Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 20, 2017
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Is it time to buy a Blu-ray disc player?

Is it time to consider buying a Blu-ray disc player? In a word: yes. As one convert to Blu-ray commented recently, “just one look was all it took.” The two chief reasons that movies look and sound so very, very much better on a Blu-ray player are high-resolution (1080p versus 480p for a DVD) and the fact a Blu-ray disk stores 50 gigabytes of information compared to 8 gigs for DVDs. That capacity also makes the sound superior, almost identical to the studio master. That’s the easy part.

More difficult is deciding which machine is right for you. Unlike a DVD player, there are a host of options. The NAD T-587 from NAD Electronics (www.nadelectronics.com) of Pickering, ON is regarded as one of the finest full-featured machines on the market. At close to $2000, it’s obviously a very high-end piece of equipment. Here are some of the salient features of the T-587.

Versatility It uses Profile 2.0 technology with DB Java, which allows you to directly download movies onto your TV. In other words, buy a movie, have dinner and then leisurely make your way to the living room for a relaxing night of viewing. Unfortunately, Canadians will have to wait for this technology to be available here. Until then, a USB port supports sound and pictures on memory sticks.

Picture quality The player uses Deep Colour and xvYCC extended colour space for the widest possible range of colour.

Sound Plays all CDs, plus MP3 and WMA formats and is equipped with Dolby Digital Plus and DTS which offer a higher bit rate using an HDMI cable.

What to hook up to it To get the full zowie! effect, you need a 40-inch screen or bigger. Though nice to have, you don’t absolutely need a 1080p resolution screen; 720p will do unless you’re using a projector.

Other options Among lower-end machines, the most popular is the Sony PlayStation 3 which plays video games and Blu-ray discs for around $400. Other units start at around $250. Samsung machines are also well regarded.

Things to consider For the time being, disks are expensive (around $25) and there are limited titles available. This will obviously change. In the meantime, you can play your DVD on the machines.

For more on Blu-ray, go to http://reviews.cnet.com/blu-ray-guide .

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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