Blu-ray delivery quality fares well against streaming services

Optical disc technology continues to present a viable option as a media format against digital streaming video content. Blu-ray discs can give users a way to present media in a sharp, crisp way for years to come.

High-definition streaming video has overtaken physical media in terms of sheer usage, Chris Heinonen wrote in HD Guru. Last year, viewers in the United States streamed 3.4 billion movies, while 2.4 billion were watched on Blu-ray discs and DVDs. He compared streaming video quality from VUDU, Amazon on Demand and Netflix and found that all three services fell short of the resolution and sound quality presented by Blu-ray.

"The clear winner was Blu-ray," Heinonen wrote. "The full DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray disc sounded clearer and more dynamic, with better surround usage and deeper bass. Compared with the streaming services, the image looked much more detailed, with no macroblocking or posterization artifacts. There were differences to be seen between the three services, however."

Blu-ray gives its users a way to see archived video and photos in a quality display that cannot be matched by streaming services. While streaming video offers high-quality resolution, Blu-ray does not have the same compression requirements that must be met in order to deliver content via the Internet, according to Home Theater review. The quality of an image delivered by streaming services as opposed to Blu-ray depends on the compression scheme used, such as MPEG2 or MPEG4. These vary, resulting in inconsistent quality delivery.

As companies work out the kinks with high-definition video-streaming services, Blu-ray will continue to reign as the go-to format for quality media. While organizations grapple with sustaining consistent quality over Web-based video offerings, the performance benefits of Blu-ray will drive interest in the technology for the foreseeable future.

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