Even by Oppo's high standards the BDP-105 is an extraordinary Blu-ray player. Sure, it's loaded with up-to-the-second features -- 4K upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, and a high-quality USB 2.0 digital-to-analog converter -- but what really makes the Oppo special is the sound. Pop the cover and look inside and you'll see why. Most of the 17-pound component's chassis space is devoted to the audio circuitry. That's nice, but the audio advantages will be completely irrelevant if you connect the BDP-105 to your receiver with a HDMI cable (the digital-to-analog conversion would then be handled in … Read more
Ray Kurzweil's vision of the "singularity" -- when nanobots make humans immortal and computer progress is so fast that the future becomes profoundly unknowable -- is a bad idea.
That's the perhaps surprisingly contrary opinion of Joichi Ito, who as a high-tech investor and director of the MIT Media Lab might be expected to be a natural ally. The lab, after all, aims to be at the center of today's technology revolution.
Ito, speaking today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said he believes the singularity vision puts the wrong priorities first.
"… Read more
Apologies for being a little tardy on updating our long-running list of must-have Blu-ray movies, but here it is, refreshed for 2013. This month's updates entries include "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection," "The Avengers," "Finding Nemo," "Jaws," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "Titanic."
Though my face is at the top of the column, the list was compiled with input from editors John Falcone, Matthew Moskovciak, and David Katzmaier, who look at a lot of video content in their day-to-day testing of products. We also keep an eye on AVS Forum's Blu-ray picture-quality and audio-quality threads, and have always appreciated the site's tiered rating system.
This list is not set in stone, and we'll be adding and removing discs as new ones come out. As always, feel free to make comments and suggest your own personal favorites. They may get added to the list in the future. … Read more
It had been years since I actually bought a DVD or a Blu-ray copy of a movie. But over Christmas, I bought one. I really wanted those extra features that a physical disk provides. Why not get a Blu-ray with a digital copy, I thought, and have the best of both worlds?
Why not turned out to be because redeeming digital copies is a nightmare. Are you getting a copy for iTunes? Or for Amazon? Or whatever on earth UltraViolet is supposed to be, something that finally crashed into my awareness as a new Blu-ray owner?
The film in … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sony is holding most of its home theater announcements for its line show in the spring, but the company did announce its new lineup of Blu-ray players at CES 2013.
Sony's 2013 line of Blu-ray players comprises three new models, the BDP-S1100, BDP-S3100, and BDP-S5100. All three models have a fully encased optical drive, which Sony claims reduces internal dust. The two higher-end models include built-in Wi-Fi and all three can access Sony's full suite of streaming-media services, which includes Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Crackle, and YouTube. That's a step up from most manufacturers, … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of the big problems with 4K TVs right now, aside from the fact that it's tough to discern any benefit from their extra resolution, is lack of content. Sony, alone among TV or content providers so far, actually aims to tackle that issue around the same time it launches its full line of 4K TVs later this year.
This summer the company will set up a dedicated video distribution service to deliver 4K content to the home, complete with a hardware 4K Video Player that can feed the TVs directly.
Currently buyers who pony up $25K for … Read more
The star of the show, unsurprisingly, was Panasonic's 2013 line of Viera TVs. But the consumer electronics giant also showed off a range of other new products, from midrange LCD TVs, to new Blu-ray players, to Bluetooth speakers, to a range of micro home stereos, and finally a set of bone-conducting headphones.
It may not have been the shortest press conference of the day (Lexus called it quits at 13 minutes), but before … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Panasonic (along with Sony) has been one of the the biggest Blu-ray supporters since the format's inception, and the company continues to heavily support the format even as its importance fades.
Panasonic unveiled four new Blu-ray models at CES 2013: two 3D models (DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230) and two 2D models (DMP-BDT89 and DMP-BD79). All of the models save for the the DMP-BD79 include built-in Wi-Fi.
The 3D models include Panasonic full Viera Connect suite of streaming-media services, as well as 2D-3D conversion and a Web browser. Both models also support Miracast (Panasonic calls it Display Mirroring), which makes … Read more
Walmart will soon be able to convert your DVD movies to online digital content right from your own PC.
Starting sometime this month, the expanded service will handle the whole conversion with you driving it from your PC. Using its Vudu video streaming service, Walmart will convert your DVD and Blu-ray movies and TV shows into UltraViolet digital copies. Those copies are then stored in your own online libraries where … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One could argue that Blu-ray players have been misnamed for years. Yes, they play your Blu-rays, but they're even more about their embedded Smart TV suites that serve up streaming video and music.
That's the angle Toshiba is taking, rolling our four new devices curiously called "Media Box with Blu-ray Disc player capabilities." That's more awkward than it needs to be, but it's hard not to like Toshiba reversing the importance of Blu-ray and streaming capabilities.
The specific features are broken down in the chart to the right. Miracast is supported by all … Read more