Best Selling HDTVs

July 14, 2009

Blockbuster OnDemand available through 2009 Samsung home theater hardware

blockbuster-ondemand.jpgI've long been calling for the death of Blockbuster, big cynic that I am and all. But a partnership announced today with Samsung is probably the best thing that's happened to the former video rental bigwig in a long time. And it could be a big step in proving my long-standing prediction wrong.

Blockbuster OnDemand, the company's streaming video service, will be integrated into Samsung's home theater products by this fall. As part of the agreement, Blockbuster OnDemand will be available through all 2009 Samsung HDTVs coming this fall, and have preferred placement on Samsung Blu-ray players.

Furthermore, Samsung Blu-ray products will be sold in Blockbuster's bricks-and-mortar stores as well as through Blockbuster online.

Blockbuster OnDemand allows users to rent or buy movies directly from Samsung products. It can be managed directly from the HDTV using nothing more than a remote. No PC integration or management is needed.

For those of you who have already bought early 2009 models, a firmware update will allow you to access Blockbuster OnDemand on Samsung LCDs and plasmas 650 and above, and LED HDTVs 7000 and above.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 10, 2009

Walmart outs a $98 Magnavox Blu-ray player

magnavox-nb530mgx-blu-ray-player.jpgWalmart has a history of carrying cheapie Blu-ray players and this strategy has pushed the retailer to be the number two seller in the United States behind Best Buy. The Blu-ray players Walmart sells aren't the best on the market: often they're second-tier models from makers like Magnavox and don't tend tend to have the interactive features of Profile 2.0 models. But a cheap Blu-ray player is a cheap Blu-ray player.

Walmart's latest deal is an in-store $98 price tag on the Magnavox NB530MGX, cut back from a previous price of $168. It's only Profile 1.1 so I mentioned above you won't have access to the BD Live interactive disc features. But I'm guessing people will flock to a sub-$100 player anyways. After all, it is an acceptably mainstream price for what amounts to still-nascent technology.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 8, 2009

Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray - More Info

oppobdp83.jpgI'm still totally against paying $500 for a Blu-ray player, but if you are willing to pay that much, Oppo's BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player is finally available to everyone and their mother. Yep, it is pretty feature rich: BD-Live, 7.1 channel surround sound, VRS de-interlacing, DVD-audio and SACD playback. But $500?

From High Def Digest: Supporting a huge range of optical disc formats including SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD Up-Conversion, MKV, HDCD, and more in addition to Blu-Ray support, the BDP-83 is truly a universal player. Boasting Anchor Bay's VRS technology to ensure the finest picture quality and a full 1080p, 60hz output, Oppo has their sights set high, and the individual analog 7.1 outputs send a rich Dolby TrueHD signal out to speakers.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player finally, finally available

oppobdp83.jpgI'm still totally against paying $500 for a Blu-ray player, but if you are willing to pay that much, Oppo's BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray player is finally available to everyone and their mother. Yep, it is pretty feature rich: BD-Live, 7.1 channel surround sound, VRS de-interlacing, DVD-audio and SACD playback. But $500?

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 21, 2009

HD DVD player ownership continues growth in the United States: Harris Interactive

hdtv-ownership.jpgA recent online poll conducted in April by research firm Harris Interactive has revealed some home theater-related oddities. Notably, that sales of HD DVD players in 2009 are up by roughly the same amount as the high-def format war winner Blu-ray. 11% of Americans own an HD DVD player in 2009 compared to only 6% in 2008. Surprisingly only 7% of Americans own a Blu-ray player in 2009 compared to 4% in 2008. If you factor in the 9% of Americans that now own a Playstation 3 and 3% that own an HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, the two HD formats are still close to even. Moreover, the survey indicates that interest in Blu-ray isn't going to pick up anytime soon--unless prices come way down. Only 7% of non-Blu-ray owners reported an intent to purchase a Blu-ray player in the next year.

