12/30/08

A shout out to the beloved CHASE BUNGER. It looks like a chance for the HD-DVD player owner's to get some lovely HD titles at a great price. Click right HERE for Fry's XBOX 360 HD-DVD add-on (bundled with "Heroes" & "Battlestar Galactica") and previously-viewed HD-DVD titles for cheap down at Blockbuster. Hooray for Bunger!!!

LG's Blu-ray Disc player (BD300) which can stream 12,000 Netflix titles (plus 300 more in 720p~HD), boasts the ability to view other online content (YouTube, etc.) as well. Who's next? (Samsung?). Click right HERE for more on that.

12/28/08

It's true, folks. Only a few more days to get your FREE "Digital converter Boxes" from Uncle Sam (2 per household). They've set aside $1.5 Billion for everyone in America who still gets their TV channels off an antenna (or "rabbit ears"). If you've got cable or satellite, you don't have to do anything.

Also, after the signals get shut off, your old ANALOG televisons will still be able to show your VCR, Nintendo, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Tivo, Camcorder, etc...The only thing your old TV won't be able to do (without a converter box) is watch broadcast television (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX). Better hurry. Time's a wastin'! (about 50 days left)

For more info on this, check out our HDTV Truths page. We'll have an updated version of that page soon (preview below).

12/17/08

The Dark Knight is officially the first Blu-ray Disc title to brake a million copies. Click right HERE for an article bragging the currently "1.7 million copies sold" for just its first week. By the way, the picture (especially the IMAX parts) look great and the "TrueHD" (Dolby) soundtrack is almost as good as Hellboy2's "Master Audio" (DTS HD). We'll be adding The Dark Knight Blu-ray to our Test Discs page. Be sure to check it out...

You may have noticed tonight during your local news the affiliate was performing a DTV Test to see if your TV is ready for the big "Digital Transition" on February 17th, 2009. People seem to having a lot of trouble with this subject so we're going to rebuild the HDTV Truths page from the ground up to make it as clear as possible for those out there who have received a lot of mis-information the last few months. Look for that soon...

Mr. Steve Lane is keeping us up on the ongoing TWEETER saga. It appears that they have 15 days to get all of their product out of all of their stores and might be planning some sort of "Warehouse Sale" in the near future. Thanks, Steve!

12/11/08

Below is an email Dr. Oravetz received from "OPPO" (the leader in "up-converting" DVD players) announcing their very first Blu-ray Disc player. Check it out below...

"OPPO BDP-83 Blu-Ray Disc Player Update

"Dear Dr. Oravetz,

"Thank you for signing up to receive information about our upcoming OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player. We appreciate your interest, and would like to update you on the current development status of this exciting new product.

"One of the major design goals for the BDP-83 is to deliver first-class video quality for both Blu-ray and DVD. We based and expanded upon our top-of-the-line DV-983H up-converting DVD player and fully utilize the unparalleled performance of the VRS by Anchor Bay video processing solution. You can expect all the high-end video features including Source Direct for DVD and Blu-ray, high definition HDMI scaling, Edge and Detail Enhancement options, and 1080p24Hz output for both Blu-ray and DVD.

"We did not stop at just video performance. We further refined the audio stage, including the addition of discrete stereo outputs and increasing the power and efficiency of the power supply. For SACD playback, the BDP-83 supports direct DSD over HDMI and DSD-to-analog without any PCM conversion, a very unique feature.

"With the BDP-83, we intend to release a full-featured universal Blu-ray Disc player that supports BD Profile 2.0 (BD-Live), DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. As of this writing, the BDP-83 supports BD Profile 1.1 (BONUSVIEW), DVD-Video, SACD, and bitstreaming of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Progress is being made on a daily basis as our engineers work diligently around the clock to further enable DVD-Audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio onboard decoding, and BD Profile 2.0.

"The BDP-83 is currently undergoing an extensive and thorough Beta Test Program. We greatly appreciate all the feedback from our beta testers, as without their hard work and extraordinary attention to detail, the BDP-83 would not be the high quality product that our customers have come to expect from us.

"As many of our customers eagerly anticipate the release of the BDP83, we are contemplating a "BDP-83 Early Adoption Program" in late December or early January. This program will make available a limited number of units so you can purchase and experience the current implementation of the BDP-83's feature set, with the ability to download firmware as new features become available. The estimated price for the BDP-83 is around $499 to $599.

"OPPO Digital is a consumer-oriented company that listens carefully to customer opinions and values their feedback. If it were not for our customers' feedback and support, OPPO would not be where we are today. At OPPO we strive to provide our customers with quality products reinforced by exceptional customer service.

"Please email to BDP-83@oppodigital.com if you have any questions and comments, or simply reply to this email.

"Best Regards,

"Customer Service

"OPPO Digital, Inc. Tel: 650-961-1118 Fax: 650-961-1119 2629 Terminal Blvd., Suite B Mountain View CA 94043 USA

The folks who rent Blu-ray Discs from Netflix broke the "half a million" mark. This all seems to be happening much faster than predicted. Click right HERE for the story on that.

It looks like almost 150,000 stand-alone Blu-ray Disc players were sold on "Black Friday". This is, once again, happening a lot faster than predicted. Click right HERE for more on that.

THE DARK KNIGHT has sold over half a million copies in its first day of sales and stands to break a million by this weekend. TOP GUN was the first VHS movie to sell one million copies, THE MATRIX was the first DVD to sell a million copies and it looks like THE DARK KNIGHT will be the first Blu-ray Disc. Click right HERE for that story. Warner Bros. is reporting 25 to 30% of THE DARK KNIGHT movies sold are Blu-ray Disc.

It looks like there might be one more SALE for the TWEETER. Click right HERE to find out when and where.

Here's an ARTICLE over at Engaget reporting than almost 1 in 5 HDTV owners aren't actually using their HDTVs to watch HD content. Instead they must be tuning into to DVD, standard satellite/cable and maybe VHS (ouch).

Click right HERE for a short article on how the less expensive NINTENDO WII sold more consoles than XBOX360 and PS3 combined because of lower prices than the competitors.

12/8/08

Not to be out done by mere Blu-ray Disc players, Tivo is now streaming the "12,000 DVD-quality and 300 HD-quality" titles from Netflix. Click right HERE for a report from Electonic House on CNet's recent test-drive of this new system.

Here's an in-depth article from the Wall Street Journal called THE WAY WE'LL WATCH, which discusses the latest (and proposed) Home Theater technology and how it will effect the future of movie watching (at home and at down at your local theater).

12/6/08

That firmare update to let your Samsung Blu-ray players "instantly watch" movies from NETFLIX is finally available. Click right HERE for the info on that and the link to Samsung's website. But if you're planning on streaming videos over the internet to your Samsung Blu-ray Disc player, you should probably already have an ETHERNET connection running to it and be able to have the Blu-ray Disc player go check with Samsung's website and "get" the latest firmware upgrade (if there's one available), every time you turn on the player. Makes it pretty simple, doesn't it? Anyone out there using their Blu-ray Disc player or XBOX 360 to download Netflix titles at home? Please let us know about it. Thanks.

Also, HERE'S an article about how "BD-LIVE" (a Blu-ray Disc "Profile 2.0" standard) is catching on and how more and more people are wanting to "log on" and watch the movie on Blu-ray Disc while the director and people from all over the world discuss it. Aside from superior picture and sound quality, this "connectivity" feature is what will put Blu-ray Disc ahead of DVD. You live in Los Angeles, your friend in New York. You both put in your copy of "The Dark Knight" on Blu-ray Disc and during the entire movie you can text each other, commenting on the film as you both watch it at the same time. "Beam me up, Scotty."

