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Is bluray worth it?

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View Poll Results: Is blu ray worth it in this case?
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Is bluray worth it?

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Old 12-07-09, 12:19 AM
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Is bluray worth it?

I always disregarded the idea of playing bluray discs on my computer. That is, until I picked up an HDCP compliant 24" monitor on black Friday. I never had the intention of HDCP compliance in mind; only the fact that the monitor has HDMI input was of interest to me. I've already got a sound and video card setup that is more than capable of providing good quality video playback. I've also got cyberlink powerDVD.

So the only thing I am missing here is a blu ray drive. I can't find any cheaper than about 70 dollars though, which is two times more than I've ever paid for a dvd rom. To reconcile with that, I'd need to be pretty convinced that blu ray offers something really special.

What do others think? When you watch a blu ray disc on a capable system, do you find it impressive? I would never consider this if I hadn't inadvertently gathered almost everything I need to play it anyways, but I'm almost there.
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Old 12-07-09, 12:49 AM
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Not sure about on a 24" screen, but on a 52" screen, it's absolutely breathtaking! Even my frugal wife was OK with the money I spent once she watched a few videos.
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Old 12-07-09, 12:54 AM
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Good point. I wont bother if the difference isn't really noticeable on a 24" screen.
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Old 12-07-09, 02:52 AM
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Blu-Ray = rad. Case closed.
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Old 12-07-09, 04:59 AM
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Just got a 54" TV and a PS3 here. It is pretty sweet.
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Old 12-07-09, 05:40 AM
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Great picture. The loading time for the blu ray discs is abominable. Really brutal. I don't use my blu ray player much, it drives me nuts. But the picture is spectacular.

HD PPV on cable.
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Old 12-07-09, 11:27 AM
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Okay, but will I notice a difference over regular DVD's if I am only using a 24" screen?
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Old 12-07-09, 11:32 AM
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Old 12-07-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
Okay, but will I notice a difference over regular DVD's if I am only using a 24" screen?
Yes you will, what I'd do is get a PS3 and hook it up to the comp, you'll get everything you get from a regular home Blue Ray player plus games. ;0) you can even use it as an extra comp in another room as you can also access your internet from the PS3!
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Old 12-07-09, 12:04 PM
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At 24" you probably won't notice a huge difference between standard DVD and Blu Ray but it'll probably be a bit sharper. It also depends how far you are sitting from the monitor and how well your DVD software upscales the picture. Basically, the bigger the TV/monitor the bigger the difference.

Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
Not sure about on a 24" screen, but on a 52" screen, it's absolutely breathtaking! Even my frugal wife was OK with the money I spent once she watched a few videos.
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Old 12-07-09, 12:10 PM
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I would not the spend the money for that small of a screen, if you get into the 42" and above and have a 1080p display then it's great. I have a 65" 1080p display with a PS3 and love it, I also have a 43" 720p plasma for the bedroom and I got a Blu-ray for it since it was only $130. If the price was more I would have not gotten it for the bedroom.
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Old 12-07-09, 03:20 PM
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I just recently picked up a blu-ray player for my 55 inch HDTV. I had been waiting for the price to go down. That happening coincided with us needing a DVD player for the TV in the basement. Maybe I am not discriminating enough. Maybe my eyes are old and tired. Maybe I would think differently if I could compare BR and DVD side by side. To me, the difference is marginal.
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Old 12-07-09, 03:31 PM
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Keep in mind that you'll have to drop another $90 on software to play the bluray disks if you go the computer route. My computer loads blu-rays in 3-5 seconds.

I've been using the demo version of PowerDVD 9 which works fine, though unfortunately after dropping the coin on the full Ultra version once the trial was up, it decided it wasn't compatible with my sound card anymore and I've been back and forth emailing tech support for about a week. I might recommend staying away from that software if you've got anything other that onboard sound or your run of the mill soundblaster.
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Old 12-07-09, 04:25 PM
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It sounds like I wont realize a major difference with just a 24" screen, and since movies aren't a big part of my life, I don't expect to buy a bigger screen for a long time. I'll reconsider buying a blu ray drive when they're priced similarly to dvd roms.
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Old 12-07-09, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by shouldberiding View Post
Keep in mind that you'll have to drop another $90 on software to play the bluray disks if you go the computer route. My computer loads blu-rays in 3-5 seconds.

