Audio News for September 26, 2008

by | Sep 26, 2008 | Audio News | 0 comments

Toshiba Seeks to Battle Blu-ray With $199 Upscaler – Having lost out in the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray battle, Toshiba will be introducing their low cost add-on DVD upscaler next month, which some advance reactions claim achieve about as good quality as much more expensive Blu-ray players with Blu-ray discs. Toshiba also has a complete standalone DVD player with the HD upscaler built in. The XD-E500 upconverts DVDs to 1080p resolution along with special adjustable image-enhancement settings.

Internet Video Downloading – Several Hollywood studios have teamed up with consumer electronics makers to deliver HD movies and other video over the Internet – competing with physical Blu-ray players and discs.  Of course these are not 1080p but 720p, because that is the maximum allowable resolution currently possible on the Internet. There are efforts afoot of movie producers and electronics manufacturers to make it easier for users to download and view copyrighted HD content on all types of devices. The president of the consortium known as the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem was quoted in BusinessWeek as saying “Getting movies off the Net involves plenty of hassles today. Downloads can take forever, selections are limited, and piracy-protection schemes make it tough to move a movie you get from a PC to a TV.”  The group intends to work on such issues.

Blu-ray Players Now Under $200
– Amazon is currently selling the Sony BDP-S300 for under $200, and Samsung’s BD-P1500 player is now under $200 at RadioShack’s online site. The special deal continues thru tomorrow and may or may not be extended.

Many Blu-ray Music Videos Coming – The outlook is very positive for a large number of music video Blu-ray releases in the near future, including jazz, classical, opera and ballet.  Studios were a bit slow with music video DVDs because many such laserdiscs were released and sales were extremely meager due to the low penetration of that format.  Then operas on DVD began to do well and that area has burgeoned. Now a number of new producing organizations are in the picture and there is a vast catalog of music events shot originally in HD available for future release on Blu-ray. There has only been a single audio-only Blu-ray so far, and to our thinking that is logical.

Amazon Leads in Classical Music Downloading
– The San Francisco Examiner did a survey of various online vendors of classical recordings.  They had four well-known albums to check if the particular vendor stocked them, and also checked what file formats and bit rates were offered and whether or not the files were DRM (copyright) protected. Amazon.com, who had all four albums in MP3/256K format, without DRM, was the winner.

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