To Blu-Ray or Not to Blu-Ray... (1 Viewer)

tdenton1138

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SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 21, 2007
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Tucson, AZ
Greets:

After reading through many threads on many sites, I have come to the rather depressing conclusion that I would not really gain much from a jump to Blu-Ray. Here's my thinking:

Current video gear:
Sammy PN58A550 1080p plasma
Oppo DV-980H upscaler

I sit 12 or so feet away from my monitor... maybe 12 1/2. Based on the calculators and charts I've seen, to gain full advantage of 1080p I need a 92 - 94" screen. My 58" is only just on the cusp of being optimum for 720p... The only 1080p video I've actually seen on my display at my house was a DirecTV beta-test - the graphical intro to which looked really nice, but that's all I know.

I keep trying to convince myself that I want to go blu, but it seems that unless I end up with a 92" - 94" screen - which is completely unworkable - I am wasting my money. The absolute maximum I could get if I crammed a screen into my quite large entertainment center would be 80" diag and that would then have to be a projector suspended from my 20' ceiling somehow. Not likely to happen...

I suppose there are 73" DLPs though. My problem there might be viewing angles. The kids sit on the floor quite a bit closer at times and I've not checked horizontal viewing angles in years on DLPs. They used to be terrible. Not to mention that its "only" 73".

Plus the fact that I don't really need another monitor.

What to do?
 

navychop

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I sit 12' away from a 61" JVC RPTV (LCoS). 720p. Makes a HUGE difference. I don't know what calculators you are using, to get such a size. I'll look up some refs to one's I've used, if I get a chance.

I also have a 52" LCD 1080p display in my bedroom, maybe a 10' viewing distance. Looks great.

Blu-ray on both.

You could always buy a cheap one or two hundred dollar BD player. Personally, I think it's worth it, easy. But I also have a 7.1 sound system. I'd hate to keep buying DVDs, knowing that the future is Blu.
 

navychop

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OK- Here are what I used when I first bought an HDTV. Note that these are viewing size calculators, to show optimal distances to view 16x9 HD. For the individual to detect significant differences between SD & HD at the given distances- well, that's going to vary with each person.

*Grand Alliance- SMPTE 30 degree viewing angle. 3.3 x screen height. So yes, you'd get an answer of about an 89" screen at 12'.

*Convention- THX 36 degree viewing angle, approximately. 1.5 to 2.5 x screen width. Calculations for 12 feet would be about a 70" screen.

*Electrohome- 3 to 6 x screen width. 55" screen.


Over the years, I'd say a general rule has developed. A TV would have to be about 27" to show PQ improvements with HD over SD. Some say 19". And probably somewhere in the 30s to show PQ improvement of 1080 over 720. Keep in mind, 720 is in theory at least, better able to show fast motion due to the higher frame rate. But there are so many other variables it's a wash.

HD allows for larger screen sizes with good PQ. And as you noted, viewing distance drives perception. I recall reading a few years ago about an industry projection that they expected the "sweet spot" for the most common size to be sold settling in around 42".

Blu-ray allows for higher resolution, a wider range of colors and superior sound, as well as other features. And room to grow.
 

tdenton1138

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 21, 2007
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Tucson, AZ
Thanks for all the input. I think I'm going to get a BD player to try and rent a movie for a comparison (Pirates of the Caribbean I hope). I understand color saturation should be way better (plus the audio, though I'm only 5.1) and frankly you can get some sweet combo blu-ray discs out there... The Star Trek TOS Season One really interests me... Along with quite a few others. I'm going to bet there's a substantial difference - even to my eyes - at that distance. I guess I can always return it if I really can't tell the difference.

Why do I sit that far away? That's the sweet spot for my couch in my living room (divides it in half) and there's no way in hell my wife would let me move it. :) I can always sit on the floor if I want.

Thanks again.
 

rockymtnhigh

Hardly Normal
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Apr 14, 2006
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I agree with Navychop it makes a Big difference in the PQ... I can spot the difference between a DVD vs a BD or broadcast HD from 20' away on my 40" Sony in the living room not to mention my FPTV's...

I agree. 1080p looks spectacular compared to DVD and compared to Dish on a 40"; and on the FP it is stellar (even though I am only 720p on the FP). Get the blu-ray. Join the 21st century. Once you go blu, you won't go back.
 

HD MM

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Nov 2, 2006
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Not only will you get improved PQ (clarity), but Blu-Rays also offer a superior lossless audio track and an increased color pallet. More so than the increased clarity from Blu-Ray vs. Upconverted DVD, I found the improved color pallet as the biggest visual difference on Blu-Ray.
 

bhelms

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Echoing everyone else here, Blu-ray is a major step-up. Most releases are only DD5.1 so you won't be missing anything in the audio. If your system supports it, make sure you configure for TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to hear the best BD can offer as HD MM mentioned, and don't forget to check the disk's settings to make sure the audio is set for either of those formats whenever they are available on the disk. (The lossless tracks are not always the default.)

Good choice for your first experience as well...PotC is great in BD! The ship-to-ship fight scene in Dead Man's Chest (3rd one, hope I'm remembering that correctly!) is fantastic, both visually and audibly. Most folks don't care for the story but no one argues about the PQ and AQ throughout the series. Keira Knightly is some great eye candy to boot...!
 

KAB

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Well, I guess I have to be the dissenter here. I went blu-ray after a couple of years with a Sony upconvert DVD player. At first, I could not tell any difference. Then, I learned what to look for and saw a slight improvement. NOT a major step up IMHO. Another gripe is the movies themselves. Too expensive to buy. Have to wait too long with Netflix/Blockbuster. I have a Red Box about a mile away...too easy and cheap. Have not watched a BR title for about three months. In fact, I have hooked the Sony back because I think it upscales better than the Panasonic BD35. Seeing sharper pores on a persons face does not make the movie any better.
 

Zookster

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Dec 19, 2004
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I sit about 12' from a 46" 1080p plasma (I know get a bigger set) and notice a world of difference between upconverted DVDs and BDs. Of course a lot of this depends on the genre of the movie you are watching and the quality of the transfer encode. I remember watching the BD for "Baby Mama" several months ago, which barely even looked HD. Consequently, I still don't mind watching certain dramas and comedies upconverted, but anything with explosions or CGI MUST be BD.
 

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