Dish Network VOD vs. Blu-ray: 1080p shootout

Sound & Vision magazine tests Dish Network's video-on-demand 1080p video versus Blu-ray.

Sound & Vision magazine's Brent Butterworth conducted a test comparing the video quality of Dish Network's 1080p video-on-demand service with that of a Blu-ray movie, and found very little difference.

Dish Network's 1080p version of Speed Racer looks nearly as good as the Blu-ray. Amazon.com

Dish offers a very few select VOD movies in 1080p resolution, the highest-definition available today, only one of which was available at the time of the comparison: Speed Racer. Comparing the 1080p Dish VOD version with the 1080p version on the Blu-ray disc, Butterworth "could detect only subtle differences" from a normal seating distance, reporting that both "looked fantastic."

Dish overcomes bandwidth constraints by sending each 1080p movie directly to the hard drives of its ViP-series DVRs in the wee hours of the morning, when there's less demand. When a user select one of the movies and pays the VOD surcharge ($6.99 per movie), it plays directly from the hard drive. One apparent downside to this method is scant selection: only Speed Racer is available now, and another title isn't expected until November.

The video quality of Dish's 1080p service bodes well for future iterations of high-quality downloadable/on-demand content. We reported similarly high quality when comparing the 1080p/24 versions of movies from Vudu to Blu-ray discs. For its part, DirecTV has also said it will offer 1080p VOD movies, although neither cable providers nor Verizon's Fios service have announced any plans to do so.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Want affordable gadgets for your student?

Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!