???

Also, keep those questions coming in. The questions we receive from you guys let us know what we need to add to our site or which areas need more detailed (or simplified) explanations on our existing pages. Thanks again for your help!

12/4/08

Be sure and check out Home Media Magazine's report on the world's 2nd BD-Live event of its kind. Click right HERE for all the info on sitting in with director Chris Nolan (and 100,000 other people) while the Dark Knight plays in the background. Even if you're not into BD-Live (or even into Batman) you've got to see this movie (if you haven't already). Be the first of 100,000 on Dec. 18th to join in on Dec. 28th. Be there if you can...

Also, to follow up, Electronic House is reporting that TWEETER might unlock its doors this weekend at a few locations. Click right HERE for that info. Looks like there might be a few deals out there yet. Let us know what you find.

12/3/08

Denon has always like to boast "The World's First" in front of its products. Well, the new DVD-A1UD Blu-ray Disc player claims to be the world's first "Universal Blu-ray Disc Player". Plays any kind of disc you can think of and decodes all your favorite surround formats. Check it out below:

Some of you may have noticed that your YouTube videos are being played in a WIDESCREEN format with black bars on the sides. The advertised "ADD &fmt=22 FOR REAL HD" doesn't seem to work for us, but we've found a "watch in high quality" link under the right side of the screen (for these 720p-HD videos), directly under the volume and full-screen icons during playback. The trick to finding these "720p HD" videos is to search on YouTube for "720p HD" in the search window. Click right HERE to get those results. When you click on a video from that list, it always plays in the "standard" format. You have to click the "watch in high quality" link every time you go to that video. The difference is incredible. Enjoy.

Also Mr. Steve Lane let us know that Sony had been blocking their movies (Sony Pictures) from being downloaded on the XBOX 360 (through Netflix). But Steve says they're starting to let some titles through. Maybe Sony should give Blockbuster a call and get some HD movies streaming on the PS3. Wouldn't be any fun if we didn't have a little competition in the world...(thanks, Steve!)

12/2/08

Steve and Sheri Lane just let us know about TWEETER retail electronics chain locking its doors. For those of you not familiar with Tweeter, the map above explains why you're in the majority. Click right HERE for the link Mr. Lane sent us from CEPro.com. Thanks Steve!

Almost 2 months away from being fact, cities around the nation are testing their DIGITAL broadcasts by shutting down the analog for just a minute or two to see who's in the dark. More on that from Sound and Vision's website today. Remember if you have cable or satellite, you don't have to worry about the "DIGITAL TRANSITION". If you get your TV shows off of RABBIT EARS or a ROOF-TOP ANTENNA then click right HERE for what you need to know. Good luck.

Also from Sound and Vision's site, Pioneer has announced a 400 GB Blu-ray Disc with 16 layers (at 25GB each). They swear it'll play on existing Blu-ray Disc players and they're eventually working their way up to 1 terabyte (1,000 GB) discs. Click right HERE for more info on that.

12/1/08

With the few Blu-ray Disc players out there (Profile 2.0) offering free Netflix movies over an ethernet connection (with a subscription), the next step was obviously Hi-Def (720p). Just like the XBOX 360, these Blu-ray Disc players will also be able to take advantage of those "300 HD titles" Netflix promised. Click right HERE for the skinny on that.

Not to be out-done, Blockbuster wants to stream HD movies to "Profile 2.0" Blu-ray Disc players, too- as early as next year. This BLUE N' RED offering of two relatively similar products reminds me of another war we had not too long ago...

Again, these "free" down-loadable movies are delivered in only 720p (FOX or ABC) and standard COMPRESSED audio (DVD). Check out our Picture Quality and Sound Quality pages for a little more clarification. As we've said before, the best way for Blu-ray to beat VOD (Video On Demand) is to make it available to their customers.

11/25/08

On Sunday night, director Guillermo del Toro answered one of our questions (in 2 parts) during his live chat (from New Zealand). We were so impressed with the soundtrack on his Blu-ray Disc of the film (7.1ch "Master Audio") we had to know if he was personally involved in its creation. If you missed it, here are some screen shots (below) from Engadget.com showing the 2 different ways you could watch the film during the live chat. A historical first, this is just a taste of things to come with the long awaited "Profile 2.0" Blu-ray Disc standard finally up and running.

Here are his responses to our question below, copied right from the live chat (typo's and all). Click right HERE for the complete transcript from Sunday night's BD-Live event. When you get there they'll ask you to "sign in" at Univeral Studios and if you don't have an account you can register (you don't have to own a copy of the movie or even own a Blu-ray Disc player to log in).

11/23/2008 18:42:31 "Do you personally sit in on the creation of the soundtrack (effects) for each of your movies?"

"yes. 100 percent. i am very hands on, and i have at least 2 or 3 foley sessions of my own when i do noises and my own pass at some foley. then i end up having 1, 2 or in the case of hellboy, 4 or 5 adr sessions to do the voices of the creatures."

11/23/2008 18:43:16 "Do you personally sit in on the creation of the soundtrack (effects) for each of your movies?"

"also very heavily involved in the editing of the sourntracks and i am a pain in the ass in the editing room. they really want to kill me. (cont...)"

That certainly explains why "PAN'S LABYRINTH" and "HELLBOY2" are easily some of the BEST reference-quality demo material out there for your "Master Audio" (DTS-HD) capable sound system. We appreciate Guillermo del Toro taking the time to answer our question, but we're even more grateful that he continues to put so much effort in creating a truly exceptional sound experience for his audience (even if it means upsetting the "editing room"). On behalf of A/V Truths, we'd like to thank the talented director for a job well done. Thank you, Sir (we can't wait to hear "THE HOBBIT").

Blockbuster has announced its VOD (Video On Demand) box for $100 (movies cost $1 to $4). The $100 is for the 25 rentals you pay for upfront ($4 each), and then the box is "FREE". Click right HERE for more info on that. It looks like things are moving more and more quickly. But we still don't believe that physical media (Blu-ray Discs) are going away any time soon. At least not until we can get full 1080p picture quality at 60 fps (frame per second) and 7 channels of completely uncompressed digital audio all sent over a phone line to our homes (so don't worry).

11/18/08

If you own an XBOX 360 (and a Netflix subscription, we figure) you'll be able to view over 12,000 titles in near DVD quality and around 300 in HD quality. Click right HERE for more information. Looks like this a trend we could get used to.

Also, you should check out "Hellboy2" on Blu-ray Disc. The "Master Audio" track (in "7.1") is absolutely incredible. Even if you're only running 5 speakers, you can still hear the discrete effects that were recorded for 4 rear speakers (instead of only 2). The first 30 seconds of opening credits sound better than the best parts of most Blu-ray Discs we've sampled. This is the best "Master Audio" soundtrack released so far. Definitely worth your time.

Blu-ray Test Discs

11/15/08

What Universal Studios is calling a historical "first" in the consumer electronics industry, click right HERE for the details of "HELLBOY 2" director, Guillermo del Toro's on line "BD-Live" chat. We'll all put our copy of Hellboy 2 (on BD) in our ethernet-capable Blu-ray Disc players at the same time and watch it right along with the director as he chats and answers our questions. Pretty dang cool.

Someone has finally manufactured a stand-alone TERRESTRIAL (over an antenna) high-def coverter box with DVR built-in for your old, analog televisons AND for your "HD-ready" monitors and projectors. The HD video output (and DVR capabilities) is what sets this box apart from the "free" ($20) boxes the government's been handing out (FREE HDTV converters).

