questionsdoes it really make sense to convert old(er…

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since dvd will eventually be phased out, yes.
Just as VHS is almost non-existent today, dvd's will eventually fade away too.

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Yes it totally makes sense. Film shot on celluloid has a much higher resolution than today's 1080p standard. Even old films, as long as they're shot on film and in decent condition, can be remastered in high def that is way superior to vhs, dvd, and in the future even better than blu-ray.

Just check out tons of great High Def releases of older films and compare them to their VHS or DVD counter part...you'll see a marked improvement.

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@kamikazeken: Don't Blu-ray players also play DVDs?

@Bonoman: I didn't know that the original source films are higher res than 1080p. I have 2 points on this:
- Regardless of celluloid's resolution, 1080p TV is the high-standard
- How many of these cheap Blu-rays are remastered and not just conversions from some videotape source? I know this was true when everything started to go to DVDs.

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some cheap blurays are not worth getting, but this appears to be remastered (at first glance, reading the reviews on the site)

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If only for the sake of preservation, yes. As somebody who prefers 60-year-old movies to most any modern ones, I'm glad they keep converting them to the newest formats, so that they aren't lost.

Sure, it increases the definition too, but if the target audience is into these super old movies anyway, I don't know that most will care too much about seeing Fred Astaire dancing away in 1080p, just as long as they can see him dancing. Maybe that's just me, though.

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If the company spends the money and does the transfer right, then yes, it's totally worth it.

I was recently watching "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" on BR and it was like watching it for the first time again. They did a really good job on the transfer.
"The Thing" is another great transfer, and that movie is from 1982

If you curious about how well the transfer looks before buying, check out
HighDefDigest.com They break down the specs very nicely.

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@rlapid2112: Yes, Blu-Ray players can all play DVDs too.

Even movies from the silent era look gorgeous on Blu-Ray. I am not aware of any Blu-Rays that are actually just DVD up-conversions; so far as I know they are all from new transfers. Now, in some cases the transfers are shoddy, or there is too much noise reduction applied -- see the Patton Blu-Ray for an egregious example of this. But for the most part, they look stunning.

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@rlapid2112: Have you never been to a cinema?

The best example (IMHO) for measuring what resolution the human eye can resolve is the view out an airplane window to a busy freeway. YouTube upped their maximum resolution to 4096p a year ago.

@deraj828: Ah, reissuing for preservation. If copyrights still lasted for 14 years, with a single 14 year extension allowed only if registered+paid, I wonder how such a landscape would change.

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Eh, maybe I am asking (ranting?) about this since I don't have the storage space for all my movies to be in 1080p. I should sleep.

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It completely depends on whether the original as been remastered before the transfer to blu-ray. Some transfers are crap: cheap cash-ins taken from 2nd gen. sources, just to catch all those people that "gotta have it on Blu-ray." If the company takes the time to remaster the original film and transfer that to the blu-ray, then it's totally worth it.

How to tell the difference? Read reviews on the previously-mentioned HighDefDigest.com or:
www.blu-ray.com
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=187
http://www.highdefdiscnews.com/?page_id=38212

They're good at separating the wheat from the chaff.

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Here is an article you may find interesting.

It's actually a study showing that digital film is getting as good as 35mm film but it also answers your question pretty nicely.

Basically, it's showing that film prints absolutely have as much image information at Blu-Ray if not more (3-12 million pixels vs 2 million for 1080 and also up to 1400 lines vs 1080).

http://filmschoolonline.com/sample_lessons/sample_lesson_HD_vs_35mm.htm

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Don't a lot of recently made dvd players (and all Blu-Ray players) upconvert regular dvds to at least 720p? I know it's not the same as getting a nice new high-def transfer, but I would think it's good enough for the casual viewer.

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Part of the answer to this question is in the state of the original film. There's a good wikipedia article on film preservation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_preservation - it explains a lot about how older film mediums decay over time and what can be done to slow the decay of the original film. If the original film is on a good quality stock and has been kept in cool, dry storage, then it should be in very good condition when they go back to re-record it onto a new high-def format like blu-ray.

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@wingnutzero: Not really. A DVD player that upconverts a standard-def DVD isn't much better than a DVD player that just outputs 480p and lets the TV up-convert to whatever the TV is (720p or 1080p). You can't create something out of nothing.

Take a JPG image and size it up and you'll see what I mean.

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My dilemma with this stemmed from the practical aspect. We have 1 blu-ray player in the house which in the main living area. We have a regular DVD player upstairs, in the car, portable DVD player and on the PC and laptop. If I buy a blu-ray only movie, it can only be viewed in the main living area. So now I have to buy combo packs of DVD/Blu-Ray movies (typically just the family ones) so they can be viewed in various locations.

Would love to go Blu-ray across the board, but upgrading every machine is not practical right now.

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@kamikazeken: perhaps this is more like Betamax vs VHS, where DVDs will start getting phased out. Disc media will stay around, just not in the same form. Unless you are saying disc media will go away in lieu of streaming?

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Film is, of course, an analog source. Its maximum resolution is bound by the film grain of the film stock. Using black-and-white, as an example, that would be the size of the silver particles on the celluloid. Wikipedia has a OK article on this with both black-and-white and color examples. You may hear ill-informed film buffs insisting that the resolution of film is unlimited. Not true. I did see a decently mastered version of the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." As a movie, it is awful. However, as an example of old film stock transferred to Blu-ray it is exceptional.

I am always blown away by live HD camera work. I think it is because there is no attempt to narrow the field of focus – everything you see is an HD and with good equipment, in focus. It is easy to see that we are stuck with 1920x1080 progressive from camera to storage to display panels. A ton of money has been invested in these technologies. This resolution is not likely to undergo ubiquitous change in less than 25 years.

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Most of the time people only focus on the visual benefits, but the jump up to lossless audio tracks on Blu-ray is another reason to convert older movies.