Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Technology Tuesday: Blu-Ray & DVD Players at Home

With a dragging economy, holiday sales are expected to be slim...except in the area of electronics below the $1,000. price point. And with High-Def becoming the hot property on the market, it is likely that Blu-Ray technology just might bring in some money this holiday season with price points in the $250. to $500. range. So if you're in the market for a DVD player, how do you know whether to buy Blu-Ray or Standard?

Blu-Ray high-def disc players are probably going to sell well this holiday season. However, before you go purchase one, you might be surprised to find out that you already own one. The Sony PlayStation video game has a Blu-Ray system built in it, and there are some less expensive theater-in-a-box systems that include it such as Panasonic and Samsung. However, if you're like most consumers, you might not know the difference or what to buy.

1. Make sure that your existing television has the HDMI to accept a Blu-Ray unit. If you own a Plasma or LCD set, then it's already upconverting the picture.

2. A Blu-Ray unit has a far better picture than a standard DVD player, but consider where you're going to be using it. If it's in your home theater or family room, then go for Blu-Ray. If you're buying for your child's playroom where juice and cookies also occupy the space, opt for an inexpensive DVD player for now.

3. All Blu-Ray and DVD players offer 5.1 Dolby sound. Some now even offer 7.1 sound, but if you want the best in the business, go for Lucas 2 THX. ...Yes, that's Lucas as in Star Wars George Lucas, and he's got the best sound system in the business. Are you surprised?

4. Sony invented Blu-Ray, so you cannot go wrong with any Sony player: they are the brand standard. However, if you want constant streaming with 10,000 movies from Netflix as an option, go for a Samsung or LG model.

St. Andrews from the Cathedral