IanTheCool's Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Confessions of a Blu-ray Collector: To Convert or Not to Convert

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In the late 2000’s, movie collectors were faced with a new dilemma: how to deal with the collections as the Blu-ray format came into the forefront.  For myself, I entered the world of high definition in 2011.  With the purchase of my new TV and blu-ray player, I was given a free copy of Avatar in 3D and I also went out to buy myself The Matrix on blu.  And so my bluray collection began.

When I began my Blu-ray collection, I pondered which of my DVDs to upgrade.  From now on, any new movies I bought would be blu-ray, that was a given, but what about the movies I already had?  I made the same decision that most of you in this position probably made: I would upgrade only a few films I felt were “worth it” on blu-ray.  You know, movies with lots of stand-out visuals.  Some of the first I converted were movies like Inception, Apocalypse Now, 2001, and other big cinematography masterpieces.

This was an exciting time for me, hearkening back a decade earlier when I bought my new DVD player and began building a collection of movies.  The thrill of finding great movies on blu-ray was exhilarating for a collector, just like the good old days.  Also back again was the anticipation of releases yet to come, including some of my favourites like Jurassic Park and Star Wars.

After a while, I started gathering quite a few blus of movies I deemed worthy of conversion.  But then my idea of what was worthy or not started to expand, as I realized bluray’s potential in the restoration and preservation of older classic films.  Buying Casablanca on blu and seeing what it could do convinced me of this.  And the amazing transfer of North by Northwest only solidified this idea.

Then all of the sudden, movies I never thought I would convert to blu, like comedies or basic dramas, I ended up finding for dirt cheap.  Eventually there came a point when the scales were tipping from more blu-rays to DVDs and I just said “ah screw it.  Lets convert the whole collection.”

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So now my collection has been almost entirely converted to blu.  All I have left are 8 DVDs which have yet to be released on blu-ray (or not released in an acceptable package).  So what about all of my fellow collectors out there?  How did you handle the conversion issue?  Have you committed to converting everything, or nothing, or a select few?

Also, what have you done with those you have converted?  For myself, I started off by simply giving my DVDs away to friends and family.  The ones that weren’t taken, I would either trade in at best buy for their periodic trade-in deals or sell them for a buck a piece at the local video store.

Then there’s Television.  Well, that’s a whole different ball game.

I have not converted any of my TV box sets to bluray.  I have bought shows I did not yet own on DVD, like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, but haven’t upgraded any existing shows to blu.  I haven’t yet made that commitment for a number of reasons.  The first is cost.  I would love to have Lost on Blu-ray, but its simply going to cost too much to convert the whole series.  The other is that studios are simply not supporting TV on Blu.  Many of my shows simply aren’t available (West Wing, The X-Files, ect.) and may never be available.  So do I take the plunge knowing the full conversion will probably never be complete?  I just haven’t been able to yet.

So as far as whether to convert or not to convert, I don’t have any straight up answers for you out there.  Chances are you’ve already made the choice for yourselves.  It comes down to finances for the most part, despite the fact that you can get a lot of blus for pretty darn cheap.  And I suppose that also ties in my my topic last time relating to collection size.  My collection is only at around 150 movies, but some people have 800 or so.  Well, that is a lot to convert and would of course take much more effort and funds.

So what did you do? Convert, or no? Or somewhere in between?

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17 Responses to “Confessions of a Blu-ray Collector: To Convert or Not to Convert”

  1. I eventually started buying new blu-ray copies for movies I already had on DVD. I typically though buy TV shows on DVD since it’s far more expensive to buy the blu-ray copy.

  2. Convert! No exceptions! LOL I’m not 100% there, but I just looked at it as starting all over from scratch!

  3. I pretty much only buy on Blu now. The main hindrance is cost though. I simply can’t afford to upgrade all of my film collection so it’s like you said, I’ll do the ones that I feel are worth it. I wasn’t sure I would definitely prefer Blu until I got the Alien Quadrilogy and the quality was unbelievable, I highly recommend that. Unless it’s something I really want, I normally just pick stuff up I find on offer as brand new Blus can be damn expensive.

