There was a time when Sony was the first name in consumer electronics. The company's Trinitron TVs dominated the TV market for decades. In 1975, Sony's Betamax was the first widely adapted consumer video recorder format. The Walkman hit the market in 1979 and changed the way people listened to music, creating the personal audio market category. In 1982 the CD, which the company developed jointly with Philips, changed the way we listened to music even more. Sony extended its reach when it purchased CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures in 1989, and scored a triumph in … Read more
Rewind the clock back five years and Oppo was the "go-to" brand for DVD players, with the Oppo DV-981HD one of the best models available at the time. Then Blu-ray happened, and Oppo saw little initial competition for its first Blu-ray player. But since 2009, the Blu-ray player market has shrunk: titans like Sony and Panasonic no longer make premium players and instead opt for cookie-cutter "wedges" with plastic build quality, yet good performance and cheap prices.
Oppo has stuck to its design and philosophical guns, and has now released its third set of players, the … Read more
For the launch of the "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray," Karen Allen, who played Marion Ravenwood in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and then returned for the fourth installment ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"), was in New York to promote the release. Normally, we don't do too many celebrity interviews here on CNET, but when Paramount reps offered a very short chat, I thought, hey, it's Karen Allen, why not?
As for how the Blu-ray package is, the short answer is that the first three movies have … Read more
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It's easy to go over the top when it comes to outfitting your dream home theater system. One minute you're checking out HD projectors, and the next minute you're trying to figure out how to convert your entire basement into a giant subwoofer.
But it never hurts to start with the basics. In this CNET Top 5, I asked CNET Associate Editor Matthew Moskovciak for the essential ingredients in today's modern home theater system.
Blu-ray players are notoriously unreliable. Check the user reviews for just about any model and you'll see any number of "died after a week!" and "died after two months!" comments. It's the unfortunate nature of the beast, I guess.
So call me maybe crazy, but why not keep a spare on hand just in case your primary player croaks -- which will invariably happen just as you and the kids are sitting down to watch "The Avengers." That way, boom, you just swap in the backup and dry everyone's tears.
And … Read more
LG Electronics is set to show off a slew of new products aimed at the home theater market.
Running the gamut from 3D sound systems to entertainment hubs, the new devices will be on display at the IFA trade show in Berlin. The show runs from August 31 to September 5.
First on the list is a 3D home theater system with the product name BH9520TW. The gear includes four 3D speakers delivering a sound that LG compares with that of an IMAX theatre. A 3D sound zooming technology synchronizes the audio with the action on a 3D TV. Viewers … Read more
I wrote a Top 10 music Blu-ray list late last year, so it's time for an update.
Patricia Barber, "Modern Cool"Sultry jazz singer Patricia Barber's "Modern Cool" album was a hit with the audiophile crowd soon after its release in 1998, so I was surprised to see it come out on Blu-ray with a new 5.1-channel DTS Master Audio mix. Even more surprised that the surround mix totally works. You're in the middle of the band, which I usually don't care for, but it clicks here. Barber wrote a lot … Read more
CNET reader Doug asks:Hello! I was watching a movie on Blu-ray the other day filmed in the 21:9 aspect ratio and I realized that it technically wasn't "1080p" since about 1/4 of the screen was taken up by the horizontal black bars (called "letter boxing," correct?). Anyway, I was just wondering how many pixels were being used on the TV. Thank you!
Ah, letterboxing, how I love you.
To understand letterboxing, we have to talk about aspect ratio. HDTVs are 16x9, or 1.78:1. Slightly wider than they are tall, they're pleasantly rectangular. Old-fashioned tube TVs were 4x3, or 1.33:1, so closer to square. … Read more
A lot of people have noted that best thing about Blu-ray is seeing "new" versions of old films in the format.
"Jaws" doesn't qualify as a really old film, but it did first hit theaters in 1975, so it's certainly an older film, and it looks truly impressive on Blu-ray. This is one of the films that Universal has chosen to restore for its 100 anniversary (of Universal, not the film), and some of its earlier restoration efforts have been lauded while others have been criticized for introducing too much digital noise reduction and … Read more
It took nearly two years, but "Avatar" on Blu-ray 3D is finally being offered in-store to anyone who wants to purchase it.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today announced that the film version will be available globally starting October 15. The company will launch the movie in North America on October 16.
"Avatar" has been available on Blu-ray 3D since 2010. However, the film was offered exclusively to Panasonic customers who purchased one of the company's HDTVs or other devices. All others were forced to stick with the Blu-ray version.
Why it took so long … Read more