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I don't know much about Blu-ray video technology but ended up buying a Samsung unit the other day when an old Sony DVD player gave up the ghost. That's two strikes for Sony now so they're out: they convince you it costs more to repair than to replace. At least Best Buy is offering $25 for your old unit, whether it works or not. Of course, I also had to buy a special set of cables to optimize the picture clarity of Blu-ray.

I was told you can still play the old DVDs and that rental prices have come down from the early days. But when I rented a Blu-ray title at Blockbuster, I was told it was 80 cents more.

So what's the feeling among video users here? Is this like the old VHS wars where Sony's superior (Betamax?) technology lost out? Is Blu-ray itself going to be supplanted soon by some other technology? Are these 2 and 4-year extended warranty plans worth it?
 

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Jon, i have been on the fence about getting a Blu-ray DVD player. For starter, our regular DVD player is still working perfectly fine and cost is a big factor why I have not made the jump to the Blu-ray world. As i stated in another thread in the Frugal section, I am not prepared to shell out $25 for every Blu-ray disc...I do prefer building a small collection of my favorite movies instead of renting them so until the prices come down, I think we will be staying on the sideline.

I don't play games so getting a Sony PlayStation 3 which can double up as a Blu-ray player and a multimedia streaming station is out of the question. The move from VHS to DVD was HUGE because of the format change but I don't think this move (from DVD to Blu-ray) has that type of significance. By and large, Blu-ray is here to stay for at least another 2 years but we don't have a crystal ball and I have heard Internet High-Def streaming movies will make some noise sooner rather than later.

We may pick up a Blu-ray player if the price is attractive (Boxing Day etc) but it is not a priority for us at the moment.
 

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We don't see the need yet to upgrade to Blu-Ray. We have a 37" LCD and a SVGA projector for movies and DVD is plenty of resolution for both. I'd like to upgrade the projector sometime to true HD and at that time Blu-Ray might be an option, not just now.

I find it very ironic that I work in electronic design but personally don't buy the latest and greatest toys. A number of fellow engineers are like that. I know friends who are still on 56 kbps dial-up and don't see the need for anything faster!
 

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Of course, I also had to buy a special set of cables to optimize the picture clarity of Blu-Ray.
<snipped>
Is Blu-Ray itself going to be supplanted soon by some other technology? Are these 2 and 4-year extended warranty plans worth it?
A couple of thoughts here:

1) You don't need "special" cables to optimize the picture quality of Blu-Ray - you just need a standard HDMI cable. Places like Best Buy and Future shop mark up these cables far past what's necessary - you can order a 6ft HDMI cable from www.monoprice.com for under $4CDN. Even with shipping costs and the USD/CAD exchange rate, one of these cables can be had for under $10. The "special" cables that cost $60+, and the "Monster" cables that cost $150+ are nothing more than a scam.

2) Blu-Ray probably won't be supplanted in the next 5-10 years -- it'll take that long for the players to reach the market penetration that DVD has today, but the players will probably drop in price. I think a typical player that costs $250 today will cost about $180 by this Christmas, and $120 by Christmas 2010. An extended warranty is definitely not worth it - it'll probably cost you $80 for the warranty on a $250 player, and in 3-4 years you'll likely be able to buy a brand new player of higher quality than the one you're buying today, for that same $80. Extended warranties are almost never worth it, especially for rapidly-depreciating items like consumer electronics.

If you have a HDTV and want the best picture quality possible, then a Blu-Ray player might be a worthwhile entertainment expense. I'm considering getting one next Christmas, but it entirely depends on how much the players cost. Regular DVDs look just fine to me on our 40" 720p TV.
 

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Of course, I also had to buy a special set of cables to optimize the picture clarity of Blu-Ray.
Looks like they nailed you with the expensive hdmi cable.

This time around the superior technology won out. Blueray has far more advance features than HD-DVD. The only reason HD-DVD was better was it was cheaper and the spec was far more polished. I don't think there will be a major technology shift for a long while in the portable media market. However downloading direct to the home seems to be catching on and that will probably the thing that kills portable media.
 

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A couple of thoughts here:
You don't need "special" cables to optimize the picture quality of Blu-Ray - you just need a standard HDMI cable.
We just bought a Rogers HD terminal and I was hunting for HDMI cables. Factory Direct sells these very cheap. Around $10, if I remember the prices from the flyer right.
 

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I find it very ironic that I work in electronic design but personally don't buy the latest and greatest toys. A number of fellow engineers are like that. I know friends who are still on 56 kbps dial-up and don't see the need for anything faster!
I am still using a VCR to tape my programming. Fortunately, I have never had to exceed 6 hours or missed programming. I may be the last person to buy a PVR.
 

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Is this like the old VHS wars where Sony's superior (Betamax?) technology lost out?
Doesn’t everyone have a personal archive of “superior” Sony technology in their basement? Mine includes the following:
  • Outboard Dolby unit for reel-to-reel tape deck
  • Elcaset tape deck
  • Betamax VCR
 

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I finally bought my first bluray movie a couple of weeks ago. I found the picture quality impressive. Though when comparing a regular DVD being viewed in native 480p or 480i, versus the bluray movie being viewed in 1080i or 1080p, I'm not sure if I would be able to notice the differences. But when I view a lower-resolution video being stretched-out or scaled-up to 1080i or 1080p, I notice a lot of pixelation. I would suspect that dedicated DVD up-scaler units probably do a better job of this than the software on my desktop computer.

