I’ll be the first to admit that when Blu-ray first launched, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if the new technology was a worthwhile investment for someone like me. Sure, it delivered more storage and higher-quality video and audio, but I simply saw it as another way to take my hard-earned cash for little benefit over DVD.
Over time, I realized that my perception was off. Blu-ray has not only become my go-to platform when I want to buy movies or television shows, but it has also helped me replace the need for DVD in my home. Practically my entire DVD collection has been wiped out in favor of Blu-ray. And as time has gone on, I haven’t missed my once-beloved DVD one bit.
But now my time is being split between watching Blu-ray content and streaming video via services like Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand. I’ve found that not having to get off the couch to watch something I’m interested in is far more preferable than finding the DVD copy and popping that into a player. Call me lazy, but that convenience is something that makes streaming a staple in my home.
However, when I pit streaming against Blu-ray, I can’t help but choose the latter option when I want to sit back, relax, and enjoy a movie. The streaming option is certainly much easier to get up and running, and if I went all-streaming, I could reduce all the clutter in my entertainment center, but then I would lose the higher-quality video and audio that comes with Blu-ray.
Streaming is great, but do me a favor and pop Avatar into your Blu-ray player, running on your 1080p set, and tell me that isn’t the best way to enjoy that film. Yes, most streaming services, like Apple’s iTunes content on the Apple TV, are available in 720p, rather than 1080p, which makes the comparison a bit unfair, but isn’t that central to this entire argument? Until streaming can match Blu-ray in terms of overall quality and sound, it’s simply not the best way to enjoy content.
Luckily, companies like Vudu realize that. The company offers a 1080p option to customers that actually looks quite nice. But even in those cases where folks get 1080p content from Vudu, it can’t quite live up to the audio-visual quality we enjoy on Blu-ray.
And as convenient as Netflix is, the company’s streaming option in no way comes close to matching the experience of watching the same film on Blu-ray.
As much as I enjoy the many streaming services I use, they have a long way to go to match Blu-ray. Yes, streaming is convenient, and yes, it’s getting better by the day. But to say that it can be a replacement for Blu-ray, at least right now, is simply outrageous.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear