Best Selling HDTVs

May 19, 2008

Sharp Launches 3 New Aquos Blu-ray Players With DVR/HDD

blu.jpgSharp's three new Aquos Blu-ray models, the BD-HDW22, BD-HDW25 and BD-HDW30 combine DVR recording with Blu-ray playback recording MPEG4 AVC/H.264 in either 4.8, 8, or 12 Mbps bitrates. The models feature 300 GB, 500 MB, and 1 TB of HDD space respectively, each with a couple of digital terrestrial tuners and one analog terrestrial tuner and an Eco-mode that reduces power consumption by 70% when on standby. No prices have been announced yet, but look for a Japanese release date of July 1.

Via Sharp

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May 17, 2008

Marantz BD8002 Blu-ray Player Hits Japan In June, Is Damn Expensive

Marantz_BD8002_1.jpgRemember that high-end Marantz Blu-ray player we told you about back during CES in Vegas? You know, the Marantz BD8002 with a second quarter expected launch date. It'll officially be hitting Japanese shelves in June. The 1080/24p Blu-ray with a 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta chipset and a 7.1 channel sound output will cost 336, 000 Yen. Now get this, that's about $3208 in the United States. Talk about paying a premium, eh!

Via Akihabara News

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May 13, 2008

Profile 1.1 Blu-ray Player Breaks $300 Price Point

5-12-08-nb500-wal-mart.jpgLooks like Sony was right when they said we could expect sub-$300 Blu-ray players this year, but we thought we meant Blu-ray players made by Sony. Funai's NB500 Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player has been spotted in Wal-mart, boxed up under the Magnavox and Sylvania names, for $298. While that does sound like a ripoff given it's not a Sony and all, we have to cut it some slack given Blu-ray's refusal to cut prices even though they're the only HD disc format on the market. We're just wondering what the playback quality is like.

Via Engadget HD

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May 12, 2008

Pioneer's BDP-51FD And BDP-05FD Blu-ray Players Unimpressive In Features And Price

Pioneer_Blu-ray_Disc_Player_BDP-51FD_FRONT_300_540x274.jpgPioneer's announced a couple of new Blu-ray players to go along with the new KURO plasmas, projector and monitors--and for once you'll have to pay less than a grand to get your hands on one. The BDP-51FD is a Profile 1.1 model with 24 frames/second Blu-ray playback, Dolby True HD decoding and DTS-HD Master Audio with a future firmware update, 7.1 analog outputs and Wolfson digital audio converters. It'll also output both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD in bit stream format. It'll be available sometime this summer for $600, less than a grand but still a little pricey given the specs.
The Elite BDP-05FD is supposedly the "higher-end" of the two models but really doesn't offer much more in terms of its features. Extra features include gold-plated connectors, an aluminum front panel, touch-sensitive buttons, and a 2 year warranty. And that'll cost you an extra $200, because the BDP-05FD will have an $800 sticker when it hits stores this summer. $200 for a better looking Blu-ray player? I don't see any specs that would have any influence on Blu-ray playback quality. Take a look at the pics and tell me if you'd pay the extra $200!


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May 11, 2008

Tips For Buying A Computer Blu-ray Drive (BD-ROM)

pioneer.jpgWhen it comes to standalone Blu-ray players, we recommend buying a Playstation 3 at the moment. Until prices come down, you mine as well take full advantage of the multimedia superpowers of the PS3 for the same price that'll buy you standalone Blu-ray playback. But what about for you HTPC types that would rather watch a movie on your monitor than your HDTV? Now that Blu-ray has won the format war, Blu-ray drives are starting to hit the market.

Pure playback devices are cheap, starting at about $130. But there are a few things you need to be aware of. First off, Blu-ray isn't the best way to back up your computer data. Blank discs are just plain expensive; you're better off springing for an external hard drive at the moment. If you have anything buy the newest computer technology on the market, there is a chance a Blu-ray drive will be incompatible with your graphics card and your monitor may not have proper inputs. And if you do have a newer computer, make sure your monitor is at least 24-inches, or Blu-ray's excellent picture won't display too well on your screen.

In the end, HTPC fan or not, the best Blu-ray solution right now is still the PS3.

Via Earth Times

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May 8, 2008 Blu-ray Opens Up BDLive API To Developers will be launched by Sun Microsystems and Related Content Database, and while supplies last you'll be able to get a free BDLive developer disc full of sample code, available API's, and a sharing feature to share new applications with other BDLive users. The whole point of the website is to offer network structure and software to allow developers to create new BDLive features in order to expand on the new interactive feature-set available on the newest Blu-ray players and discs. I must say that this is great. Who would have thought a virtual open source home theater enabled by manufacturers basically revealing their secrets would ever happen? Not me, that's for sure.