Remember the format war? Well with only a few titles in bargin bins near the front doors of electronics retailers (if there are any left), sadly Netflix drops HD-DVD next month, leaving supporters of the format with one less option. Bunger, we love you.

11/10/08

Big news you've probably already heard is that Circuit City filed BANKRUPTCY today. We hear they've got the same guys who pulled K-Mart out of the crapper helping them, so "The City" might not be down for the count quite yet.

To follow suit (and compete with Netflix), Blockbuster announces VOD set-top boxes for your television. Watch for more and more Blu-ray manufacturers to add a Netflix/Blockbuster firmware upgrade to their ethernet-equipped players...

11/9/08

The latest technology from Dolby Labs, Dolby Volume promises to keep the volume constant in your Home Theater no matter what's going on. Sounds like a marrage of good old "DRC" (Dynamic Range Compression) and Auddyssey's "Dynamic Volume" (which keeps the volume constant when switching between your sources). We might stress that the playback of your movies with the FEWEST changes possible to the sound (or picture) will ensure you view the movie as the director originally intended.

11/8/08

Here's a link discussing the Dark Knight on Blu-ray Disc and the anticipation of how well it will do in number of copies sold. A real landmark in Blu-ray Disc technology. "Ironman" sold half a million in its first week, "Dark Knight" should break a million easy.

Again, on November 18th Wall E on Blu-ray Disc comes out and Pixar is already bragging about how good this movie looks and sounds in uncompressed audio and 1080p. Each new Blu-ray Disc release looks and sounds better than the last.

Home Theater Magizine reports on a Federal (FCC) regulations demanding local channels on HD cable systems by the time the analog signals get shut off this February. Don't forget to get your free government converter boxes. And remember that your old, analog TVs will still display ALL of the A/V equipment you own.

And we're finally seeing Dolby Digital Plus in broadcasts in the European Union. Maybe the United States won't be far behind. "Dolby Digital Plus" sounds a little better than standard DTS and would be a welcome upgrade to free HD broadcasts coming in off of an antenna (or from your cable/satellite box).

For more information on these subjects check out our Dolby vs. DTS and HDTV Truths page.

Lastly, we're adding a list of resources (websites), where we get a lot of our information, to the bottom of our Home page so you guys can get a jump on breaking news before we do (if you're so inclined). Enjoy.

The Digital Bits (Blu-ray Disc & DVD info)

High-Def Digest (Blu-ray Disc info)

BigPictureBigSound (general Home Theater info)

Electronic House (general Home Theater info)

Sound & Vision Magazine (general Home Theater info)

Home Theater Magazine (general Home Theater info)

Video Business Online (consumer electronics manufacturers & Hollywood studios info)

Home Media Magazine (consumer electronics manufacturers & Hollywood studios info)

10/27/08

Click right HERE for a link which shows all the latest FIRMWARE UPDATES for several different manufacturers of Blu-ray Disc player. We'll be adding the link to the bottom of our Blu-ray Disc page. Check it out.

Click this link right HERE for a list of devices (Blu-ray Disc players) which can use their BD-Live technology (Ethernet jacks) to download free movies from Netflix. Sounds like any player with an Ethernet port (and BD-Live) could eventually receive a FIRMWARE UPGRADE and be able to get free movies (with a Netflix subscription, of course). We'll also be adding this link to the Blu-ray Disc page. Looks like the best way for Blu-ray Disc to defeat VOD (Video On Demand) is to beat them to the punch. Enjoy.

10/26/08

Here's a link introducing the DTSHD Master Audio|Essential option on certain Blu-ray Disc players. Apparently it DOES decode uncompressed "Master Audio" signal just fine, but offers no support for a few of the other "DTS" formats ("DTS-ES", "DTS 96/24", etc). Firmware upgrade on the way, maybe? Sounds a bit strange to us...

We've just demo'd a couple of great Blu-ray Discs. "PAN'S LABYRINTH" has the best "DTSHD Master Audio" (7.1) we've ever heard. It really outshines a lot of 20th Century Fox's titles with the "Master Audio" soundtracks on them. While those "Fox" titles sound much better than traditional DVD audio ("Dolby Digital" or "DTS"), they don't measure up to "Pan's Labyrinth" or even many of the "DolbyTrueHD" titles we've tried out.

Our theory is that some movies (Fox) are just getting their soundtracks sent through (and "up-converted" by) some kind of "DTSHD" machine while later titles (Like Pan's Labyrinth) are mixed in "Master Audio" from start to finish. There's definitely a noticable difference to be heard.

The other great Blu-ray Disc we've discovered is "THE ROLLING STONES: SHINE A LIGHT" from their "A Bigger Bang" tour. We're not really huge Stones fans but when we saw that this disc had only 3 audio tracks available ("Uncompressed PCM", "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio") we had to give it spin. Needless to say, it's a great way to demonstrate the subtle differences between the 3 flavors of uncompressed HD audio found on Blu-ray Disc.

Last but not least, we've finished our Free Home Theater Upgrades page, which offers a handful of things you can "tweak" on your current setup to get more sound and picture quality out your equipment (at no charge). Give it a look.

We'll be adding "Pan's Labyrinth" to the Blu-ray Disc Test Disc page and "The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light" to the bottom of the Uncompressed Audio page for folks to try out all 3 HD audio formats for themselves.

10/18/08

We've just posted our Picture Quality page. This might be "old hat" to a lot of you out there but it should shed some light on some common misconceptions. Give it look, will ya'?

In the works is a page showcasing things you can to do your existing Home Theater which will improve the picture and sound quality at no cost whatsoever. Coming soon!

10/11/08

A few quick updates for you guys today. We've added the Sound Quality page to our website. Again, this might be a bit beneath you Home Theater "veterans" out there, but you might join the rest of us and give it a look. We're currently working on a "PICTURE QUALITY" page, too. We hope to get that out to you soon. Enjoy.

Also, due to the availability of true, 7.1 recordings and uncompressed sound from Blu-ray Disc, we've upgraded the Budget Setup to keep with the latest technology. Unfortunately, like the other setups we post, the price has gone up. No longer a thrifty $500, you'll now find it at a pricey $750. Give it a look.

Here's preview of what we're working on:

10/9/08

Here's a great article by Al Griffin over at SOUND & VISION magazine covering the setup, operation and features of Panasonic's new Blu-ray Disc player ($399). Click right HERE for a great "hands-on" review.

And Sony just posted the owner's manual for their "BDP-S550", and it looks like (from the chart on page 66) that it, in fact, does decode "DTSHD Master Audio" internally. Click the right HERE for the manual (page 66). It looks like a sure thing, but we want to get our hands on one.

We'd like to thank LOU BRUCKER for today's post. Thanks, Lou!

10/6/08

Sanyo has claimed to invent technology which, in the next couple of years, promises to increase the storage capacity of Blu-ray Disc from 50GB to 100GB. We've been hearing about this for awhile, but now it's official. Click HERE for more info on that.

Integra (Onkyo) has announced their first Blu-ray Disc player. The "DBS-6.9" for only $600, promises to output "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over and HDMI cable (but has only 2-channel analog audio output). But still pretty cool (sorry non-HDMI receiver guys).

We've also had the chance to demo (survive) "Ironman" and "Transformers" on Blu-ray Disc. While "Ironman is the lesser of the two, both of them offer quite a demo for all of you with your 1080p HDTVs and "uncompressed audio" Home Theaters out there. Thanks for the tip, Mr. Lane. We've added both titles to the Blu-ray Test Disc page. Go rent them today!

