Originally Posted by briankmonkey
VHS to DVD was more the convenience difference for me and most people I know. PQ from DVD to Blu-ray is much more than the VHS to DVD PQ difference. That and going to surround sound being a big selling point for some.
Of course, I don't actually know anybody personally that hasn't ever noticed the difference but I'm sure there are some out there. Like I said, I'd love to see the people they polled and the conditions used. If they were indeed using composite cables that's a pretty tainted result right off the back.
I agree. Although almost everyone seems to think that the difference between standard DVD and blu-ray is relatively subtle, I actually think it's much more dramatic than the difference between VHS and DVD. Early DVDs especially didn't look THAT much better than VHS. The real appeal was in the random access, durability, price, special features, menus, higher probability of OAR, etc.
There was also excitement around the idea of a DVD "collection" that would display your movie tastes to guests the same way that your CD or book collection could. If you were going for a highbrow look you'd get foreign movies and criterion, frat house style was Old School, American Pie, etc. The price of non-kid movie VHS was so incredibly high that tape collections were usually just Disney cartoons and maybe Star Wars.
Over the years better mastering techniques and quality control have significantly improved DVD picture quality, but bluray (or hd dvd) looks way way better.