I broke down and got a Blu-Ray

LuxLuthor

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The LG was astonishingly easy to setup, including connecting to my Uverse wireless router. I was playing Youtube clips and streaming movies from Netflix within 15 mins. Longest thing was inputting my 15 character router wireless password. Quality on Netflix streaming is obviously a lesser quality resolution, but I can get used to all this pretty easy.

Startup....I'll have to time it. Is the time from the moment you close the tray to the first time you see the coming attractions, because that didn't take long at all.....seemed like under 20 sec. I rented Ratatouille and it's almost impossible to not get sucked into the movie after just 3-4 mins. It is beautiful quality.

Later today, I'll set up the network share with my PC, but this player is already way more than I hoped it would be so far.
 

js

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The LG was astonishingly easy to setup, including connecting to my Uverse wireless router. I was playing Youtube clips and streaming movies from Netflix within 15 mins. Longest thing was inputting my 15 character router wireless password. Quality on Netflix streaming is obviously a lesser quality resolution, but I can get used to all this pretty easy.

Startup....I'll have to time it. Is the time from the moment you close the tray to the first time you see the coming attractions, because that didn't take long at all.....seemed like under 20 sec. I rented Ratatouille and it's almost impossible to not get sucked into the movie after just 3-4 mins. It is beautiful quality.

Later today, I'll set up the network share with my PC, but this player is already way more than I hoped it would be so far.

So, you had said in an earlier thread (the format war thread, IIRC) that you didn't think that a BR or HD DVD was enough of an improvement over DVD to warrant all the fuss. Or, maybe your point was more that the jump from VHS to DVD was much more significant than DVD to BR or HD DVD. And I tend to agree with these, although I have been wowed by various HD TV and BR demos, to be sure.

So, what do you think now? How much better is BR than an upconverted DVD? Is it an obvious difference? Is it noticeable, even if subtle? Does it sink in after a few hours, leaving you with a sort of "Wow! That really is NICE" kind of feeling?

Or is it more "Yeah, it's nice, and I'll jump on the bandwagon since I have no choice--format of the future and all--but upconverted DVD's would have been fine with me"?

Really interested to hear your opinions, Lux. Let us know, if you would.
 

HoopleHead

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I rented Ratatouille and it's almost impossible to not get sucked into the movie after just 3-4 mins. It is beautiful quality.


The part when he is kicking back relaxing and enjoying his reward of grapes and cheese at 52:54 looks outstanding. Definitely 3-D popping effect on the grapes.



I've repurchased a lot of my favorite movies on BD, and comparing BD to upscaled DVD (on a PS3, which is pretty good at it) the BD is easily and obviously much higher quality in all aspects IMHO, even with the less than perfect BD conversions.

My BD faves for eyecandy that I own:

Baraka
The Dark Knight
The Descent
Kill Bill 1 & 2
King Kong
Kung Fu Panda
Mad Men 1 & 2 (series)
No Country For Old Men
Pan's Labyrinth
Planet Earth (series)
Ratatouille
Speed Racer
Star Trek
Transformers
Wall-E
Wanted
Watchmen
 

js

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The best part of Ratatouille for me was the special feature on the Rat. ROTFLMAO! And the movie was also great, of course, but that special feature was freaking INSPIRED.
 

js

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. . .

My BD faves for eyecandy that I own:

. . .

Transformers

. . .

Is Transformers eyecandy due to Megan Fox only, or for all the special effects as well? I've been told it's a not-so-great movie, but I think I may rent it anyway, for the aforementioned reason. LOL!
 

StarHalo

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Is Transformers eyecandy due to Megan Fox only, or for all the special effects as well? I've been told it's a not-so-great movie

That pretty much sums it up, but Megan Fox gets a total of maybe 20 mins screentime in the entire movie. And it doesn't nearly make up for how bad the rest of the movie is; Short Circuit meets American Pie with a whole lot of CGI thrown in, the end.
 

