back to article Toshiba to back Blu-ray Disc with player launch?

Toshiba may be about to put the past behind it, look to the future and launch a Blu-ray Disc player. That's what a report by Japanese-language site Yomiuri claims. The machine will be out - in Japan, presumably - by the end of the year. Toshiba was the leading proponent of Blu-ray's arch-rival, HD DVD. In February 2008, the …

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Anonymous Coward

Blu-Ray pointless

Personally, I can't see the point of Blu-Ray. It doesn't add sufficiently to the DVD format in terms of functionality; the price doesn't justify the better quality alone. I'm perfectly happy to go on buying DVDs at knock down prices.

The price of a blu-Ray player pushes up the price of some machines way too much. I was watching a report on a Sony Vaio that said a Blu-Ray player added four hundred quid to the cost of the laptop.

Blu-Ray? More like purse-sting-ray.

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Anonymous Coward

Not worth reading anything into.

Bluray isn't doing well, but it's doing well enough to have a player on the market for a few extra bucks. It's worth having your foot in the door just in case.

But I don't think it means Toshiba are wholeheartedly throwing their weight behind the format, they just realise they produced some of the best upscaling DVD players on the market and those that do want to swtich to Bluray would probably like to stay loyal and like a Toshiba option.

I don't think it suggests Bluray has become a must have format that's rapidly growing or anything like that though.

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@Michelle Knight

£400 for a Blu-ray drive? Blimey, I bunged a Sony drive in my desktop for just under £50, and that came with player software. I love the increased quality, but high-street shops charging you £25-£28 for Blu-ray is crazy when the same film can be found for £3-£5 on DVD. Buying them online is much more sensible, with Amazon's offerings usually being about £8-£10.

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Bluray

I'm in the process of moving all of my collection over to Bluray.

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Jobs Horns

BluRay

People who complain about BluRay and claim that DVD can offer a similar quality either has never seen the quality of 1080p output, can't afford it (get a job) or is just plain spiteful and are bad losers. That's all.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@AC

I'd agree with you about picture quality, but most people who prefer DVD over BD aren't overly concerned about image detail.

There's no question: 1080p HD looks better than 576i standard definition. But, frankly, I've yet to find it delivers a more enjoyable viewing experience. I'm not talking about movies just being crap movies, but I can't honestly say I will enjoy any movie I love more with the extra picture detail HD brings.

It's getting to the point where, for some people, the *way* something is presented is more important than *what* is presented. That's the wrong way to view, IHMO.

But that's just me; others may feel otherwise. But I suspect that, when it comes to casual, one-off viewing, more are with me than against me on this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Picture quality.

This may just be a personal opinion, but I had Batman: TDK on dvd and it looked alright. I then got it as part of the deal with my PS3 and the difference is tenfold. The views of all the high rise building etc. The explosion of the hospital looks fantastic aswell.

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Jobs Horns

Good films are available on BluRay

I understand your point, but bad film is bad whether it is 576i or 1080p. Either way I rather watch good 1080p films in the comfort of my sofa than good 576i.

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@ tony smith

'It's getting to the point where, for some people, the *way* something is presented is more important than *what* is presented. That's the wrong way to view, IHMO.'

absolutely - it's like the records What Hi Fi use for reviewing stereo gear - almost always turgid bollox that no bugger in their right mind would actually *want* to listen to.

however, for the films I like, a good BR presentation is well worth the money IMO - 2001 for example, is simply jaw-dropping in terms of the way it looks - I noticed colours and details and even sounds I never had before, between vhs and dvd copies of it. also John Carpenter's The Thing is a stunning example of what BR can be like.

what I do object to, though, as people have said, are the high street prices of the discs and that on a lot of occasions, the transfer is taken from a crappy source that doesnt really improve any on the dvd presentation - thus negating the point of it being a BR disc in the first place. and when will the studios pull their collective fingers out and release the genuine classics held in their archives on dvd rather than the rehashed remade crap that passes for 'new' releases these days?

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VHS -> DVD -> BluRay -> H264 HD Downloads

For action movies, there is no comparison, BluRay is stunning and makes DVD look soft and murky - its not just the resolution, but the compression too, but romantic comedies are just as stomach churning on both formats.

I've been using a NetFlix like service (postal service) to get all my BluRay's - I've vowed never to buy another movie, in any format, after doing the VHS -> DVD rebuy, and not fancying doing it again to BluRay - I just don't watch them often enough to justify a purchase at any price, so I have my massive list of titles I want to see online, and slowly work through them as they turn up in my letterbox.

I've also been using iTunes rentals for non action films, where the quality isn't as important, since upping my bandwidth such that iTunes rentals can start playing 30 seconds after purchase, I've found the convenience pretty compelling - the breadth of titles isn't there yet, but along with the postal service, I'm fairly covered. When Apple TV supports 1080p I'll buy one, for now I'm using a computer.

And, because I'm not making any investment in any format (by only ever renting movies) I don't care if it changes again. I think in time it will go download, but even HD downloads are nothing on BluRay right now, BluRays are very very good, if you have the right kit to enjoy them, those opening city vistas are breathtaking.

I do feel sorry for Tosh though, they played by all the rules and still lost, the whole format debacle was painful for consumers too, I think there is a good chance legal HD download will become viable before BluRay hits critical consumer mass (iTunes, XBox, PS3, NetFlix STB etc.), and BluRay is destined to be another LaserDisc, despite 'winning'.

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"BluRay isn't betterer enough"

Time was when people said the same thing about DVD. DVD's real killer advantage over tape was the elimination of "my machine ate the tape" and tedious rewind/ffwd.

People - by and large - could have cared less about the quality. But having gotten used to DVD quality, and with large screen LCD/plasma TV's plummeting in price, DVD's start to look a little sick even in comparison to off-air TV (which is now increasingly in 720p or even 1080i HD).

But for me, the biggest advantage BluRay has isn't in the visual department, but in the audio. HD-DTS audio blows even DTS on DVD away, and movies are as much - if not more - about the audio, as they are about the moving pictures. Popin the remastered BladeRunner on BluRay and I defy you not to be awestruck by the soundscape painted by your speakers during the opening.

Even so, I myself wouldn't have dropped the $$'s on a BluRay player. No.

But a kick-ass BluRay player that is also a kick ass media center and a kick ass gaming console for not much more than a bog standard "movies only" BluRay player.... now THAT is hard to argue with. I'm talking about PS3 of course.

Tosh can't put out one of those tho' I'm guessing. ;)

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BluRay viewer involvment

The extent to which BluRay makes a difference compared with DVD is very content dependent particularly where sound, music and image are balanced in their importance to the viewer. BluRay is not just about resolution but about colour depth and audio quality as well and when all of these come into play then BluRay becomes superb. This BluRay advantage was also true when comparing BluRay with HD DVD as we rapidly found out when comparing the same material at home side by side on the two formats.

For example Opera on BluRay is astonishingly good and we have a large collection of Opera on DVD that is simply not comparable to BluRay and is being replaced as quickly as possible.

If you don't like Opera, try the new Quincy Jones 75th Birthday Celebration BluRay disk. Outstanding musically, visually and aurally.

If you don't like Quincy Jones try Slumdog Millionaire or Vicky Cristina Barcelona or even Australia which at least comes alive visually and aurally whatever you think of the movie.

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@Michelle Knight

Nice to see that a reporter picked the highest price of a BR drive equiped laptop they could find and nice to see that you bought into the crap reporting. You're as bad as all the other 'I'm not buying BR as they are charging nearly £30 for films' rent-a-quoters who find the highest possible price they can to use as an example to back up their argument.

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