Best Selling HDTVs

June 1, 2009

Panasonic DMP-B15, world's first portable Blu-ray player, gets priced

dmpb15.jpgPanasonic has announced today the upcoming availability of the DMP-B15, the world's first portable Blu-ray player. The BD Live Blu-ray unit sports a 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD display along with many of the features inherent in Panasonic's standalone players. 1080p resolution is enabled by PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus technology, and the DMP-B15 also has Viera Cast internet accessibility so users have access to Amazon video on demand content, YouTube, Google Picasa photos, Bloomberg news and weather reports. The unit doesn't have a particularly great battery life--only 2.5 hours--but it does have an SD card slot and the ability to connect to an HDTV via HDMI for a standalone experience.

Panasonic will be shipping the DMP-B15 portable Blu-ray player this month for a rather extravagant $799.95. Guess you'll have to pay for portability. Not so sure portability is worth the extra $500 or $600 you'll pay if you opt for portable over standalone.

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May 31, 2009

Sony BDP-CX700ES Blu-ray changer holds 400 discs

bluray-400-discs.jpgNow that standalone Blu-ray player prices are slowly coming down, the Sony's of the world have to roll out more expensive products to cushion those profit margins. You would think that expensive is a word that doesn't mix with our current economic conditions but sales of HDTVs in the last quarter have proven otherwise. But what about a Blu-ray 'player' that costs as much as a 46- or 50-inch flatscreen?

Sony doesn't seem to worried about it, announcing last week the BDP-CX7000ES Blu-ray changer. The impressive machine will pack in 400 discs or 20 terabytes of HD video content. Of course, for $2250 which is how much the disc changer will cost, only those who own a Blu-ray disc collection amounting to 400 discs will be able to afford it. No word on an official release date at the moment.

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May 22, 2009

Sharp outs 20-inch LC-20DX1 with built-in Blu-ray burner

sharpdx20w.jpgSharp has introduced the world's first 20-inch LCD HDTV with a built-in Blu-ray burner. The AQUOS DX or LC-20DX1 enables users to record digital TV onto BD-R/R DL and BD-RE/RE DL Blu-ray discs, and while it won't write DVDs, it will play them back with support for H.264 and MPEG-4 video. Sporting 720p resolution, the 20-inch AQUOS DX has 1500:1 contrast ratio, 450cd/m2 brightness, a pair of 5 Watt stereo speakers and a pair of HDMI slots. Other connections include a VGA, S-video, D4 or component, RCA, Ethernet and both audio and optical outputs. Shipping in Japan on June 20, the Sharp AQUOS DX will cost the equivalent of US$1590.

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May 18, 2009

Walmart chases Best Buy to Blu-ray domination

walmart.jpgJust the other day I told you that Walmart was the number two Blu-ray seller in the United States behind Best Buy. The two big-box retailers have had a long rivalry believe it or not. Despite being aimed at the early adopter crowd, Best Buy has been hounded by the mainstream Walmart with Blu-ray, the iPhone and soon, the Palm Pre. Mainstream mega-retailers can appeal to early adopters too.

I suppose that's why Walmart has upped the ante and announced it would be selling two more Blu-ray players priced below $200 in the next couple of weeks. Walmart already sells a Magnavox player for $168 and while I know one of the new players will be Philips-branded, the other is an unknown. The key thing to remember though is that Magnavox, Philips and Sylvania are all, in reality, manufactured by Funai so none of the players will be much different in features. In fact, if prices are below $200 we can pretty much expect the new duo to be Profile 1.1 players meaning no interactive internet content.

Walmart is currently in the process of revamping 3500 of its electronics departments after the demise of Circuit City, in order to throw the hammer at Best Buy.

