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#1 nairi

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 06:42 PM

I've been coming across blu-ray in the last few days almost everywhere where there is talk of movies. But I have some unanswered questions. It's not out in Europe yet, as far as I know, but it's probably going to be making its way here soon. My main questions are: will my current DVD player become useless? Where can I get a blu-ray player for a good deal (I got my current DVD player for 50 euros. I'm not willing to spend much more on a blu-ray player!)? Can I hack it to make it region free (the movie industry is asking for it by not releasing movies in all regions, so don't blame me!)? Will files like .avi and .mp4 be playable on these blu-ray players, or do they need to be converted into something else? And finally, for now, will my current computer be able to play and burn blu-ray discs in the same way that it can play and burn DVDs, or do I need to get a whole new computer for this?

#2 DominO

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE (nairi @ Apr 5 2008, 08:42 PM)
I've been coming across blu-ray in the last few days almost everywhere where there is talk of movies. But I have some unanswered questions. It's not out in Europe yet, as far as I know, but it's probably going to be making its way here soon. My main questions are: will my current DVD player become useless? Where can I get a blu-ray player for a good deal (I got my current DVD player for 50 euros. I'm not willing to spend much more on a blu-ray player!)? Can I hack it to make it region free (the movie industry is asking for it by not releasing movies in all regions, so don't blame me!)? Will files like .avi and .mp4 be playable on these blu-ray players, or do they need to be converted into something else? And finally, for now, will my current computer be able to play and burn blu-ray discs in the same way that it can play and burn DVDs, or do I need to get a whole new computer for this?


Unless you have an LCD TV or other HD TVs, I'd say just forget it.

Edited by DominO, 05 April 2008 - 07:01 PM.


#3 DominO

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:05 PM

Oh and, as for burning blu-ray, it'll take a blu-ray burner, don't need to buy a new computer.

#4 nairi

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE (DominO @ Apr 6 2008, 03:01 AM)
Unless you have an LCD TV or other HD TVs, I'd say just forget it.


I have an LCD TV, I think. It says HDMI on the frame (not sure what it means). I didn't have much of a choice in buying it, since that's all they sell nowadays in Holland. I got mine about two years ago after my 20-year-old TV passed away. Now I have to wait a few seconds to jump from one channel to another, which was not the case with my good old TV.

#5 Ashot

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:02 PM

Nairi jan, it will take a while untill they switch from DVD to BlueRay... first they will have to start selling everything in DVD and BlueRay, then little by little blue ray players, burners will be the cost of the nowadays dvd burners and playes, as soon as the prices go down to that cheap then you can definitely switch to blue ray!!! untill then, enjoy the DVD's!!!

#6 DominO

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:09 AM

QUOTE (nairi @ Apr 5 2008, 09:42 PM)
I have an LCD TV, I think. It says HDMI on the frame (not sure what it means). I didn't have much of a choice in buying it, since that's all they sell nowadays in Holland. I got mine about two years ago after my 20-year-old TV passed away. Now I have to wait a few seconds to jump from one channel to another, which was not the case with my good old TV.


HDMI, is a digital high resolution connection, that is what you'll use when you get a blu-ray reader. The reason you have to wait few seconds is probably because of the time it takes for the analog digital coverter in the TV. Your channels are not digital.

If you really want it, then get it..., you can check if the model you want can read .mp4 and .avi, both formats have become pretty popular.

Here are the price range: http://search.ebay.c...l?s...o=2&fgtp=

#7 nairi

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:27 PM

QUOTE (DominO @ Apr 6 2008, 07:09 PM)
HDMI, is a digital high resolution connection, that is what you'll use when you get a blu-ray reader. The reason you have to wait few seconds is probably because of the time it takes for the analog digital coverter in the TV. Your channels are not digital.


Hmm, will have to switch to digital then.

QUOTE
If you really want it, then get it...,


No, I don't want it, but it seems that it's being shoved down our throats. That's why I'm left with all these unanswered questions like will my current DVD player become useless? I don't want it to become useless, and I think it's unfair of these blu-ray people to force consumers to buy a whole new player when they could have made the transition more sympathetic by making blu-ray discs readable by DVD players. As far as I can see, blu-ray discs are pretty much taking over the US (correct me if I'm wrong; that's the signs I'm getting). And no, not all of us are rich enough or willing enough to waste a few hundred on a whole new player when the old one is still working perfectly fine.

