Blu-ray DVD players: Choosing the best Blu-ray and DVD players Blu-ray versus DVD picture quality
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Blu-ray picture quality
If you watch Blu-ray pictures on a suitable LCD, LED or plasma HDTV, you’ll see that they’re sharper and more detailed than standard DVD. At best, and with the best equipment, depth and clarity are excellent.
The image shown above is captured directly from the natural history film Galapagos, and shows the difference between Blu-ray and normal DVD pictures. The lizard’s scales show the extra resolution and definition that Blu-ray offers. The red/blue underside of the belly highlights the subtle improvement in colour.
The difference in image quality isn’t as obvious as it was between DVD and VHS, as DVD itself delivers admirable picture quality. However, the bigger your LCD or plasma TV screen the more obvious the better quality of Blu-ray pictures becomes. Televisions in the 42-inch-plus category are the best way to watch high-definition content.
Picture and sound quality
At Which?, we put each DVD and Blu-ray player through an exhaustive series of technical tests before submitting them to our panel of expert viewers and listeners.
We play a range of material on each model that’s designed to stretch the players’ abilities and highlight any flaws in picture and sound. We rate the picture quality of Blu-ray players for both high-definition Blu-ray discs and standard definition DVD discs - they can play back both types.
Our experts rate each player independently and their scores go to make up the star ratings that we award each DVD and Blu-ray player.
Only those that rate highly for picture and sound quality can become Which? Best Buys.
Ease of use
The Which? panel of expert ergonomists assess each DVD and Blu-ray player to see how easy it is to use.
They’ll take each model through a variety of scenarios, from setting up, through everyday use, to using the more advanced features.
They’ll also assess how good the instructions are and even rate each player for how easy it is to use if you lose the remote control or if the batteries go flat.
Only those DVD and Blu-ray players that we find easy to use can become Which? Best Buys.