Originally Posted by jmhavs
Alex, sorry for the delayed thanks for your help and follow-up question. Both theoretically, and in your own actual experience, what should be, or is, the ranking in picture and audio quality between Blu-ray, DVD, and cable broadcast. I'm of course assuming Blu-ray is always better than DVD (!), but where would TCM fall, for instance? If you had the choice of watching a movie broadcast on TCM or Blu-ray, which would you pick, or would it depend (B&W or color movie, genre of movie, model of Blu-ray player, etc.)? And then what about TCM or DVD?
You are welcome.
As for your query, I cannot give a ranking because it depends on the video and audio quality of the source being utilized.
Blu-ray has the potential to be the best available, and it usually does provide the highest quality. (I am not including the upcoming Ultra High-Definition format.) But some BDs are disasters. For example, the BD releases of A Bridge Too Far
and 2010: Odyssey Two
immediately come to mind. Yet I have seen both movies in superb HD on television. There are other BDs as well that are disappointing to a lesser degree.
The latest audio formats, which are typically provided on Blu-rays of recent movies, especially action films, are the best ever offered.
I cannot comment on cable TV because we gave up on Cablevision's terrible video quality in New Jersey back in 2002. We have enjoyed DirecTV since that time.
As for TCM, they often broadcast superb HD prints of films that are available for purchase on DVD only (and not available at all on Blu-ray). I probably watch TCM more than any other channel (with the exception of news and Major League Baseball games--I cannot live without DirecTV's MLB package that provides live HD coverage of practically every game).
To sum up, as stated earlier, what is best always depends on the quality of the original source. The quality of components utilized at the receiving end--our homes--is important, too, for the best possible video and audio reproduction.