Being both an early adopter, someone without a bunch of money, and a gadgetophile is a hard combination to pull off. Back in 1999, that was me as a teenager, and the thing I wanted most that year was a standalone DVD player. Sure, I had the DVD-ROM drive in my Sony Vaio desktop computer, but my monitor was only 15-inches back then, and I had a 28-inch television. Who wouldn’t want to watch DVDs on their awesome 28-inch television, with ghetto stereo sound?
That year, my girlfriend at the time decided she would surprise me with a Sony DVD player. If you weren’t in the market for DVD players back then, allow me to fill you in. Those $25 deals you are seeing this holiday season on players at Target and Wal-Mart? Yeah, prices have fallen exponentially. My first DVD player sold for $399.99. A serious token of her love, most certainly. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t have gotten a DVD player otherwise.
I immediately snapped up The Usual Suspects and a couple of other titles that I don’t even remember. I didn’t even care, I was just all about the slick new piece of technology.
What about you? Any fond memories of holidays past, where you gave or received an awesome gift? Let us know in the comments
In anticipation of the holidays, and undoubtedly the upcoming Superbowl, ESPN has released their digital Ultimate Remote. The one-device-fits-all works with TVs, DVD players, TiVos, set top boxes and probably all of your home theater equipment. Simple to set up, it also has one-touch wireless access to gamecasts, fantasy leagues, and sport news, stats, scores and other information. The WiFi network has a weather widget on the home page according to your zip code and updates new equipment codes by itself. Find it at various retailers for $299.00 and the Remote Shoppe, which is currently offering a $50.00 off sale price.
Read More | Remote Shoppe
OPPO Digital has released their latest up-converting player for Standard DVDs. The DV-980H has a 1080p output, 7.1 channel audio with Dolby Digital Surround EX decoding, and optimized high-fidelity audio circuitry for Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio, HDCD and regular CDs. Add to that Kodak Picture CD for high resolution picture slide shows, a USB 2.0 interface, and the ability to play all versions of DivX video (including DivX 6) with standard playback of DivX media files. While it doesn’t support Blu-ray or the failed HD DVD, it certainly is a lot less expensive for $169.00.
Read More | OPPO
As part of the next chapter of the Disc War, we find Kmart has decided to drop Blu-ray players from its shelves, undoubtedly because of their higher prices. HD-DVDs will continue to be offered at $200.00 or less during the holiday season. For example, we found this 7-inch Toshiba SDP1750 Portable Player which carries a price of $139.99. Kmart will still sell the Playstation 3, which includes a Blu-ray player. It remains to be seen if price continues to be the guiding factor in the battle between the two technologies.
Read More | Real Tech News
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
We were able to get a first-hand look at the new AMD LIVE! Digital Home Cinema concept while hanging out with the AMD crew. For those who may have missed it at CES, the AMD LIVE! Home Cinema is pretty much a specialized HTPC that aims to replace just about everything in your entertainment center, save for game consoles. It can run Linux or Windows Media Center, and is even a digital cable tuner that is CableCARD compatible. Powered by an AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, it aims to provide an immersive theater-quality media experience with high-definition video, integrated 100 watt per channel surround sound audio and Internet capability, all in a device fit for your entertainment center. Check the video for a full walk-through.
Toshiba has announced the release of their HD-A2 and HD-XA2 HD DVD players. Both output HD DVD content through the HDMI interface in 720p or 1080i. The HD-A2 incorporates a 297MHz / 12 bit Video DAC with high-quality, 4x oversampling, while the HD-XA2 also features 1.3. HDMI for 36-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depth.
Both models come with picture setting functions that allow you to optimize picture quality with settings for color, contrast, brightness, edge enhancement, and noise blocker. Set to be released in October, the HD-A2 carries a MSRP of $499.99. For last minute Santas, the release of the high end HD-XA2 will follow in December at a MSRP of $999.99.
Read More | Toshiba News Release
Hitachi’s new DZ-GX3100E Camcorder was previewed at the IFA in Berlin. Utilizing what they refer to as “Movie Master Technology”, this DVD Cam with a 1.3 Megapixel CCD records straight onto DVD disk and SD Memory Card. Using a USB 2.0, you can connect it to your PC to download your videos.
- Utilizes 8cm DVD-RAM/-R/-RW/+RW Disc Media
- 1 Second Quick Start Function
- True 16:9 Wide Screen Recording
- High Quality MPEG2 Video Recording
- SD Multimedia Card Slot
- Digital Stereo Sound
- Recording Time: - 36 mins (Extra Fine Quality Mode) - 60 mins (Fine Quality Mode) - 120 mins (Standard Quality Mode)
- 2.7” Colour TFT LCD Monitor Screen
- Digital Still Photo Mode: Stores 1998 Digital Still Images
- Recording Mode: Moving (MPEG2) / Still (JPEG) / Audio (Digital Stereo)
- Disc can be used to playback on most DVD Players & DVD-ROM Drives
- Photo Capture Function
The DX has a MSRP of £349.99 (~$659). Check with Hitachi for U.S. availability date. I’m ready for my close-up now, Mr. DeMille.
Read More | Hitachi Product Page