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CES 2008 Video: All about Blu-ray

Sony showed up in force for CES 2008 with a bevy of Blu-ray players in tow. Check the video above for a good run down of the Blu-ray technology. Some of the new interactive features are sure to impress, although many of the features have been available within HD DVD for some time.

Take note of the awkward cut that occurs when we ask them about the whole format war thing and the fact that studios are jumping over to Blu-ray left and right. That is when they stopped and told us they didn’t want to talk about that subject. We pushed the issue a bit, but they wouldn’t budge, so we just cut that portion out. Not sure what the big deal was though, I mean, it seems victory may be at hand for the Blu-ray side of things.


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Toshiba Slashes Prices, Again

Toshiba HD DVD

Toshiba, never admitting defeat, has once again cut its prices up to 50% to promote its HD DVD players. Their entry level players now carry an MSRP of ~$150.00. Expect an onslaught of various media-type commercials within the next few weeks. While we continue to hear rumors concerning the HD/Blu-ray War, we think we will just bide our time and revel in the news that now almost anyone can afford a player. Toshiba is still offering 5 free DVDs with purchase.

 

Read More | USA Today

HD DVD Owners Lose New Line, HBO

HBOJust days after announced it was abandoning HD DVD owners, others have chosen to jump ship.

and will both be following their distribution partner’s lead and go completely .  Up until now, the two companies had been releasing high-definition titles under both formats. 

Those with the Toshiba system should probably make a point of purchasing and to keep in their time capsule.

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Hollywood Reporter


HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Paramount Denies Rumors of Defection from HD DVD

Posted by Chris Cardinal Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment,

Some channels were reporting earlier that Paramount was looking to bail from the HD boat, enabled by a clause in their contract that cited Warner Bros. departure as grounds to themselves switch. Paramount is now denying these claims, their spokesperson saying “Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format.” Warner’s switch resulted in a full 70% of movies now produced by Blu-Ray studios and Blu-Ray booth folk were yesterday claiming that they’ve clearly won. But the HD people we’ve spoken to seem resolute for now, though it wouldn’t be the first time someone failed epicly even as they denied it outright

.Read More | Bloomberg News


This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008

Zodiac HD DVDThis week marks the release of the first batch of high-definition DVDs since on-the-fence Warner landed decidedly on the Blu side; I must admit, as an HD DVD man, the day feels a bit colder than normal. But no matter—the format war is far from over.

On a lighter note, both formats have some exciting titles to speak of, including the Blu-ray release of one of my favorite movies from 2007, Sunshine; Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning film, The Pianist, on HD DVD; and the long-awaited special edition of David Fincher’s Zodiac, also on HD DVD. The DVD release from July contained nary a special feature, so this two-disc director’s cut ought to please those Fincher fans waiting for a decent version.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008


CES 2008 Video: Toshiba’s X205, Qosmio G35 AV690 Gaming Notebooks

was kind enough to show us their full range of -capable laptops. In the video, we go over the Qosmio $3,000 system which features a full screen (and looks simply gorgeous) and HDMI output. You can output in straight 1080p to an HD TV over the HDMI out, to glorious, CEC-compatible result. It’s also the world’s first notebook to include a rewritable HD DVD, which may or may not be terribly relevant given the recent mullings over HD DVD.

When I asked about their impression on that though they said they have absolutely no intent of giving up the fight and very much intend to continue to support the format.

Also check out the video to see the Satellite A205—a $899 laptop with an integrated HD DVD player, though no .


Warner Titles Go Blu-ray

Warner Home Video - the last major studio to spread the love between both and - has finally chosen to consolidate.  Unfortunately, its a decision owners of the Toshiba system aren’t going to like.  As of May 2008, high definition titles released by the company will be Blu-ray exclusive.

This a major blow for the HD DVD camp which is now fighting a lopsided battle.  Although (with Dreamworks) announced back in August that it was joining the underdog’s team, it is now only one of two major studios ( being the other) on that side of the fence.  Meanwhile, owners of the Sony product have selections from , , and to choose from.

Although Toshiba claimed to be ‘surprised’ by the announcement, Warner says its decision was simply based on consumer demand.  cited this same reason when it Blu-ray only back in June.

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Hollywood Reporter


CES 2008: Warner Drops HD-DVD, Lone Tear Streams Down Toshiba’s Face

Posted by Chris Cardinal Categories: CES, CES 2008, Home Entertainment,

Warner Bros. announced they were becoming an exclusively studio this weekend, apparently completely pulling the rug on the HD-DVD camp. Said a Toshiba press release:

TOKYO, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/—Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.

We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.

‘s one of the HD-DVD founders and following this announcement, they pulled their CES conference entirely. A bit of a death knell ringing for the HD-DVD side, with rumors swirling that Microsoft may be pulling their HD-DVD support as well.

It makes the free HD-DVD press backpack/roller bags a bit of a sad affair.


‘Star Trek’ Remastered for HD DVD

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Animation, Sci-Fi/Horror, DVD, HDTV, Video,

Star Trek original castHighly original and ground-breaking in its day, offered viewers a glimpse of the possible future. Now, it is the future…and Trek is offering viewers a glimpse of what the series might have been if it were made today.

In a new set, season one of The Original Series is being released to the public with digitally enhanced footage. Here’s the problem: true don’t want anything digitally remastered or updated. The perfection is in the purity.  The exterior special effects features on TOS were updated and enhanced with technology. In some scenes, entire ships were replaced by digital effects.

The new additions look great and may help re-introduce younger generations to this old favorite, but some die-hard Trekkies will no doubt be up in arms over any change, no matter how great-looking.

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LA Times


Unboxing Live 026: HP Pavilion HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook PC

In this episode, we open up the Pavilion HDX Dragon PC. This thing is a monster - a 20.1-inch notebook that specializes in home entertainment, sporting dual-lamp displays and weighing in at 15.5 pounds. Other stats of note on the HDX Dragon are the 64-bit Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB included memory (it supports up to 4GB), HP Imprint casing (looks very sleek), and fingerprint reader for security.

Since it’s a computer geared towards entertainment, the video card should also be mentioned. The HDX Dragon ships with a 512MB ATi Mobility Radeon HD2600 XT. That means that you get DirectX 10 support out of the box. Continuing on the whole entertainment meme, it also has a built-in -ROM drive, allowing you to play back your HD DVD movies at .

Finally we have the connections, which are too many for us to go through - so we will let HP tell the story here:

The HDX comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports, an Express Card/54 slot (which also supports Express Card/34), an HDMI port, an S-Video, a VGA, an RJ-11, an RK-45, an IEEE 1394 FireWire, and a Consumer IR. A 5-in-1 digital media Card reader supports Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, and xD-Picture Cards. You get an eSATA port for high-speed data transfer to external storage devices up to six times faster than existing solutions, which is perfect for high-def video content recording. There’s an integrated 802.11a/g/b/pre-N plus Bluetooth for highest-speed wireless connections. And the adjustable webcam with integrated microphones lets you capture still photos and short videos and for live video chat.

So yeah - they packed a lot into this machine. Now hit the video to actually see how it all came together.

Let us know what you think, or what you want us to unbox next!

Read More |

HP Pavilion HDX Dragon Product Page


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