HoopleHead

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Is Transformers eyecandy due to Megan Fox only, or for all the special effects as well? I've been told it's a not-so-great movie, but I think I may rent it anyway, for the aforementioned reason. LOL!


Megan eyecandy, battling robot eyecandy, some cool weapons and great sound. 1st one is definitely worth a rental in HD, 2nd one should never be spoken of again for all time.

Well shoot now I gotta go watch the Ratatouille features!
 

js

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Sorry, I didn't hear what either of you was saying. Distracted with the whole Megan Fox thing. OMG. I love reading interviews with her. She is just such a freaking kick. I get the strong feeling that she loves playing with the interviewers. I think she totally made up her lesbian love interest in the GQ interview, for example. And the GQ interviewer seemed to have bought it hook line and sinker. LOL!

meganfox_sundrop.jpg
 
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da.gee

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Hey Lux,

Why didn't you go with the Oppo BDP-83? Just curious.
 

js

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I would be reluctant to get any of the CGI movies that came out in 3D at the theaters because
Ready To Replace Your Television Once Again? 3D Blu-ray HDTVs Due Out Next Year
Sony Music Explores New 3D Experiences For Blu-ray And iPhone With Forsenses
Sony optimistic on 3-D TVs, in-house display

Time to start saving up for the next generation 3D TV and 3D BR player!

Nah. Not gonna daa it.

3D won't catch on. Not for a long long time, if ever. That's my strong suspicion.
 

StarHalo

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3D won't catch on. Not for a long long time, if ever. That's my strong suspicion.

That's what I said about the Nintendo Wii, and I just bought one for my wife who had-to-have-one for the holidays.

I would agree that I can't see any reason for it to be a success offhand, but recent entertainment tech history shows that small improvements become big deals quickly, and 3D would be a notably big improvement to the average consumer standing around the television section of their local store. If HD could sell itself on picture alone, there isn't much stopping 3D from doing the same..
 

Mjolnir

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Are we talking about 3D TV's that require some sort of glasses? That technology is already on the market for PC gaming:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/3D_Vision_Overview.html

They basically have glasses with lenses that act as "shutters" that make it so only one eye is viewing the TV at a time. With a 120Hz LCD TV, it renders a game from 2 different angles, each at 60Hz. You can also play some games with a normal monitor and the red and blue "3d glasses," but you will obviously not get good color with that method.
 

LuxLuthor

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Hey Lux,

Why didn't you go with the Oppo BDP-83? Just curious.


  • That Oppo is $500 vs. my LG $275. Not enough feature/value to justify that amount.

  • LG has wireless networking, which adds a whole other dimension now that I'm using it.

  • My focus was not on best quality BR performance. Still isn't since most of my movie viewing will be with upcoded DVD's.
My first impressions of BR vs. upcoded DVD are mixed.

No question that the BR titles I have seen (rented Ratatouille, Apocalypto from Blockbuster; bought BBC Earth series & Bladerunner 5 disc set) are noticebly better visual sharpness, colors, sound. I compared by changing input HDMI on TV between Oppo & LG, and had DVD's of Rat, Apoco, Earth (single DVD), but only had the Blade director's cut on DVD--not final cut which has more restoration which is on BR 5 disc set).

Having said that, the question is how much better is BR with these titles and setup? My gut feeling is that the BR looked and sounded 20% better, but there is no objective way to quantify that. To compare, I would say DVD is about 80-90% better than VHS.

I had some friends up from NYC, one of which is an actor & playwriter for off Broadway productions. He is 1,000 times more "anal" about anything related to movies/media that I am. He considers it criminal for anyone to get up or talk during the closing credits of any movie (even at home), until they are finished 100%.

I decided to play a trick on them with Rat, having loaded the DVD in the BR player and got past where the Disney BR splash video would display and paused it before we sat down to watch it after dinner. He has a BR, and was thrilled to find that I finally jumped into the pool.

