What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
Buffalo's new drive doesn't make you pick a winner in the high-def disc format war, and it doesn't make you open up your PC's case to install it. The Buffalo MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD (BRHC-6316U2) drive is an external USB combo drive that reads and writes Blu-ray discs and reads HD DVD discs. Unfortunately, Buffalo made no mention of eSATA or FireWire, so you're stuck with USB 2.0. It'll cost $649 when it starts shipping later this quarter.
Chances are that anyone who has visited Best Buy, Circuit City or Media Markt in the past few months saw a variety of flat screen technology options, including 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Here at CES, it's clear that 1080p is here to stay and growing in dominance as THE screen resolution.
My guess is that 720p and 1080i days are numbered and that retailers will be purging their inventories of the technology (this could mean some great deals in the months to come, but keep in mind that you'll be buying antiquated technology). The one exception may be … Read more
While there's no doubt Warner Bros.' decision to support Blu-ray exclusively is a major setback to the HD DVD camp, retailers say it's too soon to declare "game over."
Circuit City CEO Philip J. Schoonover, who has had precious little to be happy about of late, said the move is a sign that the battle is starting to shake out.
"We're very excited to see progress of any type," Schoonover said. "We see this as progress."
The head of consumer electronics merchandising at Target said the move "probably moves things … Read more
Several CES booths had the telltale orange and black HD Radio sign, designating that they were selling at least one device with an HD Radio receiver in it. There was also some buzz over a new feature that lets you flag a song for later purchase on iTunes (this works only on models with an iPod dock). I stopped by iBiquity's booth--they're the developers of HD Radio technology--to get an overview of all the supported devices out there, and it's a pretty impressive list, including home radios from Creative, JBL, and Sony, plus automotive radios from many … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The winner in the Blu-ray and HD DVD war is the hard drive, according to Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate Technology.
"People are saying Blu-ray won the war but who cares? The war is over physical distribution versus electrical distribution, and Blu-ray and HD lost that," he said during a breakfast meeting at the Consumer Electronics Show here this week. "In this, flash memory and hard drives are on the same side. The war is over and the physical guys lost."
Watkins, naturally, speaks from personal interest, but he's got a point. (A former … Read more
Anytime the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is discussed on the Internet, there's always a commenter that chimes in to say that digital downloads are going to beat them both. While we've seen some successful products using the digital distribution model, such as Vudu, we've always been skeptical about true high-def digital distribution taking off in the near future, mostly because high-bandwidth Internet access just isn't cheap enough.
Instead of waiting for cheap, super-fast internet connections, XStreamHD is looking to an older technology to provide the extra bandwidth--a satellite dish. The XStreamHD system consists … Read more
Creative has announced plans to release the Xdock HD, an HD-quality iPod video dock. The Xdock HD is due for a spring release with a retail price of $399. Four bills might seem like a steep price for an iPod dock, but the Xdock HD has some serious technology under the hood.
First and foremost, the Xdock HD provides a means to play iPod video content at 720p or 1080i resolution. This feat is accomplished by Creative's own video upsampling technology, which transforms your puny iPod videos into HD-worthy gems.
The second great asset of the Creative Xdock HD is its ability… Read more