Blu-ray may be coasting to a format war victory over archrival HD DVD, but it's still got some mopping up to do in the meantime--namely, improving player compatibility with some of the more popular movies already available. Samsung has begun rolling out firmware upgrades for all of its players to address issues that have plagued some users when watching Blu-ray versions of such favorites as Ratatouille, Spider-Man 3, Live Free or Die Hard, Blade Runner, and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. According to Samsung, the updates will be available as follows: … Read more
HD DVD is almost certainly dead in the water. The surprise move of Warner to move to exclusive Blu-ray support has sunk any hope the HD DVD group ever had for winning the format war. What's more, there are rumors that the last two HD DVD studios--Paramount and Universal--are both planning a similar defection. So, can anything save the format now?
It seems pretty unlikely. If Universal and Paramount stay exclusive to HD DVD, however, it's possible the format could survive in the short term. Of course, the moment one or other of those companies leave, … Read more
The iPod accessories are hitting hot and heavy at Macworld. DLO has used the occasion to take the wraps off its HomeDock HD. As you might guess from the name, the latest iteration of DLO's HomeDock Deluxe now offers upscaled HD video output (720p or 1080i) from an HDMI port built into the dock. (For those that still haven't made the leap to HDTV, it'll still connect to standard televisions via the composite or S-Video jacks.) In addition to playing back iPod-based videos on the big screen, the HomeDock HD also provides TV-based navigation to all of … Read more
The recording DVD player. These have been popular in Europe and Asia but have fallen flat in the U.S. Most companies don't even bother to put much effort into marketing them in this country.
The same phenomenon will likely hold true for recording Blu-ray and HD DVD players.
Makato Ebata, CEO of the consumer business group at Hitachi, gave us an explanation in a recent interview. Cable TV penetration is far higher in the States than Asia or Europe. With cable, the same show can appear on a channel several times. In Europe and Japan, you need to … Read more
Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
Toshiba may have taken a huge hit recently, but the HD DVD supporter is striking back.
Barely a week after Warner Bros. announced it would no longer put out movies on the HD DVD format, of which Toshiba is a primary supporter, the company announced it is lowering the prices on all three models of next-generation DVD players.
The entry-level model, the HD-A3, now goes for $149.99, the HD-A30 for $199.99, and the HD-A35 for $299.99. That's about $150 to $200 worth of discounts on all models.
The new pricing from Toshiba is well-timed, according to … Read more
CES 2008 is over and now it's up to us to figure out which gizmos are next on our list of Must Have items. Even though I've been a life-long Canon customer, I was sorely tempted by the Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 that the company says can shoot 60 still images per second with 6MP resolution. Wow! But what if the action lasts more than a single second? And what if you want 2x the resolution so that you can show off the full capabilities of your new 150" Panasonic TH46PXZ850, with it's 4K by 2K resolution? You need a 4K camera, and that's been hard to find in a consumer-sized format. Until now.… Read more
Welcome to the HD DVD Deathwatch, Day One. TigerDirect has the Toshiba HD-A3 player with 2 movies in the box (300 and The Bourne Identity) and 5 more by mail, all for just $129.99. That's practically a Black Friday price, which begs the question: Could this be the beginning of the end for HD DVD?
As you've no doubt heard by now, Warner Bros. Entertainment has decided to put its high-def eggs in Blu-ray's basket. It remains to be seen whether HD DVD can survive this move--the format's not much good if there are no … Read more