As was probably mentioned earlier, Bluray is a leap forward in technology compared to DVDs. The maximum resolution on an DVD video scaled for NTSC-standard (North American) TV viewing is 720x480. The maximum resolution for a typicaly bluray disk is 1920x1080. Is it worth going out and buying a bluray disk player though? That's debatable. At least bluray players are backwards compatible with DVDs, whereas most DVD players can't play VHS tapes.

Someone also mentioned cables. To view the top resolutions available for bluray, you need to use either HDMI cable or component video cable. There's no point in having a bluray player if you are going to hook it up to your HDTV using composite video or S-video.
 

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For the folks who are interested, HMV is offering a $7 credit if you bring in your old DVD and buy a MGM or Fox-released Blu-ray. You can check out the HMV site and/or RFD for more details.

I don't expect Blu-ray to take off until the prices of the discs become more affordable, especially in this economic climate. In addition, it has never been easier to *download* items of interest and streaming media is on the rise with reliable and fast Internet connections.
 

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Well I have just finished an entire upgrade to my movie viewing equipment and found a few interesting points while looking at all the available technology.

MOST IMPORTANT : .... HDMI cables are WAY OVERPRICED .... monoprice.com..... is the best place I found for ordering them .... STAY AWAY FROM the Best Buy , Future Shop , Sony Store etc.

CNET is an invaluable site when learning about and comparing various components.

Blu-Ray is more than just superior video quality (which you notice more as your viewing screen gets larger ) it is vastly superior in audio technology for those who have 5.1 or 7.1 .... as well as added features such as internet conectivity for additional uploadable material.

If you are just going to watch DVD movies on a 42" HDTV ...then DVD is more than adequate and far superior to VHS .... BUT if you are looking for a Theatre type experience OR if you have a 50" plus screen Blu-Ray is a better choice.

Just my thoughts.

wg
 

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HD video might be one thing that helps to ensure the profitability the home video part of the movie industry. Pirating a full DVD at about 4.3 GB was not too difficult for the average person with a high speed internet connection. Pirating a blu-ray disk at 50 GB for one's own use seems hardly worth the time though. Until internet connection speeds get faster, I can't see too many pirates wanting to wait a week to download an HD version of a movie. Also, an HD version of a movie is in many cases, vastly superior in terms of quality to what one can stream or download over the internet.
 

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Well I have just finished an entire upgrade to my movie viewing equipment and found a few interesting points while looking at all the available technology.

MOST IMPORTANT : .... HDMI cables are WAY OVERPRICED .... monoprice.com..... is the best place I found for ordering them .... STAY AWAY FROM the Best Buy , Future Shop , Sony Store etc.

CNET is an invaluable site when learning about and comparing various components.

Blu-Ray is more than just superior video quality (which you notice more as your viewing screen gets larger ) it is vastly superior in audio technology for those who have 5.1 or 7.1 .... as well as added features such as internet conectivity for additional uploadable material.

If you are just going to watch DVD movies on a 42" HDTV ...then DVD is more than adequate and far superior to VHS .... BUT if you are looking for a Theatre type experience OR if you have a 50" plus screen Blu-Ray is a better choice.

Just my thoughts.

wg
+1 for monoprice.com
 

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HD video might be one thing that helps to ensure the profitability the home video part of the movie industry. Pirating a full DVD at about 4.3 GB was not too difficult for the average person with a high speed internet connection. Pirating a blu-ray disk at 50 GB for one's own use seems hardly worth the time though. Until internet connection speeds get faster, I can't see too many pirates wanting to wait a week to download an HD version of a movie. Also, an HD version of a movie is in many cases, vastly superior in terms of quality to what one can stream or download over the internet.
The HD versions you can usually get for 15-30 GB. I know people who have gotten 2 DSL connections and bonded them together. Lets not forget that in a lot of nordic countries and korea they have 100mb connections to the home. There is nothing keeping people from downloading HD files.
 

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Holding off

We're "surviving" without Blu-Ray, satellite and cable. Our TV doesn't have HDMI inputs and there's a limit to how much we want to upgrade.

I'll likely get a Blu-Ray drive on my next computer, which probably won't be until Windows 7 --- which could be a long time.
 

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Finally purchased our new Samsung 52, LCD tv last week. Looked at them for about 4 years but could never bring myself to write the cheque!
All I can say is wow! Should have done it sooner but the prices aren't dropping as fast anymore and the technology is quite good at the moment.
Added a blu-ray player at the same time and had to upgrade to an HD receiver from StarChoice.
We went from a 17 year old Sony 32inch tv so we now feel as though we are in a theatre.
Almost went with 46inches but very glad we bought the 52.
You can easily sit as close to the new 52 LCD as the older 32 so don't worry about going bigger!
Hooked up the laptop and watched our recent holiday photos on the big screen. So now you can have a 52 inch monitor for your computer!

Trying to remain somewhat frugal but there are times when pleasure/enjoyment wins out!

m
 

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Is there a need to get hardware much longer? Won't it be streamed in, on-demand or available on iTunes eventually, negating physical storage (at home anyways)?
I mentioned that in a earlier post on this thread. I figure people will be downloading stuff to their home because it's less of a hassle. I wouldn't mind seeing netflixx in the 17's again
 
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