TV and home theater are constantly changing. It once celebrated as the format of the future Blu-ray, may soon be over. Movies can be watched on Full HD and sometimes even in UHD with four times full HD resolution over the Internet. But current Blu-ray players can do much more than just play movies.
Falling demand for DVD and Blu-ray players
The sales figures for movie players are decreasing. According to the Home Electronics Market Index (HEMIX), 577,000 Blu-ray players or recorders sold 21 percent fewer units in the first nine months of 2018 than in the same period last year. For DVD players or recorders, of which 236,000 copies crossed the counter between January and September, the decline was 20 percent.
Stefan Witzel has a clear view: "DVD players have had their day," says the editor of "AV Magazine". Anyone who buys a player for movie records today should resort to Blu-ray. The devices can also play movie DVDs.
It differs between Blu-ray players for Full HD and UHD. With Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), even larger displays come with sharp images. UHD (Ultra High Definition) is the second highest level with a resolution of 3840 with 2160 pixels.
What must a good Blu-ray player be?
It's a matter of rights. Good images now deliver all the devices, so differences are not recognizable to an average gob. The difference is several additional services, such as apps – number and provider of apps are different.
Another important difference lies in the treatment. "For cheap models made of thin plastic feel cheap and can be heard when they play up to a distance of about two meters," says Roland Seibt, home theater specialist of the "video" magazine.
When is a UHD player worth it?
It depends on the image size of the TV. Seibt believes that the quadruple Full HD pixel count is only noticeable enough from a 65 inch screen size. That's 165 centimeters. Up to 55 inches by approx. 140 cm diagonal enough Full HD. At 60 inches, then about 152 inches diagonal, according to Witzel is a choice. The test specialist tends to have UHD. As the maximum viewing distance, it recommends between three and five meters.
What does Blu-ray players cost?
There are Full HD models for 50 euros. But if you are looking for a better work quality, it is more appropriate for 100 euros. The latest UHD players cost around 150 euros or less. But here Seibt would rather look for units from 200 euros. Upwards, the prices are open, you can spend 2000 euros and more. Then the features of picture and sound quality play a role.
Isn't it worth more to stream Full HD and UHD movies?
According to Seibt, Blu-ray delivers a data rate of up to 50 megabits per second. According to him, film providers only come between 10 and 15 megabits per second for the UHD and the new HDR (High Dynamic Range) contrast format over the network.
If you have a higher quality TV screen, you will see the difference: "Fast motion sometimes causes the blocks to form, and instead of fine brightness gradients, strip-like brightness levels are created." Variations in data rate can also lead to loss of sharpness. He also points out that there is usually a maximum of 5.1 surround sound on offer and only in the best movies. However, with Blu-ray, significantly more channels are common to Dolby Atmos for 22 speakers.