Upon first glance, Blu-ray technology might seem remarkably similar to DVD technology. The players look the same, the discs themselves look alike as do the disc menus. The question for many becomes, ‘why pay more for Blu-ray?’
Put simply, Blu-ray technology boasts three main improvements over traditional DVDs:
All three of these improvements are made possible by the 50GB of storage capacity on any Blu-ray disc, offering significantly more storage than the typical 8GB offered by DVD technology.
For those looking to make the switch, or who are simply curious, here are some details about each improvement:
More storage on each disc means that resolutions are much higher, making Blu-ray images crisp and detailed. Viewers can see strands of hair, wrinkles in skin and even the grain of certain fabrics. Blu-ray also uses better video compression methods which means colours are richer and contrasts are more substantial. To put this in context, Blu-ray resolution looks even better than the average HD image and is the highest-quality video format on the market today. Blu-ray technology combined with a high-performance HDTV or projector can result in image quality unrivalled by your local cinema.
High resolution soundtrack formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio make Blu-ray audio superior to most other forms. These high-quality formats are veritably identical to the studio masters so sounds, music and dialogue are experienced exactly as the director and audio engineers intended.
One of the best functions of Blu-ray special features is the pop-up menu which enables viewers to access the menu functions while the movie or program is playing. Users can also enjoy functions like picture in picture commentary as well as the ability to download certain Blu-ray extras directly through the player. While many of these functions require the appropriate Blu-ray profile to access, this is easily done and the benefits are substantial.
For movie buffs, Blu-ray is simply the best available technology. The crisp images, clear sounds and special features make each viewing experience unique and powerful. Classic films have been remastered and the added storage space enabled Blu-ray discs to present old films that look brand new.
Whether you watch a film a week or one every night, Blu-ray marks a significant step forward in viewing technology and is a great investment. The format itself provides every consumer with a comprehensive home entertainment experience that is affordable and impressive.
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Image by Sean MacEntee, used under Creative Comms license.