On a side note, we've pick up an Ion-Audio "TTUSB" turntable this week for around $100 (down at the Best Buy). After a few A/B comparisons of the same song on CD and vinyl, it's quite clear that dispite the quiet "hiss" and occasional "pop", the record player out-performs the mighty Compact Disc. There are obviously many more advantages to owning CDs over records, but you can't beat that "uncompressed" analog sound.

10/4/08

News that should have been posted several weeks ago...Sony's BDP-S550 doesn't look like it's going to decode "DTSHD Master Audio" internally. It might be a mistake on their website, but it looks like the 550 model will only output the "much-sought-after" audio format over an HDMI cable.

But now some good news (which also should have been posted several weeks ago), Panasonic has announced 2 new Blu-ray Disc players to replace the DMP-BD30K and DMP-BD50. You can check the specs on both of them right HERE. The "DMP-BD35" and "DMP-BD55" promise to offer bitsteam AND internal decoding of all 3 uncompressed HD audio formats ("Uncompressed PCM", "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio"). The "35" only has 2-channel outputs, while the "55" boasts 7.1ch outputs. Both are, of course, BD-Live right out of the box and retail for $299 and $399. Look for them around 10/20/08.

Here are the links down at Circuit City for both models:

DMP-BD35

DMP-BD55

And finally (something we just found out), the first Blu-ray Disc title announced to provide uncompressed DolbyTrueHD 5.1 encoded at 192kHz/24-bit sampling frequency. This is 4 times the audio quality found on current Blu-ray Discs. Supposedly you can't have that much audio informtaion on a Blu-ray Disc without removing the video information ("Blu-ray Disc Audio" or "BDA"). But we'll wait and see, won't we? It might be a typo. We hope it's not. Click right HERE for info on the U.S. release of "AKIRA" on Blu-ray Disc early next year.

9/1/08

Marantz is joining Onkyo and Denon in the ranks of "Flagship" preamp/amplifier design. A trend we could all get used to. Check them out below:

Here's a list of Marantz's new receivers (including their new preamp) which can decode "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio":

AV8003 (Preamp)

MM8003 (Amp)

SR5003

SR4003 ("Uncompressed PCM" only)

And last, but not least, here's Marantz's first Blu-ray Disc player. It can actually decode all 3 uncompressed HD audio formats ("Uncompressed PCM", "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio") internally, eliminating the need to purchase a new receiver with HDMI inputs and advanced audio decoders.

BD8002

All of these will be added to the Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy.

8/30/08

Updates galore...Thanks to the advent of Blu-ray Disc's TRUE seven-channel recordings and electronics manufacturers removing the PREOUTS from their low-end receivers to make room for iPod docks, we've had to update all 3 of our "Extra Value Meal" Home Theater packages (unfortunately at higher prices) to keep them current. Give 'em the "once-over".

The Biggest Bang For Your Buck ($1,500)

The Ideal Setup ($13,500)

The Ultimate Setup ($120,000)

8/29/08

"3 billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997...The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war 'Judgment Day'...They lived only to face a new nightmare...The war against the machines."

More than 10 years later and we've got a quite few receivers to add to the Uncompressed Audio page which can decode "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable. It looks like the transition to the latest "Dolby/DTS" formats (Blu-ray Disc) is going a lot faster than 10 years ago (DVD). Check 'em out below:

Denon

AVR-2809ci

AVR-2309ci

Onkyo

TX-NR906

TX-SR876

TX-SR806

TX-SR706

Yamaha

RX-Z7

RX-V3900

RX-V1900

Sony ES

STR-DA4400ES

STR-DA3400ES

STR-DA2400ES

Pioneer

VSX-1018AH-K

Also, here's Yamaha's first Blu-ray Disc player (which happens to transmit "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over and HDMI cable to a capable receiver). It can be found on our Uncompressed Audio page, too.

BD-S2900

8/21/08

It's been too long, folks. We're back with the first of several "updates" to our site. The first of which is to our poorly neglected Speaker Placement page. Take a look. We'll be back soon. Enjoy.

7/31/08

Below are a couple of articles sent to us from MR. STEVE LANE (thanks) reporting on Dish Network and DirecTV offering "1080P TRUE HD" broadcasts. They (the FCC) told us almost 10 years ago that we were seeing the worst HD signals we would ever see (and that it would only get better). It begins tomorrow...

DirecTV 1080p

Dish Network 1080p

A bit of news from the world of UNCOMPRESSED audio. We're adding OMAR SILVA (of El Paso) and RICO (from Arizona) to the "WALL OF FAME" on our Uncompressed Audio page. Welcome aboard!

Finally available, the Pansonic DMP-BD50 debuts for $100 less than promised (only $599). Regular viewers will recognize this Blu-ray Disc player as one of the 3 models with the final Blu-ray Profile (2.0) and built-in "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" decoders.

7/20/08

Today we're inducting STEVE & SHERI LANE into our "Wall of Fame" for people who are actually listening to uncompressed audio at home (a bit overdue as they've had it setup for a week or two). They're now part of the fortunate few who get to hear movies EXACTLY the way they were recorded in the studio. Check out our "Wall of Fame" on our Uncompressed Audio page. Welcome aboard, you two.

7/18/08

We've updated a couple of our pages this morning...

We'd like to thank MR. WAEL KDOUH for helping us replace some conflicting information on our Dolby vs. DTS page today. While patching things up in the "Blu-ray Disc" section of that page we decided to tweak some other somewhat confusing information as well. Thanks again, Mr. Kdouh! Enjoy.

The second update is to our horribly neglected Spiritual Side of Audio page. We finally got our heads out of our butts (centered ourselves) and remembered the path of enlightenment towards the "Audio/Video Truths"...Tony Hawk, beware!

7/16/08

Some sad news from Steve Lane. It looks as if the Sony BDP-S350 will only offer a "2.0" (stereo) analog output instead of "5.1" (surround) analog output, making it similar to the Panasonic DMP-BD30K, except the Sony is $100 less. Don't shoot the messenger.

On a brighter note, we've just added the Home Theater Basics page to our site. Long time Home Theater veterans might not find it useful (Dr. Oravetz), but we hope it will be helpful for folks just getting into the Home Theater world. Enjoy.

7/13/08

Some quick updates this morning we forgot last night...

Denon has a couple of reasonably priced receivers ('08 series) which can decode "Uncompressed PCM" signals over an HDMI cable (get your PS3's ready) and a brand new 2009 model for $649 retail which can decode "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio". Check 'em out!

Denon AVR-2308ci (Uncompressed PCM only)

Denon AVR-1909

Denon AVR-1908 (Uncompressed PCM only)

Samsung has replaced the BD-P1400 with their new "1500" model. Supposedly, it can transmit "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable and internally decode "DolbyTrueHD" just like it's big brother, but we believe this also reqires a firmware upgrade. Someone let us know if we're wrong about that. Click right HERE for Samsung's new Blu-ray Disc player. Of course, all of these will be on the Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

7/12/08

Givng kudos once again to MR. MATT WALLEMAN of D&M Sound for letting us know about Sony's latest firmware upgrade (version 2.41) for the PS3. It offers many new features and "bandaids" for the last firmware upgrade (version 2.40) including the ability to decode the rest of DTS family of surround formats (not just "DTSHD Master Audio") right down to plain old "DTS 5.1"...Good for them. Click right HERE for that firmware upgrade. Thanks, Matt!

Sony is days away (7/14) from releasing their next Blu-ray Disc player, the Sony BDP-S350 for only $399 retail. This new model is upgradable to "Profile 2.0" and can pass "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable to a capable receiver. Unfortunately, it can only decode "DolbyTrueHD" internally and offers "5.1ch Analog Output" (not 7.1ch). The Sony "BDP-S550" (due out this fall) promises to support "Profile 2.0" right out of the box, decode "DTSHD Master Audio" internally and include "7.1ch Analog Output" for only $499 (suggest retail price).

