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Go Blu-ray, Reviews for Top Sellers

Since the inception of Blu-ray technology, which was designed to supersede the DVD format, Blu-ray players have hot sellers in 2010. With the capability of holding 50 GB of data per disc, six times more than a standard DVD, Blu-ray movies set themselves apart by having countless extras and behind-the-scenes commentaries. By June of 2009, there were more than 2,500 Blu-ray movie titles available for purchase in the United States and Canada. And there will be many more to come, especially since their 1080p resolution and deeply rich colors put DVDs to shame.

Now that Christmas has passed, you may find yourself the new owner of a Blu-ray media player for your TV lift cabinet, or find yourself standing in line to return your DVD player for a Blu-ray player. In any case, you’ll want to know which Blu-ray players have earned their places at the top of the list for 2010. So here they are!

The Samsung BD-C6900 is chocked full of performance and comes with a terrific value. It also has the versatility to include a 3D player function (if you pay for it). Also nice is the option to stream Netflix, Vudu, YouTube and Pandora direct through your TV and the built-in Wi-Fi. This unit also comes standard with 1 GB onboard storage. The downside, however, to many Samsung Blu-ray players is that some users have experienced long-term reliability issues with their units.

For the most “bang” for your buck, you can purchase the Sony PlayStation 3 Slim (160 GB) and have it play Blu-ray discs in between games. The upside is its spacious hard drive, quiet operation and built-in Web browser. The flip side is that there is no infrared port so non-Bluetooth universal remotes are useless.

The Oppo BDP-83 is a universal disc player that can handle Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio and CDs. Although a bit pricey and without Wi-Fi for BD-Live features or streaming, it can save you lots of space in your TV lift cabinet by replacing about three different media players.

Last but not least, the LG BD590 Blu-ray player does a lot of neat things. It can burn CDs directly into a 250 GB hard drive, stream Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora and CinemaNow, offers Wi-Fi, plays media directly off a USB drive and, of course, plays Blu-ray movies with excellent quality. Its downside is that it can be slow to operate and does not support 3D Blu-ray.

Creatures of Comfort: Choose the Right 3D Viewing Glasses

Sony TDGBR100B

Sony TDGBR100B, courtesy

First, everyone at ImportAdvantage would like to wish you happy holidays and a Merry Christmas!

3D TVs are more than a trend; they reflect a substantial shift in television and movie-making technology and an opportunity for new investments in the home theater experience. 3D TVs have been flying off the showroom floors during this 2010 holiday shopping season, just in time for the 30+ 3D movies coming out during the next two years. And with 3D-capable Blu-ray players becoming more readily available and dropping in price, many families will be enjoying more 3D movies in 2011 on TVs popping out of their TV lift cabinet.

The one caveat, however, is that 3D TV- and movie-viewing requires the use of 3D glasses, and with any profitable business model, television manufacturers have found a way to make their 3D TVs specialized to their own brand of 3D glasses. So a Sony 3D TV requires Sony 3D glasses, and a VIZIO 3D TV requires a pair of VIZIO 3D glasses. Where this seems to cause the greatest inconvenience among 3D TV owners is that it limits the number of watchers to the number of 3D glasses one owns, and it may mean that you can’t go over to a buddy’s house to watch Monday Night Football in 3D if you don’t have his TV brand’s glasses. This may change (and has already begun to thanks to “universal” 3D glasses being produced by companies like XpanD and Monster) since the Consumer Electronics Association, an industry group, is still finalizing standards for the emitters in 3D TVs.

With that said, another important factor in promoting 3D-watching is finding the right pair of 3D glasses that are comfortable to wear for two or more hours in one sitting. Before listing a few of the front-runners, it should be known that anybody who wears prescription glasses for TV-viewing may have more difficulty finding the right pair of 3D glasses, and it is highly recommended that you try on several pairs before purchasing.

From Sony, the TDG-BR100/B is a pair that allows viewing on Sony 3D TVs from a wide viewing angle, perfect for those with large entertainment rooms. Also, its battery life is up to 100 hours before needing replacement batteries, so about 20 movies worth.

From VIZIO, the XPG201 Theater 3D Glasses are battery-free and compatible with RealD 3D movie theaters, so you can bring your own to watch the re-release of the Star Wars trilogy.

Lastly, Samsung’s SSG-2100AB 3D Active Glasses are battery-powered features a “staggering” effect, blocking the left lens, then the right lens, which achieves a far more lifelike 3D effect. They are also sleekly-designed and fairly light, which adds to their comfort.

Do you already own a pair of 3D glasses? Please leave your own review here for others to read!

3D TVs on Everyone’s Holiday Wishlist

Likely to be the hottest TV gift this holiday season, 3D TVs are steadily rising in popularity and in technological capabilities. Couple that with a steady drop in prices, what more could customers ask for?

As the media entertainment envelope continues to be pushed, moving from HD to Blu-ray and now 3D, the movie industry will continue to play to the highest bidder, and right now that’s the 3D niche. In 2010, there were 25 3D movies released in theaters, and all of those, of course, were or will be released in 3D DVD versions. In 2011, the number of 3D movies is expected to top 30.

And by now everyone has heard that Lucasfilm Ltd. will be rereleasing the entire Star Wars saga in 3D, which will of course be followed by 3D DVDs. In Europe, Sky 3D is the world’s first full-time 3D TV station, which brings sports, movies and entertainment to its customers in 3D 100 percent of the time.

Many of the 3D TV holiday specials this year will feature TV kits that include free 3D-viewing glasses (required to view 3D movies) and a free Blu-ray player. Purchased on their own, these “freebies” could add about a $700 value to your purchase.

And in line with the industry-wide popularity of slim screens, all the major producers of 3D TVs are creating flat, wide screens. Viewing a film in 3D requires a screen large enough to fill a viewer’s field of vision or the effect is lost. 3D TVs measuring up to 65 inches is not uncommon.

As a bonus, many of today’s 3D TVs are also “smart” TVs, meaning they come Internet-ready and streaming-capable.

So which 3D TVs are the best to put on your holiday wishlist in 2010? Well, that is debatable, especially since many of the current 3D TV manufacturers are using different technologies and materials, delivering a variety of results, but many 3D connoisseurs agree that a Top 10 list should look something like this (in no particular order):

– Panasonic TX-P65VT20B

– Sony KDL-60LX903

– Sony KDL-52HX903

– Sony KDL-40HX803

– Samsung UE55C9000

– LG 55LX9900

– Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum

– Samsung LE46C750

– Samsung 40C7000

– LG 47LD950

Would agree with these picks? Do you own a 3D TV? We would love to hear about your 3D home-viewing experience. Leave us a comment.

What’s Great about Blu-ray Players?

Most people can remember when VHS moved over and made room for DVDs. Today, all the buzz is about Blu-ray movies and Blu-ray players. But what’s great about a Blu-ray?

For one, a Blu-ray disc can hold about 10 times more data than a standard DVD disc, which is great for high-definition videos and behind-the-scenes extras. The name itself, Blu-ray, comes from the blue laser used in the player to read the disc. Standard DVD players read information with a red laser, which has a longer wavelength and takes longer to read information stored on the DVD.

For a short time, Blu-ray discs were competing with HD (high-definition) DVD discs, but now most major movie studios, movie rental companies and even makers of Sony’s Playstation 3 have announced they will only be producing Blu-ray discs, simply because a higher quality picture can be placed on the disc, as well as more content in general.

At ImportAdvantage, however, it does not matter if you have Blu-ray player, a DVD player, or even a VHS player, all of them will work behind closed doors thanks to our patented Infrared Relay System, which comes standard in every TV lift cabinet we make.

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