HDTV ownership on the other hand continues to move skyward--47% of Americans now claim to own an HDTV compared to only 35% in May 2008.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2009

PopcornHour C200 media streamer does Blu-ray

popcornhour_c200.jpgPopcornHour has announced its latest media streamer, the C200, that will ship this July. It's quite the improvement from the company's previous models, this time adding a drive bay for a Blu-ray drive, DVD or a hard disk drive. Pushed by a 667 MHz Sigma SMP8643 processor, the C200 supports more than 30 audio and video codecs as well as a variety of video partner sites such as CNN, CBS and Youtube. Some other new features include a wireless RF remote, a gigabit Ethernet connection, AVCHD support and plenty of connection options. The latter include HDMI 1.3, dual SATA connectors, four USB 2.0, component, composite, s-video and a miniPCI card slot designed for an 802.11 draft-n Wi-Fi card. As I mentioned above, the PopcornHour C200 is shipping in July for $299.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 16, 2009

Insignia NS-2BRDVD Blu-ray player $129.99 shipped

Insignia_Blu-ray_player.jpgPaying $129.99 for a Blu-ray player is an acceptable proposition. It's the type of price point needed for mainstream Blu-ray adoption. Best Buy is currently selling the Insignia NS-2BRDVD Blu-ray player for $129.99 shipped, meaning you can order it online and have it delivered to you. Sure, it's not a Profile 2.0 player (it's Profile 1.1) and it doesn't stream Netflix movies or anything. But for a penny under $130 it does feature 1080p output and upconversion, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD audio, and a one year warranty. You'll be on your own for the HDMI cables as well but they don't cost too much if you look around.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 9, 2009

Harman Kardon's first Blu-ray player shipping in the United States this month

harmanbdp1.jpgHarman Kardon today announced its BDP-1 Blu-ray player would be shipping in the United States this month. The company's first Blu-ray player, the BDP-1 is a Profile 2.0 player enabling it to access extra movie content via an Ethernet connection. It also will upconvert standard definition DVDs to 1080p resolution, support JPEG and MP3 playback from discs or USB sticks, and has an RJ-45 slot. All of the newest high definition audio codecs are also supported included Dolby TrueHD, DTS and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as Dolby Digital, LPCM and WMA files. When it ships later this month, the Harman Kardon BDP-1 Blu-ray player will carry a suggested retail price of $499. A bit pricey in my opinion.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 5, 2009

Pioneer's BDP-23FD, BDP-320 and BDP-120 now available in the United States

2346209cPioneer_Elite_BDP-23FD_Blu-ray_Disc_Player_en.jpgWe first saw Pioneer's 2009 Blu-ray family at CES in January. Then we received some indication of pricing and an early release for Japan. Finally, after quite the wait, Pioneer's BDP-23FD, BDP-320 and BDP-120 Blu-ray players are available in the United States.

All three models are highly functional and Profile 2.0-compatible, differing only in the finer details. For instance, while the BDP-320 and BDP-23FD sport built-in flash memory, the BDP-120 instead includes a separate 1 GB SanDisk flash drive. The BDP-23FD or Elite BDP-23FD is the top-end of the three and includes features for custom installs. KURO Link Picture Mode and Precision Quartz Lock System Multi (PQLS) are two features unique to the Elite model, added so that Blu-ray playback would sync nicely with Pioneer A/V receivers and KURO flat panels.

All three players are now available. The BDP-23FD, BDP-320 and BDP-120 cost $599, $399 and $299, respectively.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 2, 2009

BeoVision 7 LCD HDTV upgraded to include built-in Blu-ray player

bluray2.jpgIt's been a couple of years since high-end HDTV maker Bang & Olufsen released the 40-inch BeoVision 7 LCD HDTV. But despite the fact the company has announced the BeoVision 8 this year, it decided to give the 7 series an upgrade anyway. Scrapped is the DVD optical drive, replaced instead by an integrated BD Live Blu-ray player. Picture frame rate has been upped to 120 Hz from 60 Hz reducing motion blur, and buyers will have the choice of two loudspeakers: either the BeoLab 7-2 stereo speaker or the BeoLab 7-2 center speaker unit with Acoustic Lens Technology. Also included with the updated home theater package is the Beo5 remote control, enabling turn-and-tilt control of the 40-inch LCD panel and control of automated home systems such as lighting and outdoor pool covers. Unfortunately the price of the BeoVision 7-40 remains about the same sporting an MSRP of $13500 with the included center loudspeaker. Got the cash? You'll be able to pick up the integrated Blu-ray BeoVision 7 this month at all Bang & Olufsen retail locations.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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