Convince Me

vbimport

#1

Okay, after years of looking at the Blu-Ray format (and a couple of years of owning a player), I am still having a hard time crossing over and purchasing a Blu-Ray burner/ or BD-R discs. My reasons for holding off are the following (and they are many):

  1. I don’t own or plan on owning a PS3, so PS3 backups are out of the question

  2. There are more cost effective ways to do Data Backups so that is out

  3. Every HD compression I have seen (even from Blu-Ray) looks like crapola (or in otherwords, why not just go with DVD because I can’t tell the difference). Since virtually anything has to be compressed/ripped to go on the most affordable of discs (BD-25) this is a problem as it defeats the whole purpose of high-def.

  4. I have been able to stockpile used originals at $8USD or less and am trying to figure out how to try and keep the same quality and save significant amounts of money doing back-ups and it just isn’t adding up (unless I am missing something, hence the reason for the thread)

  5. Obviously the cost of the burner and the discs themselves have something to do with it, although they seem to be getting more and more affordable.

  6. As I understand it, it is not like DVD Backups where everything is straight forward (that might have changed though), and it is not easy to either obtain a 1:1 (without paying ridiculous amounts for D/L BD) or no appreciable difference in quality.

  7. A number of Blu-Ray original discs don’t offer much better PQ over their DVD counterparts and thus are already at a disadvantage even prior to the backup process in that department. I could care less about sound since I don’t have a fancy sound system, nor will I be purchasing one.

  8. With a DVD Burner I have never had to question about getting my money’s worth, since I can use it for so many useful applications (ie Data, Music, DVD Movies, Game Console Backups) to say nothing of the fact that regardless of which application I am using it offers significant savings over purchasing another original. With a Blu-Ray burner the only practical application I can see using it for (at least for me) is for Movie backups on the best quality high def releases, and potentially for high-def home movies but the latter is a pretty weak argument since I don’t see myself doing that much either. It seems to me that for movies though that between the cost of the burner, the relative low cost of used originals, and the limited number of titles that have PQ enough to be worth the purchase and backup in high-def and the relative high costs of BD-R discs that there isn’t much savings there (at least not anywhere near as much as the DVD burner applications).

So the question that I have is can I retain 1:1 picture quality (IMHO if I can’t do that then it’s not worth it) and still save significant money over an extra used original (keep in mind I am purchasing them pretty cheap) with BD-R or BD-R D/L at this time?


#2

Ok, lets go through your list.

  1. Can’t argue with this.

  2. I agree. BD disks are not particularly useful for data backups unless you you need an exact image of a disk in bootable form…some sort of software that originally came on a pressed bd disk. Can’t be many instances of that at the moment however.

  3. I disagree strongly with this. I can make compressed blu ray movies that fit my 23.3gb target disks that are indistinguishable from the original. The H264 codec and the X264 encoder are nothing less than astonishing in their compression capabilities. But I do movie only backups, and the main movies are generally less than 30gb to begin with, and many will fit onto a single layer BD-R disk without any compression whatsoever. Send me a pm and I’ll loan you one of my backup disks for you to look at. :slight_smile:

  4. Where are you finding $8 blu ray movies? I can’t find any that I want to watch for cheap. Of course I’m notoriously picky about movies that I like enough to buy. :slight_smile:

  5. One of the better burners is the Pioneer 206, but it ain’t exactly dirt cheap yet. Cost of the media is, and always has been a problem for entry into this branch of burning. The only ones I can recommend as good quality and not breaking the bank in cost are the inorganic Verbatims: http://www.amazon.com/Verbatim-96769-Blu-ray-Single-Layer-Recordable/dp/B001MYT5OK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303427002&sr=8-1

At $2 a disk, they are at the same level that the DL dvds were for many years. I suspect they will slowly drop a bit, but you mostly have to look for sales.

  1. BD backups [B]can [/B]be a little more complicated, but the software has caught up to the point that most people can handle it without many issues. There are only two free blu ray decrypters that are at all effective, DVDFab HD Decrypter and MakeMKV, but they both have their limitations. DVDFab HD Decrypter lags on updates and MakeMKV will convert to mkv format instead of outputting in blu ray. I still prefer AnyDVD HD, but it is expensive for a decryption program.

Beyond that we have a lot of good software available, including

ClownBD: to select the main movie and combine the m2ts files on those movies where the main movie is split into many different files.

BD Rebuilder: The best compression program for Blu ray

Those two are my main tools for working with Blu ray, but there are several others that can be useful, like BDInfo, and tsMuxeR.

  1. There have always been bad transfers to disk, dvds are not immune to this either. The quality of the blu ray disks I’ve seen have been outstanding however. I’ve only seen a limited number…less than 40 altogether. But I can’t agree with your assessment of picture quality being poor in a great many blu ray titles.

