A new attempt to provide a higher-end sequel to the ubiquitous JPEG image standard is officially under way.
The multiple countries participating in the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the JPEG standard, have approved an effort to make Microsoft's HD Photo format a standard called JPEG XR, said Bill Crow, who has led Microsoft's HD Photo effort and who just took over the company's Microsoft Live Labs Seadragon imaging project. XR stands for "extended range," a reference to the format's ability to show a wider and finer range of tonal gradations and a … Read more
Earlier this week it was big news that HD DVD broke the $200 price barrier. Well, in the same week it looks like HD DVD has broken the $100 price barrier as well. As previously reported, Wal-Mart is running a "Secret In-Store Specials" sale this Friday and one of the heavily discounted items is the Toshiba HD-A2 selling for $98.87. Of course, this isn't a true price drop, as the sale is only good as long quantities last and the Toshiba HD-A2 won't be available at all Wal-Mart locations. On the other hand, it is representative of HD DVD's significant advantage in hardware pricing -- the least expensive Blu-ray player is the $400 PlayStation 3, which also hits stores tomorrow.
The $99 price tag is sweet, but the deal is even better than that. Toshiba continues to give away five free movies to anyone that buys an HD DVD player--all you need to do is fill out this form (PDF link) and mail it in. If you're not thrilled about Toshiba's selection of free movies (we're not either), Wal-Mart is also running on a sale on HD DVD movies tomorrow, priced at $14.96 each. That's a pretty significant discount, as most of the HD DVDs we saw at Amazon were priced from $20 to $30. … Read more
I know that no one's going to be terribly shocked by this, but I thought I'd point it out, just in case you missed it. Engadget HD, after another stroll through AVS Forum's message boards, is reporting on how Circuit City, Wal-Mart Stores, and Amazon.com have reduced the price of Toshiba's HD-A2 HD DVD player to $198 (Amazon's deal includes free shipping).
This kind of price drop on standalone HD DVD players has been widely expected, and we think you may see $180 by Black Friday. Of course, if you're an Xbox 360 … Read more
Am I the only person who couldn't care any less about the HD DVD/Blu-ray war? For a while, I was captivated by the prospect of a Sony format winning the format war or the possibility of another Betamax debacle. At one point, I actually cared who won the format war and told everyone which format I believed would win.
But with Wednesday's news that cited figures showing Sony's Blu-ray format had outsold HD DVD by almost 2-to-1, I finally had enough.
Let's be honest with ourselves: at this point, who really cares which format is outselling the other? After each report of higher sales, the backers of the opposing format come out and proclaim their own dominance due to factors a and b. Once that's complete, the winning victor (in this case, Blu-ray) comes out and cites those sales figures just one more time.
Suffice it to say, I'm just plain tired of this war.
As everyone is too well aware, this high-def format war will go on for at least another two years. Regardless of where you stand, movie studios will continue to support whichever format they believe will bring in the most money without actually standing firm on one format or another.… Read more
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the status of Samsung's upcoming Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player--the BD-UP5000--and the high-end Blu-ray player, the BD-P2400. Finally, Samsung has made an official announcement. First, the bad news: The BD-P2400 is officially canceled. The BD-P2400 was supposed to be the step-up to the BD-1400, adding HQV video processing, but now those who want HQV will have to go for the combo player.
Now for the good news. Here's exactly what Samsung told us about the BD-UP5000:
Status of BD-UP5000 Duo HD Player:The Duo HD … Read more
As strange as it may seem, the portable hard drive has continued making a play for the runway with designs ranging from leather to real gold. What makes it even more curious is that these boxes aren't usually put on a pedestal for all to see. So it makes sense, in an odd way, that a TV set-top box would try to make a bold fashion statement of its own--it is, after all, usually kept in a more conspicuous place.