Luxury Electronics: Meet the Blu-rays! Here is a format so new that it is ahead of its own hardware. Sony's Blu-ray Disc is the latest format to enter the DVD marketplace. However, the new disc format can be played on current DVD players, as the Blu-ray Disc is fully backward compatible with existing DVD machines.
The first seven movies on this format will be available by the end of June 2006, and more programs will be released monthly from numerous suppliers. Meanwhile, the first Blu-ray Disc players are simultaneously coming out in 2,000 stores across the U.S. per Video Business (VB) magazine. VB also reported that two major retailers, Best Buy and Circuit City, have already placed the Blu-ray Disc players on their shelves despite the industry-requested moratorium. Per Sony's website, its Blu-Ray Disc player, the BDP-S1, is expected to be available by late October. Pricing on the Blu-ray Disc players starts at around $1,000.
Industry sources claim there is no format with better audio and video clarity and storage capability. This is the best option for the convergence of film, music, gaming and other computer-entertainment on one standardized format. Its interactivity and easy-to-use menus make it simple to use. The Blu-ray Disc's storage capacity is five times greater than other DVDs. Its 1080p/24 resolution is comparable to clarity found in theaters. Samsung, with its BD-P1000, is the first manufacturer to enter the market. Major players about to jump into it include Pioneer (Elite BDP-HD1),Panasonic (DMP-BD10), and LG. Panasonic has a complete
Blu-ray Disc home-theater system that has a matching receiver and a speaker system. LG and Samsung are looking into hybrid players that would play both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD formats. On the IT front, Sony's VAIO (VGN-AR190G) is the first Blu-ray Disc-compatible notebook computer. The new format is fully supported by 160 leading hardware and software manufacturers in both the consumer electronic (CE) and IT industries. What's next? Stay tuned.
For LxM James Rothaar
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