As an audio guy I'm super curious about HD DVD and Blu-ray's high-resolution audio formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio. Yes, they've been around for awhile now, but listening to the super duper formats hasn't been easy. I haven't yet heard them at home, and show demos haven't been of much help in determining the sonic advantages of the lossless formats. The potential for much better than standard Dolby and DTS sound is there, but getting there, well, I'm still waiting.Thomas J. Norton's recent Ultimate AV column described in detail … Read more
Could the end of the next-gen optical format war be on the horizon? While you wait for the shakedown, why not tune in some ambient color for your TV? Plus, organizing meetups with your 700+ Facebook friends, 800 IM contacts and your five real friends isn't an easy task, and we found one service that aims to annoy everyone equally. Lastly, we send Mark the intern out into the streets to see if New Yorkers are scared their workplace computer habits could get them fired. That and more, on today's episode of The Queue.
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We have been hearing news about the upcoming HD recorders, and now it seems that Sharp has jumped the gun with not one but nine Blu-ray models, though only for Japan. The lineup includes a top-of-the-line 1TB hard drive model and an assortment of disc-only equivalents in contrasting hues.
Collectively branded under its Aquos family, the BD-HDW20, BD-HDW15, BD-AV1 and BD-AV10 all feature dual HD tuners, DVD/CD backward-compatibility and the new Aquos Fami-Link or HDMI-CEC.
The hard drive-enabled HDW-series also supports film-centric 1080p24 HDMI for judder-free movie playback. However, this lacks 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray support, relying on the onboard … Read more
After hitting a veritable grand slam with its sale for $380 million Monday, Sling Media is back at the plate already, hoping to connect for another hit with its next Slingbox.
Still buzzing from the news of its acquisition by EchoStar, the Foster City, Calif., company is expected to release a new model of its place-shifting gadget on Thursday. This version will be called the Slingbox Solo, and its features and price fall right between the high-end Slingbox Pro and low-end Slingbox A/V, both released exactly one year ago. (Sling also confirmed that it will not be refreshing the … Read more
HD Radio looks set to be the key feature for car-stereo makers this season. This week, Sony unveiled two budget stereo head units with HD Radio compatibility. The top-of-the-line Sony CDX-GT520 ($140) and entry-level CDX-GT320 ($100) are both HD Radio-ready, but require the addition of the Sony's clunky XT-100HD HD radio tuners module ($100) to pick up HD channels. Both systems can also be used to play satellite radio and iPods (via additional modules) and generic media players through their as-standard auxiliary-input jacks.
Meanwhile, Dual is launching its own bid for the aftermarket HD Radio crowd with the launch … Read more
This story's been puttering around the blogs for the last few days, but I missed it until I saw an entry on our sister site Gamespot. It goes like this: Some U.K.-based analyst firm, Screen Digest, has issued a report saying that the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray war is destined not to have a winner--it's going to end in a stalemate. But that's not necessarily the end of the world, the report suggests.
Here in the U.K. we've long been the poor cousin to the U.S. and its dozens of high-definition TV channels, which are available over terrestrial airwaves in the case of the main networks. The highi-def party's swinging this way though, with the BBC's HD offering getting Ofcom approval and Channel 4 announcing an HD service too.
Until now, the only way to see high-def channels in the U.K. was either to subscribe to Sky HD, which is pretty expensive, or to watch BBC HD, a channel which up until now has been hanging from … Read more
The studio that brought Scarlett O'Hara, Dorothy and James Bond to the big screen is thinking smaller these days. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is set to debut a high-definition channel on DirecTV beginning this fall, according to Reuters.
Though the TV channel is a first for MGM in the U.S., the studio currently has several European channels. The content lineup will be a combination of films and original programming. Rival Hollywood studio Universal has had its own HD cable channel programmed with TV and movie content from parent company NBC Universal since 2003.
The MGM channel will be one of … Read more
We can't help but be a little skeptical, but according to a Samsung representative, the new Samsung BD-UP5000 Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player will have onboard decoding for all high-resolution audio formats following a firmware update, including DTS-HD Master Audio. This is great news for high-def disc fans, as the BD-UP5000 would be the first player we're aware of that has onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS's losslessly compressed soundtrack format. The same representative also confirmed that both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks can be output over the analog 7.1 outputs, which will … Read more
It's all go in the HD DVD camp at the moment. Still on a high from the Paramount/Dreamworks deal, we're now hearing that HD DVD will soon have a 51GB, triple-layer disc on the way. The significance of a 51GB capacity is that it exceeds the current Blu-ray maximum by 1GB.
Obviously, 1GB is nothing more than a token increase, but it's an amusing nose-thumbing by Sony's opposition. Of course, the smile might be wiped from HD DVD's face if Sony announces a 100GB disc in the near future. There's also a DVD/… Read more