Blu-ray player released today

Written by Ryan Garside

October 17, 2006 | 17:23

Tags: #blu #blue-ray #def #disc #high #high-def #ray

The 'War of the Discs' really kicked off in Britain today, with the release of Blu-ray players into the general market. The rival HD DVD player will be out sometime next month.

Samsung has been the first to draw blood releasing its DMP-DB-P1000 Blu-ray disc player. If you don't already know the Blu-ray disc will play movies in high-def supposedly sporting better visuals and audio. This will only be useful to the 5% of the population who have invested in high-def televisions.

We've had a look at the quality of Blu-ray in the office today, watching the classic blockbuster 'Swat'. My first impression was pretty negative, it didn't appear to be much better than DVD and the disc seemed to take an age to load. On top of that we had various problems with sound, and issues with assigning a region. When we experimented by going back to watching a DVD though we could really see the difference, DVD's look smudged in comparison.

Obviously the early discs aren't going to be as good as second generation titles. On top of this there are only a handful of movie titles available; our visit to a local HMV store had us being lead into the dingy warehouse store room and shown a tiny collection of early release titles (Swat was the best believe it or not).

However, it would be harsh to judge the Blu-ray on this initial impression. Early teething problems are a guaranteed with almost every new technology. If better movies are introduced, using more sophisticated codecs that really take advantage of high-def screens, then this technology could possibly have a future.

For those who aren't interested in the impact Blu-ray will have on movies then a report over at Gamesindustry may be of interest. Head honcho at Sony, Phil Harrison, has said that the Sony games are already filling up the 25 GB sized discs:

"Already, at our launch titles, we're getting up close to the 25GB limit that we have on our Blu-Ray discs this year. Next year we'll raise that to 50GB, and I'd expect that we’ll be getting close to that in the fairly near future as well."

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