Here it is folks, it’s what you’ve all been waiting for (or not): The very first Blu-ray / DVD hybrid disc. With permeable layers for DVD and Blu-ray, and different thicknesses between those layers, the lasers penetrate to certain depths allowing for either the DVD or Blu-ray to be read. There is one huge benefit to this new hybrid disc – backward compatibility. Instead of buying two copies of the same movie (we doubt you actually do that) on Blu-ray and DVD, you only need one disc to play in your Cadillac Escalade, portable DVD player or PS3. Get the picture? For now, it’s only available in Japan, but we suspect this technology will make its way to the States sooner or later. It would only make sense, right?
We can’t hate it when we find out that something interesting is going to be unveiled at CES 2009 since all signs are pointing to the fact that it doesn’t look like it will be commonplace this time around. That won’t stop Sharp from showing up with a sweet arsenal, though it’s hard to call two new sets an arsenal. According to a Sharp executive, Sharp will be debuting two new Aquos HDTVs at CES that come packing integrated Blu-ray / DVD / CD players. There will be a 32″ model and a 42″ model unveiled and both will become available for sale shortly after the show. As far as pricing, Sharp will wait for the show to make anything official, though rumor has it the 42″ model will come in somewhere around $2,000 and will also feature 1080p HD resolution and a 120Hz frame-rate processing. We definitely can’t wait to check out these new Aquos sets along with what will hopefully be a few surprises from Sharp at CES next month.
Samsung BD-P2550 owners, it’s time to get your firmware update on. Non-Samsung BD-P2550 owners, it’s time to add this puppy to your wishlist. Until this morning, we had our eye on the LG BD-300 as the player / set top box combo du jour. As it turns out however, we’re jumping ship faster than Lady de Rothschild. The BD-P2550 just got a major firmware update that brings not only Netflix streaming, but Pandora streaming as well. In other words, for $50 more than LG’s box you can throw Pandora streaming into the mix and add DTS-HD audio support in another firmware update coming on October 30. We’ll take two.
[Via Zatz Not Funny]
Early last month we told you about this beauty of a Blu-ray player by LG. Affordability, sexiness and the added joy of being able to stream Netflix downloads to your TV make it tough to deny the BG300. Well people, it just got a little bit tougher. LG’s Netflix-streaming Blu-ray player is now officially available for pre-order from Circuit City and the already-attractive price is $50 lower than we all thought. Scheduled to start shipping next Friday, the BD300 is up on Circuit City’s site for $349.99. It is also available for pre-order on Amazon’s site but at the original $400 price point. Aside from being $50 more expensive compared to the Circuit City price, Amazon’s BD300 page also states an estimated ship date between two and five months. Umm, yeah – we’re going to have to go with Circuit City on this one.
For those of you that have been waiting to pick up a spanking new Playstation 3, this Sunday might be your day of reckoning. Thanks to a leaked Blockbuster pricing sheet, we’ve discovered that the recently discontinued Playstation 3 40GB version has dropped by $40, bringing the total to $359.99. It’s not a massive drop, but it might be enough to push anyone that was teetering on the verge of purchase over the edge. Keep in mind that this is a discontinued model, so supplies are likely to be limited. As such, you might want to check with your local store to make sure they still have ’em in stock. Oh, and if the PS3 40GB bundle with an included HDMI cable, copy of Spiderman: The Movie, and Transformers: The Game, sounds like bit more appealing, you’ll be happy to learn that this too will be the recipient of a $40 drop. Excited yet?
Here it is people, the first Blu-ray player to be announced with an MSRP under $300. It might not be quite as high-class as Goldmund’s Eidos 20 BD and it might not be quite as versatile as LG’s BG-3000 with integrated Netflix streaming, but those of you looking for some Blu-ray love on the cheap this is definitely right up your alley. Specs:
- Progressive scan Blu-ray Disc player 1080p capability for higher definition video content
- Full HD 1080p, DVD up-conversion up to 1080p (480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p), 24p, 60p video frame rate
- Multi-channel audio content (supports more advanced Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD)
- BD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, CD-ROM, CD, CD-R/-RW
- 16:9 / 4:3 picture select
- On-screen graphical user interface
- Slow motion function (2x – 4x – 8x)
- RW/FF play function (2x – 4x – 8x – 16x)
- VFD display
In a nutshell, Memorex’s upcoming offering is a pretty capable player at a pretty affordable price. Nothing more, nothing less. This unit should go a long way in making Blu-ray accessible to a much wider variety of consumer. It could also do us all a favor as competitive brands are forced to respond to the lower price range. The MVBD-2510 will be available in November just in time for the gift-giving season and will carry a recommended price tag of $269.99.
Plenty of awesome-looking gear was flaunted at the CEDIA expo this past week and wallets will soon be shrinking all around the country as a result. From $35,000 70-inch plasmas to, well, just about everything else you would ever want to stuff into your home theater, gear fans around the globe are drooling over the releases to come over the next few months. Several announcements have caught our eye so far, and one of them is the little beauty pictured above. First announced at CES this past year, the LG BD300 might just be the Blu-ray player you’ve been waiting for – if you’ve been waiting for a new player that is. Forget about the 1080p Blu-ray video compatibility and the DVD upconverting (ok don’t completely forget about that), this little demon will also replace your current set top box and allow you to stream Netflix downloads to your TV. If you’re a Netflix customer who has been waiting to find the right Blu-ray player, you probably just found it. If you’re a Blockbuster Total Access customer who has been getting more and more annoyed as they increase prices and remove benefits, you probably just found a good reason to make the switch. Of note, the BD300 will ship with BD-Profile 1.1 and the company claims that firmware updates will be fast and painless in the event the spec changes five minutes after you buy the player. This makes sense of course, since the unit is always connected via Ethernet. The LG BD300 will become available in October and will carry a relatively easy to swallow price tag of $399.