UHD Blu-Ray Is Worth It: 5 Reasons to Consider Upgrading Your Collection

While streaming is convenient, it doesn’t get you the best quality. Considering buying UHD Blu-rays? It may be more worthwhile than you think.

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. The Quality Is Way Better Than Streaming

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. Players Are Cheap and Getting Cheaper

When any new format launches, the players are expensive. Initially, Ultra HD Blu-ray players cost 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 player.

3. Discs Are Cheaper 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. Then, once you do find something to watch, the same magic of turning down the lights, turning up the sound, and watching a movie just isn’t there. The availability of movies has made them less special.

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. Internet Outage? Your Discs Are Still There

Okay, this isn’t exclusive to Ultra HD Blu-ray any more than having a picture and sound is. That said, you don’t realize how much all of your entertainment options are tied to your internet connection until it goes down for a few hours. Even your trusty Plex server may let you down without an internet connection.

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 we’ve said makes it worth hanging on to your Blu-rays and DVDs in the past, and it’s just as true about UHD Blu-ray. Plus, you know, they look and sound better.

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1 comment
  1. This is a superb article. While I love streaming service and subscribe to everything from Netflix and Hulu to Disney+ and YouTube TV, I continue to collect physical media. I regularly buy VHS, LaserDiscs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and just started buying 4K UHD BRs. Slight correction though: The PS4/PS4 Pro do not playback UHD Blu-rays. Only standard 1080p Blu-rays. The Xbox One S/X do though, although I was disappointed at the lack of Dolby Vision support for BR discs. Dolby Vision on the Xbox One is limited to streaming services.

    Thanks for this write up. In an increasingly digital age, it’s refreshing to see support for physical media like you provide in this excellent article.

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