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Old 05-15-06, 11:02 AM   #1
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HD-DVD and Blu-ray Players


Thought maybe we could get some discussion going about the latest in HD players.

What's available and what are your thoughts?



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Old 05-15-06, 11:03 AM   #2
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Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player


Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player (Available Now - $499)



HD-A1 Up-Converting HD DVD Player
The HD-A1 up-converting HD DVD player delivers outstanding resolution, bright, vivid colors, and stunning sound using the next-generation high-definition DVD technology. The HD-A1 connects via HDMI to provide 720p/1080i resolution in the native format of HD-DVD disc content. Learn about HD DVD.

Backward compatibility & up-converting
Enjoy backward-compatibility and play your collection of standard DVDs on the HD-A1. In addition, the standard-definition DVD picture resolution can be up-converted via the HDMI interface to near-HD quality, with output resolution of 720p or 1080i to match your HDTV's performance. Because the conversion takes place in the player, the signal remains free from excessive digital-to-analog conversion artifacts.

Built-in multichannel decoders
The HD-A1 employs four 32-bit floating-point DSPs to decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2ch), DTS, and DTS-HD, offering improved fidelity and sonic realism to DVD soundtracks. The DSPs are world renowned for their high accuracy and are used in many high-quality audio solutions in the home theater market.

Transfer rate
The HD-A1 disc drive has an astounding 36.55 Mbps transfer rate. By comparison, standard DVD has an average transfer rate of less than 10 Mbps, and HDTV has a rate of 24 Mbps.

Notes
Design specifications and dimensions are not final and may be subject to change. HD DVD is a new format that makes use of new technologies. Therefore, certain disc, digital connection, and other compatibility issues are possible. If you have compatibility problems, please contact customer service. To get a high-definition picture, you must use an HD DVD disc with high-definition content. DVDs that don't have high-definition content will not necessarily display in high definition. Viewing some high-definition content may require an HDMI-capable input or HDCP-capable DVI input on your display device.


Product Description
High Definition DVD video recordings are becoming available. Until now pre-recorded DVD were widescreen but not HD. The Toshiba HD-A1 is among the first to be capable of playing these at resolutions of 720p or 1080i on compatible HDTV TV monitors. HD DVD not only provides a deliverable HD media format to the home, but does so with the potential of greater performance than you have experienced with HDTV. The HD-A1 disc drive has an astounding 36.55Mb per second transfer rate. To put that in perspective, standard DVD has an average bit rate of less than 10Mbps and HDTV's maximum rate is 24Mbps. HDMI is the first industry-supported all digital Audio/video connection providing the transmission of uncompressed digital video and multichannel audio on a single cable. When matched with a compatible HDTV, this single cable connection ensures that all signals remain in their pure digital form. The HD-A1 will output HD content through the HDMI interface in the native format of the HD DVD disc content of either 720p or 1080i. It is backward compatible to virtually all DVD formats in non-HD mode CD including MP3 file CDR. Built-in multichannel decoders for a range of sound formats ensures improved fidelity and sonic realism Four 32-bit floating-point signal processors deliver a soundstage with incredible depth and detail Onboard Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2-ch), DTS and DTS-HD Decoding with 5.1 Analog Audio outputs Multi-Channel 24-Bit/192kHz audio DACs Preprogrammed remote control with TV functions centralizes remote operation Parental lock mode Other connections - 1 set of A/V outputs (composite, S-video, component video); Stereo and 5.1-channel audio out; coax and optical digital out; RJ45 Ethernet and 2 front USB Unit Size 17W x 4H x 14D


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Old 05-15-06, 11:09 AM   #3
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Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc Player


Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc Player (Available August 2006 - $1000)



Sony's First Blu-ray Disc Player
he BDP-S1 features 1080p (1920 x 1080) full HD-video output for brilliant HD imagery and upscaling of regular DVDs to 1080p output. It sports a sophisticated design and exceptional build quality with rigid beam construction, as well as finely tuned audio and video parts and circuits. The player offers HDMI output and advanced digital audio support, including MPEG-4 compression compatibility.

What Is Blu-ray?
Blu-ray is a new, high-capacity format for DVD capable of storing and playing high-definition images. Using advanced technology, a Blu-ray disc is densely layered and read by a thinner laser than conventional standard DVDs. This means that a Blu-ray disc can store over five times the amount of data that a standard DVD can.

