This is a new model, not a refurb. It's also new to Sharp's Aquos line of Blu-ray players, following the previous BD-HP20U (which I own, and like for its reasonably speedy start-up time). CNET hasn't reviewed it yet, but notes that it shares its predecessor's quick-start … Read more
I have no idea how many titles have been released on DVD, but the 90,000-title library available at Netflix gives a pretty good indication. That's a much larger pool of titles than the infant Blu-ray format (still far fewer than 1,000 titles available), but it's far from comprehensive. Despite such guilty pleasures as Gymkata and Strange Brew hitting the the silver disc in the past few years, there are still some high-profile movies (and TV shows) that have yet to be released on DVD.
There are a variety of reasons for the no-shows. Sometimes there are … Read more
Regular Cheapskate readers know that I'm a big fan of media-center PCs, which is why I frequently spotlight TV tuners. Now let's round out the movie side of the equation: Newegg has the Lite-On DH-401S-11 internal Blu-ray drive for $129.99--way, way less than the price of a standalone Blu-ray player.
This is a serial drive, meaning you'll need a system with a SATA interface. You'll also need a video card that supports HDCP, otherwise Blu-ray's copy protection will prevent movies from playing. Finally, Blu-ray requires a fair amount of horsepower; if you're … Read more
Many people erroneously assume that an HDTV automatically makes everything look better: TV, movies, their living rooms. The reality, of course, is that without high-definition video sources, images can look rather disappointing. A typical DVD player, for instance, produces only 480 horizontal lines of video; HDTVs are optimized for 720 or 1080 lines, which is why your DVD of The Matrix looks like poop.
One option is to spring for an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, but they're expensive, and there's that whole format-war thing. Bleh. A better option, at least short term, is an upconverting DVD player, … Read more