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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Blu-ray Players (37) DVD Players (45) HD DVD Players (6)

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Wednesday, 01 August 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player
Introduction HD DVD vs. Blu-ray. It seems, once again, consumers are in the middle of yet another format war. While round one has seemingly come and gone with the introduction of both parties’ initial efforts a little over a year ago, like all good fights, nothing is ever won in the first round and consumers now find themselves entrenched in round two. You could argue that round one had to go to Blu-ray (despite missing the opening bell by months) with their true 1080p support trumping HD DVD’s 1080i-only resolution. However, the victory was a hollow one, for the first batch of 1080p discs were less than stellar and often looked worse then their HD DVD and sometimes even standard DVD counterparts. Now, both sides have full 1080p support and, with the introduction of the new Toshiba HD-A20 reviewed here, it seems HD DVD’s trump card is now price. At $499 retail, the HD-A20 ...
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Denon DVD-5910CI Universal Disc Player
Introduction The format war for high-definition discs wages on, but for now, DVD is still the reigning king of home video formats. We all have years of back catalogue DVDs in our collections, and a solid player is of paramount importance to any theater. High-resolution audio in the form of SACD and DVD-Audio are still prominent and Denon makes several levels of players capable of spinning CD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and SACD discs, with their top of the line spinner being the DVD-5910CI priced at $3,800. The DVD-5910CI is designed to be the primary source for a high-end home theater or whole home distribution system and, as such, offers connectivity not often found on consumer level goods. The “CI” stands for Custom Integration. This is Denon’s way of identifying their products with connectivity and control features for home integration and theaters using advance control systems. This flagship DVD player in the Denon line offers a vast array ...
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player
Introduction The HD DVD format has been out for just over a year now, and Toshiba is now on to the second generation of their high-def disc players. HD DVD was first to the market, beating Blu-ray by a few months. Despite a big shot in the arm from Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s $179 Xbox 360 add-on HD DVD player, high-def discs have yet to explode the way that DVD did when that format was first launched. The initial reaction of most consumers was that the players were slow and clunky; many of the discs looked good, but some of the transfers were grainy and many felt that the picture quality of HD DVD was a tad sharper than Blu-ray. Hardware and firmware improvements in the first-generation Blu-ray players, such as the Samsung BDP-1000, have closed the gap that existed between the picture quality lead that HD DVD held over Blu-ray. Now, very ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Player
Introduction This early in the development of the Blu-ray format, amidst a format war with rival HD DVD, Sony’s first player hits the market as one of the few real-world options for people looking to play back 1080p video on their HDTVs. Priced at $999, the Sony BDP-S1 competes with offerings from Samsung and Panasonic, as well as the hard-to-get Sony Playstation 3 game console. Included with the player is a copy of The Fifth Element (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray. A free Blu-ray movie, Talledega Nights, also accompanies Sony’s Playstation 3 game console. The Sony BDP-S1 came to my house the same day as Sony’s new 70-inch SXRD rear-projection TV, the KDS-R70XBR2, so all at once I was fully up for 1080p. I quickly unpacked the Sony player from its box and Styrofoam packing, unwrapped it, placed it in my rack and swapped its digital connection with that of another of my DVD ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive
Introduction This past holiday season, as people lined up in droves to try to get their hands on a Blu-ray-equipped Sony Playstation 3 video gaming console, little attention was paid to the fact that Microsoft was rolling out their external HD DVD player drive for the already well-established Xbox 360 system. With a base price of $399 for the 20-gig Xbox 360 and $199 for the add-on external HD DVD drive, Microsoft was able to essentially match Sony stride-for-stride in the high-definition format war for just about the same price, as a 20-gig PS3 costs $499 and the 60-gig PS3 is priced at $599. Both systems’ HD disc players can be operated with the game pads, but Microsoft has chosen to include a full-featured infrared remote with their $199 HD DVD player. The Sony PS3 Blu-ray drive controller will set you back another $25. You get a little more hard drive space and a ...
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