Movie Distribution | Should I Distribute My Movie on Blu-ray or Standard Definition DVD?

Movie Distribution

It is always preferable to release a movie in multiple different formats for greatest compatibility, but not all filmmakers and distributors have the budget to make this happen. There are many pros and cons to assess when determining whether to go with a Blu-ray or standard DVD release if you can only produce one format or the other. It is important to consider both your intended audience and the quality of the movie itself. Without a firm understanding of the differences between the two formats, however, it will be even more difficult to make a decision.

What is a Blu-ray Disc?

A Blu-ray disc has the ability to store between two and four and a half hours of high-definition video. The scratch resistant coating on a Blu-ray disc is much more durable than the coating on a DVD, giving Blu-ray discs with a longer life expectancy. Blu-ray discs are designed to optimize the performance of an HDTV. They are the only form of entertainment readily available on the market that can display images at a resolution of 1080p, and this places the quality of the images displayed by a Blu-ray disc above all current HD channels.

What is a DVD Disc?

A DVD disc can store between two and four hours of standard definition data. Each disc has a scratch resistant coating, but it is easier to penetrate than the coating on a Blu-ray disc. DVD discs were designed to be played on standard tube style TVs at a resolution that ranges from 480p to 520p. In order to be viewed on the full screen of an HDTV, a DVD disc must expand the image that is being portrayed. This process often leaves the film looking grainy, and it can also make the images look slightly distorted. Interested in learning about dvd duplication?

Level of Consumer Penetration

The latest figures show that 96 percent of households in the U.S. owns at least 1 DVD player. Only 20 percent own a Blu-ray player, but this figure does not necessarily incorporate those who have a Blu-ray compatible video game system, such as the PS3.

Understanding the Importance of Quality

Blu-ray discs, when combined with an HDTV, display data at a very high level of quality. This is ideal for movies that were beautifully filmed and have a lot of detail. Movies such as Monsters, Inc. truly showcase the power of a Blu-ray disc by allowing viewers to see minor details that were not easily visible at a movie theater. If your film has similar complex qualities, then you will want to show them off by using the Blu-ray format. On the flip side of this, however, is the uncompromising aspect of 1080p. If your film has flaws that will benefit from being hidden rather than showcased, then a DVD disc is a better option.

Understanding Your Audience

Although Blu-ray discs have been made for all genres, they are typically more successful for high energy films that pack a lot of visual punch. Video game lovers are more likely to gravitate towards Blu-ray films, especially if they own a PS3. If your film is action, adventure or horror and it is targeted at the video game loving crowd, then you should definitely consider Blu-ray. If your movie is a comedy aimed at the over 50 crowd, however, then selecting the DVD format makes more sense.

Final Thoughts on Movie Distribution

If your budget allows for it, you should release your movie in both formats. When faced with making a choice, though, Blu-ray is definitely the way to go if your film will benefit from a high level of detail. In order to save money and reach out to a wider audience, however, DVD is still the king of the home entertainment industry.