BLU-RAY VERSUS DVD
Ever since the format war ended more than nine months ago, regular
DVD consumers should have noticed the increase in shelf space
retail stores have been dedicating to the Blu-ray format.
I’m sure most of us might have tones of unanswered questions
circling in our brains when we walk passed those glaring bluish
covers. The first thing you might ask: Is there any significant
differences between a Blu-ray (BD) disc and the usual DVD
format? Let us take a quick look into the 'mysteries' of BD.
normal Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25GB of data on a single-layer
disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc as compared to a DVD which
can only hold up to 8.5GB or less. Using a blue-violet laser
to read and write data, it’s capable of recording, rewriting
and playback of high-definition video (HD) which DVD can’t.
technology has a resolution of up to 1920x1080 with each line
containing 1920 pixels and given the huge space of a Blu-ray
disc, there won’t be unnecessary compression require
that will alter the picture quality. In other words, closing
on Tom Cruise’s pores is no longer mission impossible.
First you need a Full-HD or HD ready TV with an HDMI input
port effectively at least 40 inches and above or else you
won’t get to enjoy the full visual quality and vivid
effect. In addition, you need a Blu-ray player or BD-ROM that
is capable to play those HD Blu-ray discs. Sony, LG and Samsung
has come up with competitive, lower-priced models at around
S$599 or less and perhaps the best player touted by most hardware
magazines and DVD websites is none other than the Sony PS3
game console. Most importantly, Blu-ray players are still
capable to play those catalog DVDs which you have in abundance
and supposedly upscale your existing DVDs to a better video
audiopiles and sound fanatics who craved to get their roof
blown off might prefer a higher-end player that can decode
ultra-high sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio
with up to 8 channels of lossless audio encoding. The rest
of the crowd who are satisfied by the current Dolby Digital
5.1 and DTS Digital Surround offered in regular DVDs might
treat this as optional.
that all it is to Blu-ray?
this is a tricky question. Besides the above mentioned qualities,
BD still has one more apparent advantage over traditional
DVD. It’s capable of next-generation interactive feature
called BD-Live. The Blu-ray releases of "The Dark Knight"
and "Hellboy II" allow users to interact with the
directors online at stipulated date/time of course. Disney's
Blu-ray re-release of its animation classic "Sleeping
Beauty" allows users to log on to the Disney network.
Downloadable content which are is available only via the internet
through the Blu-ray disc. Major movie studios are scrambling
to churn out more BD-Live features but take-up rate has been
slow and users are pretty passive about it. Simply put, as
a home entertainment consumer, how many times do you see yourself
interacting and chatting with other online Dark Knight fans
for example? Thus it remains debatable whether BD-Live will
take off in the future.
Blu-ray disc is also scratch resistant which means its safe
to leave them lying around with your kids and house pets running
in the house.
gone shopping time! Realistically, a Blu-ray disc happens
to cost twice as much as a regular DVD. Take for instance,
the recent release of "The Dark Knight". The BD
version costs S$59.90 and the 2-Disc special edition DVD costs
only S$29.90 not taking account into some special deals offered
by retailers. If you prefer to shop at home, online retail
giants such as Amazon.com and Deep Discount offers competitive
prices with BD Dark Knight selling at US$23.99 at Amazon (excluding
shipping) and "Iron Man" as low as US$14.99 during
the Black Friday sale.
Sony Blu-ray titles such as "Casino Royale" are
going for S$39.90 in our local market and the promotion
is expected to last till January 2009. Alliance Entertainment
had a 50% off 2nd purchase promotion earlier on thus the best
bet is to shop around in town or on the web to sniff out the
the economy going down the drain and overall prospect looking
dimmer in 2009, "The Dark Knight" has surprisingly
break Blu-ray sales record in the U.S. with about 600,000
copies sold on the first day. The previous Blu-ray Disc sales
record was set earlier in the fourth quarter by Paramount
Home Entertainment´s "Iron Man", which sold
more than 500,000 for the first week.
are currently 1000 Blu-ray titles in the market, a mixture
of catalog and recent releases and studios are rushing to
re-release their past titles onto the Blu-ray format. Ironically,
some BD releases contain lesser features than a regular 3-Disc
DVD edition even though the HD format has a larger capacity.
Thus it’s best to do your homework before you throw
in your dollars on the say "Black Hawk Down" Blu-ray
disc unless of course you have plenty of greenback to spare.
If you are still skeptical about whether or not Blu-ray will
take off eventually, you just have to adopt a wait-and-see
attitude. Give it at least a year or so for the format to
really take off locally. For those craving for HD visual and
audio quality, it’s time to stock up on your favourite
classics and blockbusters on the Blu-ray format, I’m
sure you won’t be disappointed.
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