Every now and then, there comes a time when great swathes of society are encouraged to pick a side: Cavaliers vs Roundheads, Betamax vs VHS, Blur vs Oasis, Twilight vs True Blood; it can suck in the best of us and create legions of die-hard partisans among individuals who have absolutely nothing in common. Today, you can see these same battle lines being drawn between Blue-ray disc (BD) and DVD, with big hitters like Microsoft and Intel throwing their weight behind the latter and industry giants Dell and Hewlet-Packard supporting the former.
If you are mulling over the idea of buying a DVD or Blu-ray player for your car, then you will no doubt be wondering which side of the divide to come down on. Of course, knowledge is power when it comes to making an informed purchasing decision so why not take a moment to read through our brief overview to help determine which variant will suit your own particular needs.
First things first – what’s the difference between DVD and Blu-ray?
Being the eldest of the two fomats, DVD was designed with standard-definition televisions in mind. While DVD films look great on standard-definition TVs, they are unable to take full advantage of the many benefits afforded by high-definition TVs. As televisions have become more advanced over the last five years or so, the limitations of DVD have become more apparent. In contrast, the more modern high-definition Blu-ray disc format has been designed to maximise the viewing experience available via today’s super-duper HD-TVs. Because of this, Blu-ray is generally able to deliver a higher degree of audio/visual quality than DVD.
So that’s it then; Blu-ray is the best..?
While Blu-ray is undoubtedly the best option on paper, it doesn’t necessarily equate that it will be the most suitable option for you and your car. For instance, there is the issue of cost to consider. While Blu-ray players have come down in price quite a bit in recent years, they are still more expensive to buy than DVD players (the discs themselves cost more as well). There is also the issue of consistency to mull over. While some Blu-ray films (such as Avatar, Casino Royale and The Wizard of Oz) are well known for delivering audio and visual entertainment of the very highest order, other offerings (Ghostbusters and Die Hard most notably) look and sound pretty much the same as standard DVDs.
So which format is likely to be the most suitable for your car? Well, if you have kids who like 3D films then you may well veer toward Blu-ray as all 3D movies from now on will only be released on Blu-ray. Aside from that though, it is worth bearing in mind that the size of the screen you and/or your family will watch in your car is not going to be anything like the size of the TV in your living room so it is fair to say the differences in audio and visual quality will not be THAT pronounced.
The verdict: if money is no object and your kids love 3D films then go for a Blu-ray; if you’re keen to stick to a budget though and you’re counting down the days until you can watch Ghostbusters with your kids then invest in a DVD player instead.
Either way, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.