Thursday, February 21, 2008


No doubt you've heard about the official death of HD DVD, with this weeks withdrawal of support from the formats major backer, Toshiba. It's been pretty clear for quite a while now that Blu-Ray was the leader of the race. Blu-Ray had most (now all) Hollywood studios on board (the porn industry went HD DVD I believe, not sure), sold the most players (mostly SONY Play Station 3 consoles), and I suppose most importantly sold the most discs due to the wider range of titles available. It is good that the race is over, but people are rightly worried about pricing policies.

None of this matters to me, or to anyone really as "SD" DVD is still the most widespread format. To me DVDs just look and sound brilliant. Even if you happen to have a HD capable display an up-scaling DVD player can boost image resolution to near HD. Ironically it is said (on the DTV forum anyway) that the best up-scaling DVD player is/was the Toshiba XE1 HD DVD player (BD and players do it too, but not as well as this one).

At the moment I'm looking at a DVD player. The basic features I'm looking for are that it does all the usual things such as playing DVDs (a no brainer) and viewing photos. But what I'm really looking for is a player that plays DivX and XviD encoded videos and has a USB port. The reason I want DivX is just because it will come in handy from time to time. For me it's the USB port where things get interesting. Instead of burning mp3s and photos to DVD, it is much easier to just put them on a USB drive, the DivX videos are also playable from the USB port. Strangely enough it seems that the only models that have these features are up-scaling players, but that is of little use to me as I only have a CRT TV. At the moment it looks like the player I will get is the the Pioneer DV-400. I was looking at the more expensive DV-600, but I can't seem to find any.

No comments: