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Are blu-ray players still worth buying?

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#1
Hallo everyone, with the current fall in blu-ray players sales and increase in functionality of Smart-TV i wonder. Do you lose on quality if you play a ripped blu-ray film on USB through Smart TV? What are your experience? Am i better of using a NAS and stream its content to a SmartTV?

Thank you for your replies in advance :)

Edit for people who just googled this post:

Yes you can use just the USB 3.0 if you dont notice any lag or abnormalities during the playback. If you do then just stick to the "old fashioned" blu-ray player or if you into tech then play around with a Plex server.
 
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amirm

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#2
If it is a RIP and not recompressed then quality will be identical. Question is whether it is worth the hassle to RIP.
 

direstraitsfan98

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#3
It’s worth buying if you find it bothersome to rip. Definitely an investment of time. I never got around to purchasing a couple TB of space I’d need to store my discs and I rather enjoy the special features of my movies as well. So the main reason why I haven’t switched to ripping is the bar drive space though. I think it would take me a few weeks to rip all of my ~1600 discs (about 700 movies, and many 2disc special editions) and it just seems like a massive undertaking. As Amir said, ripped movies are the same quality as regular discs, so assuming you have good software player, it’s easy to playback movies.

One thing that I don’t think gets mentioned much is it’s very very easy in windows 10 to mount iso and image discs now. So really no excuse to not try a ripped movie. In the past you’d have to use software to mount and I always found the free image mounting software spotty at best.

I use a Sony PS3 for regular 1080p movies, it’s an older model with an older firmware that I think works better. It plays a video preview of the disc, and I think the older XMB menu bar was more handsome and elegant in its older iteration.

For 4K discs I have a rather noisy LG970 ultra HD bluray player. Like I said it’s rather noisy but I’m going to wait until the PlayStation 5 comes out before making up my mind to buy a new 4k player or not. I really wish Oppo was still in business because I’d have bought an Oppo 205 but they command silly prices on the second hand market due to the “hype” factor built up around them.

Playing back 4K movies on PC is a bit of a nightmare hassle. You need to use the powerdvd software. You need a very specific chipset motherboard, seems like the actual board itself isn’t common at all and one would have to seek it out if building a HTPC. Video output will ONLY work if you’re using the video output of your Intel CPU, and yes that means you’re limited to using only one of the newer Integrated intel cpus with Iris graphics.

All in all I think they are worth buying still. A nice Pioneer elite Blu-ray player or even a Oppo 105 will work flawlessly.
 

LTig

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#4
One thing that I don’t think gets mentioned much is it’s very very easy in windows 10 to mount iso and image discs now. So really no excuse to not try a ripped movie. In the past you’d have to use software to mount and I always found the free image mounting software spotty at best.
Same with Linux. But you cannot rip a BD due to its copy protection.
 

Chrispy

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#6
Get 'em while you can? Just how much longer will blurays even be available is another way of looking at it. Oppo left the building for a reason. Some new movies aren't even getting a bluray version released, just dvd. I prefer having a disc to play, altho have done the mkv thing but its somewhat a pain and doesn't always play nice but I really haven't invested in that as I still need the disc to rip from (and of course wouldn't consider ripping from a rental ;) ).
 

DuxServit

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#9
Get 'em while you can? Just how much longer will blurays even be available is another way of looking at it. Oppo left the building for a reason..
Thing is, the Sony PlayStations are better value. The PS3 and PS4 does disc-based movies, it plays games, it plays Netflix, Amazon Prime movies, etc. And it’s cheaper than Oppo. I think Oppo just had the wrong business model.
 

Chrispy

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#10
Thing is, the Sony PlayStations are better value. The PS3 and PS4 does disc-based movies, it plays games, it plays Netflix, Amazon Prime movies, etc. And it’s cheaper than Oppo. I think Oppo just had the wrong business model.
Not talking about value, but the future availability of blurays altogether. Streaming is the future and not ownership IMO. Oppo had a good business model and made very nice units. Having gone to an Oppo 203 from a PS3 it can do a little more (aside from apps, which it doesn't have but I already went outside the PS3 for apps anyways), is quieter and I just wanted to get an Oppo before they were gone.... :) I don't play games any more, either. YMMV.
 

Robin L

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#11
I've bought a number of used Blu-Ray players at thrift stores. The most recent sent me back $6, more like $14 with remote. It works. If I want to see a DVD, a Blu-Ray, I'm set. Same with SACDs and CDs. Most of my music is ripped, I use a Fiio DAP for playback most of the time, but not all of the time. I think having a functional representative of old tech is a good idea, particularly when new formats appear so frequently.
 

