Monday, November 26, 2007

High-Definition Systems

I’ve always been fascinated with technology, and the way that it progresses these days.

Unlike before, which is a crawl, and breakthroughs are really breakthroughs,

compared to today’s progress and development, it is already measured in leaps and bounds.


One particular area I have just been checking is TV and home theater systems. About 2 years ago,

Plasma and LCD TVs were introduced to the market. DVD players were simply labeled as

Either interlaced, or progressive scanning type. Of course, that time, TVs were already coming

In the big sizes: 37”, 40”, 42”, etc.


Today, we have the HD systems: HDTV, HD-ready TVs, Blu-ray disc player, standalone up-scale converters,

etc., etc. 7 years ago, the systems were bulky, not to mention the price. These days, almost everything

electronics is coming in smaller and more compact, and with more features and functions.


That being said, I was surprised to see a 5.1 system that includes the DVD player with upscale/upconversion

function, with 6 speakers included, and of a prices that is a fraction of what was 7 years ago. Of course,

the best match for a high-def TV is a Blu-ray disc player, but have you ever seen a HD disc around?

If you did, how much is it? So by reason of a whooping and sensible practicality, a DVD player with

an upscaling/upconversion feature is all that you need to be able to play all your DVDs and get a

compatible video output that suits your HDTV.


There’s Samsung, about S$200 for a DVD player with upscale function, then they have the 5.1 set

that goes for about S$700, and then there’s the 9.1 set that goes for about S$1.2k. Panasonic has the

5.1 wireless system, and is also retailed at about S$1.1k, Philips having 2 sets: 5.1 set A for about S$500,

and 5.1 set B, with a better surround sound handling and aesthetic design of moving speakers, about S$800.

Then there’re also the Pioneer systems, the prices I can’t remember. But the point is, there are many choices,

and it is up to you to pick your preference.

As for me, I’m looking at a standalone DVD player with an upscaling function, to match my old home theater system,

which is, after 7 years, still sounds as good as new. Without looking at the set, you can’t tell it’s been that old.

I intend to keep that set, so all I need is the player with upscale feature. And of course, to match my smaller TV,

I’m looking at the cheapest Samsung set. In 2 or 3 years time, new technology will again be marketed,

so what is all the point of getting a very expensive set, that is going to last you 2 or 3 times its expected

life cycle, when all around you the technology is already different, that is, differently new?

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