Via Bluray Stats

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May 7, 2008

Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray Player Gets BD-Live, $700 Price Tag

Panasonic_BD50(2).jpgPanasonic's DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player, first announced at CES 2008, is finally nearing its release date and a few lucky people had the chance to see it demoed yesterday. Extremely similar to its predecessor, the DMP-BD30, the new Blu-ray player from Panny has one major difference. It has BD-Live. Yes that's right, we've been waiting for a while now, but finally we'll have a Blu-ray player that can handle BD-Live discs. BD-Live if you remember, allows all kinds of interactive features including multiplayer games on the internet, and trailers and other extra features that can be downloaded and stored on your computer.

The Panasonic DMP-BD50 also allows decoding of Dolby HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, something the DMP-BD30 can't do. This means you'll have greater control over audio playback, so when you do things like use the picture-in-picture feature, you can choose which picture will have the emphasized sound. Other added features include 24p playback and standard DVD upconversion. Interestingly, the DMP-BD50 doesn't have the 1GB of internal storage required for BD-Live. Instead you'll be forced to use your own SD card to make up for its lack of memory, though Panasonic doesn't seem sure exactly what SD card types will be the best to use.

So how much will you pay for the new and improved Panasonic BD-Live Blu-ray player? Try $700. In my humble opinion, I still think the best Blu-ray deal around, BD-Live or no BD-Live is the Playstation 3. But in case you want to pay the $700, the shipping date remains "late spring".

Via PC World

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April 28, 2008

Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player Set For Release Along With HT-BD2F Home Theater In A Box?

Samsung_Blu_Ray_004.jpgIt looks like the Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player has finally been released, along with another home theater offering. This announcement has us a little confused though given just last week Samsung announced a delay in the release, pushing it back to June. The BD-P1500 offers 1080p resolution, Blu-ray disc, DVD, and CD play back, Bonus View allowing picture-in-picture viewing, bookmarking, USB-enabled firmware updates, and BD Live interactive features.

The new home theater, Samsung's HT-BD2F features 5.1-channel sound and support for a variety of audio codecs including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. Samsung's initial home-theater-in-a-box release, the HT-BD2 carried almost identical features but had a 7.1-channel surround sound system. As a result, the new release will feature a lower price.

Along with the announcement of the new product releases, Samsung also gave us a glimpse into their overall Blu-ray strategy. A leader in Blu-ray product development, Samsung predicts the Blu-ray market will achieve an average annual growth of 80% through 2012. By then the company expects 51 million Blu-ray units will sell per year, well above the expected 5 million this year, which is already a three-fold increase from last year. The company expects its own sales to increase to W400 billion (Korean Won) this year and surpass W1 trillion by 2010, and intends to be the market leader.

Samsung is also working hard to allow for mobile product compatibility with its Blu-ray offerings (such as camcorder and digital camera plug-ins) as well media streaming options bringing the best of the web to your HDTV.

Via Akihabara News

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April 24, 2008

Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player Faces Delays With BD Live Implementation

Samsung_BD-P1500_BluRay_1(2).jpgThe Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player, announced back at CES in January, is facing a delayed launch thanks to some BD Live implementation issues. Originally slated for a May release, the BD-P1500 now won't hit shelves until June, but with full BD Live interactive capabilities.

Tentatively priced at $399 in January, the price is now listed as TBD, making us wonder if the 4th-generation Blu-ray player might break the $400 mark. With features such as 1080p playback, standard DVD upscaling, support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TruHD and a future update to DTS-HD, we wouldn't doubt a price increase. Plenty of connections are also incorporated including HDMI 1.3, component and S-video inputs as well as a couple of audio outputs and a USB port for firmware updates.

Via SlashGear

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April 19, 2008

Blu-ray Disc And PS3 Sales Skyrocket After HD DVD's Demise

blu_ray_logo_400.jpgEver since Blu-ray put HD DVD in an early grave, sales of both Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray drive-equipped Playstation 3 game consoles have absolutely skyrocketed. PS3 console sales were up 100% in March with 257, 120 units sold and Blu-ray disc sales have shot to the moon, increasing 351% in the first quarter of 2008. In fact, the week ending March 23 was Blu-ray's second best week ever and 2008 sales are expected to be in the range of $800 million to $1 billion. That's two to three times the total 2007 sales number of $300 million.

It'll be interesting to see how Blu-ray's BD Live feature affects PS3 sales numbers as more of the interactive Blu-ray discs are released, especially with over 3.7 million Playstation Network accounts already in use in North America. While the format war's end may not have done a whole lot for standalone Blu-ray player sales, it could have inadvertently made 2008 a hot year for the previously struggling Playstation 3.

Via Hollywood In Hi-Def

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