Don't Take Short Cuts: Get Time Warner Cable Offers

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When high definition TV sets initially began arising in stores in late 90s folks were amazed at the clarity hi-def delivered over regular TV sets. Since then thousands of people have upgraded their TVs to take advantage of wide screen movies with DVDs and high definition cable and satellite programming. While many folks still haven't made the jump, a recent technology discovery has made even HDTV fans take notice. Developed by Sony, Blu-Ray has pushed screen quality to a new level. Just a few years gone, nobody knew what standard would become the inheritor to DVD, but now Blu-Ray has take the crown and I'll tell you why you should consider adding Blu-Ray to your home entertainment system.

Though research commenced in 2000, Sony and its partners didn't release a final commercial product until mid 2006. The name Blu-Ray comes from the blue laser that is utilized to read info from a Blu-Ray formatted disc. This is in opposition to the red laser used to scan standard DVD discs. But why is Blu-Ray an improvement over existing DVD formats? Even though Blu-Ray discs and players don't look any different than regular DVDs, they can store much more information meaning clearer picture, better audio, and more special features. DVDs can hold up to 8 gbs. of data while Blu-Ray discs can hold 50 gigabytes. Big difference. The max resolution of a DVD is 720x480 lines while Blu-Ray has a max of 1920x1080 (also known as full high definition). If you have spent $1000 or more on a 1080p TV, you are essentially not making use of all the television can deliver when watching regular DVDs.

Originally costs for Blu-Ray players were way above what an average consumer wished to spend. Prices between $700 and $1000 were not unusual for the first Blu-Ray players. Plus, there had been another competing standard on the store shelves that made lots of bewilderment. Toshiba and NEC introduced their own DVD follow-up device with the announcement of the HD DVD standard. HD DVD, with a capacity of 15 gigs, was a step up over regular DVDs but couldn't meet the specs of Blu-Ray. But HD DVD did have some marketplace influence. First, they made it to the market a quarter before Blu-Ray. Second, HD DVD devices where a little less expensive to produce and were sold less expensive as a result. Lastly, HD DVD had more movie studios on signed up at launch than Sony did which meant more pictures were initially available while Blu-Ray stayed rare.

Sony had one huge trick up their sleeve that quite potentially saved Blu-Ray from a Betamax fate. Sony included a Blu-Ray player into their long awaited PlayStation 3 and sold the whole device cheaper than many stand alone players were going for at the time. After that, Blu-Ray began making strides until shortly it outsold HD DVD 2-to-1 by late 2007. More and more movie studios started to sign on to the Blu-Ray standard solely, starting with Warner Brothers in early 2008. Straight after Toshiba stopped making HD DVD players and recorders. By the end of 2008 rental firms Netflix and Blockbuster, as well as major shops, said they'd no longer carry HD DVD flicks. Currently all major studios release their pictures on Blu-Ray. A couple still produce HD DVD and Blu-Ray releases concurrently.

Costs have fallen significantly over the past few years also. Many big name brand Blu-Ray players from companies like Panasonic and LG can easily be found between $150 and $250. Blu-Ray disc recorders are in the $200 - $400 range and dropping just as quickly. For anyone that enjoys watching movies at home and has invested in an HDTV, now is a fabulous time to look into adding a Blu-Ray player to your setup. Even those who may be doubtful about Blu-Ray's enhancements over DVD owe it themselves to head down to their local electronics store and ask for a Blu-Ray demonstration. The picture sharpness and audio fidelity from Blu-Ray is really excellent.

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