HDMI Take-Over: New Blu-Ray players to stop supporting analog video output

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News

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It’s a trend that needed to begin, quite honestly, and it’ll become official this year: Newer Blu-Ray players will only begin supporting HD output via HDMI ports. It’s a good thing that will make hooking things up and overall quality a lot better, we think. Read on:

The chicken littles have been worried about this since long before the first Blu-ray (or even HD DVD) title was ever released, and the first step towards the analog sunset has officially come. Any new Blu-ray player announced after January 1st 2011 will only output HD via HDMI — players that started shipping last year can still be sold until the end of this year though. If you just love component video, you might figure you’ll be able to get a player today and continue to enjoy it for years to come, but maybe not. You see the studios also have the Image Constraint Token (ICT) which when set on a title will tell every and all Blu-ray players to down convert analog output to 540p. The only reprieve is that if its set on a title, it must be marked on the box, and of course it can’t be retroactively set (any title you own now will continue to play exactly the same way it does on your existing players). We’re waiting for final confirmation, but apparently the ICT hasn’t been an option to studios until now so start looking for the icon on your latest purchases. The final stage in the sunset is 2013 when analog outputs will be removed from Blu-ray players completely.

We applaud the move as a welcome bridge to an all HDMI/HDTV society.

Cutting Edge: LG set to release 3D network Blu-Ray player soon

May 16, 2010 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

LG has always been a fairly cutting edge company, and now they’re asserting that rep with their latest announcement of a pretty cool upcoming product.

LG’s latest creation has it all: HDMI 1.4, internet connectivity, DLNA, 3D and 1080p; the whole lot, pretty much. We like the feature set, and now we have some idea when units will go out for public consumption. Approximately, anyway. The BX580 is on Amazon for $399.99 retail and is LG’s very first network 3D Blu-ray player.

Aside from the obvious ability to handle forthcoming 3D Blu-ray titles, it also ships with NetCast Entertainment Access as well. Amazon states a 1-2 month shipping window, so we’re guessing that timeframe will be pretty accurate when it’ll start showing up in stores. We’re guessing a $350 or so street price, and an early July or so arrival date.

It appears our assessment of 3D HD as a brief trend may have been inaccurate.

Special Specs: HDMI 1.4a standard fully detailed, now with 3D

March 5, 2010 by  
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The new HDMI spec needed some tweaking to ease standards and compatibility with old players and boxes was a given, and today all the skinny was released to all HDMI followers and companies. We last reported on this here.

The new standard includes special blu-ray compatibility stuff, along with implementation of Full HDTV 3D in the mix as well. We’re quite pleased to see the standard growing and developing with the times, even if it may mean a new round of firmware updates, fixes and equipment upgrades, in some cases. The HDTV world craves growth and expansion.

HDMI has all the latest details and nerdy numbers in their press release, for those of us (you know who you are) who enjoy that sort of thing right here: Link

HDMI News: Version 1.4 + 3D = New public spec + Us scratching our heads

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Technology News

ces-2009-3d-ready-fuhzion3D is here, it’s happening, and it won’t go away, regardless of whether we want it to or not — but the good news at least is there won’t be home 3D format wars or any stuff like that to muddy the water even further, such as the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war that fractured HD home disc entertainment for too long.

Most manufacturers are using the active shutter glasses model, delivery will occur on cable, satellite, and 3-D Blu-ray, and now the HDMI group has made available the 3D part of the HDMI 1.4 spec so that all companies can make their gear fully compatible. At least that part of the equation they’ve gotten right; a format war would have further reduced the chance of 3D ever catching on in a home environment. And we already talked about how Samsung is getting in on the 3D action soon enough.

HDMI 1.4a is due to release later this year, but that also will be released publicly. How about it…any of our readers plan on getting in on the 3D “revolution”?

