So last night I settled down to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It's a fine movie. Nowhere near as good as the TV series or the book, but well worth a watch. However the picture quality was horrible. At first I thought the flickering screen and grainy image were part of a period recreation, but then I remembered it being perfectly fine in the cinema.
I discovered, after some messing around, that game consoles don't make very good Blu-Ray players. I tried a couple of devices and the results were pretty horrid on both of them to be honest, with tearing images and lots of noise. This might be something to do with the rest of my system, but because I'm the kind of person I am, I thought I'd try getting a dedicated player to see if it was any better.
Oh yes it was. The difference was like night and day. Much much better. And the good news is that a decent player can be had for a comparatively low price these days, not far off the price of a video game (which is how I price most things to be honest).
My advice, such as it is, would be to think beyond using your PS3 or whatnot as a player and look into getting a "proper" one. This also has the useful advantage of making it much easier to actually watch movies. Now I can just put the disk into the machine and within seconds be watching a whole bunch of trailers I can't skip. With the console I have to find the controller, wobble through a bunch of menus and, if I'm lucky, a firmware update before I get to see things that are on the disk but shouldn't be in my way.
Up until now I've had a kind of "everything is digital" mindset about things like DVD players and whatnot, but my experience has been that there is actually quite a lot of subjective shenanigans going on between the signal source and the display.