Is It Worth Upgrading a Computer to Play Blu Ray?

Blu-Ray has been around for a few years already. For standalone home entertainment systems, it is gradually becoming standard. By contrast, computers are slow to adopt Blu-Ray as standard. All video games and software for computers are still supplied on DVD disks or even CDs. New desktop computers are typically still supplied only with DVD drives. Laptop computers are more often supplied with Blu-Ray drives. So why is it taking so long for Blu-Ray to become standard on PCs? Is it worth upgrading your computer to make it able to use Blu-Ray disks? The following will hopefully provide you with the answers you need

Blu-Ray Video

The advantage of Blu-Ray is its ability to store far more data than a DVD. A dual-layer Blu-Ray disk can contain up to 50 GB of data. The majority of PC games and software have no use for such a great amount of storage space. Even the newest games fit comfortably onto a single DVD. Some games have two DVDs, but this is rare. For the time being, the extra capacity is only of any real use for storing high-definition video.

Blu-Ray video disks are far higher quality than DVDs. Supporting high-definition video of up to 1920×1080, Blu-Ray is vastly superior to the 720×480 resolution of most DVDs However, you also need to have the hardware to really notice this difference. Many computer screens are simply too small to display this resolution and, if they can, it still makes little difference. To really appreciate high-definition video, you ideally need a high-resolution monitor with a diagonal viewing size of 32 inches or greater. There are very few computer monitors of this size, though there is nothing stopping you from plugging a flat-screen TV into your PC. If you only have a 19-24 inch computer monitor, you will not get much benefit from high-definition video over DVD, unless you are sitting right in front of it.

To play Blu-Ray video, you will also need third-party software to get the most out of it. PowerDVD and WinDVD are popular choices for Windows. This software can be expensive. Blu-Ray video disks are also much more expensive than DVD disks.

Blu-Ray Writers

The only other advantage of having a Blu-Ray drive in your computer is the larger capacity of the disks. If you have a Blu-Ray recorder, you can use the 25-50 GB of storage for backing up whole collections of music, standard-definition videos and other data. Blu-Ray writers and media are currently very expensive. DVDs are far cheaper though not as convenient due to their smaller size. Using any optical media, Blu-Ray included, in the same manner as you use flash media, is unreliable and impractical for the most part.

Conclusion

It is worth upgrading to Blu-Ray if you have the hardware to be able to enjoy the benefits of high-definition video and you are prepared to pay the higher prices Currently, there is little reason to upgrade to Blu-Ray otherwise.

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