Inside Stuff: HDMI 1.4 spec getting refreshed in prep for HD 3D

December 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Technology News

hdmiThe march for HD 3D to gain steam keeps on going, it seems, with broadcasters around the world wanting to bring 3D HD home for 2010 or so.

Even the HDMI standard 1.4 spec is being updated as we speak to make sure 3D compatibility between sets and receivers/players remains at the top of the list for importance, something we can appreciate, but we still aren’t sold on 3D HD as something as all that important to the future of the medium.

As a side note, some broadcasters are rallying for HDMI and the spec to fully msupport “Top/Bottom” 3D transmissions that are in the wind waiting to be used, which give up resolution to save bandwidth by placing left/right images into a single frame.

Will 3D be supported on generally available commercial hardware anytime soon at a reasonable cost? We’re thinking 2011 or so for that to happen, but who knows. With the pace of things today, anything is possible.

The Best? Perhaps: LG debuts W63 Gaming Monitor

September 5, 2009 by  
Filed under LG, Product News, TV Brands

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3sep09_lgw63xLG is a confident company, no doubt about it — they updated their monitor line yesterday with a gamer-designed Full HD unit that has everything (but humility) in its creed, and the specs look mighty good indeed.

The monster 23-inch W63 includes a new “Thru Mode”, which gives up a bit of display quality for “instant, no-delay” input to the screen (now that’s nifty), 1,000:1 (real, not dynamic) contrast ratio, 2ms response time (quick!), 300n brightness, two HDMI ports and picture-in-picture too. Any gamer would quake to own this thing, it seems.

It even includes a Tru-Light equalizer display at the bottom of the screen that moves with the sounds of your battles. How cna anyone resist?

No prices or immediate availability timeframe, but we can’t wait for this one to come out.

Unveiling: Flip Video Ultra HD

April 26, 2009 by  
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flip-video-ultra-hd-unboxBest Buy has announced the inside track to a new HD camera that promises a very high-quality picture, and as an HD fan, we’re drooling (just a little) over this one.

Cisco recently bought out Pure Digital for many millions, and this appears to be the early fruits of that partnership: The Flip Video Ultra HD — which appears to be the sequel to the standard Ultra — will begin to fill local stores shelves in the US, starting with Best Buy, it appears very soon.

Big features include a HDMI output (important for best quality), 120 minutes of record time (double the previous camera’s 60 minutes), a rechargeable battery built-in and AA battery support if needed too.

The price is listed as tentatively $199.99 and full specifications are still to be announced. We’re looking forward to this unveiling, which should make HD filming available to the masses.

It’s an HDMI World: HDMI adoption reaches high levels in all HDTV areas

February 10, 2009 by  
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2-9-09-hdmi-cableHDMI usage and adoption in many areas related to entertainment mediums is on the rise, after a bit of a lull (many must have thought it didn’t make a difference; it does) and now according to a new report from researcher In-Stat claims that the port is ready to take other areas by storm as well.

With HDMI usage reaching nearly over 98% percent in HDTVs now, it’s rumored that 85% of IPTV set-boxes will have  HDMI access by 2012, while in 3 years, 10% of media players will utilize HDMI in some way. We can predict it may be even higher than that for media players.

Shipments of DVI items are expected to decline 30% over the next year or so, so its unavoidable: HDMI will become the new standard of HDTV and the way its processed. Its superior in almost every way technically and in terms of pure specs, so that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. DVI will probably be extinct in the next 10 years or so.

Get the ultimate for your HDTV: Blu-Ray player prices plunging

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Samsung, Sony, Technology News, TV Brands

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If you have an HDTV with 1080p capability and have dreamed of pairing it with a Blu-Ray player, now might be the time to do it. Yes, you can go the Sony PS3 route, but that’s still $300+ or so.

Many have stated it’s the best way to get the most out of a 1080p HDTV of any model or type, and prices are really plunging quickly, setting around the $200 or so mark right now, where they were at around $300-400 just 4 months ago. Disc are starting to finally go down a bit too.

