Monday, November 27, 2006

Remember HD DVD for the Holidays

Ok, I admit it, electronics is not really part of the Male Martha theme. But those of you who know me know that I love my video games and television. So I was excited when Microsoft introduced their new Xbox 360 HD DVD Player . In a nutshell, this $200 device, which easily connects to the Xbox 360 (which I know many of you had to buy for your children) converts the device to a high definition DVD player when used with a high definition television. The difference in picture quality between regular and HD disks is not to be believed. HD-DVD disks have true letterbox format (not just stretched and zoomed) and the picture quality easily rivals the original movie. Boy 2 and I watched Peter Jackson's King Kong (included with the machine) and HD-DVD made an otherwise dull movie awesome.

The reason not to buy the standalone system at the moment is that there is the equivalent of the VHS-Betamax war between Sony(Blue Ray, which is used on the PS3 game system) and Toshiba (HD-DVD, which is now available on Xbox 360). Standalone players cost at least $500, and it is still unclear which format will win. Although early bets are still on Sony's Blue Ray, its general lack of availability has been hampering it and more and more HD-DVD titles are available. I was pleasantly suprised by the choice at Netflix. For $500, I wouldn't take a chance. But for $200, its a great buy.

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