Sharp introduced their first BD player for the US market, the not-unreasonably priced BD-HP20U ($549). The player boasts full 1080/24p output capability via its HDMI 1.3 output. The player also has component output if your high def set is old school.
Although they won't be at CEDIA, Amimon WHDI chipset (see my <a href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/fredmanteghian/050607Wired/" Target="new">"Tired of Being Wired"</a> blog earlier this year) is finally ready for consumption. WHDI, for the acronymly-challenged, stands for Wireless High Definition Interface. Due to the high bandwidth requirements of 1080i and doubly high requirements of 1080p, wireless transmission of high definition digital video signals has been impossible or at least laboratory grade only. Already working with Motorola, Sanyo and Pixelworks, the Israeli-based Amimon hopes to end all that.
A few weeks ago, DirecTv sent me something that wasn't wrapping paper around my bill - notification that they would be "launching more than 75 HD channels … by year end." I've already talked about the DirecTv 10 and 11 satellites (see <a href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/fredmanteghian/030406Sputnik/" target="new">"Er, no, actually, you're watching them . . . ."</a>) back in March 2006. I've had most of the big local stations in hidef now over the satellite since March 2007 (NBC, CW, CBS, and FOX, MY, but not ABC or PBS!). Add one HBO channel, TNT, HDNet Movies, Universal HD and a couple of sports stations and the existing line up of HD stations on DirecTv still adds up to one big tease.
Some of my friends, otherwise upbeat and keen journalists to the man, have started passing around the Prozac. No, it's not some general malaise, but the news we hear on the sidelines about the disparity between Blu-ray and HD DVD sales. I can't get into specifics, so let's talk hypothetically.
Ah, technology. Too bad automobiles can't keep up with home theater electronics, or we'd all be driving around in Hummers that get 200 miles to the gallon, emit pure oxygen and absorb all that heat coming off Al Gore. Sony's new receiver is the latest example of more for less. The STR-DA5200ES is feature packed, though perhaps not to the gills. And since we've segued from cars to fish, you should know now that, for the price, this receiver is better than a fair catch.
Target, a store known for its own line of overpriced Choxie chocolates (promoted with admittedly cool ads), has "struck a deal" with Sony to feature Blu-ray players on end-caps this coming holiday season. And I don't mean Labor Day. The deal is significant as much for what it doesn't say as for what it does.
A month ago, I wrote about how the HD side of the <i>Stroker Ace</i> combo disc didn't play in my brand new Toshiba XA2. Shane asked if I'd bothered to upgrade firmware levels, which, of course, I hadn't. When I did, supposedly to release 1.6, I still had a problem with the disc. I put in <i>Children of Men</i>, another combo, and that wouldn't play on the HD side either. A week ago, I ran the firmware update request again. It took a few minutes (as opposed to about 20 minutes the first time) and then, well, I forget what it did then, but my Toshiba still thinks it's at release level 1.6.
They say a camel is a horse built by committee. That's how I see the whole format war debacle. The winner will be a camel, which, by any other name, still spits like a camel. When you break things down to a component level, each format has the ingredients for a winning recipe. But it's all in the cooking.
I counted almost twenty questions in the one hour ask the editors session on HDTV. That's Geoff, Tom and Shane up there looking like Sadam's jury. The questions dealt with high definition TV, as expected, and overflowed to the high def format war, also unavoidable. Attempts to close us down before our full hour was up were, shall we say, unsuccessful.