February 25, 2021 at 8:55 pm #12223UK SentinelModerator
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Blu-ray players were once a must-have item for film lovers everywhere.
But as streaming services have gained popularity, we look at whether Blu-ray players should still have a place in your home. After taking the reins from standard DVD players, Blu-ray players came to be known as a staple home entertainment system for those who wanted the full movie experience away from the cinema.
Then came along TV streaming services, such as Netflix and Now TV, which offer a much more convenient alternative to using physical discs. So where does that leave the trusty old Blu-ray player?
Which recently tested Sony’s UBP-X800M2 smart Blu-ray player to tell you whether its capabilities can outdo the streaming alternatives.
In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).February 27, 2021 at 7:45 am #12235UK SentinelModerator
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Are DVD and Blu-Ray Players Still worth buying ?
I read this at reviewgeek.com
It’s a fact of life that media formats become obsolete. While we don’t think DVD and Blu-rays are outdated just yet, their future is inevitable. So, is a disc player still worth buying?
Well, if you want a DVD or Blu-Ray player, you might as well buy one. You don’t need anyone’s permission. But if you’re undecided, you might need some reasons why a disc player is worth your hard-earned cash. Lucky for you, there are still plenty of good reasons to buy a disc player.
A Novel Concept: Owning What You Pay for
As physical media slips into the abyss, we’re starting to run into an interesting problem. You can’t own movies anymore. You either pay $12 a month to watch a select library of content that changes every month, or you shell out $15 for access to a specific movie on a particular website (to be fair, Movies Anywhere helps solve this issue). And, as we’ve seen from Ultraviolet’s failure, access to digital content can disappear at a moment’s notice.
If you want to own movies and TV shows, you’re going to need a DVD or Blu-ray player. There are still a few outlets where you can purchase and download movies, but it’s often cheaper to buy the discs. Need an example? A new Blu-ray copy of Aliens is just $11, while a digital license (which might disappear one day) costs $15.
Blu-Ray Quality Is Still Better Than Streaming
By now, most people recognize DVD as a low-resolution format. The highest resolution achieved on DVD is only 480p—less than your average YouTube video. Blu-Ray, on the other hand, supports uncompressed 4K video, along with multichannel, uncompressed audio. Believe it or not, that’s still higher quality than you’ll find on any streaming service.
Sure, services like Netflix and Amazon Video are making a slow crawl toward 4K. But at this moment, most of the video on these websites is still in 1080p—four times smaller than 4K. Additionally, streaming platforms have to compress 4K video and audio to prevent lag and buffering. This compression leaves behind undesirable digital artifacts, like banding and ghosting effects (which, to be fair, you might not even notice).
If you’re obsessed with quality, though, you should pick up a Blu-ray player. We’re not saying you should totally ditch streaming and commit your life to discs, but there’s no harm in going the extra mile for good video and audio—especially for your favorite flicks.
Some Movies Aren’t Streamable
For film buffs and fans of international movies, the age of streaming is a curse. Streaming services seldom offer rarer films or arthouse titles and, when they do, the fun doesn’t last long. This problem extends from the streaming business model, and it makes DVD and Blu-ray players an attractive prospect.
To build up their libraries, streaming sites sign expensive contracts with movie studios and media corporations. But the audience for “artsy” films is narrow. Understandably, Netflix and Hulu aren’t willing to sign expensive contracts for films that will go unwatched, and movie studios aren’t willing to license their movies for cheap (they have to stay in business, after all).
To see this in action, look at how the Criterion Collection is handling its transition to streaming. For a short while, the entire Criterion Collection was available on Hulu. Evidently, that didn’t work out, and the Collection moved to a WarnerMedia service called FilmStruck. Nobody wanted to pay for FilmStruck, and it failed. Now, Criterion films occasionally crop up on Mubi (a service that rotates between a few titles a month), and the studio plans to build yet another streaming service. To make matters worse, most of these rare films aren’t available for digital purchase on Amazon or Google Play.
DVDs and Blu-rays offer an obvious solution to this problem. Instead of waiting for a movie to pop up on a streaming service for a month or two, you can buy the disc and own it for eternity. You’re welcome, movie buffs and film majors.
In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).
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