So, I played Rat for about 10 mins, making sure to give lots of "Wow this is sooooo amazing....look at how beautiful and how you see all the detailed hair on the mice coats," and noting the sound clarity, and channel separation--to which he said things like: "See, I told you...now you know why I told you to get BR, etc etc."

After the 10 mins, I paused the movie and said how he was right about how good BR really is...and he was again glad I finally saw how much better it is. Then I opened the LG tray, took out the DVD and handed it to him. I told him not to be mad, because I wanted to see an unrehearsed reaction. I wanted to see if he would recognize there was something wrong since it was one of his favorite BR titles that he has played a number of times at home on his uber setup.

He (and his wife) were flustered, and didn't know what to say, but insisted I now put in the real BR version next, and of course he began a non-stop torrent of profuse adoration for the obvious superiority, claiming he wasn't really watching the upcoded DVD that closely. LOL! It illustrated my case of how I would sum up the differences between the two. BR is better, but it is not so overwhelming that you would know in an instant that I was running a DVD upcoding.

Other thing about BR is I found the loading delays irritating. There is a 20-25 sec delay once you insert the disc. Then the promos play. Then another long delay if you tell it to go to setup menu--before you get to the menu. Then again after you select "PLAY," another 15-25 sec delays. They are hard to get used to as compared to DVD menus, and much more dramatic collectively before you are actually watching a movie.

I am thrilled with this LG wireless player having access to Netflix, Youtube, and various folders on my PC hard drive for showing images while MP3 songs are playing. That alone made me happy I got this setup. I was very surprised at the Netflix free movies on TV quality. Close enough to DVD quality that I wouldn't mind watching a movie this way.

Overall I'm mixed on the BR issue, and have not seen enough movies to give a clear-cut opinion. Like I said, it is noticeably better than upcoded DVD's, but not dramatically better. I'm not disappointed with the BR improved quality...but not blown away by it either. Despite my now having BR disc playing capability, I will not automatically get new movies on BR if more expensive than DVD. Since they have no standards, I will wait until others have reviewed their quality at AVS Forums. The reality of watching a good quality movie is that you get absorbed into the movie after a while, and forget to even notice details that may be better on BR.

I honestly don't think I enjoyed watching Ratatouille more on BR than on DVD upcoded. It is excellent on both, and you get sucked into the movie very quickly, and forget what format you are playing.

On the other hand, the "Final Cut" version of BladeRunner is a quantum leap forward in quality, colors, & sound. I don't have it on DVD to know how much better BR would be, but it is one of the handful of movies that I would just want to have the best quality of in general. I'm sure I will get Avatar in BR, but there may be a new 3D TV technology that may be another version coming out later.
 
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js

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Oh, now that was cruel, Lux! LOL! Damn. Too funny.

Fine differences are always like that though, it seems to me, especially when you get into the "connoisseur" end of the range. It's not something that can be immediately apprehended. It's subtle. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but it does mean that mistakes like that can and do happen even to very experienced people.

Now, if the difference were between a NON-HD TV and DVD movie vs. a 1080p HD TV and BR then that would probably be a different story, I suspect, although it would depend on TV sizes and viewing distances and so on. But, all other things being equal, and being at a reasonable viewing distance from the sets, I would feel comfortable betting money on cogniscenti being able to tell the difference between the two setups more or less immediately.

But, as was pointed out in the format wars thread, there is more info on a DVD than a standard television can render, so having an HD TV and upconverting DVD player (or BR player) is a definite step up from a standard TV and DVD player, even if you only ever use DVD's.

As for loading times, even the fastest BR players I've read about still take a damn long time to load. Unavoidable, I suppose, given the 10 fold increase in information-value of the content. But, I'm sure I will find it annoying when I finally buy a BR player. 20, or even 10 seconds can be a long time to wait in these cases.
 

da.gee

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Thanks for the breakdown Lux. I find it very valuable and appreciate it greatly.

