DVD & Blu-Ray Players and Recorders
Blu-Ray discs are still the best medium for getting the highest quality video (yes, better than streaming). With the release of Panasonic's UB900 4K Blu-Ray player, Ultra High Definition movies are becoming available for purchase at your local movie store, for the best home theater experience.
Blu-Ray disc players and recorders primarily rely on HDMI connectivity to get your video and audio to your receiver and television. Many players will also have networking features on board, generally similar to what is available on a smart TV, such as NetFlix, ABC iView, SBS On Demand, etc. All of these players and recorders are capable of reading DVD's and CD's, and some being designed to read Super Audio CD's (SACD).
Recorders will allow you to archive your favorite recorded programs to a blank DVD or BluRay Disc. Many of these recorders will also have a hard disc on board to record your programs before finalising your discs.
In the past, when DVD's were the primary video format, you would get a heavily compressed video stream, and a compressed 5.1 audio stream. While quality was considered "Better than VHS", it was still sub par once HDTV's became standard in the home. With a modern, full high definition flat screen television, the compression in the video stream became more obvious, with textures being inconsistent, and darker video seeming to drag across the screen.
The video on a Blu-Ray disc is still compressed, but there is much more data space available on the disc for higher quality video, also compression has become more efficient. The artifacts that would previously be obvious on DVD's are barely noticable on the best of televisions now. On the audio side, a full 7.1 Lossless signal is included, sometimes with Dolby Atmos or DTS Encoding for full 3 dimensional sound.
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