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HDTV Almanac - Will Flash Trump High-Def DVDs?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 7 2007, 2:00pm

All the pundits are still trying to handicap the race between the two blue laser high-definition DVD technologies. (For the record, this pundit has already picked HD DVD as the eventual winner over Blu-ray.) At the USDC investors’ conference for displays last week in New York City, my friend and colleague Pete Putman posed an [...]

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HDTV Almanac - New Wine in New Bottles: Laser TV HDTVs

By Alfred Poor • Mar 6 2007, 2:00pm

Anyone familiar with HDTV issues knows that the rear projection television — RPTV — market defies gravity. These devices are largely 1080p resolution, so you get the best image detail possible, and they come in the large sizes that people need for a typical living room viewing distance. They weigh much less than a plasma [...]

Digital Rights Management (DRM)HD DVDLaser HDTVDigital (DTV) Transition

HDTV Almanac - HD DVD Copy Protection Unlocked

By Alfred Poor • Feb 23 2007, 2:00pm

Word broke last week that someone had found a way to unlock the AACS digital rights management (which is another way of saying “copy protection”) for the new high definition blue laser DVDs. These discs are “locked” using a key that is stored on the DVD. Someone discovered a way to find the key, which [...]

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HDTV Almanac - HD DVD Continues Early Lead

By Alfred Poor • Sep 29 2006, 1:00pm

The conflict between BluRay and HD DVD as the new blue laser standard format for high definition DVDs is rapidly evolving into a religious conflict similar to the one between the Mac and the PC. You can find heated debate and impassioned defenses for both sides all over the Web. The staff at HDBlu.com decided [...]

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HDTV Almanac - HD Red Laser Drive Debuts

By Alfred Poor • Jul 11 2006, 1:00pm

If you don’t want to spend $500 to $1,000 or more for a drive to play HDTV content on high-density blue laser discs, you now have an option. The AVeL LinkPlayer2 will go on sale at CompUSA on August 1, with a $249 list price. Yes, this is a red laser device that plays standard [...]

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HDTV Almanac - Blue Lasers: Follow the Money!

By Alfred Poor • Jun 21 2006, 1:00pm

The first Blu-ray high definition DVD drives have finally started to ship, and at last, we are starting to see comparisons between Blu-ray and HD DVD based on actual products instead of just published specifications and supposition. But why do we have this major battle between two competing high definition, blue laser DVD standards?
You might [...]

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HDTV Almanac - Panasonic Picks DivX

By Alfred Poor • May 24 2006, 1:00pm

Last week, Panasonic announced plans to include DivX support in two DVD video recorders: the DMR-EH55S and the DMR-EH75VS. Both will have HDMI connectors, and are capable of up-converting output to a 1080i resolution signal. Both have hard disk drives, and have red laser DVD burners. The new recorders are expected to ship end [...]

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HDTV Almanac - Blue laser HD-DVD Arrives

By Alfred Poor • Apr 19 2006, 1:00pm

Well, a high-density DVD target deadline has finally been met, and the Toshiba HD-A1 went on sale for $499 this week in the U.S. Reports indicate that supplies were slim and sales were brisk, in spite of the fact that there are only three movie titles available for the players.
This news means that we can [...]

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HDTV Almanac - More Laser HDTV

By Alfred Poor • Apr 7 2006, 1:00pm

Recently, we have had more announcements about the use of lasers as light sources for rear projection HDTVs. Last month, Epson announced plans to develop one using polarized lasers and LCD imagers. And now comes word that Mitsubishi is looking to build an RPTV using lasers with a Texas Instruments DLP chip.
The advantage of using [...]

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HDTV Almanac - More Blue Laser DVD Woes

By Alfred Poor • Mar 23 2006, 1:00pm

Sony recently made it official and announced delays in their Blu-ray drive shipments. Now the other shoe has dropped, and the HD DVD camp has a delay of their own. Warner Home Video was supposed to ship the first HD DVD titles last week, but that’s now put off until April. And only three of [...]

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HDTV Almanac - Who Needs Blue Lasers?

By Alfred Poor • Mar 9 2006, 1:00pm

I’ve said before that improved compression such as MPEG4 H.264 make it possible — even practical — to put high-definition full-length movies on a standard red-laser DVD. The complaint from the movie houses is that this doesn’t leave enough room for all the other things (that I don’t watch) such as director’s commentary, alternate [...]

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HDTV Almanac - A Blue Laser DVD Solution?

By Alfred Poor • Jan 23 2006, 1:00pm

There’s a new voice in the conflict over competing high-density blue-laser DVD standards. The HD Disc Consumer Advocacy Alliance has weighed in with a manifesto that declares that supporters of HD-DVD and Blu-ray “must set their differences aside and work to find a compromise for a single, unified high-definition optical disc format.”
I find this demand [...]

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HDTV Almanac - CES 2006: No Clear Winner on Blue Laser DVDs

By Alfred Poor • Jan 10 2006, 2:49pm

Traditional DVDs using a red laser and MPEG2 compression do not have the storage capacity for a full-length movie in HD format. Using a blue laser with shorter wavelength light allows designers to use smaller pits and thus store more data on a disc the same size as a standard DVD or CD. Two camps [...]

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HDTV Almanac - Blu-ray First to Market?

By Alfred Poor • Dec 28 2005, 1:00pm

It looks as though the race to be first to deliver a blue-laser, high-definition DVD player to the market may be won by the Blu-ray camp. Toshiba had announced that it was going to ship a drive based on the competing HD DVD standard before the end of 2005, but was unable to make good [...]

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HDTV Almanac - HP Asks for BluRay Changes

By Alfred Poor • Oct 26 2005, 1:00pm

New developments continue in the fight to create the high-definition DVD format, though it appears that we’re still far from being able to name a winner in the blue laser competition. HP had been a backer of BluRay for a long time, but last week, the company went public with its desire that the BluRay [...]