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Am I Blu???

Am I Blu???
by Gary Woods

For those of you who have been out of the room for a while there's been a titanic struggle going on over which format would prevail as far as High Definition DVDs are concerned. The Contenders are Blu-Ray with such folks as Sony, Philips, Sun Microsystems, Dell, Pioneer, TDK, and Apple lining up to back the protocol, and HD DVD with such small companies as Toshiba, Sanyo, RCA, Microsoft, and Intel lining up on their side.

The thing is the battle has been pretty quiet because the cheapest players have been somewhere in the $1,000 range and with two formats nobody is really rushing out to plunk down their dough. We've all been kind of sitting on the sidelines waiting to see who would win and more importantly when the prices would come down. In the mean time the High Definition DVDs have been coming in to my local Blockbuster and I definitely want to play in the big game.

The good news is if you're a gamer and already have the Microsoft Xbox 360 you can get the external USB Xbox 360 HD DVD reader for the low, low cost of $200. Even with the reader your journey isn't quite over however. You will still need a graphics card and monitor with HDCP support as well the newest drivers.

When I saw the part about HDCP I decided it was time to sit back down on the bench and wait for a High Def DVD player that will display with Blu-Ray and HD DVD content for under $500. Well.... I'm waiting...

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc