Author Topic: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it  (Read 1343 times)

I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« on: December 08, 2018, 10:57:39 AM »
My DVD player still works but it's over 10 years old and a bit creaky now. Are Blu-rays worth it? I fancy getting the Ghost World Criterion release but can't imagine there'd be a particularly amazing improvement visually. The other thing that looked nice was the Woodfall boxset but what is point of getting a Blu-ray of A Taste of Honey? Having said that, if I am going to get a new player, I presume it's better to get a Blu-ray rather than a DVD player, particularly as the latter seem to be getting phased out, and it's better maybe to get one now while I have the money rather than waiting for the fucker to break. I don't know. I really don't know.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 11:18:25 AM »
what is point of getting a Blu-ray of A Taste of Honey?

Because it tastes much sweeter than wine.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 11:20:40 AM »
what's the rest of your AV stuff like? big telly? projector? you spend hours a week watching flicks or (like me) mostly watch iplayer & torrented flicks on a 9" ipad on the train?

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 11:37:43 AM »
On Taste of Honey, it'd probably depend more on how much you wanted to 'own' it as a product (you can rent it on BFI Player, although I appreciate you were just using it as an example point). I think Blu Ray was all about the QUALITY when it first came to market, so people might have gravitated towards action or Terence Malick for a demo. But now it's more just a replacement way of physically owning a film if you don't intend on streaming. That will also be superseded by 4k in due course.

I do have a Blu Ray player but don't use it as much as the DVD player given viewing habit changes. My Blu Ray library is definitely a lot smaller despite owning for some years, with many still unwatched (Kurosawa and Herzog box sets too, FFS). For better or worse, it's a dying medium.

Despite all that, a Saturday night watching Apocalypse Now or The Third Man on Blu Ray with a nice bottle of Malbec is a proper treat.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 11:38:47 AM »
What about getting an Xbox One S instead?

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 12:08:56 PM »
Because it tastes much sweeter than wine.

The lyrics of the song are starting to annoy me a bit, just thinking of them now.

Honey, tasting much sweeter than wine:  Yes, fine.

A taste of honey, tasting much sweeter than wine:  Fuck off!  So much!!


Songwriters of all shapes and sizes:  never say that a taste tastes of something ever again, thank you.  If you do, all your publishing rights instantly become mine to profit from.  You have been warned.


Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 12:29:37 PM »
what's the rest of your AV stuff like? big telly? projector? you spend hours a week watching flicks or (like me) mostly watch iplayer & torrented flicks on a 9" ipad on the train?

Got a relatively small Sony Bravia telly. Just watch TV and DVDs in the living room mostly.

On Taste of Honey, it'd probably depend more on how much you wanted to 'own' it as a product (you can rent it on BFI Player, although I appreciate you were just using it as an example point). I think Blu Ray was all about the QUALITY when it first came to market, so people might have gravitated towards action or Terence Malick for a demo. But now it's more just a replacement way of physically owning a film if you don't intend on streaming. That will also be superseded by 4k in due course.

I've already got it on DVD. I just like the look of the boxset, which I admit is very silly. The thing with all this Blu-ray 4K stuff is that I don't think I have ever watched a film and wished that it was in higher definition or clearer or whatever. Especially with films like AToH, how would they make it look 'better' anyway? My favourite film watching days were back when I used to watch Moviedrome on BBC2 in my bedroom on a tiny black & white portable. I'm curious to see if Under The Skin is particularly more incredible on Blu-ray than DVD but I'm not that arsed really. Having said that, it might make sense to upgrade rather than stay with a basic DVD player as there are probably going to be films that come out on Blu-ray that don't appear on DVD? Is that likely?

What about getting an Xbox One S instead?

I don't play games and don't want to start.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 01:38:36 PM »
Like you, I don't need particularly high resolution either (my screen is only 21 inches anyway).  I occasionally think of getting a Blu-ray player only because some of the better extras for things have migrated over there from DVD.  But as I don't have a dedicated telly (I just use my computer), I would need a Blu-ray drive, which complicates things somewhat.  It seems their drivers or supporting software require you to pay extra fees (at least for the mac ones I have checked) and I certainly can't be arsed with that.  Too much money is being made these days by companies doing fuck all.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 02:04:01 PM »
Got a relatively small Sony Bravia telly. Just watch TV and DVDs in the living room mostly.

