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Switching from DVD to Blu-Ray - is it worth it?

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6 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I don't know about Amazon and iTunes, or download platforms in general, but at least for Netflix streaming, the compression quality is a far cry from even a sub par Blu-ray.

 

Which Netflix tier are you on?

 

The only place I notice compression artifacting is on YouTube's "720p" or "1080p" streams, although that can often be gotten around simply by selecting a "2160p" stream instead, where available, which for all intents and purposes looks like a native 1080p image.

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If you're relying on an internet connection and live in a country like Australia and want to watch something on Netflix or Stan, or any other streaming service then you're fucked. 

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9 hours ago, The Original said:

@Marian Schedenig Only one Twilight Time blu-ray that I know of was region locked, and that was Heaven & Earth.

 

Ah, good. It's just the high price and expensive shipping that prevents me from buying more of them then. But I would expect that their Sleepless in Seattle release has a better transfer than the regular German one.

9 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I don't think the law distinguishes between breaking the encryption of DVDs and Blu-rays, at least not where I live.

 

I don't remember the specifics, but I'm pretty sure it's something that applies not just to the USA, but also at least parts of the EU. The reasoning (if you can call it that) was something like this: Copyright law allows you to make copies for personal use, but other laws prevent you from breaking strong encryptions. DVD's CSS system is too weak to be classified as a strong encryption system at least in the EU, so cracking and copying DVDs is fair game, but Blu-rays are a different story.

 

Whatever the details, it's obviously effective. I used to watch all my DVDs via a custom-build home theatre Linux PC, where I could create playlists and stuff to start the film without the menu and even play trailers before it if I wanted to. On Windows, you would just buy a player software that came with the necessary licence. Nobody sold an official player for Linux, and the CSS decryption stuff wasn't included out of the box in the official distributions (because it was unclear if using it in the USA was legally an act of terrorism), but it was easily available and installed in 10 seconds, and then you could use any regular player software you liked to also play DVDs (and I found those were superiour to the Windows players in quality and controls). But nothing like that exists for Blu-rays, the only thing you can do is use a separate tool to crack the Blu-ray externally and either rip it or stream it to a player like VLC. That doesn't work for all discs, and it somehow has to fetch a matching key from the internet. These keys apparently change and can be revoked (to allow the industry to pressure individual hardware manufacturers to adhere to their demands, otherwise they can simply revoke their keys and render the players useless), so it takes a lot of time, computing power, manual intervention, and there's no guarantee it'll work in the end.

9 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

On IMDB you can actually search up a film using its local title.

 

True, bad wording on my part. It's rather that even if I might already be familiar with the original title, I won't necessarily know it's the same film (if I don't know enough about the content to recognise it from the trailer), so I have to remember the (new to me) German title at least until I'm done watching the film I'm about to watch, or perhaps the next day if I forget to look it up right away. And if I don't remember the title, I can look up some of the actors and browse through their films, but that's usually in English and I have to figure out which of the titles might be the one I'm looking for by clicking on them and either checking their German titles or their cast. And even if it's an "English" title, you don't know if that's actually the original title or just a random alternate English title for German distribution. For example, it took me years to figure out that 96 Hours and Taken are actually the same film and the former is just its "German" title.

6 hours ago, Quintus said:

Which Netflix tier are you on?

 

I have no idea. But on 1080p, I still get very obvious banding (especially in dark scenes) and smeary noise reduction which is especially obvious if the source material had some obvious natural film grain. And then that smear-compressed grain produces more banding.

 

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