    • I have the first 3 alien films on bluray. The first one in aprticular looks great.
      So which ones do you thinka re worth it?

      • Well I upgraded Scott Pilgrim, which is pretty good. I did Alien, like I said, Star Wars, The Godfather, Lord of the Rings and there are a few others that escape me. Some of the Blus I have are awful though. I remember watching The Raid and had to double check it wasn’t DVD, the quality was terrible for a BR

  4. Optimally, I would like to convert all my DVDs, but finances are short and I do prioritize titles I don’t already have so the upgrade process is going to be a slow battle of attrition for me.

    The main titles I upgrade are the ones with snazzy new editions and the ones that had flawed DVDs to begin with… but there are other stupider reasons to upgrade as well like a given titles placement on my shelf. On more than one occasion I’ve upgraded a title just because it happened to stick out on my shelf because all the titles around it were in boxes that were a half-inch shorter.

    The cases which really piss me off are the ones where the new blu-ray edition has fewer extra features than the DVD that it’s going to be replacing or if the its in packaging that will look silly next to a companion film. Ridley Scott movies seem to be big offenders in this regard. I’ve refused to upgrade Kingdom of Heaven because the blu-ray doesn’t have any of the many bonus features that are present on my beautiful four-disc DVD set. Same for Black Hawk Down.

    Objectively I know that if these bonus features were included on the Blu-ray they more than likely would have been in SD anyway and that I could always just keep my DVD copies if I ever wanted to watch them again, but dammit, I want a clean replacement for my money.

  5. Honestly I don’t care too much about blu ray vs. DVD. I know the quality is better for Blu Ray, but it isn’t enough for me to spend tons of cash converting my collection, especially when DVDs can be found cheaper and cheaper.

    There are exceptions of course. Some of my all time favourites I’ve replaced and others I’m still interested in, but for now I’m fine with DVD.

  6. I only upgrade my dvds to blurays when the movies themselves have amazing sound and/or visuals. for example. Star Trek (2009), I initially was given a copy on dvd, but that one deserves a blu-ray upgrade. But my copy of Frequency for example…well, that one can stay a dvd in my collection!

  7. I`ve been very lazy when it comes to upgrading DVDs to BDs. When I got my player the first film was an upgrade – Terminator2.
    After that full upgrades have been Alien Anthology, Saving Private Ryan and Serenity.
    And then theres couple of upgrades with boxsets. I upgraded Predator (only had the first one) with the trilogy boxset. And upgraded Bourne films (had first three) with the 4 movie collection.
    With over 1000 tiles I dont think I will upgrade all to BD, but there may be some upgrades still to come.

    • Uh, yeah, 1000 titles would be daunting. Maybe start playing the lottery? lol

      • Money is not the problem. Just there are some that are not out on BD, some that have shitty transfers so it would not be a upgrade, some BDs lose extras and are cut versions and then there are some that have sneaked into my collection that I cant see spending money on. And theres so much new stuff comming out all the time.
        But I have got DVDs for free and if I can get BDs for free also I may get upgrades that way 🙂

  8. […] (2) Ian over at ianthecool has a series going on over at his site about Converting to blu-ray and collecting blu-ray movies. While he is sadly mistaken on the inefficiency of organizing one’s collection in alphabetical order in his 2nd post of the series HERE (high-five to all of you who organize your movies this way), he brings up some excellent reasons to convert over to blu-ray in his first post HERE. […]

  9. I don’t repurchase the same movie on Blu if I already own it on DVD (with a few exceptions *ahem Lord of The Rings ahem*) but the temptation is always there I guess. The HD upgrade isn’t worth the cost to replace every movie I own. And there’s nothing wrong with owning Deep Blue Sea on DVD only….. 😉


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