  2. This one can’t be answered well. I can’t estimate how much use you will get out of a bd burner and when you will feel satisfied with investing time and money using it. Working with blu ray is not quick by the way. You’ll spend a lot more time…I mean a LOT more time compressing them or burning them. It is something of a hobby for me, so not a problem from my standpoint.

Your final question is a bit biased I believe. I think if you do a blind test going back and forth between the original and one of my backups, you will never be confident which one is which. Of course you could hit 50% correct in your guesses, but nothing statistically significant.

Considering time spent, money invested and general hassle of backing up movies, I’d say the $8 is worth it, instead of the $2 for the blank disks. At least for you. You might not be able to always find such bargains for the movies you want however. And that is where having this capability comes in handy.


#3

Thanks Kerry, always glad to see your comments. Anyways, I always pick up my used BDs from www.gohastings.com. Do a sort by price and see if you find anything. Also be sure to checkout www.retailmenot.com and search for gohastings to see if there are any coupon codes. They do get you for shipping and tax but the larger the order, the cheaper the cost per disc. As for the Blu-Ray backups, Fortunately I had the foresight to purchase the AnyDVDHD bundle when they had it on sale for dirt cheap shortly after it came out. I figured it would come in handy in the future and would serve me well. I am definitely glad I did as the price seems to have almost doubled since I bought it. So I am good on that front.

As for my comments about Blu-Ray picture quality being poor, it’s not necessarily that the picture quality is poor (although if you saw the Blu-Ray release of The Final Countdown you might change your mind) it’s just that it doesn’t offer much over the DVD Version in terms of PQ and hence you feel ripped off wondering what you spent the extra money on the rental/purchase for. Fortunately I found a cure for that. Anytime I am interested in a movie I go to www.highdefdigest.com and take a look at the Blu-Ray reviews and have a look at the PQ rating. They have been almost bang on for every thing that I have compared there (I have tested it with Rentals and Purchases). Anything under 3 stars isn’t worth your time or money. 3 to 3.5 offers some noticeable improvement over DVD but not worth spending more than about $8 on if you decide to buy it. 4 is where Blu-Ray starts to distance itself from DVD and 4.5-5 Stars absolutely leaves DVD in the dust. Needless to say you try to spend most of your time focusing on the 4.5-5 Star titles to get the biggest bang for your buck. So it’s just a matter of perspective. It’s not that a bunch of Blu-Ray titles are worse than their DVD counterparts, it’s more of an issue that a number of them don’t stand out like they should, so you wonder what the extra money is spent for. With virtually any DVD there was a marked improvement over VHS, not necessarily so with the Blu-Ray releases.


#4

Everybody has different perspectives and it really depends on what is important to you in your back-up.

For example, I can take a 20gig plus movie a break it down to just the movie and a 5.1 audio track and make it fit on a DvD-R and most average joes wouldn’t know the difference.

:cool::cool:


#5

Since I don’t use MakeMKV, other than a test or two I’ve run, I made a mistake in one of its capabilities. Seems it [B]can [/B]do a complete copy of a blu ray disk. Click on Backup for that. http://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/4

Not that it is important to Jesterrace, but thought I’d correct it anyway.


#6

It has been a very long time since the last time I posted here :bow: :flower:

I have too many HDDs and my mobo doesn’t have more free ports and I don’t trust HDDs one bit

I also have many blank SL DVDs but I can’t keep splitting files (larger than 4.37GB) to fit into DVDs as I have TeraBytes of data , so I decided to go the BD-R Burning route

Here in Egypt we have ASUS BW-12B1LT for 168$ and I am thinking about getting it and some Verbatim BD-R media (don’t know the cost yet) from here or from the USA

Is it a good idea ?

All I wanna do is to put transfer my data from HDDs (which are not reliable) to a “reliable” media that is like DVDs but has more capacity


#7

Good to see you back on the forums minaelromany. I remember your forum name well.

BD writable disks are not a completely reliable storage medium, not any more than dvds are. But if you are willing to store data in 25 or 50gb chunks, they should be reasonably comparable to dvds for storing data. That just seems like a small amount of capacity for most, unless it is a special case, like blu ray video.


#8

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2591006]Good to see you back on the forums minaelromany. I remember your forum name well.

BD writable disks are not a completely reliable storage medium, not any more than dvds are. But if you are willing to store data in 25 or 50gb chunks, they should be reasonably comparable to dvds for storing data. That just seems like a small amount of capacity for most, unless it is a special case, like blu ray video.[/QUOTE]

Thank you very much Kerry

In fact DVDs were very reliable ,for me at least as I use TY/Verbatim only and if BD-R is the same thing then it is pretty good for me

What about the burner / media choice ?