I've already got it on DVD. I just like the look of the boxset, which I admit is very silly. The thing with all this Blu-ray 4K stuff is that I don't think I have ever watched a film and wished that it was in higher definition or clearer or whatever. Especially with films like AToH, how would they make it look 'better' anyway? My favourite film watching days were back when I used to watch Moviedrome on BBC2 in my bedroom on a tiny black & white portable. I'm curious to see if Under The Skin is particularly more incredible on Blu-ray than DVD but I'm not that arsed really. Having said that, it might make sense to upgrade rather than stay with a basic DVD player as there are probably going to be films that come out on Blu-ray that don't appear on DVD? Is that likely?

I don't play games and don't want to start.

The box set does tempt me too. In that particular instance, some of those films arent available elsewhere so depends on how much you want them. The Blu Ray jump isn't massive; I have Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and the contrast is very crisp and the difference is noticeable, just not groundbreaking. Likewise, I have Under the Skin and it looks great, but I imagine it looks good on DVD too (the killing sequences are probably where the difference would be most pronounced, as it's already a slightly grainy film in the night scenes).

I also think Blu Ray and DVDs will fade away around the same time for what it's worth. So it's not essential to upgrade; would just be about how much you want the better discs and exclusive box sets. You could wait it out until your DVD player dies without missing much going by what you've said. But I also don't think you'd regret taking the plunge if finances permit.

And that concludes my 'sitting on the fence' answer.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 02:30:32 PM »
Xbox One S is a really good BR player so I heard. That's what I was suggesting, with games as a bonus. But OK. This is football.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 04:19:36 PM »
Blu-ray is worth it in my opinion, as is correctly calibrating a TV with the aid of a guide disc, but like most things, you'll notice it more when you get used to it, i.e. when you're used to the higher quality of watching a blu-ray, you'll notice how shite DVDs are and most streaming. You'll definitely notice Under the Skin as most of it is in darkness with lots of blacks - on DVD and streaming you'll most likely see alot of pixellation or whatever you'd call it in the blacks.

I'm not sure if this is true of all / most TV but the newest Twin Peaks was ruined for me by it being broadcast heavily compressed - like Under the Skin it's something which has huge portions in darkness, like all of Episode 8 for instance. It was a travesty. But again, calibrating the TV away from its default shop bought settings is also worth doing to get the most from the upgrade, an image change which also might take getting used to.

An incredibly boring anecdote: when I first got a blu-ray player I compared the same film on both BR and DVD and found that on the former I could clearly read a car number plate in the background of a scene which in the latter was just a blur. So that's the extra level of clarity you're getting.

I've been most impressed by older films and TV, particularly black and white films. The 60's Batman BRs are fantastic - the sets and the costumes are incredibly vivid and detailed, the stunt doubles that much more obvious, etc. And the Batman: Animated Series BRs are really good too, coincidentally. And on the subject of animation I'd highly recommend the Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry sets. Hand drawn animation looks gorgeous on BR for some reason.

Like BC says though, getting an X-Box or PS4 will sort you out for both BR and streaming apps so it's probably preferable to getting a player, though a handful of region locked BRs won't be accessible to you if you don't get a dedicated player which you can switch regions on (unlike DVDs though there are hardly any BRs which are region locked).


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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 04:50:38 PM »

I've been most impressed by older films and TV, particularly black and white films. The 60's Batman BRs are fantastic - the sets and the costumes are incredibly vivid and detailed

I watched The Elephant Man recently an I thought it looked lush. And his big noggin looked proper crazy.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2018, 05:20:35 PM »
Around the advent of Bluray I remember seeing something like Citizen Kane or some other classic old flick from the 40s and thinking it absurd, assuming that all old films looked the same as they did on TV (ie, blurry with horrible contrast).
It wasn't until fairly recently that I realised what a wally I'd been.
Old films really shine on Bluray, especially in black & white. I hadn't realised how much definition old film was capable of, even going as far back as 100 years ago.
It never ceases to amaze me seeing something like Haxan or Faust in 1080p on a reasonably sized HD telly, where the picture might be a bit shaky, but it looks crisp as fuck.
The clarity of picture really helps me in some way to bridge the gap between past and present. If it weren't for Bluray and HD I would probably still be of the mindset that anything made before 1960 = alienating and weird.
DVDs on the other hand just can't hack it when it comes to old film transfers, due to the noise/grain compression they look very soft compared to a good Bluray.
So yeah, if you like old movies get a Bluray player. It'll be like seeing them for the first time.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 05:21:18 PM »
Blu-ray is worth it in my opinion, as is correctly calibrating a TV with the aid of a guide disc, but like most things, you'll notice it more when you get used to it, i.e. when you're used to the higher quality of watching a blu-ray, you'll notice how shite DVDs are and most streaming.