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May 13, 2009

Denon outs Profile 2.0 Blu-ray playing duo for 2009

dbp1610-dbp2010ci.jpegHigh-end home theater equipment maker Denon has announced its 2009 Blu-ray players, the DBP-2010CI and the DBP-1610CI. Both Denon Blu-ray players are Profile 2.0-ready, and each sport and Ethernet port, DivXHD playback, and AVCHD support for HD videos made with camcorders. Each Denon player also has a remote in/out for custom installs, HD audio codec support through an HDMI-connected receiver and all the usual inputs/outputs including HDMI. The premium DBP-2010CI also includes Anchor Bay Technologies VRS processing with 1080/24p IP scaling and upconversion and an RS232C connection for remote control. The DBP-2010CI and DBP-1610CI cost $699 and $499, respectively, and will ship in July 2009. The full press release after the jump.

dbp1610-dbp2010ci-1.jpeg

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May 11, 2009

Which retailer sells the most Blu-ray discs?

bluraylogo.jpgIf you thought Best Buy you'd be right, according to Video Business Online. Citing 'sources', the online publication states that Best Buy currently owns a 40% to 50% market share in Blu-ray sales, followed by Wal-mart with 20% to 30%, Amazon.com with 15% to 20% and Target with a 10% share rounding out the fourth spot.

It's no surprise really. Walk into any Best Buy store and you'll see Blu-ray discs strategically positioned near the door. You can't miss them. And when you head to the checkout, you'll find them conveniently located there as well. Compare that to retailers which appeal to the mainstream consumer such as Wal-mart and you're more likely to find them out of sight and out of mind. Best Buy features Blu-ray discs and related pricing promotions every week in its flyer as well.

But if you look at DVD sales the numbers are reversed with mainstream Wal-mart and Target being the top two DVD-selling retailers while Best Buy sits at number four. Industry analysts believe that once Blu-ray becomes a mainstream video format Best Buy will eventually lose its early adopter market share to low-priced, mainstream retailers.

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May 5, 2009

Samsung BD-P4600 Blu-ray player gets reviewed, kicks butt

samsungbdp4600.jpgRemember the funky looking Samsung BD-P4600 Blu-ray player announced a few months back? While I surely do and those lucky CNET folks already have it reviewed. It was unlikely from the outset this player would see a bad review and it didn't scoring a 3.5 out of 5 on the tough review scale. First the bad. The Wi-Fi dongle sticking out of a such a beautiful piece of hardware is a definite design no-no and the price tag--a whopping $500--is way too much given the cost of a Playstation 3. Okay, that's enough. Onto the good. The BD-P4600 is absolutely packed with features including the ability to be wall-mounted, Netflix and Pandora streaming, Profile 2.0 compatibility, onboard decoding for the usual high-def audio codecs and much more.


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May 4, 2009

Vizio's VBR100 Blu-ray player delayed by an eternity

logoVizio.pngThis isn't a big surprise in an economy that fails to deliver all kinds of products and services, but Vizio's VBR-100 Blu-ray player has been delayed until August. Originally supposed to launch last month, the sub-$200 Vizio entry into Blu-ray never appeared. So, the enterprising folks from Engadget HD decided to check it out. Vizio's public relations person told them "it looks more like August at this point", though the specs and price tag are supposedly staying the same.

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April 30, 2009

Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player only goes to those who really want it

oppobdp83.jpgHere's a little bit of proof that pro-activity is a good thing. Back in February, Oppo picked 350 people to buy the Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player with pre-release firmware installed. But another 27000 wanted to know where the B-ray player was. While guess what? Those 27000 get first dibs on the Oppo BDP-83 with BD-Live, 7.1-channel surround sound, VRS de-interlacing, scaling, DVD audio and SACD compatibility. Oh, and the usual connectivity ports and and an included backlit remote. All for $599 for those who weren't proactive, but $499 for those who were. Lesson learned?

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April 24, 2009

Trade in your Warner HD DVDs for Blu-ray discs

warner-offers-blu-ray-upgrade-hddvds-0.jpgIf you're living in the United States and had the misfortune of betting on HD DVD way back when Warner decided to jump ship for Blu-ray and destroy the red team entirely, we have some good news for you. Warner, apparently suffering a crisis of conscience, has launched an online Red2Blu program that offers reduced prices for Blu-ray discs in exchange for proof of owning the identical HD DVD title. You'll just have to send in the original HD DVD sleeve, $4.95 for the Blu-ray title and shipping. So, yeah, you'll still have to pay about $10 for each title, but it's better than the $30 you'd pay otherwise.

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