Waiting would sure get annoying but I suppose you just have to put up with it. One thing I have read about the Oppo unit is it loads very fast relative to other players.

I think the Oppo would make more sense if you didn't already have the 980. You would get all the great DVD upconverting technology of the Oppo, it's fantastic audio playback capabilities, plus what I'm sure is a technically fine BDP made in America. You also get that cool velvet bag!

One question for you all if you have time and inclination: is there a discernible difference in the actual picture quality between a $100 BDP and a $300 BDP or do they all deliver the 1080P goods to the screen because it's a digital thing? There must be some differences.

EDIT: Did a little quick research and it seems Blu-Ray quality will be very close if not indiscernible between BD players regardless of cost. That makes future decisions a bit easier. Slap me if I'm wrong. I didn't do my usual three months of research.
 
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Dawg

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Did a little quick research and it seems Blu-Ray quality will be very close if not indiscernible between BD players regardless of cost. That makes future decisions a bit easier. Slap me if I'm wrong. I didn't do my usual three months of research.

Newegg has a deal going on right now... LG BD270 Blu-ray Disc Player for $78.99 with code SNCBLURAY. Shipping is $4.99.

Good deal at $83.98 delivered in 3 days. They are still in stock.
 

Onuris

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I'm going to prognosticate here, in a big way.

I say that the 1080p high def is not going to be superceded by a higher resolution. Partly because 1080 is already plenty high res enough, but mostly because stuff is going to move to hard-drive/computer/watch-instantly on-line.

In exactly the same way that most people's music has gone from linear CD to compressed AAC or MP3, despite the loss in fidelity, you will see more and more people chosing to buy movies from iTunes (for example) in a format/compression designed for computer use. And, you will see more and more people just watching instantly from Netflix or some other source. Already, an astonishing number of people watch a lot of their TV on hulu, for example.

BR is technically superior. No question. But 50 gigs (or whatever it is exactly) for a movie? No frigging way. The convenience of having 100 movies (or more) on a single hard drive will outweigh the superior fidelity of BR discs for most people.

So the demand for an even higher definition format will NOT materialize in our lifetimes.

That's my prediction.

According to one of our vendor reps, several manufacturers will be displaying TVs and monitors that have 2048p and 2160p quad HD resolution at the CES next year. It will not be very long after that they will be on the market.

I believe that soon after we will also be seeing A/V media on non-volatile SSDs at those resolutions. In this day and age of ever increasing technology and the demand for it, progress in inevitable.

Most movies these days are produced digitally at 4k resolution, many at 8k, and the manufacturers have the technology and know-how to produce displays at those resolutions- in fact there are some out there right now, just not for mass consumer purchase. The industry only releases advancements at certain increments in relation to what they are capable of, in part due to development costs, and also to guarantee future upgrades and profits.

Didn't read the whole thread, this may have been posted already...

This is my #1 resource for BD movies -

The New PQ Tier Thread for Blu-Ray - Rankings
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342

I've bought a majority of the top ranked BDs and they all look fantastic.

The only issue I have with those lists are that they are based on video quality only, not combined with the audio as well. That said, most top-tier movies will have both, but there are a few on the 0 tier that I would not give a perfect audio score to, and several that are on 1 tier that have such a great audio score that personally I would rate them 0 tier on my list.

Nah. Not gonna daa it.

3D won't catch on. Not for a long long time, if ever. That's my strong suspicion.

It will, but not with current technology of having to wear glasses to crudely simulate it. There are a few true 3D technologies in the works that while several years away from being in production show great promise.

... Having said that, the question is how much better is BR with these titles and setup? My gut feeling is that the BR looked and sounded 20% better, but there is no objective way to quantify that. To compare, I would say DVD is about 80-90% better than VHS.

I had some friends up from NYC, one of which is an actor & playwriter for off Broadway productions. He is 1,000 times more "anal" about anything related to movies/media that I am. He considers it criminal for anyone to get up or talk during the closing credits of any movie (even at home), until they are finished 100%.

