Blu-ray vs standard DVD

March 18, 2009 4:28:13 PM PDT
One out of three Americans has a high-definition TV and nothing showcases what an HDTV can do like a Blu-ray player. Now, with prices dropping on Blu-ray players, you may be tempted to trade in your old DVD player. But should you? Consumer Reports just tested both Blu-ray and DVD players.

Many people with an HDTV are looking to buy a Blu-ray disc player, which promises the highest quality video available.

Consumer Reports tested Blu-ray players along with standard DVD players.

"Nothing compares to the high-definition image you get from a Blu-ray player," said Elias Arias with Consumer Reports. "Its picture quality is high in detail, very lifelike, very nice to look at."

Many standard DVD players offer something called upconversion, but it falls short.

"Upconversion is not the same as a high-def Blu-ray image," said Arias.

An upconverted DVD image is not as detailed or lifelike as a high-definition Blu-ray image.

And today's Blu-ray players come with features like bonus view, where you can see director's comments right along with the movie. And a few offer BD-Live, which provides access to extra online content such as updated movie trailers.

Another plus, Blu-ray players are coming down in price. While some still cost $1,000, Consumer Reports recommends one for $300. It's the Panasonic model number DMP-BD35. And once you get a Blu-ray player, it can still play all your old DVDs.

Consumer Reports says if you don't have an HDTV, there's no reason to buy a Blu-ray player. Stick with a standard DVD player.

So what was rated the best? Consumer Reports' top-rated a $100 Pioneer, model DV-410VK. Another good choice for less is one from LG, model DN-898 for $80.

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