Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Blu-ray player for the rest of us, kind of...

So, what's the deal with Blu-ray players? They're not quite blue (well, actually they are) and they're not really players (err, wait, they're that too). Ok, terrible intro. So here's the deal. Just like any new format, the machines that bring new technology to our senses usually cost an arm and a leg. When the 3DO came out, I think it was around $1000. When DVDs were introduced, those players were probably around the grand mark as well.

How about the blu-ray players. Well, as far as I know, there's only one major one on the market - the Sony BDP-S1, and it comes in at around $1300 CDN. Now that's a hefty price tag for what is essentially the equivalent of a VCR or a DVD player. Not that I don't understand how technology pricing works, but really - could you imagine spending that much on something that just plays back audio and video. And buying this after you've bought your 1080p TV, that's pretty steep.

What's makes even less sense is that the standalone palyer costs $1300 CDN and a PS3 costs about $700 CDN. Aside from DVD upconversion, the PS3 to my knowledge does everything the S1 does. I think it even supports HDMI 1.3 which the S1 doesn't. Furthermore, if blu-ray goes belly up, you'll still have a great gaming machine with the PS3. So can anyone explain to me the logic behind the S1?

Well, it seems that Sony is closing the gap a bit on the ill logic behing the existence of the S1. It seems they've announced a BDP-S300 which will launch this summer for $600 US. Now this is still a pretty high price tag, but at least it makes some sense for this player to exist. It's slightly cheaper than the PS3, so it kind of has justice to be around.

Whatever, I've recently gotten excited about everything blu-ray considering more and more Blu-ray discs are fniding their way into my collection. So I thought I'd report on this and the fact that Blu-ray sales are surpassing HD-DVDs. So here's the deal, either both HD-DVD and Blu-ray will be obliterated by a third medium, or HD-DVD will die and Blu-ray will reign. I can't see it going the other way around. Thanks for reading.

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