Here’s a few links to great Blu-Ray player deals:

Sony BDP-S300, $229.00, Free Shipping: Link

Amazon: Samsung NB500SL9 with HDMI cable, Free Shipping $229.99: Link

Amazon offers many deals from their vendors too, as low as $158.00 for a limited usage or almost new Blu-Ray player.

Watch An Extraordinary Picture On The Toshiba Regza 46RV530U 46″ LCD HDTV

May 27, 2008 by  
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Toshiba 46RV530U Regza Full-HD LCD – FREE SHIPPING

When you have an extraordinary flatscreen television you’ll have an extraordinary viewing experience, which is exactly what you’ll see on this LCD TV. You’ll see true high definition programming as it was intended on this Toshiba that delivers 1080p resolution for a clear and more true to life color and clarity. The Regza 46RV530U uses the advanced DynaLight image processing that controls the backlighting by monitoring and adjusting the brightness of each video frame to deliver a consistent on screen image with deeper darks and brighter colors. You’ll also experience a smoother color and image transition thanks to the over 4000 levels of gradation and this CineSpeed won’t blur during fast action sequences, even when you’re using it for video game play. With this Toshiba Regza there’s never a bad seat, no matter where you’re sitting, as this 46″ television has a wide viewing angle which is perfect when you have a large group of people over to watch any sporting event. When you’re ready to take your viewing up to full high defintion, buy the Toshiba Regza 46RV530U 46″ LCD HDTV and experience extraordinary television viewing.

Samsung HP-T5064 50″ Plasma HDTV

March 2, 2008 by  
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Samsung 50 HD Plasma TV

When you watch your favorite shows and sporting events on television you like to have the best seat in the house, and with the Samsung HP-T5064 there’s never a bad seat. Thanks to Ultra FilterBright that keeps the picture clear and detailed with deeper blacks from all angles, this Plasma television delivers a great picture even in brightly-lit rooms. The advanced picture technology combined with the 15,000:1 contrast ratio delivers sharp details and eliminates noise letting you see every nuance on this 50″ HDTV. With this TV, you can connect all of your digital devices including your computer through USB and HDMI ports allowing you enjoy even more from this EnergyStar television. When you buy the Samsung HP-T5064, you’ll also get great sound due to the SRS TruSurround XT that will play 5.1 multichannel audio over the two 10 watt speakers. With this plasma television, you’ll enjoy both the picture and the price.

Sceptre X42gv-Komodo 42″ LCD HDTV

February 15, 2008 by  
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Sceptre 42 720p LCD HDTV

There is a cure for standard television viewing, but it requires getting a large high-definition LCD tv so you can really enjoy everything you watch. If you’re ready for great picture at an even better price, then you’ll want to buy this Sceptre 42″ LCD television. This affordable HDTV provides more than just great television viewing, as the X42gv-Komodo is capable of being connected to all of your digital gadgets, and can also double as large computer monitor. With a 2000:1 contrast ratio and an ultra fast 6ms response time, you’ll be glad you bought the Sceptre 42 720p LCD HDTV

Philips 42PFP5332D/37 42″ Plasma HDTV

February 2, 2008 by  
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Philips 42PFP5332D/37 Plasma HDTV

For a superior quality plasma television you can always expect Philips to include everything you that you could want and more than you expect when it comes style and picture quality. The 42PFP5332D/37 has a USB port for connecting your camera, portable media player or even your computer for sharing audio, video and still pictures. This 42″ plasma has built-in analog and digital tuners, so you can receive both signals without worrying about next year’s television switch to digital. You’ll be viewing the ultimate combination of sharpness, color and smooth motion in great detail thanks to Pixel Plus 3 HD, and it comes with Virtual Dolby Surround so you’ll hear cinema-style sound without the need for rear speakers. The Philips 42PFP5332D/37 Plasma HDTV offers all of this and more with plug & play installation to add a new component, so you’ll have more time to watch tv without any technical problems.