You've probably heard about Ultra HD Blu-ray, but if you're like a lot of people, you're still busy trying to get rid of your DVD collection. Why would you want to buy another set of discs that take up space and need a special player to use?
Especially with companies pushing 8K, why would you want to buy 4K discs? Well, to start, unless you've got a bargain basement 4K TV, you're probably not going to need to upgrade for a long time.
There are some other great reasons you might want to consider picking up UHD Blu-ray copies of your favorites.
1. UHD Quality > Streaming Quality
Yes, Netflix, Amazon, and others offer 4K streaming, even with High Dynamic Range (HDR). That said, the quality you get from a streaming service isn't going to come close to matching what you get from a disc.
In order to stream to your TV without chewing through your bandwidth cap, providers heavily compress these streams, which impacts quality.
On the other hand, Ultra HD Blu-ray is uncompressed, which means a massive increase in fidelity.
You'll especially notice this in darker scenes, with less color banding in shadows and other areas of contrast. When you add HDR to the equation, which many UHD Blu-rays ship with, the quality is even better.
2. UHD Blu-Ray Players Are Cheap
When any new format launches, the players are expensive. Initially, Ultra HD Blu-ray players costed upward of $1,000.
You'll still find players that cost that much, though they're now the exception. You can get a quality Ultra HD Blu-ray player for a little over $100 these days.
Even better, the PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X can play UHD Blu-ray discs as well as games, so you might already have a quality Blu-ray player at home!
3. UHD Blu-Ray Discs Are Cheap Too
When Ultra HD Blu-ray launched, discs cost much more than their HD counterparts.
It wasn't long before prices began to drop though. While prices upward of $30 per disc were common for a year or so, they've now dropped to generally the same as standard Blu-ray.
It's not unusual to find UHD Blu-ray discs going for as little as $10. You'll still find the occasional expensive releases, but prices usually come down after a movie has been out for a few months.
Even the prices for complete seasons of TV shows or movie collections are on par with plain old Blu-ray prices.
4. Movie Nights Are Fun Again
Browsing through Netflix and figuring out what to watch isn't exactly fun. And once you do find something to watch, the magic of the experience isn't there.
You can turn down the lights and turn up the sound, but the availability of movies has made them less special. Streaming is convenient, but it comes at a cost.
With UHD Blu-ray, at least if you're anything like me, you probably don't own a ton of them. So when you go to put on your favorite movie, it feels special again.
And that's because it is! Especially if you pop some popcorn or grab your favorite beverage to make it a little more magical.
5. You Can Watch Without Internet
Okay, this isn't exclusive to Ultra HD Blu-ray, but given that Ultra HD Blu-ray is the standard going forward, it's the format you should pick if offline media is important to you.
And it should be important! We don't realize how much of our entertainment is tied to a working internet connection—until the internet goes down for hours or days.
Even your trusty Plex server will let you down without internet.
If you have a collection of discs, no matter what type they may be, you have entertainment as long as you have electricity.
This is one of the reasons why we believe it makes sense to hang on to Blu-rays, DVDs, and other physical media. Plus, you know, they look and sound better.