News from the world of Onkyo receivers. The brand new TX-SR606 replaces the "605" model of last year adding "video upscaling to 1080i" (not 1080p) for all video sources and still weighing in at $599. We'll be adding the "TX-SR606" and "BDP-S350" to our Uncompressed Audio page.

Last but not least, be sure to check out the new "Animatrix-esk" Batman cartoon released by Warner Bros. last week. It ties "Batman Begins" in with "The Dark Knight". Click right HERE for that nonsense and enjoy the screenshot below. Great demo disc but not for kids (PG-13).

7/5/08

Morning, everyone! Hope you all had some grilled meat, adult beverages and lots of fireworks. We had all three and lived to tell about it. Now then...

We've found a great little website in France which offers beautiful 3300 x 2300 scans of mock-up Home Theater plaques. They look great printed, framed and placed in (or right outside) your Home Theater. Here's a small sampling of "SOUND PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT" free images:

Here's the links for each genre you might be looking for:

Dolby (5 images)

DTS (10 images)

THX (5 images)

Home Theater Brands (79 images)

Warning/Danger signs (12 images)

7/1/08

More good knews from the world of Blu-ray Disc. Apparently, in the works, they've started making AUDIO-ONLY music disc's for Blu-ray. When you remove the video, there's room on current Blu-ray Discs for 8 channels of audio at 24-bit/96kHz or 6 channels of audio at 24-bit/192 kHz.

All these numbers seem a bit trivial but to give you an idea of how much better 96kHz and 192kHz will sound over standard Blu-ray movies, the best recordings clock in at only 24-bit/48kHz. So as great as "uncompressed digital audio" sounds, it has the potential to sound up to 4 times better than it does right now.

The only obstacle to overcome is BACKWARDS COMPATABILTY. There's the new Blu-ray Disc Profile "3.0" which pertains to "Blu-ray Disc Audio". Not all players can be upgraded to Profile 1.1, so 3.0 is out of reach. Most players can't decode "DolbyTrueHD" or "DTSHD Master Audio" so those discs recorded in those formats wouldn't work in most players.

A ray of hope...Every single Blu-ray Disc player ever built is capable of INTERNALLY decoding "Uncompressed PCM" signals. If the record companies get it right, then they'll make sure to record their releases in uncompressed PCM signals so they'll play on ANY player. We'll see.

6/24/08

Wow, gang. It's been a minute. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

We'd like to apologize for the long interm and especially apologize for giving anyone hopes of owning the Panasonic DMP-BD50 anytime soon. Last we heard it was end of July and $700. Breaks our heart.

This will leave most people waiting for the Sony BDP-S550 for only $500 later this FALL. Long time to wait, we know. But it'll drive the DMP-BD50 down a couple hundred bucks when it finally arrives.

But please remember, for those of you out there who already own an "uncompressed HD audio" receiever with built-in "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" decoders, there are plenty of reasonably priced Blu-ray Disc players available which, when paired with your receiver, will deliver all 3 of the HD audio formats (including "Uncompressed PCM") to your speakers over an HDMI cable. Click right HERE for a list of compatible players.

The Panasonic DMP-BD50 and Sony BDP-S550 are ONLY for folks who want uncompressed audio (and the final Blu-ray standard "2.0"), but don't own an HDMI-capable receiver yet.

With all the apologies and and bad news out of the way, let's get to why we're posting today. Here's an article which states that Blu-ray Disc is taking over 3 times faster than DVD did in the United States and 6 times faster than DVD did in the European Union. Click HERE for the specifics. Don't let people tell you Blu-ray won't catch on because it already has. See y'all!

5/8/08

Clark Kent (aka Ryan Smith) has sent us some amazing news. Click right HERE for an article about the latest technology from Israel. That's right, Israel. They've come up with motion-sensing video game technology that'll make the Wii look like Colecovision. Well, almost.

Dr. Oravetz sent us the new DARK KNIGHT trailer. Click right HERE for that. It seems bit less "dark" than the last trailer that the good doctor sent us. Maybe they're trying to reach a "family" audience. You decide.

Last but not least, Panasonic has finally announced the price of their "DMP-BD50" Blu-ray Disc player at a whopping $700 suggested retail price. Click right HERE for the press release. A bit pricey to replace the "DMP-BD30" ($500), but it would seem they intend to keep that model for folks who've already upgraded to an HD audio-capable receiver (and don't require on-board processing).

Thanks Clark and thank you, Dr. Oravetz. Keep that info coming in!

5/4/08

Check out THIS STORY on Universal Studios' Blu-ray Disc audio plans. They've decided to include "DTSHD Master Audio" on all of their new titles from here on out (just like 20th Century Fox). We love good news.

And if you're still not convinced Blu-ray Disc's real advantage over DVD is the audio, take a look at Nadir Khan's testimonial on having "DTSHD Master Audio" at home.

4/21/08

We had a chance to visit Definitive Audio and sample some extremely high-end gear. We were treated to "Wilson Audio's" Alexandria X-2 (Series II) speakers, priced at only $150,000 a pair. That pretty much dwarfs our Ultimate Setup with only two speakers. Both speakers were connected with "Transparent Cable's" Opus MM2 speaker cables, priced at only $32,000 a pair. Needless to say, it was quite a humbling experience. I was very grateful to meet Mr. Scott Wallace, a man who actually understands the value of great sound quality (even if it isn't always attainable). Thanks again for your time, Mr. Wallace.

Onkyo's latest endeavor is very similar to Denon's new flagship amp and preamp, the AVP-A1HDCI and POA-A1HDCI, which are located on our splash page. Onkyo (Integra) has their released their very own flagship amp and preamp, the DTC-9.8 (preamp) and DTA-9.4 (amp). Integra's (Onkyo's) new preamp obviously decodes all the latest HD audio formats and will be added to our Uncompressed Audio page at the top of Onkyo's list of equipment.

4/16/08

We're here to debut our new New Budget Setup home theater package. A trimmed-down version of our Biggest Bang for Your Buck system, the New Budget Setup delivers the same sound at half the price. That's right, only $500! And if the audio DACs (digital to analog converters) in your disc player are better than the ones in your processor/preamp (receiver), then it'll sound even BETTER for half the price. Enjoy.

One last thing to post. Sony released the latest firmware upgrade (version 2.30) yesterday. Click right HERE for that link to Sony's website. The PS3™ system does not support playback of "DTS-ES" and "DTS 96/24" for DVD-Video or "DTS-ES Matrix" for Blu-ray Discs. (just "DTSHD Master/High Resolution Audio" and "DTS-core"). How strange...

4/11/08

Another quick update tonight. This time brought to you by STEVE LANE. Click right HERE for a great article titled: "Wal-Mart, Best Buy and others are hit with nearly $4 million in fines for not properly labeling analog-only televisions."

After years of dealing with retail electronics stores, I'm not a bit suprised. From the information on display sent down from corporate, to the nonsense spouted by the sales staff, should warrant an investigation. This time the difference is that they were actually in violation of the U.S. Government's legislation. I'm glad it finally caught up with them.

I feel, in general, that it's not someone's fault if they truly don't know any better. But most of these companies getting fined claim (on national broadcast television) that they are "the source" for all your HDTV needs. Millions of people flock to these retail stores looking for answers and simply don't find any. Instead, they get taken for a "ride".

I read an article almost 5 years ago which showed statistics from a poll concerning HDTV-owners. It sadly showed that only about 10 to 20 percent of them actually had an HD signal hooked up. And half of those people didn't know they weren't watching Hi-Def. The sales people don't care. The cable companies don't care. And now it's going to cost them.

