Well, it’s official, HD DVD is dead. Now you can finally get a high definition DVD player without worrying it’s going to turn into a Betamax. I’ve looked at the options available and it seems pretty obvious that much like my first DVD player, the best value comes from the Playstation. Way back in 2001 I bought a Playstation 2 because I wanted to watch DVDs on TV instead of on my computer. And also because I like to play the occasional video game. It turns out the Playstation 2 was a pretty bad DVD player, but it served its purpose for a couple years until I got a very nice standalone DVD player. The PS2 spent a few years in the closet until it was resurrected for Guitar Hero.
Now, all the Blu-Ray players available retail for $300-400. A Playstation 3 can be had for as little as $400. So for a few extra bucks you get a really fancy computer along with the ability to play high definition DVDs. I think it’s going to be a while before I pony up that cash. I’m still really happy with the quality of anamorphic DVDs on my plasma. It might have to wait until after I get a 1080p display. I’d love to get Rock Band though.
Other pieces of equipment in line ahead of the PS3:
- A new graphics card. Leaning towards an nVidia 8600. My 6600 is getting pretty long in the tooth.
- A spiffy HTPC case for the guts of my old computer. I’m planning to hook up my computer to the plasma TV in the living room so we can check IMDb without leaving the couch. We’ll even be able to do picture-in-picture. Also, we can watch videos downloaded from the Internet.
- A Blackmagic Intensity Pro. For only $350 you get HD out of your computer, and realtime downconversion to SD.
- A new HD TV. Probably a 42″ plasma for the living room, so I can use the year-old 37″ as a client monitor in my office. I’m hoping Panasonic puts out some smaller 1080p displays soon.