#8 nairi

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE (Ashot @ Apr 6 2008, 04:02 AM)
Nairi jan, it will take a while untill they switch from DVD to BlueRay... first they will have to start selling everything in DVD and BlueRay, then little by little blue ray players, burners will be the cost of the nowadays dvd burners and playes, as soon as the prices go down to that cheap then you can definitely switch to blue ray!!! untill then, enjoy the DVD's!!!


I hope you're right.

#9 Ashot

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:30 PM

Trust me Nairi jan... that's how it happened with VHS remember? it took them 3 years to switch!!!

#10 DominO

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 08:40 PM

QUOTE (nairi @ Apr 6 2008, 02:27 PM)
Hmm, will have to switch to digital then.



No, I don't want it, but it seems that it's being shoved down our throats. That's why I'm left with all these unanswered questions like will my current DVD player become useless? I don't want it to become useless, and I think it's unfair of these blu-ray people to force consumers to buy a whole new player when they could have made the transition more sympathetic by making blu-ray discs readable by DVD players. As far as I can see, blu-ray discs are pretty much taking over the US (correct me if I'm wrong; that's the signs I'm getting). And no, not all of us are rich enough or willing enough to waste a few hundred on a whole new player when the old one is still working perfectly fine.


Blu-Ray movies from what I knew are supposed to work on normal DVD players. I think there is both format in a Blu-Ray disk, your DVD will recognise the usual DVD format and ignore the high resolution format. You have to ask Sip about that though.

#11 Azat

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 10:23 PM

nope. the other way around. blu-ray dvd players can play both blu-ray and regular DVD formats but regular DVDs cant play blu-ray.

Nairi if you can afford it and especially since you have a hi-def TV you should get blu-ray. movies are much crisper and sound is better

#12 DominO

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE (Azat @ Apr 6 2008, 11:23 PM)
nope. the other way around. blu-ray dvd players can play both blu-ray and regular DVD formats but regular DVDs cant play blu-ray.

Nairi if you can afford it and especially since you have a hi-def TV you should get blu-ray. movies are much crisper and sound is better


I know, I had read that blu-ray movie disks would also contain the standard recordings so that the standard non-HD format could be played on DVD. I don't know if it is actually the cas though. That's what I was talking about.

Edited by DominO, 06 April 2008 - 11:26 PM.


#13 nairi

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:14 AM

QUOTE (Azat @ Apr 7 2008, 06:23 AM)
nope. the other way around. blu-ray dvd players can play both blu-ray and regular DVD formats but regular DVDs cant play blu-ray.

Nairi if you can afford it and especially since you have a hi-def TV you should get blu-ray. movies are much crisper and sound is better


I can't afford it now, so it'll have to wait. If Ashot is right, by the time I have to get one, the prices will have hopefully dropped..

#14 vava

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:47 AM

Toshiba recently canned their competing HD product (DVD-HD) so Blu-ray is crowned the winner for the formta war... That makes the choice much easier for consumers. I don't have an HD television, so I'll stick with my regular (aging) DVD player... but when the time comes I'll pick up a blu-ray player. For now though, I'm liable to wait for quite a while wink.gif


#15 Sip

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 03:33 PM

Lots of good input so far and here are my 2 cents which compared to euros aren't worth much these days smile.gif

1. Don't buy Blu-ray yet unless you really feel the need for it. DVD's are so common that I doubt too many things will be "blu ray only" (not at least anytime soon). Even if something is blu-ray only, I think it won't be difficult to find the regular version on the internet. Blu-ray is really really overpriced right now (just like anything new that is electronic).

2. Unless you have bigger than 42" screen, the higher quality of blu-ray is not going to be as noticable as regular dvds.

3. If you must buy a blu-ray player, a playstation 3 might be a better deal overall as it also has many other features such as playing things over the network and accessing the internet. Blu-ray is sony's baby so you know playstation is going to be well supported.

