AVATAR in Blu-Ray: Worth the Upgrade?

Ikran banshee When making the decision to purchase AVATAR on Blu-ray, you may want to understand some of the pros and cons before you spend the extra money. The benefits of viewing AVATAR on Blu-ray over HD are great now - and could be even better in the future.

Guest Post By Ty Wingfoot

If you're buying the hottest DVD releases of the year, James Cameron’s AVATAR movie, what video format should you choose? Since this movie is so visually stunning, understanding the differences between buying AVATAR Blu-ray vs. HD could amount to much more than deciding on Toy Story 3 on Blu-ray vs. HD.

20th Century Fox did something pretty smart: You can purchase a bundle of AVATAR Blu-ray and DVD combination for about $10 more than just the HD DVD alone. The price difference between the AVATAR Blu-ray combination pack and the AVATAR HD DVD isn’t significant if you value also having the HD version. Even if you are a diehard Blu-ray fan and loathe the idea of paying $10 more for an extra DVD, think of it this way…you can watch your AVATAR Blu-ray version in your home theater and the HD DVD version on your laptop.

From a Blu-ray vs HD DVD standpoint, the benefits of AVATAR on Blu-ray are going to be similar to other movies. For starters, a Blu-ray disc just holds more content. A Blu-ray disc can hold up to 50G, whereas a DVD can hold up to about 8G. That usually translates to more bonus features. But in this early edition of the AVATAR release, that won’t amount to much. Producer Jon Landau and director James Cameron said that their focus was on viewing quality and sound in order to get it out into the marketplace sooner. If the bonus features are important to you and you are willing to wait until later in 2010 then go ahead and hold out. I know I couldn’t wait!

The Blu-ray video compression is definitely superior. What that is going to result in is Pandora looking more vibrant and the background scenery in the forest scenes with more distinctive contrasts. There are a couple of scenes where this could really make a difference. The scenes that come to mind include the helicopter ride in and out of the floating Hallelujah Mountains and the scene where Sully has to bond with an Ikran. Those scenes will definitely pop more on Blu-ray.

The second major advantage Blu-ray has is audio compression. Some of the best formats such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio are supported by most of the Blu-ray players. The sound engineers want you to hear all the multiple layers of audio for the battle scene showing the destruction of Hometree.

Ultimately though, if your Blu-ray player and home theater system don’t stack up this may be the movie that gives you the excuse you’ve been waiting for to trade up or get on the Blu-ray home theater bandwagon.

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Which version of the AVATAR DVD do you want?



This I good and I have already pre-ordered the blu-ray, I just can't wait! I'm not going to buy the special edition in november, that would be stupid when the stereoscopic version is on its way and I am already testing a proprietary 3d setup that is very similar to realD but uses dual projectors.

So, when can I buy the stereoscopic digital cinema package hard drive????? I would totally buy it in a heartbeat! Unfortunately I don't know any film bookers :-(
Better yet, bundle it with some DCP playback software that supports dual projector output! I don't think easyDCP supports it. This would be the coolest thing ever for home theater enthusiasts like me!


Its a great idea to get it in blu ray, I have all ready ordered it :)
By the way dose anyone know what a RealD decoder is? As I can have my TV in 3D if I buy it :)

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I've seen Blu-ray DVD players and compatible TVs on display. Using a movie I know, provided me with the proof I needed to see the vast viewing differences. Cost prevents me from indulging myself in the wonders...but, I am content with the clarity of my 2D. I don't feel cheated.

David Tokheim

If you have a HD television, I think getting a Blu-ray DVD player is a must. Just like you buy an Xbox 360 to play Halo, you should get a Blu-ray so you can disappear into the world of Pandora. Recently I bought a Samsung BD-P1600 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player specifically for AVATAR. I would not recommend this product. After 3 weeks, it started freezing.

Ayhan B.

I was hoping that HDDVD was going to win the Blu Ray vs HDDVD war, but it didn't, and I managed to trade it in a for a Blu Ray player before prices for it plummeted. Blu Ray is pretty advanced and the discs are really cool to hold, but for a movie like Avatar, I was just going to buy both so I don't later regret not being able to watch it on my laptop or in my home theater. I saved up, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal.


Avatar has provided me with the the final bit of motivation to upgrade to Blu-ray. I'll be doing it shortly and will definitely be purchasing Avatar on Blu-ray. I'll also be buying a home theater system, first time doing so and i can't wait. I won't be upgrading to a 3D home system anytime soon but i sure plan to get the most out of the amazing audio and video Blu-ray provide.

Nicholas Carreras

I really wish i had a HD television and a blu-ray player. If there was ever a reason to spend that much money in one go, that reason would be AVATAR. I just wish i had that money now. ;(

AVATAR is the only movie that lives up to the standards that normal DVD can not provide.

Robert Wainfur

Great Blog. Would it be okay to link to it on my blog. I recently did my quick review of the recent release of Avatar on DVD and Blu-Ray

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