I decided to play a trick on them with Rat, having loaded the DVD in the BR player and got past where the Disney BR splash video would display and paused it before we sat down to watch it after dinner. He has a BR, and was thrilled to find that I finally jumped into the pool.

So, I played Rat for about 10 mins, making sure to give lots of "Wow this is sooooo amazing....look at how beautiful and how you see all the detailed hair on the mice coats," and noting the sound clarity, and channel separation--to which he said things like: "See, I told you...now you know why I told you to get BR, etc etc."

After the 10 mins, I paused the movie and said how he was right about how good BR really is...and he was again glad I finally saw how much better it is. Then I opened the LG tray, took out the DVD and handed it to him. I told him not to be mad, because I wanted to see an unrehearsed reaction. I wanted to see if he would recognize there was something wrong since it was one of his favorite BR titles that he has played a number of times at home on his uber setup.

He (and his wife) were flustered, and didn't know what to say, but insisted I now put in the real BR version next, and of course he began a non-stop torrent of profuse adoration for the obvious superiority, claiming he wasn't really watching the upcoded DVD that closely. LOL! It illustrated my case of how I would sum up the differences between the two. BR is better, but it is not so overwhelming that you would know in an instant that I was running a DVD upcoding...

Overall I'm mixed on the BR issue, and have not seen enough movies to give a clear-cut opinion. Like I said, it is noticeably better than upcoded DVD's, but not dramatically better. I'm not disappointed with the BR improved quality...but not blown away by it either. Despite my now having BR disc playing capability, I will not automatically get new movies on BR if more expensive than DVD. Since they have no standards, I will wait until others have reviewed their quality at AVS Forums. The reality of watching a good quality movie is that you get absorbed into the movie after a while, and forget to even notice details that may be better on BR.

I honestly don't think I enjoyed watching Ratatouille more on BR than on DVD upcoded. It is excellent on both, and you get sucked into the movie very quickly, and forget what format you are playing.

LOL, that was a cruel trick there Lux.

As far as not noticing a dramatic difference b/t DVD and BR, I have a question for you- what is the screen size of your TV and what is its resolution? I am assuming based on your posts that it is 1080p.

For most people, at proper viewing distance, if your TV is under about 40" or so, you will not notice as much of a difference b/t DVD and BR, and even less b/t 720p and 1080p. On some of the larger screens, for instance the 65" plasma in our bedroom or the 104" screen in our theater, I notice quite a difference b/t the two formats. And some of us notice more than others. My gf says that she cannot see a big difference b/t most, to her movie content, or how it moves her emotionally is more important than the picture or audio quality.

There is really only one BR DVD player I would ever be interested in buying, but the price is a bit prohibitive. You can take a look at it here:

http://www.220-electronics.com/dvd/Panasonic_DMP-BD50K_DMPbd50k_code_free_region_free_dvd_player.htm

I'd be interested in knowing what you think, besides it being expensive....

I don't think that its region free feature alone will justify its price. And I question how often one living in the US would even need to use this feature, unless for some reason you have a lot of foreign discs which are not region free. Most of the BR titles from the major US studios are region free, those that are not, you would only have issues with the foreign versions. I have thousands of BR discs, and only a handful that are foreign- Beowulf (Warner UK), The Island (Warner UK), The Descent (Icon AUS), City of Ember (EIV UK), Next (EIV UK), Mr. and Mrs. Smith uncut (Fox FR), The Shawshank Redemption (ITV UK), The Fifth Element (Ufa DE), Kingdom of Heaven (Fox FR), The Last Samurai (Warner HK), The Punisher (Sony UK), Sin City (Geneon JP), Watchmen (Paramount UK), Knowing (E1 Ent. UK), Silent Hill (Concorde DE), Hot Fuzz (Universal UK), Pan's Labyrinth (OHE UK), and Air Force One (Disney UK). All play just fine on any BR player I have put them in.
 

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