In short, yeah, it is worth the investment for a Blu-Ray player.
Over the weekend, my roommate broke down and purchased a Blu Ray player to go with his ginormous television. (Have I mentioned how wonderful it is having a technophile for a roommate?)
We both purchased a few Blu Ray movies to go with it. The first movie we watched was Hitman, because it seemed appropriate to watch something with a lot of explosions for the high definition experience. It was a gorgeous picture. Unfortunately, I haven't seen this on regular DVD and don't have a base of comparison for this movie. The other night we watched Serenity, because I love Firefly and it's something I've already seen on DVD. The space scenes are particularly pretty. Part of me wants to watch the DVD and Blu Ray back to back for comparison.
My thought is that if you have a high definition television, then it's worth getting a Blu Ray player for the improved picture. This is especially true for action movies, and modern movies that can take into account filming in high definition.
I'm not sure how some of the older movies will do on the Blu Ray format. As an example, I noticed that there are several James Bond collections available, including the earlier movies. Dr. No was filmed in the early 60's, using the technology of the day. I don't think that putting this film on a Blu Ray disc is going to improve the picture significantly. I feel the same about television series. These shows were filmed specifically for standard definition broadcast.
With that said, newer movies, and possibly even newer TV shows since high definition broadcasting is becoming more common, have a much better picture. Over New Year's, Bluemule was showing off his fancy new set up and I was impressed. We watched a few scenes from the last Pirates movie. Water looks great. You could see the texture and detailing of the costuming. Definately an improvement over the DVD version.
I plan on watching WALL-E in the next day or so and I bet it will be absolutely beautiful.
Blu Ray movies are still more pricey than regular DVDs. My highly scientific statistical method of price gathering (meaning I glanced at the prices in BestBuy) found that the average new release DVD is around $20, compared to $30 for the same movie on Blu Ray. I'm won't be re-purchase all of movies on Blu Ray anytime soon, particularly since Blu Ray players will play DVDs. However, I will be buying new movies on Blu Ray from now on.