Oh good!

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2018, 07:19:08 PM »
Blu-ray is worth it in my opinion

So yeah, if you like old movies get a Bluray player.

Sold. What should I be looking for?

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2018, 07:25:02 PM »
Sold. What should I be looking for?
A Blu Ray Player and some Blu Rays of Old Movies one would think.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2018, 08:10:14 PM »
Second-hand PS3 is the way to go. Get yourself a Media Remote too.

Very good point made above there about older films looking much more noticeably improved than newer ones.

I first got Blu-Ray with a 32-inch TV (I think) and the difference was immediately apparent.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2018, 09:07:04 PM »
I’ve got a 50” TV and it’s hard to see the difference between HD and 4K for me.

I’ve got a Blu-Ray player and I mainly use it for watching MKVs off of recordable Blu-Ray discs or off of a USB stick. I’ve got a good few Blu-Ray discs, but nowhere near as many DVDs I’ve got, but then I buy far less these days anyway.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2018, 12:42:32 AM »
Sold. What should I be looking for?

I was using my PS3 until it packed in last year, then I got an LG BP350 on the cheap (~£60), it does the job but nothing fancy.


More recently though I discovered a few filesharing sites that specialize in untouched Bluray images and high quality rips, which have been serving me very well... a bit too well. It's often a lot quicker and more convenient than buying physical Blurays, and all for free of course. With a service like this at my disposal it takes a rarity for me to part way with money.
Most Bluray players have USB inputs and should be able to play MP4 or MKV files with the appropriate encoding, however the model I mentioned earlier freezes whenever I stick anything up its USB, so instead I use a cheap android box ($25) with Kodi installed to watch them on.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2018, 02:32:30 PM »


I've been most impressed by older films and TV, particularly black and white films. The 60's Batman BRs are fantastic - the sets and the costumes are incredibly vivid and detailed, the stunt doubles that much more obvious, etc. And the Batman: Animated Series BRs are really good too, coincidentally. And on the subject of animation I'd highly recommend the Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry sets. Hand drawn animation looks gorgeous on BR for some reason.


The BRs of the original Twilight Zone series are still the best TV related BRs about. Tons of extras and the picture is stunning for an almost 60 year old show.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2018, 05:12:07 PM »
Yeah, I watched a season 1 disc this morning and it never fails to amaze me how great it looks.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2018, 08:12:43 PM »
If I don't go for a Playstation, are there any particular players that are worth taking a look at? Are there any features that are particularly worth having etc?

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2018, 08:34:40 PM »
More recently though I discovered a few filesharing sites that specialize in untouched Bluray images and high quality rips, which have been serving me very well... a bit too well. It's often a lot quicker and more convenient than buying physical Blurays, and all for free of course. With a service like this at my disposal it takes a rarity for me to part way with money.


Do they rip extras? One thing that never took off was people sharing DVD/BD extras.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2018, 09:40:02 PM »
Do they rip extras? One thing that never took off was people sharing DVD/BD extras.

Yup. Untouched Bluray = all the data on the disc and no re-encoding.

If I don't go for a Playstation, are there any particular players that are worth taking a look at? Are there any features that are particularly worth having etc?

I'm not an expert but they all seem pretty much the same, I don't think there's any discernible difference between a cheap one and an expensive one, quality or feature-wise.
You could consider wasting some money on an Ultra-HD Bluray player, but unless you only care about watching the latest CGI blockbusters in glistening 4K (when pretty much all the special effects are mastered in 2K), then there's not much point.
Ultra-HD content in it's current form is such a qualitatively small improvement on HD that it deserves no attention, frankly. It really is a joke.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2018, 12:16:51 AM »
Xbox One S is a really good BR player so I heard. That's what I was suggesting, with games as a bonus. But OK. This is football.