Neddy

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#12
So, the one area that's causing me to keep mine is multichannel surround decoding; if your smart TV isn't that smart, a BR player that does do it (and has analog multichannel outputs, if needed) is handy to have (also for BR audio discs).
The streamers I have do not always offer good multichannel sources - or at least not as good (4 or 5.1 vs 7.1) as the BR discs I have.
(Or, if your HDMI source does support it, then a good Pre/Pro should decode it.)
Really irritating.
Aside from that, and the 'legacy discs' issue (yes, ripping technically solves that), I don't see any reason to buy new now.
 

direstraitsfan98

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#13
Is this legal? Or don't I want to know? ;)
It's legal where I live. It should also be legal in USA. I don't know why else you would be ripping the disc if you didn't own it. Rented it maybe? Then it would be illegal I guess. But who rents blurays anymore?
 

esm

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#14
I did both (makemkv for ripping most media, Oppo UDP-205 for playback of media I couldn't properly rip, ie. 4k Dolby Vision content), although these days I have enough online storage that I just do a full decrypted backup of the 4K DV discs now and store the whole thing online, which the Oppo can play back just fine. (And things are getting interesting with respect to storing rips in .vo files and retaining DV while not suffering the audio quality loss that containing the stream in MP4 forced on you.)

Playback of ripped material will be indistinguishable from what's on the disc, assuming you didn't transcode it into something else as part of the rip. MakeMKV is a really fantastic piece of software for reducing wear-and-tear on your physical media, and using something like Plex, Emby, Jellyfin, or Kodi to index it all gives you your own personal Netflix of sorts, it's really quite magical once you've gotten things set up.

As for the future: no doubt it's going to keep getting harder to buy physical media, but there's no replacement for a physical copy of something that's not popular enough to remain on the streaming services you subscribe to. There's a lot of anime I've only been able to watch because I was able to either order a physical copy from Japan (not always possible) or find it on the high seas, and I don't have particularly obscure tastes, it's just that there are no north american distributors or streaming licensees for it (too old, not popular enough, licensing too expensive etc). So I've become a bit of a hoarder when it comes to physical discs, particularly for the weirder stuff I enjoy, and don't see that changing for any streaming service.

(See also Neddy's comment about multichannel; a lot of streaming services will butcher the audio, and if you've ever had the joy of using either the Funimation or VRV/Crunchyroll apps, they're also a special level of streaming hell. It doesn't matter if the streaming service has the content you want if the app is broken.)
 
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Chrispy

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#15
It's legal where I live. It should also be legal in USA. I don't know why else you would be ripping the disc if you didn't own it. Rented it maybe? Then it would be illegal I guess. But who rents blurays anymore?
I rent most blurays and use that as a way to know which ones I want to collect....but ripping those would be illegal in the US. Even buying the disc, ripping it and then selling the disc (let alone distributing the rip in any way) would be illegal here.
 

FrantzM

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#16
Hi

Interesting subject. For music I am all streaming. Where I live 4 Mb/s is the maximum I can reliably count on ... For music it is good enough for movies ... It works but I often see artifacts ..Lot of artifacts at times.
Looking for a decent bluray player that can do 4 K and 3D:facepalm: ... El Cheapo but El greato performanco budget?
 

Bear123

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#17
Here's an honest question: I have an old Sony Blu-Ray player (BDP-5100s maybe?) but never use it anymore. I stream through my Apple TV, and if I purchase a movie, I get a 4k version on Apple TV for $20 or less. $20 for new releases, a lot less after a couple months. I don't really see the need for a bunch of hard copies cluttering things up anymore. Is there any legitimate reason to get hard copies and play on a 4k player?

Maybe it depends on the quality of the internet connection? Is a purchased movie played back with higher quality than a rented 4K title?
 

direstraitsfan98

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#18
I did both (makemkv for ripping most media, Oppo UDP-205 for playback of media I couldn't properly rip, ie. 4k Dolby Vision content), although these days I have enough online storage that I just do a full decrypted backup of the 4K DV discs now and store the whole thing online, which the Oppo (and Kodi+Jellyfin) can play back just fine.

Playback of ripped material will be indistinguishable from what's on the disc, assuming you didn't transcode it into something else as part of the rip. MakeMKV is a really fantastic piece of software for reducing wear-and-tear on your physical media, and using something like Plex, Emby, Jellyfin, or Kodi to index it all gives you your own personal Netflix of sorts, it's really quite magical once you've gotten things set up.

