I never quite believed I’d see much of the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray on an 80cm (32 inch) TV. But with brand-name Blu-Ray players now below $100, and releases such as the complete set of Star Wars movies out on Blu-Ray, this past Christmas seemed like the right time to jump in and try it.
One of the presents I got was the Blu-Ray of Tron: Legacy, which also included the original Tron movie. Since I already had the DVD of the former, I’m able to compare the DVD against the Blu-Ray versions.
The scene from Flynn’s arcade had a lot more detail on the Blu-Ray, but you can’t really see it in a photo, so I won’t post it here. Jeremy and I looked carefully at this scene and were able to identify the names on some of the machines, for instance, which is impossible using the DVD.
More stark is the difference in this shot from the lightcycles scene, first on DVD:
(See it bigger)
…and on Blu-Ray:
(See it bigger)
There’s a lot more contrast in this scene on the Blu-Ray version. I think it’s not just a format question, it’s also that they’ve taken a lot more care in remastering the video. But the resolution being better also undoubtedly helps, and this is particularly noticeable (on the TV, perhaps not in the photos) with the grid lines.
Things to keep in mind:
- The DVD was from before the sequel movie was made, and it’s entirely possible that not a great deal of care was taken in the mastering. In comparison it appears they took a lot of care on the Blu-Ray version. It’s entirely possible that the current edition DVD is better.
- These comparisons were snapped off my TV with a camera, with the blinds drawn to reduce light. The snapshots were not taken under ideal conditions. (I don’t currently have any Blu-Ray drives in a computer, so I’m unable to grab a Blu-Ray image directly.) As noted above, it’s difficult to convey the difference seen on the TV in a photo.
- I’ve used the freeze frame, which may impact the picture.
There’s no denying the higher quality of Blu-Ray, even on an 80cm screen.
Question is, which movies or TV would I consider worthy of upgrade, and at what cost? I can’t see myself shelling how lots of money for discs of movies I already own. But for future purchases, I’d certainly lean towards the newer format if the price is not prohibitive.
(I did find The Life Of Brian on Blu-Ray, with lots of extras, for $8 yesterday at K-Mart.)
- MichaelDVD review of Tron DVD
- MichaelDVD review of Tron on Blu-Ray
- MichaelDVD review of Tron:Legacy on Blu-Ray
…and if so, how many seconds did it take you?
Update 8pm: Yes, many guessed, some didn’t.
I came across it when I was at home on Monday. Unfortunately I didn’t stay tuned… apart from George Cole (better known as Arthur Daley), Sid James and Joan Sims, there was another familiar face somewhere in there, a one-time associate of the above gentleman.
- IMDB: Will Any Gentleman…? (1953)
I don’t see a lot of movies in the cinema, so call me slow if you like, but I think I’ve worked out why big TVs and DVDs and Bluray are getting so popular.
Freaking $18.50 for an adult, $13.50 for kids? (And this is at 10am on a weekday — I don’t know if their pricing varies at peak times.) Plus $4 each for Choc Tops, and $3.90 for a bottle of water. $61.40 for a movie with a snack? Gordon Bennett.
The silver-lining is there was only one other person in the theatre, sitting right up the back, so we got pick of the seats.
And the movie itself? Spectacular, but not deep. Enjoyable but not utterly brilliant. A little like the original, in fact.
A few quick reviews of things I’ve read or watched recently…
(The DVDs fall into the category of “I’ve been meaning to watch that; I’ll buy that if it’s less than $10. Ooh, there it is!” One book was borrowed, the other I got for Christmas.)
A Hard Day’s Night — got this cheap on Amazon, and thought the kids would enjoy it, which they did. Occasionally the accents are a tad hard to follow, but the antics of the Beatles, together with Paul’s “very clean” grandfather got some laughs. And because it’s based loosely on the real life experiences of The Beatles, it’s also a view into life in 1960s Britain.
Tron — found this cheap in JB Hifi. It smells a bit of 80s computer-age wonder cash-in, with users having real beings inside the computer who run all their jobs. But it was quite enjoyable, and very interesting graphics for a 1982 film.
A Nest of Occasionals, Tony Martin — very funny stuff, particularly the tales of writing radio adverts, which had me in stitches at one point. I’m going to have to check out his other book, Lolly Scramble.
Jasper Jones (by Craig Silvey)– Superb, a real page turner, really enjoyed it. And again, fully intending to get hold of his other novel, Rhubarb.
(Currently reading Shane Maloney: “Stiff”.)
Very funny stuff, and some quite remarkable stunts considering they had so few safety precautions compared to nowadays.
I had been pondering if it was rude to talk during a silent movie.
The conclusion was: yes. It may not stop you hearing the dialogue, but it does interrupt your concentration.
Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr is also on my list.
Top CDs/songs to play really loudly when you realise you no longer have neighbours to annoy, and even if you did annoy someone you can’t be evicted because you’re moving next week anyway:
- Hoodoo Gurus: 1000 Miles Away
- Paul Kelly: Deeper Water
- the Edge Of Darkness soundtrack
- Most of Who’s Next, obviously
- and Led Zeppelin 4
- U2: Achtung Baby
- Professor Ratbaggy
- Spiderbait: Run
- Sky: Toccata
Top DVDs to watch really loudly:
- Fellowship of the Ring
- Ocean Colour Scene: Filmed from the front row
- Maybe a Star Trek or two
- Baraka might be quite good… damn, I really need to get surround sound
Though not too loudly of course, since I have come to realise that my "hi-fi" is really "lo-to-medium-fi". O alas, the distortion!