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Tag Archives: Blu-ray

Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault

Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault (Image courtesy Kaleidescape)
By Andrew Liszewski

Any and all media filled plastic discs I’ve acquired over the years now sit in a couple of large binders, protected from the dust they’d inevitably collect on a shelf. It’s not that I don’t want to watch them, it’s just that the hassle of hooking up a DVD player to my TV again just isn’t worth the effort. And while ripping them to my PC is certainly an option, it’s just not as easy as Kaleidescape’s M700 appears to be. Sadly, that ease of use also comes with an almost $6,000 price tag.

You start with the M700 Disc Vault pictured above, which is capable of housing up to 320 CD, DVD or Blu-ray discs, which will probably be the source of some confusion given the numbers don’t match up. (Calling it the M320 makes more sense to me.) It will then automatically rip, or make a digital copy of the discs, at speeds of up to 15 CDs/hour, 3 DVDs/hour or 2 Blu-ray discs/hour. From what I can tell the M700 comes with its own on-board storage for the ripped copies, which can all be played with the discs removed, except for heavily protected Blu-rays which require the media to physically remain inside the vault. But if that’s not enough to house your entire disc collection, the company also sells a rackmount 1U Server which expand the M700’s storage capabilities to 150 Blu-ray discs, or 900 DVDs.

The M700 by itself comes with a price tag of $5,995, while the addition of the 1U Server brings the total cost up to around $16,000. And from what I can tell that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Kaleidescape’s complete offerings.

*Update: It turns out the M700 doesn’t include any storage of its own, but requires one of the Kaleidescape servers to store the digital copies of your media.

[ Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Panasonic DMP-B200 Portable Blu-ray Player

Panasonic DMP-B200 Portable Blu-ray Player (Image courtesy Panasonic)
By Andrew Liszewski

When we brought you Panasonic’s first portable Blu-ray player way back at CES 2009, we lamented at the fact its 1024×600 LCD display couldn’t even muster up a 720P resolution. But the company has just released the latest version of this player, and besides looking considerably more svelte than the original, it now boasts a display resolution of- …wait, 1024×600 still? Lame!

I can understand the reasoning behind not wanting to cram a 1080P display’s worth of pixels into an 8.9-inch screen, but you still can’t give us at least 720P Panasonic? You could even then start boasting about its high-def display! Anyways, like the original it seems to be more of a portable solution for playing Blu-ray movies on a big-screen HDTV since it includes an HDMI connection. When using it as a standalone player though the built-in rechargeable battery is good for about 4 hours of playback with the screen completely dimmed, and besides DVD and BR capabilities, the player also has an SD card slot for loading video content, or just letting it serve as an expensive digital photo frame. $299.99, available now.

[ Panasonic DMP-B200 Portable Blu-ray Player ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

[CES 2011] Sony’s Glasses-Free Portable 3D Blu-ray Player Concept

Sony's Glasses-Free Portable 3D Blu-ray Player Concept (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

They have no plans to put it into production at the moment, but at the ‘Future 3D Technology Demo’ section of their CES booth, Sony had this fully-working glasses-free 3D Blu-ray player on display. While 3D was still the prevalent theme of the show this year, there was actually quite a bit of glasses-free 3D technology on display. But I’m sorry to report that the 3D demos playing on this weren’t exactly mind-blowing, though I suspect it was the content to blame since it didn’t look like genuine 3D footage. Sony had other glasses-free 3D technology on display at their booth that looked quite impressive.

Maarten Baas’ Real Time Analog/Digital Clock Installation Is Coming To Blu-ray

By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re a fan of unusual clocks and leaving your hi-def TV running for hours on end, you might want to look into the Blu-ray version of Maarten Baas’ Real Time exhibition which was shown in Milan earlier this year. According to BLTD, the Blu-ray disc will include 12 hours of what appears to be your standard red segmented LCD display, but turns out to be a cleverly backlit artpiece with someone in the background physically painting and erasing the segments to change the time. As clocks go it looks like it’s horribly inaccurate, but as an art piece I find it oddly fascinating to watch… Will you look at the time!

[ Maarten Baas ] VIA [ Better Living Through Design ]

Samsung Announces The World’s First Portable 3D Blu-ray Player – Kind Of

Samsung BD-C8000 (Image courtesy Samsung)
By Andrew Liszewski

Yesterday Samsung announced their BD-C8000 which is technically the world’s first portable Blu-ray player. It comes with a hefty 10.3-inch LCD display that’s actually 1080P capable, as well as built-in wi-fi which provides access to the small library of Samsung Apps, HDMI out and a 3-hour battery. However, don’t get too excited about enjoying 3D content on your next flight, since it only provides a 3D experience when connected to a 3DTV. By itself it’s just a regular old portable Blu-ray player. So given the fact that 3DTVs aren’t exactly everywhere yet, let alone a hotel room where you’d probably be most likely to use this, the $499.95 price tag, available now, is a bit steep.

