Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

AppleTV HD video review round-up


promo_appletv_box20080115.pngThis week Apple finally released version 2.0 of the Apple TV software that was demo’d by Steve Jobs at this year’s MacWorld. This is a big deal because it finally makes the Apple TV a lot more functional – adding the ability to buy and/or rent movies (SD or HD) and TV shows. However, the one question I had was, ‘just how good is the HD video quality compared to Blu-ray/HD-DVD?’ Answer: it’s surprisingly good…ranking #2 – right behind Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

It’s def worth reading the reviews as they have screen shots comparing AppleTV, Blu-ray/HD-DVD, HD Cable, and standard DVD:

I haven’t had time to rent an HD movie on mine, yet, but I’ll post a review of my experience when I do.

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Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Reviews

Looks like Blu-ray is going to beat HD-DVD


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgI’m a bit sad to write this but it looks like Blu-ray is going to win the HD DVD format war now that Warner Bros. has gone Blu-ray exclusive. Now, Blu-ray has a large majority of the studios supporting it – the only exclusive studios supporting HD-DVD are Universal Studios and Paramount. However, there have been rumors that they will also go neutral or Blu-ray exclusive but I don’t think we’ll see them go Blu in the near future since Universal publicly stated that their ‘current plan is to continue to support HD-DVD’ (notice how they used the words “current plan” which tells me they’re starting to think in Blu).

Let’s make this easier, here’s a list of what’s happened since Warner Bros. went Blu-ray exclusive:

Yeah, these are very dark times for the HD-DVD consortium and mostly for Toshiba since they are the primary backer of HD-DVD…and these are great times for the Blu-ray Disc (BD) consortium – especially Sony since they’re the primary backer of Blu-ray. However, I don’t think it’s gonna be a cake walk for BD to win the format war due to various reasons – the primary being that Universal and Paramount are still HD-DVD exclusive and the high BD player prices.

Personally, since the Warner Bros. announcement (Jan. 4) I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player (Playstation 3). I bought it about a week after the WB announcement. Needless to say, I think the writing’s on the wall for HD-DVD and it will die a slow death, which is very unfortunate because I’ve been a HD-DVD supporter from the beginning and I am NOT a Sony fan by any stretch of the imagination. I supported HD-DVD for various reasons that I won’t list because this post on Gizmodo sums it up almost perfectly.

Needless to say, I’m tired of this format war and am ready for it to end. Blu-ray has around 75% of Hollywood studios supporting it…and it hurts to say this but “go Blu.”

Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Playstation 3

HD-DVD & Blu-ray: Buy 1 Get 1 Free at Best Buy


hd-dvd_logo_resized.jpgBest Buy is offering a buy 1 get 1 free deal on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. And, yes, there are some good movies that qualify for this offer.

blu-ray-resized.jpg
FYI, I was in a Best Buy store yesterday (Watertown, MA) and there were no advertisements for this offer so this offer may be online only. If you need the discs before Christmas, just buy online with in-store pickup – that’s what I just did.

HD-DVD

  • 300 ($34.99)
  • Arctic Tale ($34.99)
  • Blades Of Glory ($29.99)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Departed HD-DVD ($34.99)
  • Disturbia ($29.99)
  • Evan Almighty ($19.99)
  • Harry Potter & Order Of The Phoenix ($32.99)
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry ($29.99)
  • Knocked Up: Unrated ($19.99)
  • Mr. Bean’s Holiday ($29.99)
  • Ocean’s Thirteen ($34.99)
  • Shooter ($34.99)
  • Shrek The Third ($29.99)
  • Transformers ($29.99)

Blu-ray

  • 28 Weeks Later ($29.99)
  • 300 ($29.99)
  • Are We Done Yet? ($29.99)
  • The Condemned ($29.99)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Bargain: Toshiba HD-DVD Player for $100


Looks like Wal-Mart will be selling the Toshiba HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $100 this Friday, November 2 and Best Buy is already selling it for $100 (sold out on their website, though).

Not good enough?  Well, rumor is Sears will be selling the newer HD-A3 Toshiba HD-DVD player for $169 on Black Friday (compare that to Best Buy’s current price of $249).

If you’re thinking about buying an HD-DVD player now is the time!

[via Engadget]

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Toshiba HD-DVD player for $200


toshiba-hd-a2.jpgHave you been waiting for a cheap but good quality HD-DVD player? Well, your wait is now over. You can now buy Toshiba’s 2nd generation HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $200 at Circuit City and, starting next week, at Wal-Mart and most likely Best Buy.

I was an early adopter and own the 1st gen Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and love it. The picture and sound quality is amazing…assuming you have a calibrated HDTV and a good surround sound system.

FYI, the latest HD-DVD player is the HD-A3 and HD-A35 (3rd gen). You can check out the specs of the HD-A2 and the rest of the HD-DVD players on Toshiba’s site.

[via ArsTechnica]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Surround Sound, Video

Brits get a free 46-inch HDTV with the purchase of a PS3


Sony gave a free 46-inch HDTV (I’m assuming a LCD HDTV) to the first 100 people who purchased a PS3 on launch day. The PS3 has had a lot of negative press since it’s launch and it isn’t selling as well as the Xbox 360 and the Wii in the States…this seems like a big indication that Sony is unhappy with sales of the PS3. After all, if the PS3 was selling well, they wouldn’t be giving away HDTVs, on launch night, that will cost them an estimated £250,000.

[via Kotaku and BBC News]

Filed under: Gaming, HDTV, Playstation 3, PS3