Illustrating The Difference Between DVD and Blu-Ray Definition

The other day, I mentioned that I had been selected to be a member of Blu-ray Elite, a beta program from Warner Home Video. As such, Warner Brothers is sending me free Blu-ray discs, and I’m bravely entering the world of Blu-ray.  My first batch from Warner Brothers included Contagion (2011), a thriller that takes the simple act of washing your hands and turns you into an obsessive-compulsive afraid of every tiny germ on earth. Since Contagion was the first film that I saw on my own Blu-ray player, I thought it provided the perfect chance to prove a point. I’ve put together a screen shot (of sorts) of a scene from the DVD and compared it to the enhanced definition in the same scene from the Blu-ray. Side by side, I think you’ll see that there’s no comparison. It’s almost as if the DVD screen capture was drawn by a child. Here it is: 

It’s pretty striking. In the DVD version, you can’t even tell that the doctor is wearing gloves.


Filed under Movies

22 responses to “Illustrating The Difference Between DVD and Blu-Ray Definition

  1. manilovefilmsdylan

    I smell a new version of the classic screenshot game!

    That’s awesome. You know what’s sad? I’ve had a BluRay player (PS3)for some months now and have yet to actually watch a BluRay disc with it. Doesn’t help that I kinda hate playing discs on it since all it does is start its fan and make a bunch of noise. Still, I have a few discs and really ought to watch so I can compare, if nothing else.

    • Ha… that’d be an awesome way to do the classic screenshot game.

      Wait, so you’re saying you’re using your PS3 for games?!? The shame…

    • Craig

      You sure there isn’t just dust in the fan?

      If so, quick clean could make things a lot quiter.

  2. Ahahaha, thanks for the laugh at the end of a long Monday work week, John!

  3. Phil

    Very funny. I converted to high-def this year and now rent everything in Blu-Ray, but I’m still not 100% convinced. It’s definitely sharper, but many of films look more like TV video than ‘film’. (The complaints about the Hobbit footage in 48 frames/sec is exactly how I see Blu-Ray.) Maybe I’m just turning into one of those guys who only wants to listen to vinyl…

    • That’s a really interesting take on it, Phil. I’m going to keep an eye out for that. One of my friends said something similar about a TV that he saw at his friend’s house- that it had stopped feeling like he was watching a movie.

    • Mike

      That’s not because of blu-ray, it’s because the TV has the “120hz smooth-motion” feature or something similar to that. Turn that feature off and everything looks crystal clear but doesn’t have that “british TV” or “camcorder” look

  4. Well, I’m sold. I had no idea the difference was so striking.

  5. Good stuff. Just wait till you get to see animated features on Blu-ray for the first time. Rango is probably still the best Blu-ray I have seen.

    Also, some classics transfer surprisingly well, especially Sergio Leone’s Western epics. You’re going to have a blast with this format.

  6. Interesting stuff,John,I bet your first Blu-ray experience has been terrific!!My first Blu-ray is Amelie,totally blown away by the images.If you need some recommendations,I’d say Taxi Driver and North by Northwest,they looks like being made yesterday.

    • It’s funny you bring those up. Just like Psycho, I think I saw the Blu-ray versions of Taxi Driver and North by Northwest on the big screen.

  7. Absolutely hilarious, as always. You should check out Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. That is probably my favorite Blu-ray I own.

    • I think I inadvertently saw the Psycho Blu-ray when I saw it on the big screen a few months ago. I’m not positive, but I think that’s the version they used.

  8. Very often it’s definitely true.

  9. WOW! I’m getting a Blu-ray player rightaway!!! I can’t believe I’ve been in a grotto like that!

  10. aleksa

    This is a little late, but my favorite Blu-ray purchase thus far is “Attack the Block”. I’m tempted to buy “District 9”, but I’ll probably check to see what the features are first.

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