What Is the Difference Between Blu-ray and HD DVD?
Although Blu-ray and HD DVD are both high-definition media formats that rely on blue-laser technology, there are some important differences between them. One of these is capacity. Because a Blu-ray player utilizes a shorter wavelength blue-violet laser than an HD DVD laser, it can focus even more closely to read more densely packed data. This allows a Blu-ray disc to have higher capacity. A standard HD DVD can hold 15 GB per side (30 GB on a dual-layer disc), whereas Blu-ray can hold 25 GB per side (50 GB on a dual-layer disc). More capacity per disc could mean more extra features included with movies, higer quality audio, or more interactivity wityh titles should the studios choose to incorperate these features on the discs they release.

Movie studios supporting the Blu-ray format include: Sony Pictures/MGM; Disney; 20th Century Fox; Paramount; Warner Brothers; Lions Gate Home Entertainment; and Eagle Rock Entertainment. These companies combined for 90% of the DVDs sold in 2005.

Why Is Blu-ray Better Than Standard DVD?
If you've ever seen a high-definition TV broadcast on an HDTV, then you know that an HD picture is more vivid and incredibly sharp. This stunning level of detail and resolution is impossible to reproduce on a standard DVD, which has a maximum resolution of 480p (or 480 lines). In contrast, Blu-ray has the capacity to store all of the data needed for high-definition video, so it is able to reproduce the high-definition images at a resolution of 1080p. The result is that Blu-ray brings your favorite home entertainment to life with more clarity and higher quality than ever before.

In addition, the extra disc space means there's room for significantly more content and special features. When you buy a DVD movie, you're usually not just getting the movie--you're also getting the extra features that come along with it, like director's commentary and making-of documentaries (depending on the disc, of course). With Blu-ray, there's the possibility for previously unheard-of special features. Imagine, for example, interactive content, like a director on the screen explaining the shooting of a scene while the scene is playing in the background.

Thanks to the greatly enhanced audio/video quality and additional content capability, Blu-ray is a huge step forward in the DVD viewing experience.

What Does This Mean for My Current DVD Collection?
The Blu-ray players coming out will be backward compatible and should play your current discs. The bottom line is, you can probably upgrade to a Blu-ray player and still enjoy your current DVDs. But you should double-check the particular model you are considering, just to be certain that it will play standard DVDs.


Product Description
Here's the perfect partner to HDTV and home-theater. Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a next-generation optical disc format. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. This extra capacity combined with the use of advanced video and audio codecs will offer an unprecedented HD experience. The BD player is designed to deliver 1920 x 1080p output, the highest HD signal output currently available through an HDMI connection. The player supports various high quality video codecs, including MPEG2, MPEG4-AVC and VC1. Analog component output for 1080i has been included so people who own HD-capable televisions without HDMI can enjoy the Blu-ray Disc experience. The new BDP-S1 model is compatible with standard DVDs with the added feature of 1080p upscaling through HDMI, which gives new life to existing DVDs libraries. Enhancing the BD entertainment experience further, BD-Java interactivity has been incorporated, allowing for the design of advanced interactive features. The BDP-S1 player offers uncompressed multi-channel linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI, delivering optimum surround sound to an HDMI- equipped receiver. The player also has optical digital audio out and 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing receivers. In addition, the unit has a separate audio circuit board, finely tuned audio components, rigid beam chassis construction, drive brackets and off center insulator feet. This robust BD-ROM/R/RE player supports DVD playback from DVD/DVD+R/+RW encoded discs, as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD+R/+RW discs. Pre-recorded BD are expected to be released in June 2006.


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Old 05-15-06, 11:52 AM   #4
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Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player


Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player (Available Now - $799)



HD-XA1 Up-Converting HD DVD Player
The HD-XA1 up-converting HD-DVD player delivers outstanding resolution, bright, vivid colors, and stunning sound using the next-generation high-definition DVD technology. The HD-XA1 connects via HDMI to provide 720p/1080i resolution in the native format of HD-DVD disc content. Learn about HD DVD.

HD That Rivals HDTV
The HD-XA1 disc drive has an astounding 36.55 Mbps transfer rate. By comparison, standard DVD has an average transfer rate of less than 10 Mbps, and HDTV has a rate of 24 Mbps. The more bits that can be allocated to video, the more detailed the resulting picture can be.

Pure Digital Connection
The HD-XA1 connects to your HDTV with the latest advancement in audio/video equipment interfaces, namely the high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI). HDMI is the first industry-supported all digital audio/video connection providing the transmission of uncompressed digital video and multichannel audio on a single cable. The HD-XA1 will output HD content through the HDMI interface in the native format of the HD DVD disc content of 720p or 1080i.

