Well, with the news that HD DVD had been killed by Toshiba, you knew that it was only a matter of time before the Xbox 360 HD DVD player was eliminated as well, right? Well, the time has come, as Microsoft sent us the following update:
As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.
Okay, well, shouldn’t that be “HD DVD was one of the several ways…”? So, now that we know that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on will no longer be manufactured, if you really really want one, they can now be had for $49.99. That is 75% off of it’s original price, for those of you keeping track. So if you want a piece of recently outdated technology, now is your chance.
Read More | Bloomberg
Sony has added the Bravia F series to its line. It includes a 32-inch WXGA and 40 and 46-inch HD LCDS. They have 3000:1 contrast ratios, 178º viewing angles, and can be mounted on the wall or on an optional metallic stand. With a sapphire black and aluminum design, all they need is a remote that works on a 2.4GHz band so you can sit far back and enjoy the display. How fortunate that they just happen to have one. The F series will be available in Japan on March 25 with prices of 200,000 Yen (~$ 1850.00) for the 32-inch, 290,000 Yen (~$ 2680.00) for the 40-inch model, and the 46-inch for 460,000 Yen (~$4257.00.)
Read More | Newlaunches
It’s official. Toshiba announced today that the end is here. In a public statement, Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO said, “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
The company will cease selling their products to retail dealers by the end of March, but promises to continue its product support to those who have already purchased HD products. They will continue to market standard DVD players and DVRs. Toshiba will now concentrate on other tech that supports hi-def, including NAND processing, next gen CPUs, small form factor hard disk drives, and those that utilize wireless and incryption technology.
Read More | Toshiba Press Release
If you’re into High Definition technology, check out the DV520HD from Mustek. It records videos and photos in 1080i high def. This makes it easy to point-and-shoot, hook up to your entertainment system, and easily enjoy. You can now re-live those lovely vacation sunsets on your HDTV. Available this month for $199 USD, which isn’t bad for an ultra-portable high definition camera at the consumer level.
As for the rest of the stats, the device also has a 5.0MP CMOS, 2.5” Swivel LTPS LCD, 2X Digital Zoom, USB 2.0, and 46MB Internal Memory. Yeah, for HD recording, we are thinking you might want to pick up an extra SD card or two.
“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. As we’ve long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry. We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.”
Well, we think it is safe to say that we will be seeing the 360 HD DVD player (along with all the others) hitting the bargain bins over the next week or so. Now we await official word of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on. It’s gotta happen.
You can now play your Xbox 360 games in 1080p HD with the Mad Catz HDMI Conversion Kit. Plug the adapter into the back of your Xbox, run the HDMI cord to your HDTV and voilà, you have a converted signal. All cables are in the kit, including one for an optical audio port which supports stereo and multi-channel surround sound and Dolby Digital and DTS. You can plug and play with your new gadget for $89.99 with a five year warranty and plenty of customer assistance on their site.
Read More | Mad Catz
Wal-Mart has announced that they now have OTA (over the air) analog to digital converter boxes for sale. The Magnavox STB will set you back $49.87. If you remembered to send for your $40.00 coupon from the NTIA early, which should be arriving soon, that’s quite a savings. We also learned last week that Best Buy will be offering an Insignia converter box retailing at $59.99, beginning February 17, and will also accept the coupons.
Read More | Walmart
If you are like me, you’ve been waiting for Apple TV Take 2 to hit for just about a month now. When it was delayed two weeks ago, I stared at my Apple TV in disgust. In it’s current form, it was nothing more than a YouTube viewer, and sometimes, a nice picture screensaver. However, the wait is no more. As part of today’s Tuesday updates, Apple has finally released the Apple TV Take 2 software, and it is available now for download. Aside from a freatly enhanced UI, here are some of the features:
- Movie rentals in both high definition and standard definition
- Flickr photo browsing and slideshows
- .Mac photo gallery browsing and slideshows
- Purchasing of items from iTunes Store from Apple TV
- Browse and view podcasts in iTunes Podcast directory on Apple TV
If you have an Apple TV, fire up Software Update on the device to get the new hotness, and let us know what you think.
Read More | Apple TV Take 2 Guided Tour
Now that we have given you PC Mag’s suggestions for Superbowl Sunday, which HDTVs are actually the public’s choice? According to Amazon, these are their top sellers (with prices):
- Samsung’s 2007 model LNT5265F ($2,199)
- Sharp AQUOS LC32D62U 32 and 42-inch ($889) ($1,349)
- Samsung model LNT4665F ($1,674)
- Toshiba 42HL167 42-inch Regza LCD HDTV ($1,299)
- Sony 32-inch Class BRAVIA S-Series LCD HDTV ($899)
- Sharp AQUOS LC32D62U 46-inch ($1,799)
- Sony KDL-40XBR2 40-inch Bravia XBR LCD HDTV ($1,499)
- Samsung LNT4661F 46-inch LCD HDTV ($1,549)
- Samsung LNT5271F 52-inch LCD HDTV($2,652)
We dig that the prices get lower all the time, but not that the choices will now be twice as extensive.
Read More | Gearlog
While we were pondering the thought of purchasing our own HDTV for Superbowl Sunday plant, we found that PC mag had given their top choices, giving us a suggestion list that was at least a start. Here are their choices:
42-inch JVC LT-42X898
60-inch Pioneer Elite KUROPRO-150FD LG 47 LBX plasma
Panasonic 42-inch TH-42PZ700U
Mitsubishi 62-inch WD-65833 rear-projection TV
Westinghouse 47-inch TX-47F430S
37-inch Toshiba 37HL67 LCD
Perhaps this will help you decide if you are pre-football game shopping. The sales people might think you are more knowledgeable if you call them by their formal numbers.
Read More | PC Magazine