The SACD is a "super" CD, it sounds better, offers multichannel, high-resolution sound, and hybrid SACDs are backwards compatible with CD players. Sony initially pushed SACD as a CD replacement and the market yawned. OK, but you would have thought that audiophiles would have, en mass, supported SACD, especially after so many of them bashed CD for its harsh digital sound. SACDs, at least ones sourced from high quality recordings, really do sound better than CD (but a crappy original recording, remastered to SACD, still sounds crappy). No, just a small segment of the audiophile market embraced SACD, … Read more
In the market for a digital camcorder? You could spend $179.99 on one of those Flip Video Ultras, which let you record a whopping 60 minutes of YouTube-quality video. Or you could pay $119 for the Aiptek A-HD, which records hours' worth of high-definition (720p) video on inexpensive memory cards. Hmmm...
Yeah, talk about a no-brainer. The A-HD is a slim, pocketable camcorder (and 5-megapixel camera) with a swiveling 2.4-inch LCD and an SD slot that accommodates cards up to 8GB (good for about 4 hours of HD video--get one here for a measly $28). It captures … Read more
Is a Toshiba Blu-ray player in the works? Can Sony and Blu-ray be bested by cheaper "upconverting" players?
Read David Carnoy's post on Crave: "When will Toshiba put out a Blu-ray player?"
Today's Wall Street Journal has an interview with Atsutoshi Nishida, Toshiba's chief executive, that's kind of interesting for what it doesn't say. The article's headline is "Toshiba's Plan for Life After HD DVD" and the Q&A appears in the "Boss Talk" column, which seems to put executives in a warm seat rather than a hot seat. By that I mean there are a couple of hard-hitting questions ("Isn't the loss of the format war a blow to Toshiba's strategy?), but after you're through with … Read more
Jumping on the HD DVD bandwagon was fun for many early adopters--until Blu-ray knocked the format off the road, causing Toshiba's tech to spin out, crash, and burn. Those dazed folks still left clutching their brand-new HD DVD high-definition disc players are now scratching their heads saying, "What was I thinking?"
Slate's Josh Levin is one of those format "losers" pondering his HD DVD "D'oh" moment.
Read the story at Slate: "I'm the idiot who bought an HD DVD player"
The problem: You've got a ton of digital music, photos, and video on your computer's hard drive, but you want to enjoy all that media on the big TV and stereo system in your living room--not hunched over the laptop screen. If you've got a network connection and one of the latest game consoles (an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, or--when paired with the free Orb software--even a Nintendo Wii), you may not need any new hardware--each of them can stream a wide variety of audio, video, and photo formats from your PC to your TV over your home network. However, if you're not a gamer, or you need a more robust solution--more file support, for instance--there are alternatives, such as the MediaGate MG-450HD. … Read more
When Onkyo released the budget TX-SR605 AV receiver last year, it rocked the industry with its low price and high-end features such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio decoding. Other manufacturers pretty much had to stay on the sidelines as TX-SR605s flew off the shelf, but it looks as if Sony is ready to fight back with its new line of budget AV receivers. The company's 2008 line of AV receivers includes four new affordably priced models--the STR-DG520, STR-DG720, STR-DG820 and STR-DG920--and they look pretty good from the spec sheet. Here are the details:
Key features of the Sony STR-DG520:5.1 channels, 100 watts of power Two HDMI inputs Supports 1080p pass-through at 60 and 24 frames per second Available in March for about $200
Step-up features on the STR-DG720:7.1 channels, 105 watts of power Three HDMI inputs… Read more
Sony has announced two new Blu-ray players scheduled to be released in the second half of the year: the entry-level BDP-S350 and the step-up BDP-S550. We haven't been the biggest fans of Sony's recent standalone Blu-ray players (the BDP-S300 was really slow and the same price as the PlayStation 3). Fresh off its victory over HD DVD, however, the company has announced two new Blu-ray players for 2008, both of which sport considerably more attractive feature sets and prices. Here are the details:
Key features of the Sony BDP-S350:Supports BonusView, which means it is Profile 1.1 … Read more
When the format war was finally brought to a close, almost everyone was happy to see that we'll only need to watch one format try to survive in the Digital Age instead of two.
And while most of us were sad to see Toshiba throw in the towel and admit that it made a mistake with HD DVD, some were wondering how the house of cards crashed so swiftly. Some said it was due to the departure of some of HD DVD's retailers and rental services, some said it was poor internal operations and still others said it was due to the fact that movie studios simply had enough of the war.
But what if all of those assertions are false? What if all of those companies knew that an undercurrent continuously undermined the growth of HD DVD and helped Blu-ray cement itself as the winner?
What if Toshiba and Sony worked together to kill HD DVD?… Read more