Is ASUS BW-12B1LT a good burner ?


#9

Gents,

I too made the the Jump to Blue Ray when the Burners got cheap enough => as well as the 25G Media. I’ve got an HD Video Camera, so there is a need to move some home movies off before it’s 120Gig Hard Drive gets full.

As for back-ups of BluRay Movies, that is more of a hobby as the technology doesn’t seem to be there right now. I’ve got AnyDvd HD and played with ClownBD, and for my purposes it worked pretty good. I just want the main movie and a 5.1 surround Track (DTS or Dolby). The only gotcha with this combo is the lack of Menus.

I really expected SlySoft to have this figured by now, but it seems a moving target they can’t nail down. Can DVDFab do this yet?

As for Data Back-up, I did burn a couple 25 Gig Verbatim BD-R with all my MP3s on them. We’ve got a Cabin with a Samsung Home Theater system and it plays these disks without an issue. (A spare Hard Drive can’t do this => even though I’ve got half a dozen.) The Samsung also plays the ClownBD BluRay Movie Backup I made as well, but the Kids want Menus, so I’m waiting for that feature before I jump in backing up the rest of our BluRay movies.

As for the argument the Quality is close to the same, either the viewer is looking at an awfully small screen (less than say 32 inches) from far away, or they are vision impaired. I compared quite a few movies between DVD and BluRay on my 55 inch sets, and frankly it’s a no brainer.

The only thing I still move to DVD is my concerts. I’ve got about 150 Concerts I’ve bought, and when folks say can I borrow this one, or that one? ; I say no problem, I’ll burn you a copy. Other than one Brother, my originals never leave home. I’ve looked into BluRay concerts, but they are rare and they are typically very expensive to buy.


#10

@minaelromany
I’m afraid I don’t know much about the Asus BD burner. It is probably made for them by Lite-on, however, and most of the people burning BD prefer the Pioneer and LG drives so far. That is a terribly broad generalization, I know, but the emphasis from the users around here really has been with Pioneer and LG.

Verbatim (non-LTH) BD media has proved to be quite good so far. They seem to be the best combination of price and quality available.

@Jim
Take a look at Clown BD Copier. I haven’t used it, but looking at some remarks by very experienced people over at VideoHelp, it isn’t the most intuitive program to use. It can keep menus, but you’ll have to work fairly carefully.


#11

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2591244]@minaelromany
I’m afraid I don’t know much about the Asus BD burner. It is probably made for them by Lite-on, however, and most of the people burning BD prefer the Pioneer and LG drives so far. That is a terribly broad generalization, I know, but the emphasis from the users around here really has been with Pioneer and LG.

Verbatim (non-LTH) BD media has proved to be quite good so far. They seem to be the best combination of price and quality available.

@Jim
Take a look at Clown BD Copier. I haven’t used it, but looking at some remarks by very experienced people over at VideoHelp, it isn’t the most intuitive program to use. It can keep menus, but you’ll have to work fairly carefully.[/QUOTE]

Kerry,

Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out Clown BD Copier. By the Way, I’ve got an LG BluRay Burner.


#12

[QUOTE=Jim;2591274]Kerry,

Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out Clown BD Copier. By the Way, I’ve got an LG BluRay Burner.[/QUOTE]
I have extensively tried Blu-ray and my experience have not been good. First when playing DVDs with a computer with software that upscales to 1080p or a DVD player that upscales, the results are amazing and so close to BD quality. In fact some BD discs of movies are disappointing.
2. When making back up copies to a HD, the space taken is much smaller than BD. If the DVD movie is less than 4g, it will fit on a regular DVD. For those long movies a DVD DL is not as expensive as BD25 and makes a copy without compression.
I have spent a bundle of $ to try BD, with BD writers, BD25 blanks and software. My final results is that I now stick to DVD and the upscalling does a very good job when playing back from either the HD or a a DVD copy. I have satisfied my curiosity about Blu-ray and it cost me, but at least I know now. I hope DVD last a long time.
arbort2


#13

Once you go HD on a decent dized display (50" plasma here) there is no going back. I have triied varios upscaling algorithms and they are no substitute for true HD. Get a bigger display and sit closer. You’ll soon be reaching for your wallet to slap down on HD media.

As for storage I gave up on optical media. I now store everything on hard disks and use JBOD FlexRAID to deal with disk failures (not happened yet…touches wood). I am now working on the assumption that if a drive fails it is replaceable and the data can be obtained again. Plus I don’t have to walk far to back them up again and I don’t have to get up to change the disc much anymore.


#14

[QUOTE=DeadMan;2604702]Once you go HD on a decent dized display (50" plasma here) there is no going back. I have triied varios upscaling algorithms and they are no substitute for true HD. Get a bigger display and sit closer. You’ll soon be reaching for your wallet to slap down on HD media.

