparison make sure that whatever prog is on (say) Sky One is actually in HD (it should say so on the prog info). And if you can't tell the difference after that then it's either a duff setup or your eyes are screwed.

  66. Simon Says

    SD vs HD...

    It actually quite surprises me by how much people underestimate the difference between SD and HD. Even Anon up there who makes the point that (UK) DVD is 576i seems to underestimate the situation. Yes it's a 25% increase to go from 576 lines to 720, but that is literally only half the picture. Since it is progressive, 720p is 720 lines 50 times a second, whereas interlaced 576i is 576 lines only 25 times a second (and that is a simplified version ignoring the weird defects interlacing can introduce). Also the increase in spatial resolution is massive - from 720 pixels wide in 576i to 1280 in 720p (over a 75% increase). It all adds up to nearly 4.5 times the amount of detail per second when you include the difference between interlaced and progressive. And of course that is just 720p... 1080p is even better. That's 1920x1080, 50 times a second. 5 times the h x v resolution of DVD and 10 times the detail when including p vs i.

    Then of course there is the superior compression technology that is used in Blu-ray (MPEG-4/AVC vs MPEG-2) that makes the difference even bigger, and not to mention the difference HD audio can make (though admittedly even less people have hd-capable sound systems than have hd displays).

    Naturally this all means a lot less if the viewer can't see all the detail in 1080p (or even 720p) - but larger screen TV's are definitely becoming more standard, and you certainly don't need a 42" TV to be able to appreciate the difference between SD and 720p (though for 1080p that does indeed seem to be about the benchmark "normal" viewing distances).

  67. Peter


    So Bluray wants to go from marginal high end product to mainstay in a little over 2 years? sure, right after the porcine flying schools become popular.

    The statistics listed mean nothing - 11million bluray discs sold globally? that is less than one disc per PS3 sold (14 million), let alone the dozen standalone players sold. Hardly a riproaring success. So bluray to account for 15% of all players sold? where, his local high end audio shop? Sure if you take the PS3 sales into account that may be possible. Bluray to dvd to rise to 40/60 ration by 2010 - where, his personal film collection?

    Bluray may one day surplant DVD if there is no other viable alternative available to replace DVD, but until then it is simply this generation's Laserdisc. I mean, this is a format surviving solely on the back of a games console - if you took that to the dragon's den, they would collapse in heaps of laughter.

  68. Nicolas Colbert

    Blu-ray Schmoo-ray

    And I predict the bottom will fall out of the disc market because we'll all just be downloading films. The product life cycle for Blu-Ray will be a fraction of the time that DVDs have prevailed.

    1/ Downloading is so easy.

    2/ Downloadable movies are portable.

    a. you'll want to re-purchase the download version because it would take you many hours per film to rip and transcode (even more so if you've purchased discs with excessive DRM)

    b. you can legally share amongst your devices

    3/ Apple has introduced films for download via iTunes - in HD format if you have Apple TV. Others are sure to follow - Sky?

    4/ Downloads are cheap (comparatively)! Usually £6.99 or £9.99.

    5/ A couple of external hard drives plus maybe an Apple TV or similar take up far less room.

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