Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bluray/HD-DVD Revisited

It's an Engadget evening, since not much caught my interest elsewhere today.

There's been some interesting posts on Bluray and HD-DVD.

Check out the Toshiba RD-A1 recorder. It comes with a 1TB hard drive and has Ethernet connection for the purpose of media sharing. Sounds like a Windows Media Center almost, doesn't it?

I'm not really interested in owning this sort of device, but it is notable that we've not really seen anything similar for Bluray (unless Sony actually provides the media functions in the PS3 they've promised).

However, in this article, Amazon is listing Bluray movies for a low $19.99. That's cheaper than a UMD version, and likely to bode well with consumers (if either format catches on).

Some important comments on that article:

I was at Best buy(the one in Kildeer, IL) last night and they had the Samsung player set up with a Samsung 40" LCD TV and it was playing fith element. It really didn't look that good, everything still looked very grainy.


From what I've seen playing (XXX) Its not too great of a difference. Atleast not on the 56in samsund DLP (A Great TV).


For those who insist that these new formats are even needed, but can't decide which route to go, Samsung will be coming to the rescue. A dual-format player was previously said to never happen. This was because of the nazi-attitude of the companies behind each disc-type. In reality, a dual-player could actually help both formats.

Interesting comment from the last link:

Now, physically all of our media is coming in the same basic physical package, which means there is this possiblity for supporting several standards in each piece of hardware.

In any case, putting support for two standards in the box is always going to be more expensive than putting one in the box. So in the end, what I see happening here is that neither group of standard pushers win and the customers, us, lose.


And one more from that article:

Honestly, after seeing both players running, there was no visual difference between the HDDVD and Blu-Ray discs. Plus, the Toshiba does a better job of upconverting. How many drugs would you have to take to see both players and decide"...ahhhhh..ah...I gotta have the $1000 Blu-Ray!" ?

-Sgt. Bilbo

It all sounds interesting...until I read comments such as the above. Beyond the DRM and hardware scams, if the improvement is negligible, then the formats will fail. If consumers that visit Engadget aren't that impressed with the difference then the average consumer will most likely not be impressed with HD movies either.

In my opinion, I think they just want to be impressed. Just like gamers did with the PS3 and Xbox 360.


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