Archive for November, 2006

HD player of DVDs

Sunday, November 19th, 2006
Helios X5000
Helios X5000

Note, this is not about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. :-)

I’ve been pretty happy with our two LG players (an LD-530 in the bedroom and an LD-531 in the living room), but one feature has been lacking and it’s getting more and more critical over time.
More and more of my downloaded TV shows are in resolutions higher than NTSC. The LD-530/531 (and the follow-up LD-731 apparently) can’t handle any resolution better than 720×480.

Most of my shows are now in “HR” format, which is exactly one-half the dimensions of 1080, i.e. 960×540. Some are in HD720p and some are now coming in as HD1080i (in raw .ts form, no less; let’s hear it for over-the-air recording!).

So I think I’ve found a new player: It’s the “Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player”.
Not only does it play up to HD1080p resolution DivX and WMV (and MPEG and .ts I think) with HDMI output, but it has an ethernet jack and wireless 802.11g through which you can play HD content on your network.
The highest bitrate you can play wirelessly is 12 MBps, because.. that’s as fast as wireless can go.

Helios X5000 (rear)
Helios X5000 (rear)

It’s has a good review from
enGadget
and people are
saying good things on the AVS forum.

It’s a bit pricey, but it has a lower-cost sibling, the 3000, which I haven’t looked into yet.
It also has a pricier sibling, the 8000.
I’ve spent too much time on this already so feel free to mention the pros and cons of the two siblings in the comments!

Sanyo Xacti HD1A: MPEG4 HD720p Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
Sanyo Xacti HD1A
Sanyo Xacti HD1A

The most recent posting to LifeOfLeo had an amazon link to
the Sanyo Xacti HD1A,
and all I saw was (1) HD, (2) $666 US.

Wowza.
Since it’s so cheap I expect it won’t be as featureful nor as high-picture-quality as other, $3k cameras.
I mean, it’s “only” HD720p – no 1080 here.
But hey, I would actually think of buying an HD video camera at that price.

Testing your 1080i HDTV

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Skate Canada figure skating championships are on TSN-HD and CTV-HD.

TSN had it in 5.1 dolby digital surround tonight as well.  Black Magic Woman, also a piece by Hendrix and such were used as dance music.  The visuals and sound were fantastic.  Fumie Suguri (JPN) and Zhang&Zhang (CHN) were also there.

Truly spectactular perforamces, including a good one by Mira Leung (CAN).  She’s smoothed out her performance a lot since we flew out to Calgary this past March for the ISU championships.


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