High-Def DVD, The Sequel

The second generation of HD DVD and Blu-ray players offers gorgeous video-and a potential way out of the format war
Comparing Sony's $1,000 dedicated Blu-ray player and the $500 PlayStation 3 game console, which also plays Blu-ray discs, you might reasonably expect that the higher-priced model would deliver superior results. But in many ways, Sony's $1,000 BDP-S1 is less impressive than the PS3. The latter offers HDMI 1.3 and support for Dolby TrueHD sound, both lacking in the BDP-S1. And Blu-ray movie quality was a toss-up, with both performing beautifully. In its favor, the BDP-S1 scales up regular DVDs to high-quality 1080p resolution, whereas the PS3 plays DVDs at their native 480p format (a software patch for high-def upscaling is reportedly in the works). And the BDP-S1 includes a sleek silver remote control, while a less elaborate remote is a $25 extra for the PS3. On the other hand, you can't save civilization from alien invaders with the BDP-S1. $1,000; sonystyle.com
Rating: 7/10

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One glance at the images from high definition discs, and regular DVDs don´t look so great. The first Blu-ray and HD-DVD players were expensive and kludgy. But prices are creeping down. And after obsessively watching Mission Impossible III and Superman Returns on a bunch of new players, we found several polished models with great video quality.

To see our picks, click here