Video Playback / Recording Devices

Goodbye Format War - Hello Single Standard

A few months back I gave Toshiba some advice on how HD-DVD could win the format war. Perhaps it was too little, too late, or it was sound advice that fell on deaf ears. Either way, Toshiba has packed up camp and announced it will no longer be manufacturing or marketing HD-DVD players, and ending the long format war once and for all.

It's estimated Toshiba sold over one million HD-DVD players and three-hundred thousand personal computers with HD-DVD drives. Painful as it may be for early adopters, there will be no rebates, refunds, or credits toward Blu-Ray devices for anyone that bought in to HD-DVD early.

The Novice's Guide to Digital Video Formats

The following is a brief introduction to eight of the most frequently-encountered video formats circulating the web and the digital home entertainment circuit: MPG, AVI, MOV, ASF, WMV, RM and FLV.

An E-mail from Toshiba

If you read two of my previous entries concerning HD DVD and Blu-ray, you'll note that—due to Warner Brothers dropping support for HD DVD—I returned a Toshiba HD DVD player and got a Sony Blu-ray one.

My inital e-mail to Toshiba was for my HDMI–DVI issue (didn't work). Toshiba added my TV model to the list of ones where this didn't work, but had no further advice at the time. My second e-mail to them was for them to close my case; I told them that I returned the unit due to Warner's recent announcement. Here is their response to that e-mail:

Thanks for writing!

Before You Go Buy An HD DVD Player

You may want to read this. With Warner dumping HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray, that will leave HD-DVD with only about 25% of the market. I'm pretty sure the remaining studios will follow suit.


Since HD-DVD drives are in their third generation, I figured it would be pretty safe to purchase one. I got the add-on HD-DVD drive for my Xbox 360 a day before I got a Toshiba HD-A3. Bourne Ultimatum looked great, but since the eject button on the drive wouldn't work, I had to return it, and I didn't want to take the chance of getting another bad one. Target (where I bought the 360 add-on drive) doesn't price match, so the best deal I found locally was $249.99 (minus an additional 10% for in-store pickup) at Circuit City.

Put Slide Shows on your TiVo

I have been making quite a few slide shows out of photos for Christmas this year. Using Nero Vision I have been making the slide shows and then burning them to DVD.

This is a great way to give out nice presents without much of an investment. But depending on the length of the show, the resolution if the photos and other things I have found that the preview function in Nero is just not enough to rely on. You really need to see them on the TV, especially with the large screen TVs now available.

The only problem is, after making the DVD and for some reason you want to make a change to the show, well, you already have created the DVD.

So you have to trash it and make another. This can get expensive.



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