Most of the Samsung DVD players we've tested have had something "different" about them. There were, for example, a couple of models with Nuon game-playing capability, and the last one we looked at could reproduce still pictures stored on Memory Stick flash-memory cards.
Photos by Tony Cordoza When the DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD formats were launched, critics bemoaned the start of yet another format war, knowing that when incompatible formats compete, consumers often don't buy either one. Instead, they wait to see which format is left standing.
There's no question that a DVD will look great on a widescreen HDTV, especially if your player happens to be a progressive-scan model. But with razor-sharp high-definition movies regularly showing on cable, satellite, and even broadcast TV, DVD has started to lose a bit of its luster.
It’s been more than a decade since the first TiVo digital video recorder (DVR) revolutionized the way many of us watch TV. While almost all cable companies now offer some degree of DVR capability, it’s really been the satellite and telco TV service providers — as well as TiVo itself — that have pushed DVR innovation, offering features like access to online content.
The players are in position, and the pieces are now on the board. But this is not a chess game, and the stakes are even higher than in the richest of Grand Master tournaments. This is the beginning of another video-recorder format war, but unlike the VHS vs. Beta conflict of the late 1970s and early '80s, there are three competing formats.
You may consider Jim Carrey to be many things - comedic genius, overpaid goofball - but technological futurist probably isn't one of them. However, his prediction in the 1996 movie The Cable Guy has proved to be surprisingly accurate: "The future is now!
Have you been waiting for the high-resolution audio formats, Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio, to get their acts together? Have you, like me, said, "Format war? Bah! No flippin' way am I buying two more players just for these things! And it's for major sure I'm not spending a grand or two on a new combi-player!"
Unlike almost everything else, the price of new home-entertainment gear moves only one way - down. While $99 DVD recorders bulk-stacked at the Quik-Mart are still a few years away, DVD recorders have already come down to match what a high-end VCR used to cost. Witness Pioneer's new DVR-320 and DVR-520H, with list prices of just $399 and $599, respectively.
If you've read our review of the Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player - the world's first - you know what we thought of the picture and sound quality with the first batch of Blu-ray discs. But there's a lot more to this box than what comes out of it. Here's a run-down on some key features and few details you should know about hooking it up.
Lots can happen in the A/V world over a 3-year span, but that same length of time is an eternity in the computer world, where changes take place almost daily. Any new A/V gear that you buy is likely to remain up to date for at least a few years, but it’s not unusual for a state-of-the-art computer to become a paperweight in almost no time.
A DVD player is already a terrific bargain - an inexpensive black box that can play discs full of razor-sharp images, immersive surround sound, and fascinating extras. But what if you could wed a DVD player with another popular entertainment device like, say, a TV, VCR, or game console? Well, it's already being done.