Thanks again, Steve! And thanks to everyone else. Keep that info coming in.

4/10/08

A quick udate brought to you by Matt Walleman, Chase Bunger and Steve Lane: Sony has issued a firmware upgrade for PS3 on April 15th (profile 2.30) which will allow the PS3 to decode "DTSHD Master Audio" signals. Good stuff.

My only concern with PS3's "decoding" of "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" is that before the signals can be sent (over an HDMI cable) to a capable receiver, they get "converted" into "Uncompressed PCM" signals.

Call me paranoid, but even thought I haven't heard an "A/B" comparison with the PS3 itself, on any other Blu-ray Disc player, the "Uncompressed PCM" doesn't sound quite as good as the "DolbyTrueHD" or "DTSHD Master Audio".

I have no proof other than that, but I guess I just don't trust it unless I hear for myself. And while I prefer the "Uncompressed PCM" the least out of all three HD audio formats, it sounds remarkably better than "Dolby Digital" or "DTS".

Thanks for the tips, fellas! Click HERE for some info on Sony's firmware uprade. Keep that info comin' in!

4/8/08

Hey, faithful viewers! We're back!

We've been spending a lot of time revamping a handfull of the pages on our website. In case you haven't noticed, we posted an updated version of our Uncompressed Audio page. We feel that the majority of Blu-ray Disc player owners are missing out on the best part of the Blu-ray experience: THE SOUND!!!

In place of the Format War page, we've added the brand new, Blu-ray Disc page. It simply explains the benefits and backwards compatiblity of the Blu-ray Disc format. At the bottom of that new page you'll find links to all kinds of "Blu-ray Disc" resources.

This is the first of many renovations we intend to undertake here at A/V Truths. Our goal is to make this the most inovative and easy to understand Home Theater resource site in the world. Keep the info and questions coming. It helps out more than you think. Enjoy the new links.

3/27/08

We'd like to once again thank Matt Walleman of D&M Sound in Columbia, Missouri for filling us in on some great UNCOMPRESSED AUDIO news. Apparently the LG BH200 (Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo-player) has just been issued a firmware upgrade allowing the Dual-Format HD Disc player to send "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable to a capable receiver. Matt's store happens to sell that particular player and they've got a "DTSHD Master Audio" demo up and running for their customers, so we're adding D&M Sound to the "Wall of Fame." You can see LG's Dual-Format player and the Wall of Fame on our Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy.

And in case you've missed it, you can get the "Firmware 2.20" for PS3 from Sony's website by clicking right HERE. Have fun with that.

3/21/08

Matt Walleman warned us this morning that Sony's firmware upgrade for PS3 won't have anything to do with "DTSHD Master Audio". Chase Bunger dropped us line a couple of hours later, confirming this unfortunate news. Bunger also says that he's already picked up 3 of those $50 HD-DVD/Bestbuy giftcards (the guy really loved the HD-DVD format). Thanks for keepin' us informed, fellas! Keep it comin'.

And Mrs. Lanes' first name is spelled with an "e" and not an "a". Our deepest apologies.

3/20/08

Been out for a minute. We've got a lot to talk about. Let's get to it.

We'd like to thank Steve & Sheri Lane for finding a higher-quality, less-expensive "Male RCA to F Female adaptor". On our Budget Cables page we list Parts-Express for the adaptor when constructing your own cables, but Monoprice offers a MUCH better deal (model # 4130). We've updated that page to reflect these findings. Thanks again, Steve & Sheri!

We'd also like to thank David Doriguzzi for letting us know about BestBuy's generous offer of a $50 gift card to anyone who might have bought an HD-DVD player from their store before February 23rd of this year. Click HERE for the link Dave sent us to Best Buy's website. Thanks, Dave.

And thanks, once again, to Matt Walleman of D&M Sound for letting us know about Sony's firmware upgrade ("2.20") for the PS3, allowing it to handle all Blu-ray Disc "Profile 2.0" features. That should include support for transmitting "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable. Look for PS3 firmware upgrade "2.20" on Sony's website in the next few days. Click right HERE for the information Matt sent us today. Thanks for all your help.

We'd like to thank everyone who sends us "breaking" home theater news so we can tell the rest of the world. If you find a better deal somewhere or "deals" to avoid, let us know. Keep that info coming!

Pansonic unviels the world's largest TV ever. At 150 inches diagonal and less than an inch thick, it's one of the first of many new "Advanced" HDTVs which support a resolution of 2,160 x 4,096. This offers almost 9 million pixels as opposed to "Full" 1080p's 2 million pixels. (Click HERE for general "pixels" info). Sony and Samsung showcased their own "Advanced" (2,160 x 4,096) HDTVs at the CES in Las Vegas, but only in a "modest" 82-inch display. Here's Panasonic's official press release:

Pansonic 150-inch "Advanced" HDTV

Another trend we're seeing is 1080p HDTVs with "120Hz" scan-rate, giving them "smoother" motion. Well apparently that's not good enough so be on the look out for HDTVs with a "240Hz" scan-rate. Computer monitors already achieve this and now our HD dislplays must catch up. Amazing.

Mitsubishi is finally ready to start shipping their new LASER-driven DLP televisions. Instead of lightbulb shining through the Texas Instruments DLP chip, you get a laser. Mitsubishi is being very secretive about how it works. While the picture is supposed to be improved over lightbulb-DLPs, I don't know if it'll cost less to replace a burned out laser.

Marantz is not one of my favorite brands but they have a few new receivers which can decode "Uncompressed Audio". The two most expensive models support "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" while the other two only support "Uncompressed PCM" signals (up to "7.1"). Here they are:

SR8002

SR7002

SR5002 ("Uncompressed PCM" only)

SR4002 ("Uncompressed PCM" only)

Pioneer Elite has a new "FLAGSHIP" receiver to show the world. It's on their Canadian website. Check out the "SC-09TXH" by clicking the text. While it's widely known that "Pioneer Elite" is just regular Pioneer with fancy gold connectors and a better face-plate, the 200-watt x 7, "DolbyTrueHD/DTSHD Master Audio" receiver costs $8,000 for some reason. We'll, of course, be adding the Pioneer and Marantz receivers to our Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy.

3/11/08

Just found out about two new Yamaha receivers. Not my favorite brand, but both new models offer HD audio (DolbyTrueHD/DTSHD Master Audio) support. The RX-V863 for $999, offers built-in HD Radio reception and the RX-V633 at only $549, makes it the most INEXPENSIVE receiver to support HD audio to date. Of course we'll be adding these to the Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy.

3/10/08

Reporting a few days late on THIS article from High-Def Digest, stating that Microsoft is working on a Blu-ray Disc drive for their XBOX 360 and has been creating software for Windows which will support BD drives in computers. I love good news.

3/5/08

Quick update. Circuit City is "unofficially" taking back HD-DVD players in exchange for Blu-ray Disc players. As long as you've got the box and all of the accessories, there's no problem. Don't forget that there might still be money changing hands as the HD-DVD players cost about half as much as the Blu-ray players. And the offer's good for HD-DVD players purchased up to 90 days ago, just in time to return your crappy Christmas present. However, Circuit City does NOT want your old HD-DVD movies. Can't win 'em all.

3/4/08

Great news today. Click HERE for an article sent to us by none other than RYAN SMITH (aka "Clark Kent"), showing why "Monster Cable" is a rip-off. Several sell-proclaimed "audiophiles" couldn't tell the difference in audio/video quality between Monster Cable and coat hangers with RCA ends soldered to each end (seriously). There are TWO reasons the "coat hangers" out-perform the Monster Cable. First, the hangers have a LARGER CONDUCTOR. Second, a solid-conductor will always offer better signal transfer than dozens of tiny strands, twisted together. Thanks again, Clark (Ryan)!

