January 03, 2007 by EH Staff
1. It’s a format war. There are two incompatible formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Most movie studios support one or the other, so a movie that appears on one format won’t work in a player for the other. We may see some dual-format players this year, but don’t hold your breath.
2. Capacity is key. A Blu-ray Disc can hold 50 GB worth of content; HD DVD holds up to 30 GB. That means that a mere three discs can hold about a full day of butt kicking from 24’s Jack Bauer.
3. Dollars and sense. Is cost a deciding factor? HD DVD players start around $500, which is half the cost of the Blu-ray machines made by competitors.
4. Choose your game face. Sony’s PlayStation 3 has a built-in Blu-ray player; Microsoft’s Xbox offers a $200 external HD DVD unit. Both display amazing gaming graphics as well as your favorite high-def movies.
5. Listen up. High-definition DVD blasts realistic high-quality 7.1-channel Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, along with new HD audio formats.
6. 1080p is for me. If you want maximum HD goodness, make sure your HDTV can accept a 1080p signal. Players of both high-def DVD formats have 1080p outputs.
7. Enjoy old-school. Today’s high-def DVD players are compatible with your standard-def DVDs. Some even play audio CDs.
8. Close, but no cigar. Some standard DVD players can upconvert to almost 720p to 1080i quality. However, this does not make them high-def DVD players.
9. Hail HDMI. You may need the high-definition multimedia interface connection for both digital audio and video to enjoy high-def movies in their full resolutions. (Tip: Look for connections that support HDMI version 1.3)
10. And the winner is … Are you kidding? Stay tuned.
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