Blu-ray Q&A This was to be the season Blu-ray won our hearts - and it still may. But the economic downturn has thrown a tough new hurdle at the high-def disc. Blu-ray faces strapped consumers worried about investing in a new format, a new library and still-pricey players. But it's the best video source around, and if you have or plan to get a new HDTV, you may be considering Blu-ray, too. USA TODAY tech writer Mike Snider offers an FAQ.

Q: Can you really see the difference between Blu-ray and DVD?

A: Side-by-side, most people can easily see Blu-ray's improvement in picture quality. The video resolution, called "1080p" because it constantly (or progressively, hence the p) redraws 1,080 lines across the screen (each line containing 1,920 pixels), surpasses the best HDTV broadcast or cable signals. "Once you start seeing high-definition (video) on a 1080p monitor, DVD cannot compare," says Peter Bracke, editor of "Even my mom is impressed with it."

And filmmakers are doing their bit as well to make Blu-ray stand out. "We spent more time on (the Blu-ray image) than on the theatrical release, making sure every single color and shade is there for a reason," says "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" director Guillermo Del Toro. "The movie has never looked and sounded better."

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