Next up is Sony's PRESS RELEASE showcasing their brand new Blu-ray Disc players which are on the way for this summer and fall. The Sony "BDP-S350" ($400) offers "Profile 2.0" support (after a firmware upgrade) and "DolbyTrueHD/DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI connection. The "BDP-S550" ($500) will support "Profile 2.0" right out of the box and have INTERNAL "DolbyTrueHD/DTSHD Master Audio" decoding, allowing for an ANALOG connection to an existing (standard "Dolby/DTS") receiver.

And last, but not least, all five "DIRTY HARRY" movies are coming to Blu-ray Disc on June 3rd (only the first two are truly magnificent - and the first 20 minutes of the fourth one). Click HERE for a little info on that.

2/25/08

It's great to actally report on something other than the Format War. Here's a couple of items that deserve attention:

"Government Approved" HD-converter boxes are beginning to show up in retail stores for about $60. With the FREE coupons from Uncle Sam that leaves you paying $20 per television to convert your analog set into a digital one, so to speak. We've put a new link on our HDTV Truths page for Insignia's new box, which is available at Best Buy. Circuit City has a Zenith converter box for the same price. Check 'em both out.

Also, we're adding a Blu-ray Disc player to the list of machines which are able to transmit both "DolbyTrueHD" and "DTSHD Master Audio" over an HDMI cable to a capable receiver. The Pioneer Elite BDP-95FD will be added to the Uncompressed Audio page. Enjoy.

2/21/08

HD-DVD DEAD AND BURIED!!!

Paramount was the last domino to fall. Here are some interesting arcticles which offer an "epilogue" to the (resolved) format war. The longest 18 months ever. (sigh)

Why Blu-ray Disc won

"Lessons from the Death of HD-DVD"

How it all started - October 2005

2/19/08

Toshiba officially drops HD-DVD

This doesn't mean that Toshiba's going to start working on Blu-ray Disc players right away. Click HERE for that story.

Univeral Studios Goes Blu

That just leaves Paramount and Dreamworks holding the HD-DVD "bag". Click HERE for a little information on that story.

2/15/08

Wal-Mart to drop HD-DVD and go Blu-ray exclusive!!!

Wal-Mart drops HD-DVD and goes Blu-ray exclusive

Toshiba expected to drop HD-DVD in the next few weeks

I think we're about done here, folks.

2/11/08

Netflix and Best Buy to drop the HD-DVD and go Blu-ray exclusive!!!

Special thanks goes out to Chase Bunger for letting us know about Netflix (he wasn't the only one "phone in") and to Migel Lebron of Bakersfield Home Technology for letting us know about Best Buy (he knew this coming weeks ago). Thanks fellas. Keep that info coming in.

Neflix press release

Best Buy press release

I hope this turn of events sends a message to Universal and Paramount to hang it up and let the HD-DVD format die with dignity.

2/10/08

It looks like HD-DVD bounced back this week. Instead of losing 4 to 1 against Blu-ray, they're only losing 3 to 1. And below, the story of HD-DVD's continued demise and the Home Theater industry's transition to HD disc unfolds. Pick your poison:

HD Disc soars over HD downloads

Microsoft cuts price of HD-DVD add-on for XBOX

More HD-DVD players returned than in stock

2/5/08

It's nice to report on something besides the format war for a change. And this news is right off the charts. DENON's brand new FLAGSHIP receiver, which isn't a receiver, but a $7,000 preamp and a $7,000 10-channel amplifier. Here they are below, stacked on top of one another (my gosh):

The XLR "Balanced" connections between the two is enough to make your heart stop. And with 150 watts for 10 channels @ 8 ohms and 300 watts @ 4 ohms, Denon has once again set the standard. We'll be putting the PREAMP on our Uncompressed Audio page. And we'll give you the links right now to check them both out at Denon's website. Enjoy.

AVP-A1HDCI (preamp)

POA-A1HDCI (amp)

The rear view of these two beasts will replace Denon's AVR-5805 receiver on our "splash page". If you missed them on the way in, click right HERE for another look.

2/1/08

First of all, Chase Bunger had this to say about Circuit City's low, low prices on the Toshiba HD-DVD players we posted lasted time:

"I think the reason the A3 and A30 were on clearance at Circuit City is because, since Warner is going BR exclusive, they have to clear out the players w/300 in them because it is a Warner movie.....they are going to reissue the players with two Bourne movies in them. That and because Circuit City isn't smart enough to add a new sku for the new player in their system without clearancing the old ones.....pretty sure the prices are back up to normal (which is still freakishly low at $149) now."

The gang over at The Digital Bits confirmed this later, but Bunger knew it all along. No one scoops The Bunger. Thanks again, old friend.

Above is a chart showing HD Disc player sales for the week after Warner Bros. "announcment" on the LEFT and the following week when Toshiba dropped it's prices dramatically to compentsate (which Bunger just mentioned) on the RIGHT.

And above here is an all too familar chart showing pretty much the same situation. For the THIRD week in row since Warner Bros. "announcment", Blu-ray Discs have been selling 4 to 1 over HD-DVD. The numbers don't lie. The people have spoken.

To keep up with all these numbers and figures we're going to have a new link which lists the HD-DVD/Blu-ray sales information as it becomes available. Putting the charts side-by-side will give everyone a better idea how HD-DVD is slowly dying out.

HD-DVD/Blu-ray Disc Sales (Post-Format War)

1/28/08

In response to HD-DVDs embarrassing sales numbers, WOOLWORTHS has dropped the HD-DVD format. Click right HERE for that story. And of course, click HERE for Toshiba's "response".

Above are the price tags for two of the only three HD-DVD players available. This trend is not just being seen at your local Circuit City. The word on the street is that the "Big Box" retailers are dumping their HD-DVD merchandise with no intentions of re-ordering.

The above chart documents a CONTINUING trend (see our 1/21/08 post) in HD-DVD software sales, two weeks after Warner Bros. "announcement". What will next week bring?

1/23/08

Chase Bunger, your friend and mine, has sent us a link from an interview with KEN GRAFFEO, "Executive Vice-President of High-Def Strategic Marketing" at Universal Studios. He says that for better or worse, HD-DVD is here to stay until you, the consumer, say otherwise. Click right HERE for his view on the (resolved) format war. Thanks, Bunger.

And thank you, Mr. Graffeo.

The above chart represents HD disc PLAYER sales for the month of DECEMBER and JANUARY (so far) side by side. Sorry HD-DVD.

This chart also represents HD disc player sales, but shows sales totals for the week BEFORE Warner Bros. Studios "announcement" on the LEFT, then shows the sales totals for the week AFTER the "announcement" on the RIGHT. Look at all that "blue" (Blu).

And last but not least, we'll be adding Bakersfield Home Technology's website to our "Sponser" section at the bottom of our Home page. Be sure to give the store a look and drop a line to MIGUEL LEBRON, who has proven so far to be nothing but very helpful and extremely well-informed in the ways of Home Theater. Thanks again, Mr. Lebron.

