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BLU-RAY PLAYER REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 17, 2007 0 comments
We've almost become jaded with the rapid rollover of high-definition disc players. Some manufacturers are now on third generation models, and ready to launch a fourth generation at the January 2008 CES. But even with that, Panasonic surprised everyone several weeks ago with the announcement of the DMP-BD30, its second-generation design.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 08, 2007 0 comments

The format war rages on. With the current stalemate between Blu-ray and HD DVD, and most studios exclusive to either one format or the other, the only options for the HD enthusiast would seem to be to sit on the fence, take sides, or pull out the old checkbook and buy two players.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 08, 2007 0 comments
With the current stalemate between Blu-ray and HD DVD, and most studios exclusive to either one format or the other, the only options for the HD enthusiast would seem to be to sit on the fence, take sides, or pull out the old checkbook and buy two players.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 26, 2007 0 comments

We've almost become jaded with the rapid rollover of high-definition disc players. Some manufacturers are now on third generation models, and ready to launch a fourth generation at the January 2008 CES. But even with that, Panasonic surprised everyone a few short weeks ago with the announcement of the DMP-BD30, its second-generation design. While a number of significant mid-year revisions to the DMP-BD10, the company's first player, resulted in its re-badging as the DMP-BD10AK, it remained essentially the same design throughout production.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 05, 2007 Published: Oct 05, 2007 0 comments
3 More BD 4 U: Three second-gen Blu-ray players.

Hot on the heels of the first, and almost universally lame, generation of Blu-ray players, here's generation II. In the case of two of these players, the big news is a substantial reduction in price. Both are less than half of their predecessors. In the case of the other, the news is its fancy HQV processing, the same that's found in the excellent Toshiba HD-XA2. I have to admit, I get a certain amount of perverse amusement mentioning HD DVD in a Blu-ray review (and vice-versa).

HT Staff Posted: Sep 19, 2007 0 comments
Hi, I'm Troy McClure, and you might remember me from such educational films as. . . Sorry couldn't help myself. The Simpsons are on the big screen as I write this, and obviously that's gotten to my head. But seriously folks, the reaction to a recent Blog I wrote on next-gen interactivity brought to my attention that now is a very good time to catch you up on what is going on with Blu-ray Disc interactivity and how the players currently on the market and about to be on the market will (and won't) handle these features.
Posted: Sep 16, 2007 0 comments

I know that technology moves fast these days, but we can hardly get a review of a Blu-ray Disc player out the door before a new model that supersedes it is released. And indeed, I received this Pioneer Elite BDP-94HD in August, just ahead of the rumors that a new player from Pioneer would be making its debut at CEDIA 2007 in early September.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 23, 2007 0 comments
Power Processing comes to Blu-ray

While the in the end, Samsung's first foray into the Blu-ray world wasn't the major culprit in said format's poor picture quality (turns out most of the early discs just didn't look very good), it was still rather lackluster. It didn't upconvert DVDs very well, it didn't offer a 1080p/24 output, and it didn't decode any of the new audio formats. With its second-generation offering, Samsung has fixed most of these shortcomings. Most.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 22, 2007 0 comments

Samsung was first to market with a Blu-ray player in mid 2006: the <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/706dsamsungbd/">BD-P1000</A>. While it's no secret that that player drew serious criticisms from us, and others, it's also true that the first batch of Blu-ray titles did it no favors.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments

The price of machines that will play Blu-ray or HD DVD high-definition discs is coming down. The drop is faster on the HD DVD side of the battle lines, but at $499 Sony's new BDP-S300 is half the price of its (still available) first generation <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/1206sonybdps1/">BDP-S1</A>.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments
The $499 BDP-S300 is an important product, giving Blu-ray some much needed traction in the affordable player category. Combine that with recent news from rental powerhouse Blockbuster that it is expanding Blu-ray titles in its stores (at the expense of HD DVD in most cases), and the BDP-S300 looks like a no-brainer.
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 09, 2007 Published: Jun 09, 2007 0 comments
Two that do one; one that does two.

LG shocked the consumer electronics world at CES when they announced that, not only were they coming out with a player that would play Blu-ray and HD DVD, but it would be shipping in less than a month. True to their word, it did, and I got one in to try out. Around the same time, Toshiba released a pair of second-generation HD DVD players. The model I look at here, the HD-XA2, is notable as it is the first HD DVD player to output 1080p. The Blu-ray camp (seeing as they had just released most of their players) had no such exciting newness beyond what you read about in our April issue. So, we got in the Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray player, which is unique in that it doesn't seem to be a clone of any other players (which you can't say for many of the BD players out there). Where should your money go (if at all)? Just keep reading.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 18, 2007 Published: Apr 18, 2007 0 comments
No, for real this time.

After a rocky start with the flawed-out-of-the-box Samsung BD-P1000 player, Blu-ray finally hit the stores for real at the turn of the year with several new players. These range from the top-of-the-line Pioneer BDP-HD1 ($1,500), to Philips' the more sedate BDP9000 ($1,000), to the Sony PlayStation 3 ($499 or $599).

Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 29, 2007 0 comments
Shoot the robot dog. This is an HT gamer's new best friend.

It's just so beautiful. I realize that's a pretty shallow initial evaluation of Sony's much-hyped super-fun-happy-smile machine, the PlayStation 3. But the lines are so bold, the shape is so commanding, and it's all just so. . .shiny. Of course, it's what's inside that counts, and, in this case, that would be the imposing new Cell Broadband Engine, which Sony developed in collaboration with IBM and Toshiba. The Cell engine features a mind-blowing eight processors working in parallel—a main CPU, plus seven Synergistic Processing Units. It's 40 times as powerful as the PlayStation 2's processor, performing 208 billion floating-point calculations per second. This translates to highly detailed, highly interactive environments, complex effects, and bigger battles with a greater number of enemies. Backing this is the RSX graphics-processing unit, which is capable of 4X antialiasing. This can be a real boon in the large-format high-definition universe. The games themselves spin on the PS3's Blu-ray drive and arrive on high-capacity BD-ROM discs.

Posted: Mar 17, 2007 0 comments

Going back to those heady days of wine, roses and Laserdiscs, the general public, if aware at all of LD's existence, would yawn and claim to be interested when a recordable LD is introduced. Of course that never happened and LD is currently residing in the "where are they now" of consumer electronica.

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