Blu Rodeo

Sound & Vision by Al Griffin

Sony BlurayWe wrangled a group of affordable new Profile 2.0 Blu-ray Disc players that deliver everything you expect from the format, along with some cool extra featuresHard to believe it, but it's been over 2 years since we unboxed our first Blu-ray Disc player here at Sound & Vision. Despite a sometimes stunning 1080p high-def picture (I say "sometimes" because the picture quality of the initial Blu-ray releases was a mixed bag), those first players had numerous shortcomings.

The first was price: At $1,000 or more per machine, most people had good reason to forget high-def and just continue watching DVDs. Then there were the sluggish load times and the spotty disc compatibility. Waiting 1 minute or more just to have the machine accept, let alone load, a disc -- that's a minute of your life you'll never get back! And once loaded, the disc stood a real chance of not being compatible with your player. Also, those Blu-ray players lacked the full set of features that manufacturers originally touted for their machines, including Bonus View for picture-in-picture video commentaries, BD-Live online interactivity, and internal decoding of high-rez Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. read more...

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