It is- and is there any "entertainment centre" type thing that's genuinely better than a console these days? Sure, you could get a smart TV, but you wouldn't get the blu-ray player, and personally I watch pretty much all media through my Xbone these days.

Also, as good a film as it is, I can't imagine Ghost World looking especially great in 4K. Just re-read the graphic novel, that would be a richer experience.

I don't play games and don't want to start.

Get an Xbox One S/Rocket League bundle. Don't look back.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2018, 02:12:59 PM »
Also, as good a film as it is, I can't imagine Ghost World looking especially great in 4K. Just re-read the graphic novel, that would be a richer experience.

People said the same thing about the move from 480 to 1080. "How many pores in the actor's face to we need to see?" they asked. "As many as are on the original film stock," was my answer.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2018, 03:33:17 PM »
People said the same thing about the move from 480 to 1080. "How many pores in the actor's face to we need to see?" they asked. "As many as are on the original film stock," was my answer.

Touche.  And one that I might use myself the next time I'm asked a similar question.


I think a very good example to use here is the 4K scan of Jaws - I don't think anyone (perhaps aside from people who saw it when the film originally came out, and even then on a jumbo screen) realised that the stuff Brody is pouring into that rag and taking deep inhales of is Old Spice.  I've seen Jaws fuck knows how many times over the years, and several times at the cinema, but it wasn't until the 4K scan was released, and then the subsequent blu, that I picked up on that.  It's a GREAT visual funny that no one had seen for 40 years.

Also films where there's a shit-load of background detail that's been put there intentionally benefit greatly - not only the new "for nerds" spot-fests like Ready Player One, the new Star Wars films, Marvel films etc, but also older films that use the entirety of the screen to tell a story or several simultaneous jokes - Jacques Tati's Playtime springs to mind, a film which is given an entirely new lease of life in hi-def and on a decent sized TV screen.

Having said all that, for very casual viewers - i.e. those of you that still have, and are happy with, 29inch and smaller TV screens, I agree that there's no real need to upgrade from DVD, UNLESS a decent blu-ray is the only marked improvement over a criminally bad DVD (I've still got some old UK region 2 DVDs from the early days of the format in this country, that were released in pan and scan), but those will be in the minority.


Having recently bought a 4K TV, I'm now eyeing up a 4K blu-ray player but, at the moment, there are literally only four 4K blus that I would consider buying.  And, from what I've heard, the format isn't exactly flying off the shelves, even with the film buffs and purists, so I wonder how long 4K blu-ray will be around for.

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2018, 05:39:49 PM »
I have Leon and Bram Stoker's Dracula on UHD Blu-ray, and plan to buy only my favourite movies, as I can't imagine any physical format following this. They're not far-and-away better than standard Blu-rays, but they are better.

Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2018, 08:18:06 PM »
Do I need to specifically look for region free players or are they mostly that anyway. Looking at a Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB at 80 quid... Oh yeah, will it play US DVDs? Also, just seen that US Criterion releases are region A locked. Would that be an issue?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 09:04:48 PM by holyzombiejesus »

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Re: I might buy a Blu-ray player but not sure if it's worth it
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2018, 08:50:28 AM »
Do I need to specifically look for region free players or are they mostly that anyway. Looking at a Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB at 80 quid... Oh yeah, will it play US DVDs? Also, just seen that US Criterion releases are region A locked. Would that be an issue?

They aren't mostly region free - unlike most DVD players, which are region locked within the firmware and therefore can be easily hacked from the remote control, blu-ray players are locked within the hardware itself, so the only way to get them made region free is to get (or buy) them chipped.  A blu-ray player with multiregion blu-ray capability will also be region free for DVD as standard, but a blu-ray player with region free DVD will not necessarily be region free for blu, if that makes sense.  Basically you either buy from this place - http://www.mrmdvd.com/catalog/ (I have the cheapest LG from here and it works a treat) - or you read the detail VERY VERY carefully to make sure you're getting a region free blu-ray player.  The Panasonic you mentioned does come in a region free state, but not at £80 - that's probably just the normal player without multiregion capability.  Amazon has the multiregion listed as £169.

As long as you get a multiregion blu-ray player, your only problems with the Criterion blus will be the price and the potential of getting hit by customs (if buying from the States).  Otherwise they'll play fine, and the PAL-NTSC issue of yore is long gone.