As for the future: no doubt it's going to keep getting harder to buy physical media, but there's no replacement for a physical copy of something that's not popular enough to remain on the streaming services you subscribe to. There's a lot of anime I've only been able to watch because I was able to either order a physical copy from Japan (not always possible) or find it on the high seas, and I don't have particularly obscure tastes, it's just that there are no north american distributors or streaming licensees for it (too old, not popular enough, licensing too expensive etc). So I've become a bit of a hoarder when it comes to physical discs, particularly for the weirder stuff I enjoy, and don't see that changing for any streaming service.

(See also Neddy's comment about multichannel; a lot of streaming services will butcher the audio, and if you've ever had the joy of using either the Funimation or VRV/Crunchyroll apps, they're also a special level of streaming hell. It doesn't matter if the streaming service has the content you want if the app is broken.)
I don't buy anything from the major distributors for anime in north america just based on principle. Funimation, Aniplex, Right Stuf, Sunrise media. A typical 15 episode OVA will cost, in Japan, the same as any other show here in North America, maybe $30-40. In North America, you can expect the same show to retail for over $200.

Because there is this, I don't know, ingrained dislike of letting foreigners access to their media and artistic library, the Japanese see fit to charge exorbitant licensing fees to the aforementioned companies, and the prices suffer as a result. I honestly think it's just out of spite, its a never ending toxic snowball effect. The fans suffer the most, and I have opted to vote with my wallet and I refuse to support this distasteful practice.

It's doubly bad taste, because Funimation routinely fumbles their digital transfer process. Not only do the studios that own the rights for the anime NOT let the distributors access to the original digital transfers, they make them do their own transfers themselves. All in all, it's honestly just depressing. I had to pay $90 plus tax for each disc disc of Sunrise Media's release of the Gundam franchise. I dropped over $750 after tax for just 3 series, about 80 episodes total, so technically under $10 an episode, but compared to the JP cost, it was about 6 or 7x the price. Bad business, just bad business practices. I don't see how anyone can be ok with this. I guess the fans for the show are more passionite than me. I think the saddest part is I would totally be down to buying a lot more anime if it were priced appropriately.

Sorry for the bit of a rant, nothing brings my blood to a boil more then shady, stupid, and bad licensing deals where I can't get my hands on something easily. I could and should also talk about eone entertainment, but that's a topic for another day.
 

direstraitsfan98

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#19
Here's an honest question: I have an old Sony Blu-Ray player (BDP-5100s maybe?) but never use it anymore. I stream through my Apple TV, and if I purchase a movie, I get a 4k version on Apple TV for $20 or less. $20 for new releases, a lot less after a couple months. I don't really see the need for a bunch of hard copies cluttering things up anymore. Is there any legitimate reason to get hard copies and play on a 4k player?

Maybe it depends on the quality of the internet connection? Is a purchased movie played back with higher quality than a rented 4K title?
Lot of video compression artifacts when streaming 4K. You might not be able to notice it if you're sitting more than 8 or 9 feet back from a 55 inch display, but if you got a larger display, or someone just pointed it out, you would see it.

For 1080p and 4K content, it's most noticeable during darker scenes. You can, and will see crushed blacks when streaming dark scenes on any of the streaming services. For 4K, it's just too much bandwidth for anything but fibre optic speeds to handle high bitrate 4k streaming. I think 95% of homes just don't have the bandwidth to stream constantly high 4K bitrate, and I'm not sure any of the services offer up true bluray 40Mbps speeds. Anyway, you'll notice it as color banding and scene transitions where the visuals change drastically the most. I have pretty fast internet, 750/100 download speeds, the 2nd fastest plan from Rogers Internet in my area, and I was unable to get bluray performance when streaming a 4K version of the Revenant on Netflix.

I had my LG OLED television hardwired direct to my modem via ethernet and was using the Netflix app on the tv to play it. There was significant noise and compression artifacts at several points throughout the film, and the color banding was a very noticible issue. I do admit, about 75% of the movie actually looked like my 4K bluray disc, but that was still a good chunk of the film having issues. It's just better to have the bluray if you want the best video performance. Maybe the services will get better in 5 years or so.

If it doesn't bother you, or you don't notice it, don't worry about it. But like it's been said before, you get much better sound quality if you have the physical disc.
 

Bear123

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#20
So what about if you own the title vs renting.....does it still stream at a quality based on one's internet connection? By own, I mean own on iTunes movies. Not downloaded onto a PC or something.

For added perspective, I just did a speed test and got 102 Mbps download 10.6 upload. Its not always this high of course and probably depends on usage in the area.
 
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