Standard DVDs Taken to an HD Level
Enjoy backward-compatibility and play your collection of standard DVDs on the HD-XA1. In addition, the standard-definition DVD picture resolution can be up-converted via the HDMI interface to near-HD quality, with output resolution of 720p or 1080i to match your HDTV's performance. Because the conversion takes place in the player, the signal remains free from excessive digital-to-analog conversion artifacts.

Processing Prowess
The HD-XA1 has far-from-ordinary built-in multichannel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2 ch.) and DTS. The HD-XA1 employs four high-performance DSP engines to decode the multichannel streams of the wide array of audio formats. These 32-bit floating-point DSPs are world renowned for their high accuracy and are used in many high-quality audio solutions in the home theater market. The DSPs handle many of the required conversion processes, as well as the extensive on-board multichannel signal management for the HD-XA1, including user-selectable crossovers, delay management, and channel level management. After decoding and signal management, the digital audio is converted to analog by way of 24 bit/192kHz audio DAC and output as 5.1 analog audio.

Digital Audio Output Options
The HD-XA1 can pass digital information to a surround-sound processor/receiver with S/PDIF or HDMI. For Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, the bitstream will be passed through both connections, just as in a standard DVD player with the same interfaces. Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD soundtracks will be converted to a standard bitstream Dolby Digital) output through S/PDIF or HDMI. Additionally, all of the HD-XA1's supported audio formats can be decoded to PCM and output via HDMI in stereo or 5.1 multichannel, depending on the original soundtrack.


Product Description
The HD-XA1 up-converting HD DVD player delivers outstanding resolution, bright, vivid colors, and stunning sound using the next-generation high-definition DVD technology. The HD-XA1 connects via HDMI to provide 720p/1080i resolution in the native format of HD DVD disc content. Enjoy backward-compatibility and play your collection of standard DVDs on the HD-XA1. In addition, the standard-definition DVD picture resolution can be up-converted via the HDMI interface to near-HD quality, with output resolution of 720p or 1080i to match your HDTV's performance. Because the conversion takes place in the player, the signal remains free from excessive digital-to-analog conversion artifacts. Built-in multichannel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2ch), DTS, and DTS-HD bring improved fidelity and sonic realism to DVD soundtracks. Four 32-bit floating-point DSPs decode multichannel streams in a wide array of audio formats. These DSPs are world renowned for their high accuracy and are used in many high-quality audio solutions in the home theater market. The HD-XA1 uses a high-performance processor to create stunning graphics. Three user-selectable choices allow you to customize the look and feel of your HD-DVD interactivity.


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Old 05-15-06, 12:02 PM   #5
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Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-Ray Disc Player


Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-Ray Disc Player (Available June 2006 - $1000)



Product Description
The BD-P1000 Blu-ray disc (BD) player lets consumers take full advantage of high-definition displays, playing content at native 720p or 1080i video resolutions.The BD player includes a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) output, an industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface on a single cable, allowing users to easily connect the Blu-ray player to their existing home televisions. It will also decode standard multi-channel audio.Samsung's unique technology - one pickup with two lenses - allows it to also play standard DVDs and CDs in addition to Blu-ray discs while allowing for more cost-effective production. The supported DVD formats include DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R. Additional features of the BD-P1000 include memory card reader, full audio format support, pop-up and always-on menu options; a full color high-definition animated button; and improved bitmap and text subtitles.The increased storage capacity of Blu-ray discs allows the Samsung BD player to offer an astounding 25 GB of content on a single-sided disc (50 GB per dual layer) - nearly six times the capacity of traditional DVDs and enough space for two hours of high-definition movies or recorded content.


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Old 06-07-06, 11:55 PM   #6

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Re: HD-DVD and Blu-ray Players


Saw both in action this past weekend at HE2006 both looked fantastic in comparison to DVD but I have a feeling that the A/B test of Blu-Ray vs SD-DVD were misleading unless they purely ment an unfitlered SD-DVD with no MPEG2 CODEC enhancements for mosaic pixelation and edge enhancing.

BTW here is a pic of what I saw first hand and managed to pause the movie in the demo room.

~Bob

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Old 06-08-06, 02:24 AM   #7
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Re: HD-DVD and Blu-ray Players


I want HD DVD so bad I can't stand it... but I hate to spend money on the first generation and it not even be a combo player... uggghhhh!

That's cool that you got to see both at the same time.



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Old 06-08-06, 11:56 AM   #8

Bob
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Re: HD-DVD and Blu-ray Players


Sonnie I am working on an article about my trip to HE and some of the things I heard and saw. I should have it ready by end of Sunday, if you have some way of hosting the pics it would make it alot easier.

~Bob


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