1/21/08

Above is a chart representing HD Disc SOFTWARE sales and below are reports which have been flooding in from all over the globe on the demise of the HD-DVD format. Feel free to take a look at some, or all of them, if you like. Here they are:

Video Business

Edmonton Journal

Business Week

The Digital Bits (Rumor Mill)

CNN (video)

Dealerscope

I hope this convinces all the non-believers out there. (Toshiba included)

1/19/08

Latest news from the dying of an unpopular HD format. Here's a quote from Home Media Magizine reporting on HD disc sales during the first week after the format war ended:

"The product announcements come in a week when the top 10 high-definition disc sellers are all Blu-ray Disc releases, according to an analysis of Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales numbers by Home Media Magazine’s market research department. Net HD DVD sales, according to Nielsen, constituted only 15% of hi-def disc sales last week. And the top HD DVD seller, The Kingdom, sold just 10% as many copies as the top Blu-ray Disc release, 3:10 to Yuma."

1/14/08

HD-DVD won't go down without a fight. They have cut the price of their three only players just about in half. Click right HERE for that article. Maybe Toshiba's attempting to clear their shelves before the diehard HD-DVD supporters throw in the towel. You've gotta admire their spirit.

But here's a word from the editor of Home Media magazine. He calls for HD-DVD to hang it up for the good of all. He makes it pretty clear that HD-DVD is only prolonging the inevitable by a few months, while wasting everone else's time and money. Click HERE to see his take on all this.

And last, but not least. A very special kudos goes out to NADIR KHAN. He is the first and only person we know of to not only be listening to UNCOMPRESSED DIGITIAL AUDIO at home, but he's actually got full-blown "DTS-HD Master Audio" as well. We'll be adding him to the "Wall of Fame" on our "Uncompressed Audio" page. For all of you "non-believers", here's his testimonial on what you've been missing:

"I was watching 'Alien Vs. Predator' (on Blu-ray) and the sound was freakishly clean. There's a scene where a person climbs the side of an ice wall. You can clearly hear her digging her pick in the ice and the snow breaking apart with the tiny ice fragments. Then her phone rang and I was like, 'Wow!' In the movie theaters there are scenes where it's quiet and something loud is introduced and it startles you. A damn phone ringing was so small but it made me realize what I was listening to. The same thing continued throughout the rest of the movie. When people talk you can hear the distance of their voices. It's so open. Like if they are far away or close and maybe there's an echo or something to it. Little things you would never notice or pay attention to. It feels great to finally HEAR quality as well as see it in movies. I LOVE SOUND. Yeah, people don't know at all what they are missing out on. Everyone just focuses on the picture."

Thank you, Mr. Khan. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

1/10/08

With Blu-ray Disc software sales spiking 20 to 1 over HD-DVD, the continuing demise of HD-DVD is documented by several sources this week. The New York Times has great article about the future of HD content. But my favorite has to be from the Wall Street Journal. You've got to see it to believe it. Click the links to each paper.

And here's some more format news. Universal Studios "HD-DVD exclusive" contract has expired with Toshiba, leaving them free to adopt Blu-ray Disc. Also, Paramount's contract with HD-DVD left them a legal "loop-hole" which stated if Warner Bros. went Blu-ray exclusive, then they could too. The studios are waiting to make it official to prevent all of those Christmas returns for folks who bought the wrong HD player. Yikes!

Finally, on Japan's Panasonic website they've already got the fancy new Blu-ray Disc player the Panasonic DMP-BD50. This, you'll remember, is the player we've been waiting for. Here's a little video clip of the Panasonic performing a "BD-Live" demo at CES. Click right HERE to watch it.

We'll be adding the new Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player to the Uncompressed Audio page under the heading "The First and Only Player To Do It ALL" (or something like that). Click the link to check it out.

1/8/08

All the latest and greatest from this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Lots of new players comming out this year. Lets take a look, shall we? Click the model numbers for more info:

Samsung's second generation DUAL-FORMAT HD DISC player the BD-UP5500 will only cost $600 but only support DTS-HD "HIGH RESOLUTION" Audio. (not "Master" - Big difference).

But the best news of all is Panasonic's latest effort. The DMP-BD50, at only $500, will be the first Blu-ray Disc player to offer a BUILT-IN "DTS-HD Master Audio" 7.1 decoder. It's also the first player to offer "BD-Live". For those of you waiting for a Blu-ray player that won't require you buy a new Home Theater receiver, this is it.

For a little more info on "BD-Live", click the link right HERE.

1/4/08

THE FORMAT WAR IS OVER!!!

We'd like to thank Matt at D & M Sound and Miguel Lebron at Bakersfield Home Technology and everyone else who let us know about this amazing change of events. Apparently Warner Bros. has decided to support ONLY the Blu-ray format with their explaination being that a continued format war would leave no winner (studios, electronic manufacturers OR consumers). Of course with 70% of Hollywood studios backing Blu-ray exclusively, this war is offically over. I, for one, am relieved. Like Betamax, MiniDisc, and Divx before it, we bid a "fond" farewell to the HD-DVD format. History dictated that it should have won, but here we are. We've been wrong before and I'm sure it won't be the last. Anyway, be sure to check out the latest press releases on this fortunate turn of events (and I'm sure there'll be more):

Warner Bros. Press Release

Toshiba's Response

Warner Bros. Reply

Hope for HD-DVD adopters

And to Chase Bunger...Our hearts and prayers go out to you tonight...Where ever you are.

1/2/08

Tony Hawk has sent us an article reporting that Fujitsu, the world's first manufacturer of plasma televisons (back in the day), has decided to cease all plasma production due to a lack of profit. It seems the old LCD is taking over and there's no room for plasmas and rear-projection TVs. Click right HERE for that article. Thanks again, Tony Hawk!

Another interesting development is the picture quality increase over BROADCAST HDTV. Obviously, the Blu-ray (and HD-DVD) produce a picture nearly twice as good as our HD channels can offer; with up to 60 frames per second over the standard 30. They now have HDTVs, which are 1080p, that offer a refresh rate (or scanning frequency) of 120 frames per second. The visual result is startling. The technology was invented to reduce pixelization during fast motion but the overall result is a true 3-D experience without the glasses. You can demo one of these "120Hz, 1080p HDTVs" down at your local Best Buy. Ask for it by name. Definitely worth a look.

1/1/08

Happy New Year, folks. Let's hope this year sees an end to the format war. But more importantly, today is the first day you can secure your FREE Hi-Def decoder boxes from Uncle Sam. It's first come, first serve, so be sure to visit THIS link as soon as possible to get yours. Once again, if you have SATELLITE or CABLE, you don't need this free box. But if you can ONLY receive your channels over an ANTENNA, you'll want to grab on of these boxes; because after February 17, 2009 there won't be any channels for you.

Another bit of interesting news. Sony has decided to quit producing REAR-PROJECTION TELEVISIONS in lew of flat-panel technologies such as the well-known LCD and the new OLED (organic light-emitting diode). I guess world-wide, TVs which leave a smaller footprint in your home are preferred. Click HERE for more on that.

Don't wait for your FREE Hi-Def box. Do it today!

Lastly, Denon debuts its first two Blu-ray players on its website. The first one at only $1200, the DVD-2500BTCI is the only Blu-ray Disc player we've ever seen with ONLY one output on the back. The "T" in "BTCI" means "transport". This player doesn't have RCA jacks, S-Video or even fiber optic. Just one HDMI output to run picture and sound to your compatible receiver. Pretty cool.

The next model, weighing in at $2,000 - makes it the most EXPENSIVE Blu-ray Disc player to date. The DVD-3800BDCI has every ouput jack you could want including analog output for full-blown 7.1. While both new players support "Dolby TrueHD" and "DTS-HD Master Audio" output over an HDMI cable, this new one MIGHT (and I stress "might") be the first Blu-ray player to decode them both internally, as well. One can only hope.

Of course we'll be adding these two new players to the bottom of our Uncompressed Audio page and updating the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD page.

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