Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the Neil Degrasse Tyson reboot of the 1980 Carl Sagan PBS television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, comes out on video today. I’ve been looking forward to owning this. Currently, there are two versions: a 4-disc DVD set and a more expensive 4-disc Blu-ray set.
Why do both versions need four discs?
A dual-layer commercial DVD can hold up to 8.7 gigabytes of content. A dual-layer commercial Blu-ray can hold up to 50 gigabytes of content. The Blu-ray version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey contains 572 minutes of content. The DVD version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey contains 572 minutes of content. Why then does it take the same amount of Blu-ray discs as DVD discs to hold the same content? One Blu-ray disc can easily hold 572 minutes of content, yet 20th Century Fox, the producers of the documentary, use just as many high-content Blue-rays as they do DVD discs.
I’d be lying if I said I could notice any difference between a Blu-ray and a DVD, especially when the DVD is played on a player that upscales to 1080p. The only real noticeable difference between the two is that it takes close to three minutes for a Blu-ray disc to load up. DVD discs load much faster. The problem of excessive load times could be negated if publishers didn’t use four Blu-ray discs when a single Blu-ray disc could have easily contained the same content.
There are reasons I sometimes think Blu-ray is a rip-off.