Bring Entertainment to the Next Level Time Warner Deals

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When HDTV sets initially began cropping up on the market in late 90s folks were dazzled at the sharpness high definition offered over standard television screens. Since then thousands of people have upgraded their televisions to enjoy wide screen pictures with DVDs and high definition cable and satellite programming. While many folks still haven't made the leap, a recent technology discovery has made even HDTV fans take notice. Developed by Sony, Blu-Ray has pushed television quality to a new level. Just a few years ago, nobody had a clue what format would become the inheritor to DVD, but now Blu-Ray has won the battle and I'll tell you why you should think about adding Blu-Ray to your home entertainment system.

Though research began almost a decade ago, Sony and its partners did not manufacture a final commercial product till mid 2006. The name Blu-Ray comes from the blue laser that's used to read info from a Blu-Ray formatted disc. This conflicts with the red laser used to scan regular DVD discs. But why is Blu-Ray an improvement over existing DVD formats? Even though Blu-Ray discs and players don't appear any different than standard DVDs, they can store much more information meaning clearer picture, improved audio, and more special features. DVDs can hold up to 8 gigs of information while Blu-Ray discs can hold fifty gigs. Quite a difference. The max resolution of a DVD is 720x480 lines while Blu-Ray has a max of 1920x1080 (also referred to as full hi-def). If you've spent $1000 or more on a 1080p TV, you are actually not making use of all the set can deliver when watching standard DVDs.

On release prices for Blu-Ray players were well beyond what an average user wished to spend. Costs between $700 and $1000 were common for the first Blu-Ray players. And, there had been another competing standard on the market that made lots of perplexity. Toshiba and NEC produced their own DVD follow-up device with release of the HD DVD standard. HD DVD, with a storage capability of 15 gigs, was a step up over regular DVDs but didn't match the specifications of Blu-Ray. But HD DVD did have some marketplace influence. First, they made it to store shelves three months before Blu-Ray. Second, HD DVD devices where a little less expensive to make and were sold cheaper as a result. Finally, HD DVD had more picture studios on signed up at launch than Sony did which meant more flicks were initially available while Blu-Ray stayed rare.

Sony had one huge trick up their sleeve that quite possibly saved Blu-Ray from a Betamax destiny. Sony incorporated a Blu-Ray player into their highly anticipated PlayStation 3 and sold the whole device for a bit less than many stand alone players were being sold for at the time. Quickly, Blu-Ray began making strides until shortly it outsold HD DVD 2-to-1 by late 2007. More movie studios started to commit to the Blu-Ray standard exclusively, beginning with Warner Brothers in early 2008. Shortly after Toshiba stopped making HD DVD players and recorders. By the end of 2008 rental companies Netflix and Blockbuster, as well as major shops, announced they would no longer carry HD DVD flicks. Now all major studios release their pictures on Blu-Ray. A couple still produce HD DVD and Blu-Ray releases concurrently.

Costs have fallen dramatically during the last few years too. Many big name brand Blu-Ray players from firms like Panasonic and LG can easily be found between $150 and $250. Blu-Ray disc recorders are in the $200 - $400 range and falling. For anyone that likes watching movies at home and has already invested in a high definition television, now is a wonderful time to have a look at adding a Blu-Ray player to your home entertainment system. Even people who might be skeptical about Blu-Ray's improvements over DVD owe it themselves to head down to their local home entertainment store and ask for a Blu-Ray demonstration. The picture clearness and audio fidelity from Blu-Ray is really outstanding.

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