4. If you ask me, all these physical media formats (cd, dvd, blu-ray) are at the end of their lives. The way the internet has been going, and at the same time the rate at which magnetic (hard drive) as well as flash memory storage costs have been dropping, media distribution is all shifting to online. It's been almost 6 months that I have not used any DVDs ... I get pretty much all my movies, shows, and other media through the internet (often much higher quality than DVD). I don't think I personally will ever buy a blu-ray player unless I end up buying something (like a new laptop) that comes with it as a built-in feature. Microsoft's xbox and sony's playstation now have the ability to get movies over the internet and NetFlix the big movie rental business here in the US recently made their online movie viewing unlimited (no time limits anymore). A lot of tv and entertainment eletronic manufacturers are also in the process of releasing a lot more internet enabled tv's and set top boxes so it's all pretty much in motion.

I am not sure of the exact state of things in Europe though but judging by how quickly things like YouTube have been growing in Europe, I also think it's more a matter of 'when' than 'if' in your part of the world.

Are they "shoving" blu-ray down our throats? ... Probably no more than any other standard. In this case Sony was extremely aggressive and by going after the big media companies, they pretty much muscled everyone else (especially Toshiba with HD-dvd) out of the market. I guess they learned their lesson really well from the Betamax days. It's a great advance but still, as I said, along a technology domain that is about to die completely ... of course I could be wrong. I think I saw an 8-track player in Azat's volvo biggrin.gif

Edited by Sip, 07 April 2008 - 03:37 PM.


#16 nairi

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:26 PM

Sip, I truly hope you're right about the internet!! But I do prefer watching movies on my TV, sitting on my couch, than on my computer.. Will we be able to do that when the internet takes over all media?

#17 Sip

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:41 PM

Absolutely. Internet-enabled TVs are coming out. As I said entertainment boxes like playstation 3, microsoft's xbox and the wii all have internet (or network) access in one way or another and all support media playback.

In the mean time, all these companies are selling various boxes that allow you to stream movies from your PC to watch on your TV. I've had the D-link dsm-520 for a while until recently I switched to a full fledged dedicated home-theater pc (HTPC) that is connected directly to my tv. You can buy HTPCs but right now they are a lot of headache to set up correctly (especially with linux) and Vista has it's own pains. I'm sure Apple will continue to expand its AppleTV line of products (check it out if you haven't!).

So actually I think you are going to spend less and less time at your PC as the internet grows! Actually there has been a lot of talk about how the "PC" may be disappearing from existence since for the first time now laptop sales have been higher than desktops but I think this discussion is somewhat moot since I still consider the laptop to be a PC. What I find myself doing more is watching online content on TV (stuff I pick and choose rather than what broadcasters force upon me) while using my laptop to do all sorts of other more "PC" things.

Edited by Sip, 07 April 2008 - 04:48 PM.


#18 Sip

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:47 PM

Sorry I incorrectly had a link to slingbox instead of AppleTV in my above post .. it's fixed now biggrin.gif

#19 nairi

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:58 PM

So I should probably wait and save up for an internet-enabled TV.. Either that or get an affordable second-hand entertainment box. What about downloaded movies? How do you watch those without first having to burn them on a disc?

#20 Sip

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:03 PM

There are at least 4 ways to watch downloaded movies:

1. On your PC using the PC screen.
2. On your TV using your PC. There are various ways to connect the PC to the TV.
3. On your TV using a media player that streams the movies from your PC on your home network (could be wireless). This is what the Dlink dsm-520 does for example and also you can do it with PS3, Xbox, etc.
4. Using a portable media player that stores your movies and connecting it to your PC. This is equivalent to what you do with an ipod ... you put the music on it and you can connect the ipod to your home stereo system. With the portable media player, you put the movie on it and connect it to whatever tv you want to watch it on (I have had a 100GB Archos AV500 for a couple years now which I use for watching things in the car or in flights).

Of course I should say burning things on a DVD is still probably one of the easiest ways to do it considering how cheap blank dvds are. However, most movies use "dual layer" dvds that first, require a special dvd recorder (if you don't have one that's DL capable) and second, the blank media is not that cheap sad.gif

Edited by Sip, 07 April 2008 - 05:05 PM.





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