I've been using the demo version of PowerDVD 9 which works fine, though unfortunately after dropping the coin on the full Ultra version once the trial was up, it decided it wasn't compatible with my sound card anymore and I've been back and forth emailing tech support for about a week. I might recommend staying away from that software if you've got anything other that onboard sound or your run of the mill soundblaster.
I actually have Cyberlink PowerDVD; it's ready to play blu ray. My soundcard is based on the cmedia 8788 processor, which is pretty good. The best part, in my opinion, is the inclusion of Dolby Headphone. The optical in/out is nice too, and comes in handy when I want to loop back media.
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Old 12-07-09, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
Okay, but will I notice a difference over regular DVD's if I am only using a 24" screen?
Only if you look for the difference. If you just sit back and watch the movie on DVD, you're not likely to think you're missing anything if you're using a DVI or HDMI connections. Not to mention, as long as your computer already does a good job of upscaling, a Bluray won't do anything for your existing DVD's.

If you were replacing a dead DVD player or building a new computer, I'd say go ahead and spend a little bit extra on a Bluray. If you're considering buying one just to have the latest and greatest, spend the money on a textbook, or at least on movies, instead. $70 will get you several months worth of netflix. There's the best bang for your buck. Watching one Bluray over and over again isn't as fun as watching a stack of DVD's.

It impresses me that HDCP is now able to be sold as a feature. Back when only rich people who didn't care and hardware geeks bought Bluray players, HDCP was something they kept secret, because it deliberately diminishes the quality of your signal or even (if the content producer enables it) prevents playback completely if any components one device or the other queries doesn't support it.
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Old 12-07-09, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
It impresses me that HDCP is now able to be sold as a feature. Back when only rich people who didn't care and hardware geeks bought Bluray players, HDCP was something they kept secret, because it deliberately diminishes the quality of your signal or even (if the content producer enables it) prevents playback completely if any components one device or the other queries doesn't support it.
Haha, so true. Honestly, I had no idea what HDCP was until I peeked around in my nVidia control panel and noticed the "HDCP compliant" icon. I did some research and only then was I aware that to have an HDMI input, your hardware must be HDCP compliant. The fact even the monitor has to be HDCP compliant is a slap in the consumer's face.
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Old 12-07-09, 08:30 PM
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The difference is not marginal, but on the other hand, regular DVD's aren't so bad. They are 480 lines, vs. Blu Ray @ 1080. So Blu Ray is double the resolution. But the difference in quality between VHS tapes (about 300 lines) and DVD was much more dramatic and noticeable for most of us. And no, you won't really get the impact of Blu Ray until you go to TVs larger than 32" (although if you appreciate high quality imagery, you'll notice it on a 32" set or even a 27" set).
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Old 12-07-09, 09:41 PM
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can you even play a blueray disc in a standard 5YO DVD player?
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Old 12-07-09, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by randya View Post
can you even play a blueray disc in a standard 5YO DVD player?
No, that's why I'm asking if it's worth buying a bluray disc player.
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Old 12-08-09, 02:20 AM
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I'd say that BluRay will really only be visibly noticeable on a 40" or larger screen. Playing both on my computer-monitor, even a 30" at 2560x1600, doesn't show much of a difference. The pixels are simply too small for the eye to catch the variations. On my 42" TV screen, DVD and BluRay look pretty much the same, perhaps even less different than on the computer screen because I'm sitting further away. But on the 65" screen with higher resolution and larger pixels, I can really see the difference.

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Old 12-08-09, 05:08 AM
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I wasn't that impressed. I just bought one for our 50" DLP/1080i, and didn't notice much difference over a regular DVD.
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Old 12-08-09, 05:43 AM
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not that much difference at 24", however at about 32" and above you will probably notice it more. Personally I was not bothered about it, but after watching the new star trek movie on a 40" tv in blu-ray I can see what the hype is about. Won't be buying any discs though - only renting, until the price comes down.
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Old 12-08-09, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
Haha, so true. Honestly, I had no idea what HDCP was until I peeked around in my nVidia control panel and noticed the "HDCP compliant" icon. I did some research and only then was I aware that to have an HDMI input, your hardware must be HDCP compliant. The fact even the monitor has to be HDCP compliant is a slap in the consumer's face.

It's a little less definite than that. HDCP was an add-on to the HDMI spec. A lot of the earlier HDMI hardware doesn't have HDCP on it, and therefore if you plug it into hardware that has HDCP, it will downconvert the signal to 480.
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