Simply put, the more data that you can deliver the better the picture and sound quality. Pretty straightforward, right? So, will streaming ever get to the Ultra HD Blu-ray level? It sure is getting there, probably sooner rather than later for mass consumption.
This fact would indicate that Ultra HD Blu-ray Players are already obsolete, but that is still not true. While streaming has made incredible leaps in technology, that’s not to say that the type of high-quality content is available to all. Obviously, you’re going to have to pay up for that service.
When using an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, you don’t have to worry about your internet speed or data caps. Such high-quality content can really eat into your monthly data usage. However, who really wants to pay $30 or $40 for 4K Ultra films? If you’re already using Netflix or Hulu and can deal with the lower picture and sound quality, there is no comparison when it comes to cost.
Within the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of talk and advancements surrounding sound quality. These days, Dolby Atmos is being heralded as a must-have for any home entertainment system. This can be enjoyed on Ultra HD Blu-ray Players but streaming is also coming on fast with this technology. It’s not surprising to see Netflix is leading the way.
So, if you want to put your Ultra HD Blu-ray Player in the crawl space and let it gather dust, what’s the next step? Netflix’s Premium plan is a great way to stream Ultra HD content. Costing just $16 per month, you’ll likely need internet speeds of 25 Mbps or higher, a decent 4K TV and a 4K-capable streaming device.
Amazon Instant Video is another nice option if you already have Prime membership. Otherwise, it is $120 per year, and the internet speeds and devices are similar to what Netflix requires. There’s also a hefty selection of films to choose from, with rentals starting at $6. Outright purchases of movies range from $10 to $20.
For an even cheaper option, check out Hulu, which starts out at $6 (although it will be an ad-riddled experience). The recommended internet speeds for this are 16 Mbps and you should have a 4K device.
If streaming isn’t your thing, there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep on using your Ultra HD Blu-ray Player. It is worth noting that it’s been sometime now since streaming media eclipsed the quality of DVDs. But these discs are still being manufactured and they enjoy a loyal following. If this fact is any indicator, your Ultra HD Blu-ray Player may have legs on it still for the foreseeable future.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.