Read the first part of this article for the first half of the top ten titles.
Before I wrap up the list of top ten Blu-ray discs you must own, we should all breathe a sigh of relief to celebrate the fact that the format war is over. As everyone knows, Toshiba has pulled the plug on HD DVD and will no longer be competing against Blu-ray. Microsoft is shelving their HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 and I am sure we will see HD DVD fire sales shortly. This is great news for the consumer as long as we do not see any price fixing to inflate the cost of the next generation format that won the war.
Now that we have Blu-ray as the only option for high definition video we need to understand some things. Toward that end, we'll talk about the three Blu-ray specifications that the format can support and what the best players are from a value and performance perspective.
Blu-ray has three distinct specifications; each successive one adds distinct features to the multimedia performance. This has caused some concern in people who have first generation players like the Samsung BDP 1000 which cannot even play some Blu-ray 1.1 movies. Hopefully showing you the players to note and explaining the differences in specifications will help you decide what device you want to have in your home.
What does this mean? Well, in a nutshell they are planning by 2.0 (or BD-Live) to have interactive content, web-enabled extras, and picture-in-picture extra features. Currently the only player on the market that can support 2.0 is the PlayStation 3 as it is Internet ready and has a hard drive. What this also means is that most 1.0 players cannot be upgraded to support the new features as they do not have the extra decoders or memory available.
On to the players… I will be listing players that are 1.1 compatible as there are no 2.0 players on the market at this time. It is a future specification, so do your research before you buy. To be clear, 1.0 and 1.1 players will play the movies on Blu-ray discs, but the supplementary or BD-Live features will not be available.
Now that many people will start to buy players and movies in the format as confidence in Blu-ray rises daily it is fitting to have a list of the top 10 Blu-rays to have for your shiny player or PS3. The list presents the best Blu-ray discs to own whether it be for value, quality, innovation or a mix of many reasons. Not all of these movies are Academy Award worthy, but they are all great films and demonstration quality Blu-rays for your collection. Often I will refer to a proper setup in the movie notes; a proper setup in my mind for reference is the following:
- 1080p display
- 5.1 or 7.1 receiver
- 5.1 or greater speaker setup with a powered sub-woofer
#5 – Cars