Do Blu-ray players really make your old DVDs look better?

Do Blu-ray players really make your old DVDs look better?

‘If you’re buying a High-Def set, you have to buy an upconverting DVD to go along with it.”

So the salesman at the now-defunct Tweeter told me when I bought my 40-inch LCD TV three years ago. So I did as told. When you’re spending way more than you should on a TV, what’s another $100 or so added onto the bill?

Did it help? Hard to say. Looking back, my money’s on “no.”

Flash forward three years, and one of the alleged perks of buying a Blu-ray player is that it really upconverts your old DVDs, almost up to Blu-ray levels. Or so they say.

But does it work?

I’ve owned my new Blu-ray player for about two weeks, and I must say my old DVDs do look a tad better playing in the Blu-ray machine.

It’s not a night and day thing. But I tend to watch my TV set up close, and I’m noticing less grain and sharper images now than before.

Granted, my set is 720p and not 1080p, the industry’s gold standard. But after sitting through a few standard DVD viewings I do think there’s a difference.

Is that enough to make people buy a Blu-ray player, especially since many of the available Blu-ray titles are far more expensive than their DVD cousins? That’s up to you.

UPDATE: Dave on Film agrees … and he’s got better gadgets than I do!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

AkJNo Gravatar August 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I’ve been wanting a 1080p TV for awhile. I watched a house over a weekend (dogs) and enjoyed playing my xbox on a 72 inch television in High Def. Pretty cool. Watched movies on the smaller (not by much) tv in High Def and also tre cool. But I decided that since I’m not a movie buyer (love Netflix) and the cost is too much to invest in, I’m not ready. My real only preference in experiencing a High Def view is sports. You really haven’t experienced it until you watch a hockey game or football. I would love to experience that all year long. But everything is still so expensive. Until prices drop for everything, including TVs, DVD players and connectivity I’m staying with the tube.

bobNo Gravatar August 3, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I have two friends (honest) who, by coincidence, bought the same model 42-inch 1080P hi-def TV. One has an up-converting DVD player, the other does not. I can see the difference between the up-converted film and the regular. Whether a BD player does as well, I can’t say (my son is unimpressed with his BD setup, but he used a Sony PS/3 as his Blu-Ray player). A decent up-converting DVD player (the one here is from Yamaha) can make a difference, least near as I can see.

RonnNo Gravatar August 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm

i have seen several upconverting dvd players and blu-ray players i mainly use a PS/3 and it works better than most stand alone blu-ray players that i have seen. not sure if Bob’s son has the optimum set up but with my 1080p set and hdmi cables it looks great.

Don SucherNo Gravatar August 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm

To fill up all the pixels on a flat panel TV (or a modern projector for that matter) one piece of equipment or another has to do some manipulation of the pixel count. Where it is done – on the TV/Monitor or the player – means less than how well it is done. Here not all devices are equal. A good upscaling player or a better Blu-Ray may be better than what is in a particular monitor, but not necessarily. But as is often the case, newer – even if less expensive – is typically better than units made even a year or two earlier.

JillNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I have had my Magnavox Blu Ray Player for over a year now (got at Walmart for my birthday in June)… I never heard of Blu Ray. I found out they have been selling BR Discs for a long time, so I kinda was new to this. So I started to collect blu ray movies this year. I will replace some of my old DVDs, but some of the rare ones like TV Shows and Anime, you cannot find on Blu Ray for another few years…. Who knows when they will bring these rare items to Blu Ray. Still waiting for Aladdin and Little Mermaid to be released on BR. I own a lot of Disney movies, and other great classics on BR, so it is the way to go. I do not have any problems with my player. You can play DVDs. If you still had an old TV at your family’s house or your grandparent’s houses, BR will play on them, but the sound will not be great. You will need HDMI cable wire and a HDTV to play Blu Ray. I would not bring mine home to my family’s TV to try it out, because our RCA TV is ancient.. So yeah… Flat screen TV all the way guys! However, I would never purchase a 3D TV within the future, because I can only handle it for a few hours in the movies. Some movies look better on Blu Ray then the 3D format anyway.. You be the judgement. I do enjoy BR and it saves up a ton of room on your TV shelves.. PLUS the prices HAVE DROPPED from $30 movies to $25-10.00 movies. Right now, I am saving up for Jurassic Park and Back to the Future set which both costs $40 @ FYE and $50-60 @ Walmart/Target. So there ya go with prices. Always shop for cheap movies! Amazon even has some great deals! Hope this helps.

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