Blu-ray Players have higher resolution sound and better picture quality than DVD Players, and will still play standard DVDs!

But it's not just the Blu-ray player (which have come down in price) you will have to buy, but possibly a new TV and Receiver also. Read on for more information or just call us and we can assess your situation and give you a free proposal with all of the costs. Once you approve the proposal we will install and calibrate the system so all you have to do is watch movies!

Overview:

In order to get the full benefit of Blu-ray, you will need the following:

Display Device- A flat panel display or projector that supports 1080p video via HDMI

Receiver-A Receiver or Surround Processor that supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+, DTS-HD and 7.1 channels of audio

Broadband-Blu-ray players that fully support the Blu-ray spec will have an Ethernet connection and some Blu-ray disks support interactive features over the Internet

Blu-ray Player-The device that will play Blu-ray disks as well as your current DVDs

Now, that's not to say that if you don't have all of these things that you won't still have a good Blu-ray experience. But to get the full benefit, you will need all of those things. Compromises may have to be made to keep from spending too much money. Read on for more details.

Display Device:

One of the major enhancements of Blu-ray over DVDs is the picture quality. DVD outputs 480i (480 lines of resolution, interlaced) while Blu-ray uses 1080p (1080 lines of resolution, progressive). You can use either a flat panel (LCD or Plasma) or front projection display. Either way, it will need to support 1080p to get the most out of Blu-ray. 1080p will require the use of a digital connection through an HDMI cable. If your TV only supports 1080i, or only has analog connections using a Component interface, don't worry as good results can still be obtained.

Receiver:

Another major enhancement of Blu-ray is the sound quality. Blu-ray will use Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+ or DTS-HD as it's sound encoding format vs. Dolby Digital or DTS on DVD. These new formats provide loss-less, high quality sound in 7 channels plus a dedicated subwoofer channel. Unfortunately, even if you bought a new receiver in the last few years, it may not support these new formats. Again, not to worry as long as your current receiver has "external in" jacks on the back. The external in jacks allow the Blu-ray player to decode the audio and just send 5.1 or 7.1 analog channels to the receiver. If your receiver doesn't support the new formats and doesn't have external in jacks, then you must buy a new receiver or settle for lower quality sound.

Broadband Connection:

All of the new Blu-ray players that fully support the specification (BD profile 2.0 or BD Live) will have an Ethernet connection so that you can connect them to your computer network. Some also support Wireless Ethernet. This allows two things. First, your Blu-ray player will be able to go out and download new firmware to turn on new features and fix bugs. Second, many new Blu-ray disks have interactive features where they can go out to the Internet and download information or allow you to go out and find more information about the movie you are watching. So if you don't have an Internet connection or an Ethernet connection where your Blu-ray player is installed, don't worry, you will just lose these features.

Blu-ray Player:

So finally we get to the Blu-ray player itself. Here there are only a few options to think about. First of all, most of the currently shipping products are second or third generation products that will support all of the following:

1080p video over HDMI

Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+ and DTS-HD

Ethernet connection for Internet Connectivity (some have wireless)

BD Profile 2.0 and BD Live

HDMI 1.4 or later (for 3D support)

Once you verify those things, then there are just a few more things to consider. First is picture quality. 1080p is not necessarily equal among all players. About the only way to know this is to look for reviews of the product out on the Internet. Second would be having the audio decoders in the player. As we learned before, if your receiver doesn't support the new audio standards, then you will need to connect the Blu-ray player to your receiver's external in connections (5 or 7 analog connections). Not all Blu-ray players have this and in fact, you will pay more money for a player with this capability. But the extra cost will be less than buying a new receiver..

Just call us and we can help you sort out all of these details.