A reader responding to my The Beatles on iTunes? Who Cares? rant came up with this great summation: "iTunes are to audio what McDonald's is to hamburgers, but if this is how the public wants to buy music, then let 'em have it." Right on! Sound quality doesn't matter anymore, just the so-called convenience of downloading 1s and 0s at the cheapest possible price, or better yet for free. Why buy the complete "Sgt Pepper" when you can just get "With A Little Help From My Friends"? That's where it's … Read more
If you thought you could escape this Blu-ray and HD DVD format back-and-forth nonsense, well, you were wrong. It's actually just beginning! This holiday season, both sides in the next-generation DVD battle are continuing to ratchet up the pressure on you lucky consumers.
Exhibit A: The folks over at Wal-Mart have followed up their boffo $98 Toshiba A2 HD DVD player with a pretty impressive overture for Blu-ray. Buying an 80GB Sony PlayStation 3 this Saturday will also get you 10 Blu-ray movies for free, as long as all the titles are below $30. (Go to the Wal-Mart holiday shopping site … Read more
Anyone who's ever visited AVS Forum--probably the largest online forum for audio/visual discussion--knows that people can get carried away. And anyone who has dared to venture in the HD DVD and Blu-ray forum is well aware of rampant fanboy flame wars--the kind that used to be reserved for game consoles.
Well apparently a couple of the AV geeks have gone too far, which has led to AVS Forum moderators to completely shut down the HD DVD and Blu-ray forums until the end of the week. And in case you think it's an overreaction, check out this quote from the letter they posted to AVS members:
We have seen members attacking other members not only in debate, which is the right way, but with physical threats that have involved police and possible legal action.
Wow.… Read more
No matter what happens in the raging format wars, Blu-ray may always have an exit strategy--in laser pointers, if not videos.
The "Sonar Series" of pointers from Wicked Lasers actually uses Blu-ray technology (blue laser diodes) in its beams, which are so intense that they approach infrared waves, according to BornRich. The result is a "supernatural fluorescent effect" emitted from its aircraft-grade aluminum casing, the company claims.
Unfortunately for consumers, the price is equally paranormal at $2,000. Maybe you can find a used one at a roadside stand near Roswell.
Blu-ray and HD DVD used to be exclusive to high-end and expensive desktop replacements. Sony put Blu-ray in its VGN-AR series, while Toshiba responded by inserting an HD DVD in its Qosmio laptops.
The first next-generation optical drive to appear in a 15.4-inch portable was with the Sony VGN-FZ notebook in July. However, this option bumped up the cost of the unit to more than $3,000. Today, Toshiba announced that it's putting the HD DVD into the midsize Satellite A200 laptop, with the basic configuration starting at $1,775. This may possibly be the cheapest portable to … Read more