New Blu-ray and HD DVD Players This Holiday Season
This coming holiday season consumers will see a host of “next generation” high-definition players hitting the market – in both the HD DVD and Blu-ray format.
For the Blu-ray camp, Denon has recently announced their intention to release the first high-end Blu-ray player. The Denon DVD-3800BDCI is scheduled for release this fall carrying a price tag of $1,999. This will also be the first Blu-ray player to feature the powerful Silicon Optix’s 10-bit Realta HQV video processor, as seen in the Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player. The player will also feature HDMI v1.3 output allowing for enough bandwidth to pass the new high-resolution audio formats from DTS and Dolby to an HDMI 1.3 equipped receiver for decoding.
Samsung has also announced the release of their third generation models. The BD-P1400 will hit store shelves in September and will feature HDMI v1.3 and onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio decoding. Retail price of the BD-P1400 is listed at $549. Following in October, Samsung will release the next third generation player, the BD-P2400. This player will be slightly more expensive at $599, and feature a better video processor called the HQV.
On the HD DVD front, Toshiba is rumored to be releasing their line of third generation players beginning this October. While the official announcement will most likely come at the CEDIA tradeshow in early September, Amazon.com gave consumers an early glimpse of these players on its pages but the links have since been removed and all preorders cancelled. The third generation lineup of Toshiba players reportedly will consist of the HD-A3, HD-A30, and HD-A35, at prices of $299, $399 and $499, respectively.
While Blu-ray seems to have the edge on the movie titles being released, HD DVD seems to have more reasonably priced players hitting the market thus leaving the HD format war at a dead heat. People predicting a winner are easily six to twelve months too early. Early adopters are buying players and the studio and electronics companies alike are working out the plentiful bugs in the players and their hard-to-live-with copy protection scheme.
Sources: Engadget, Twice, High-Def Digest