High-definition at home is the big theme at the IFA consumer electronics show this year with a myriad of media players and a titanic turnout of new TVs. Not to be left out, Sony announced two new Blu-ray Disc players: the BDP-S300 and the BDP-S500. The BDP-S300 (top) and the BDP-S500 Blu-ray players Sony's BDP-S300 (top) and …
What's optional and missing on budget Blu-Ray is mandatory on HD DVD as part of the spec. Namely Dolby TrueHD decoding.
What's missing is not important...
...because what is already there is more important.
Mandatory AACS in BD and BD+ means players and individual titles can be disabled by Sony at their discretion by key revocation through poisoning of new releases discs with the revocation certificates or through SRM via the Internet.
So you buy a BD player, then one day find, after inserting a legally purchased Pirates of the Caribbean 18 that it is rejected by your intelligent HDMI wire, because Sony decided that in this model of players the multi-region unlock is too easy...
Or, perhaps, your player still works but your cherished copy of Ocean's 21 cannot be played because Warner Brothers released a special collectors directors recut silver-lined platinum edition and pulled the "license" of the previously released discs to force you to buy it again...
Thanks but no, thanks. Not for me. And HD-DVD is not much better.
Why isn't the price given? Mainstream to Sony isn't mainstream to the world. Maybe that is why the price isn't given.
Have to expect $399 or less
The PS3 will be selling for $499 for Christmas and provides excellent playback amongst its many other features. Any "budget" standalone player by Sony is going to have to sell for less than that. Therefore I reckon $399 or less. It would be a bombshell if it sells at $300. I personally see no reason it couldn't seeing as the main problem of blue laser diode shortages and price has long gone.
re: Have to expect $399 or less
So, from Sony's track record, and given the current exchange rate of approx $2 per £1 that'll work out at about £350 :)
Well at the very least the price of the S300 is available, on Sonys website. $500 is still a tad dear for my pocket book at the moment, but at least they are still heading downwards at a reasonable rate.
$500 for the mainstream model? As a previous poster says, just buy a PS3 and have done with it.
Looking at the bigger picture however, I'm still not convinced that either will really take off anytime soon. DVD went astronomical because the man in the street could see a major improvement over VHS. These days, you can buy an upscaling dvd player for £100 and not need to re-purchase your entire movie collection to take advantage. HD still looks better, but by what margin?
I got the BDP-S300 in June and it performs nicely. No complaints so far. It also does a very good job at upscaling DVDs.
Some have remarked that a PS3 is about the same price. Get it if you play games but since I don't, I felt the S300 to be better suited in my living room.
would not touch High Def DVD
To be honest I would not touch any High Def DVD system at the moment, no matter what the cost. What is the use of getting one version if only some films come out in that format? A mate of mine got himself a DVD-Hd system 12 months ago and find out that there are some films that he likes have come out on Blu-ray only , it would have been no different if he got a Blu-ray.
Is it not about time these big manufactures come to some agreement to produce a standard, they did it with normal DVD and with Cd, so why the hell can't they do it with Hi-def?
Just a way of getting people to buy and then buy again.
When will we see the Alba unit at ASDA for £19.97?
never if it's Blu-Ray and with Sony's stranglehold.
£20 Chinese made models of HD DVD players however are a possibility. Still some years off though, if it ever happens (by the time the public are ready for HD we may have something new to replace both formats anyway and these two become nothing more than what DVD-A/SACD were).
dual format players are the only way to go
the only way I'd buy a BR player is in a PS/3 because at least if BR dies like betamax did, then at least you've got a useful games console.
however, if hd-dvd dies and you bought the adaptor for the xbox, there's a chance you could get a BR drive for the xbox!
unless you don't care about blowing at least $400 on a potentially dead-end player, either rent one if you must, or splash the extra and get the dual format player.
Buy a dual format player
Then, after a couple of years when one format is dominant, find that dual format quietly disappears and half of your movies are unplayable on most new machines. Better be gentle with that old dual format job and count the hours on that oh-so-reliable blue laser diode.
Nope, only go the dual format route if the hacks are there to transfer content from one format to the other. Lets hope AACS turns out to suck as much as CSS.
...is a standardisation.
Something that has been present in HD DVD from the start which is why more places are becoming exclusive...
Have you heard the one about the first gen players being unable to play new discs when v1.1 comes in to force.