HD, Upscaling DVD over Blu-ray? Which is best?

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HD, DVD and Blu-ray

There is still a lot of confusion over the whole HD scenario and the electrical suppliers are loving it as most people dont really know what they are buying so can be talking into buying nearly anything. I will try and answer some of the questions I have heard to try and clear things up.

I have a regular LCD TV if I buy a HD LCD TV will my picture be HD?

The answer is NO! if anything on some of the higher resolution TVs a standard analog (picture through the aerial) is actually worse because the TV is so much clearer it will show any flaws in the picture clearer too. You can only get a HD picture from a true HD source such as a blu-ray player, Sky HD (on a HD channel), Cable HD (on a HD channel) or similiar. So if you invest in a HDTV and want true HD you will need to invest in a box to provide the HD source such as the Sky HD, FreeSat HD or Cable HD and even then you will only get HD if you are watching a HD channel (meaning the channel is being broadcast in HD) otherwise you are just watching a normal digital channel.

My HD TV has Freeview built in - am I watching TV in HD?

No - at the moment there are no HD channels being broadcast through freeview (digital TV) so you are watching it in digital which should be clearer than analog but isnt up to HD yet.

Do I get a HDMI upscaling DVD player or Blu-ray player?

Now - I can only share my general opinion on this. In a nutshell I would say at the moment not to bother with Blu-ray unless you can get one so cheap you dont mind spending the money. Here is why:

  • Blu-ray is HD - but if a film was made a few years ago it wouldnt have been recorded in the film studio in HD in the first place so the best they can do is try and upscale it and clear up the picture to re-release it as a blu-ray - you would be better off buying the regular DVD release and watching it on a HDMI upscaling DVD player - same effect.
  • You're whole existing DVD collection would have to be re-bought as blu-ray releases... (blu-ray players do upscale normal DVD's as much as they can to HD but then if you wanted that you should have just bought a HDMI upscaling DVD player..
I recently tried a brand new Samsung blu-ray player on a Samsung 1080p (full HD) TV and was VERY disapppointed - to the point that I took the blu-ray player back and bought a HDMI upscaling DVD player to replace it.

If a show or series has been filmed and produced in HD (like many of the new BBC shows) and is released on blu-ray then I do admit the results are amazing. But this is a true example of how technology has moved on too quickly. We are getting HD in our homes before many films companies are even filming and releasing films in HD!

My DVD player has HDMI and SCART - which should I use?

I would say use HDMI if you can. HDMI is a digital picture over SCART which is the now older analog signal. There should be an improvement if you replace your SCART lead with a good HDMI lead.

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