As for storage I gave up on optical media. I now store everything on hard disks and use JBOD FlexRAID to deal with disk failures (not happened yet…touches wood). I am now working on the assumption that if a drive fails it is replaceable and the data can be obtained again. Plus I don’t have to walk far to back them up again and I don’t have to get up to change the disc much anymore.[/QUOTE]

Hello DeadMan
I have a bigger display, using a home theater projector Epson
screen size when aspect ration 240:1 is 11ft wide by 4.5 ft high
I have spent money on BD but after comparing the results when I input the projector via an HDMI cable connected to a PC with a good video card and sound card and using Cyberlink software that upscales to 1080p, I am telling you that the results rival HD that makes using BD not worthwhile, because they are much larger files on the HD, and take longer to record. I also use a HD to store my movies, but always have the option to put on DVD if the movie is worthwhile. Once on the HD , for first viewing I use a Kingston USB 3 stick, and with my computer USB3 enabled, I copy from the HD to the stick in 3 minutes.
Just for your information. Oh yes, for backing up, with the price of 2 GB HD’s being so low, one can always back up to another HD.


#15

[QUOTE=DeadMan;2604702]Once you go HD on a decent dized display (50" plasma here) there is no going back. I have triied varios upscaling algorithms and they are no substitute for true HD. Get a bigger display and sit closer. You’ll soon be reaching for your wallet to slap down on HD media.

As for storage I gave up on optical media. I now store everything on hard disks and use JBOD FlexRAID to deal with disk failures (not happened yet…touches wood). I am now working on the assumption that if a drive fails it is replaceable and the data can be obtained again. Plus I don’t have to walk far to back them up again and I don’t have to get up to change the disc much anymore.[/QUOTE]

I just told you that I can copy a movie on HD to Kingston USB3 stick in 3 minutes. I just copied a 5gb movie from the HD to the USB 3 stick in 1 min and 38 seconds !!! that’s how fast USB 3 works! I can put 4 or movies on the USB3 stick and once I viewed them, if they are worthwile, I make a DVD copy from the stick, if not, I just delete from the stick to make room for new movies. Just for your info.


#16

Well there is something wrong there as anything compressed and at dvd res is going to look soft and show artefacts when upscaled even with the best upscaler. I know this because I have tried various upscalers including Total media theatres, Cyberlink powerdvd and ffdshow (arguably the best method) and even on a non-compressed dvd image (just ripped straight to hd with no recompression) there is just no comparision. Especially on movies that retain lots of detail like pure cgi (Toy Story etc). It’s nearly always too soft or as in the case with powerdvd and it’s ilk too sharp causing the macroblocks to show. I run HDMI from a Nvidia GTX560 btw and use MadVR as the output renderer which will reveal any inconsistencies in the source. In fact MadVR is considered by most as one of the best upscalers for non-hd sources.

Perhaps the problem lies at the projector end or your viewing distance or maybe it needs recalibrating. I’ve calibrated my display using an i1 colorimeter. One thing you can test is to take a screenshot from a non-hd movie and hd movie in powerdvd at the exact same frame and flick between the two on your computer display. Then do the same on your projector.

Here are some comparisons others have done for you to checkout. The resized screenshots are as good if not better than any upscaler does as image editors tend to use resize algorithms that are not so great for realtime upscaling (hard on the processor).

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=811102


#17

I did a quick comparison between The Lion King DVD upscaled using MadVR in combination with ffdshow to give the best upscaling out there and the bluray.

http://www.imagebam.com/image/08fde7150440162
http://www.imagebam.com/image/1f13d7150440207

Apart from the colors being different (bluray is rec 709) I think the difference is obvious. Make sure to click on both once loaded to fullsize them and flick between the two in two browser tabs.


#18

Also…

probably has no upscaling

vs


#19

If the hardware is a decent spec and it’s all set up properly then the difference between Blu-ray and DVD is like night and day, as Deadman’s examples quite clearly demonstrate.

I also get 50+ HD channels via satellite and before I had this I didn’t realise just how much detail I was missing out on.

SD footage that I thought looked great in the past looks blurred to me now in comparison.

[B]Wombler[/B]


#20

I appreciate all your technical evaluation, but bottom line when I view a DVD movie upscalled to 1080p with power DVD (cyberlink) on my Epson HT projector, the results are as good as a BluRay disc, in fact some BD were not shot with HD equipment, and they are not any better than the upscalled version. I fail to see any difference. I am referring to DVD movies copied to the HD with DVD9 (no compression applied). then upscalled with HDMI cable to the Epson HT projector. To my eyes, just as good as any BD disc. That’s my observation. But to get that result I use a PC with a good video card. I did notice that when using a BD disc player, the results were softer and not as detailed. That may be the answer.