[ ChipChick – Samsung Announces World’s First Portable 3D Blu-ray Player, the BD-C8000 ]

Plextor PX-B120U USB-Powered External Blu-ray Drive

Plextor PX-B120U USB-Powered External Blu-ray Drive (Image courtesy Plextor)
By Andrew Liszewski

Last week Plextor made things a bit easier for HD movie buffs lacking a Blu-ray drive on their laptops with their new PX-B120U external Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive. Now it’s not the most compact external optical drive on the market, and the top-load design makes it look like a relic from the 90’s, but what sets this drive apart is the fact that it can be powered by a single USB connection. So if you intend to use it when traveling, you can leave the AC adapter at home.

The drive comes bundled with Cyberlink’s Blu-ray and DVD software, and since the decoding is handled by your computer, you’ll need to ensure you have a system capable of HD playback before being able to enjoy Blu-ray content. It also has a reasonable MSRP of just $99.99, and can be used in conjunction with the company’s upcoming PlexMedia media player, turning it into a home theater Blu-ray player as well.

[ PR – Plextor Announces the New PX-B120U USB-Powered External BD ROM ] VIA [ GadgetReview ]

Get A Blu-ray/VHS Combo Player On The Cheap

Blu-ray VHS combo

By Chris Scott Barr

If you haven’t hopped on the Blu-ray bandwagon, it’s becoming easier and easier. Heck, the last two Blu-ray movies I bought also came with a DVD copy as well. Blu-ray players themselves have long since broken the sub-$200 barrier, and now you can even get yourself one that plays your old-school VHS taps on the cheap.

Up for grabs over on Amazon Is a Panasonic DMP-BD70V which plays Blu-ray and VHS for $140. If you’ve got the cash and are thinking about upgrading to the new format, then this sounds like a solid buy. Barring the formats that died before they ever took off (Betamax, Laserdisc, HD-DVD) it’ll play pretty much any video you’ve purchased since the 70’s. There’s even an SD card slot, USB port and internet functionality to stream video from YouTube and Amazon VOD. The price was supposedly only good through yesterday, but it seems to be sticking around. I’d jump on this soon though.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

S1Digital 100 Disc Blu-ray Changer

S1Digital 100 Disc Blu-ray Changer (Images courtesy S1Digital)
By Andrew Liszewski

If your home theater is powered by a Windows Media Center PC, the ideal solution if you have a large Blu-ray collection is to rip all of your movies to a hard drive. But that also requires a decent amount of storage, so as an alternative you can go with S1Digital’s Blu-ray Disc Changer which can accommodate up to 100 discs, making them available to watch almost instantly without having to constantly load each one. The included MyMovies software also automatically scans each disc and downloads metadata and cover art so you have a more visually-pleasing way to browse your collection.

However, when connected to an S1Digital Entertainment Center, or any Windows Home Server with enough storage, the Blu-ray Disc Changer can also be used to automatically rip your collection so that it’s available to any PC or media streaming device on your network. With a price tag of $1,500 you’re definitely paying for convenience here, though for that much money it would have been nice if the changer at least had an HDMI connection so you could hook it directly to an HDTV. From what I can tell it’s only equipped with USB 2.

[ S1Digital 100 Disc Blu-ray Changer ] VIA [ eHomeUpgrade ]

Lexicon Stuffs $500 Oppo Blu-Ray Player Inside New Case, Adds $3000 To Price


By Evan Ackerman

What do you get when you take a pretty decent Oppo $500 Blu-Ray player, strip off the black metal case, and then drop the entire thing (chassis and all) into a slightly fancier silver metal case with a different logo on it? Lexicon, apparently, thinks that you get a $3500 Blu-Ray player. After noticing some similarities between the front and back layouts of the Oppo BDP-83 and the Lexicon BD-30, Audioholics tore them both open to check and see what was going on inside:


As far as we could determine, Lexicon didn’t change a single thing in terms of the hardware. Heck, they didn’t even lift the boards out of the chassis, opting instead to cut out the bottom of their own chassis to accommodate the venting locations, and putting a darker blue filter over the Oppo’s VFD display to give it a slightly deeper hue.

But wait, the Lexicon BD-30 is THX certified and the Oppo BDP-83 isn’t, so they must have done something to it, right?


Or, it could be that the BD-30 actually fails the basic THX audio certification, and since Audioholics pointed that out to THX and Lexicon, all of the branding and mentions of the BD-30 being THX certified disappeared from the THX and Lexicon websites.

I can’t say that this kind of thing surprises me, but it does make me wonder just how many mid to high end electronics out there are just slightly modified and dressed up versions of basic units… All the more reason to do your research before you plunk down a whole bunch of money for something that may just be a budget model in disguise.

[ Audioholics ] VIA [ Slashdot ]