Aug 13, 2014

Is Blu-ray and HD streaming video the same resolution?

Is there a difference in video quality between HD streaming video and Blu-ray discs?

Blu-ray vs. HDTV Streaming Services: A Quality Comparison Review

"Ultra HD displays providing 4 times the resolution of current HDTVs are now on the market, but there’s no native Ultra HD content to watch on them. While it’s possible that content will arrive in an updated disc format, it’s equally possible that it will arrive via streaming services. But how good are the various services at streaming HD, let alone Ultra HD? To see what kind of picture quality they deliver — and get a sense of what we can expect when they start to stream in the Ultra HD format — I watched a movie on Blu-ray and compared the picture quality of the same titles streamed in HD from the three major services: Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon. Read on for the results.

The title I chose for my comparison was The Hunger Games (The forest fire scene from this film was selected by DTS for its annual Demo Disc in 2013.) Spoiler alert: The clear winner was Blu-ray. The full DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray disc sounded clearer and more dynamic, with better surround usage and deeper bass. Compared with the streaming services, the image looked much more detailed, with no macroblocking or posterization artifacts. There were differences to be seen between the three services, however."

Blu-ray movies are 1080p, so it may actually be higher quality than some HD streaming video, which can also be 720p. 

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