Should we buy Blu-ray or standard DVD movies? That’s the quandary

Should we buy new home movies in the high-resolution Blu-ray format, or in the lower-res, but more widely accessible, standard DVD format? That, Detective, is the right question.

When we rent movies from Netflix, we get them in Blu-ray format if they’re available. That’s best for movies that we’re going to watch as a family, since our big LCD TV is hooked up to a Sony Playstation 3. We purchased that player in May specifically to watch Blu-ray movies. (See “Say Hello to Playstation 3.”)

There are some movies coming out that we’d like to purchase. But in which format?

• On one hand, we ought to buy movies in the highest resolution possible, and that means Blu-ray. However, we can only watch Blu-ray discs on the big TV hooked up to the Playstation 3. We can’t watch them on any other television. We can’t watch them using our portable DVD player. We also can’t watch them using any of our current personal computers, including laptops while traveling.

• On the other hand, we should buy movies as DVDs, which will play everywhere, and which are also cheaper. However, they won’t look as good on the big TV, and perhaps some day we’ll be kicking ourselves for not taking a longer-term view of the question.

In five years, I’ll bet, this won’t be an issue, when Blu-ray players become less expensive and more pervasive. What should we do until then? Your opinion, please:

1. Think long-term, buy Blu-ray movie discs now.
2. Focus on the immediately practical, buy DVDs.
3. Stop buying discs, and just rent from Netflix.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick