We thought we scored a pretty banging deal when Wal-Mart started selling Toshiba HD-DVD players for $98, and truth be told, we're still a little ticked at having plunked down a C-note only to watch the format war shift in Blu-ray's favor not long after. We're slowly getting over it, especially now that Blu-ray player pricing has dropped into budget territory.
For two pennies shy of $70 (before tax), you can walk home from Target with a Philips BDP5010 Blu-ray unit under your arm and kick that HD-DVD player to the curb. Pretty remarkable price, considering Target.com has it listed for twice as much at $140, and you'll have to wait 2-4 weeks for it to ship.
Given the online price, we're a little bit skeptical of the in-store pricing, but if you do manage to snag one, you'll be getting a Blu-ray player with an SD card slot, BD Live, and DivX support. Not a bad deal, and we can remember paying a good chunk more for our 6-head VCR back in the day.
According to a recent poll very few Americans are onboard with high definition media players, given that only 11 percent own an HD-DVD player, while 7 percent own a Blu-ray player.
While these numbers may not seem that high, they are up notably from 2008, where only 6 percent had HD-DVD players, and 4 percent had Blu-ray players. And, while there are a good amount of people with these players, many are still buying standard definition discs to watch on them, with only one high definition disc being bought per six standard definition discs.
Interesting results, especially given that Blu-ray was declared the winner of the format war sometime last year.
If you’d like to see the whole poll, be sure to check it out here (clicking the link will download a PDF).
While HD-DVD fell to Blu-ray years ago, it looks like Kinetic is still looking to push an HTPC that supports the format.
Though, that may be a bit unfair. The Kinetic HD:Hub has a drive in it that supports not only HD-DVD, but Blu-ray as well (keep in mind though, if you’re looking to pick up some leftover HD-DVD movies at liquidation prices, you’ll actually have the means to watch them!). And under the hood of this beast you’ll find an Intel Core i7 processor, up to four TV tuners, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, and a creative X-Fi Titanium sound card.
Now that Blu-ray rules the high definition roost, many are left wondering what Toshiba's next move be in the wake of HD-DVD's death, and a new logo has kicked speculation into high gear. The Toshiba-chaired DVD Forum recently approved the DVD Download/DL logo, a new spec likely to show up in Toshiba's next batch of super upscaling DVD players. But what exactly is this new feature? According to wireless consumer advocate Christopher Rice, DVD Download/DL equipped players will enable transmissions of HD-quality video from the web, so not only will your standard videos look better when upscaled, but you'll have the option to download the DVD in HD.
If true, one has to wonder why Toshiba would go down this road again and wage another war with Blu-ray, but is it really such a big gamble? Despite winning the high definition format war, Blu-ray sales have been a bust among consumers, and buyers are realizing that upscaled DVDs look pretty darn good on a HDTV. And because the new players won't introduce a new optical format, movie studios won't be able to render the player obsolete as easily as they did with HD-DVD. Sounds promising in theory, but let's see how it shakes out in practice.
CES is over, and what better way to celebrate then this, the big 50th
edition of the Maximum PC Pocdast! This week, Dave, Will, Gordon, and
Jeremy discuss all the awesome stuff they saw (or heard other saw) at
the big trade show, Will's huge rig-building victory at CES, and what
the heck happened during last week's podcast! We don't even answer any
tech questions this week, it's that news-heavy of a show!