High Definition for the Frugal

Large, and in chargeYeah, I know, you must be as tired of HD-DVD/Blu-ray posts as I am … but there is some news to report.

Sony has just knocked $100 off the U.S. sticker price of its looming second-gen player, the BDP-S300, making it — as Engadget points out — cheaper than a PlayStation 3.

(I was in the Eaton Centre on Saturday, and noticed the Sony Store was taking pre-orders for the S300 at $699; that’s forty bucks more than the PS3, so here’s hoping the Canadian price will be adjusted downward too.)

I’ve been going back and forth on the whole PS3 thing for months now, reluctant to buy one for a number of reasons; I’m not a gamer, I resent the additional cost of the component-video cables and remote control, and the lack of SD-DVD upconversion (until the last firmware update) was particularly annoying. The S300 seems better suited to my needs, and the price drop makes it even more desirable.

And speaking of price drops, check out this amazing deal on Toshiba’s first-gen HD-DVD player, the A1, over at TigerDirect.

That’s in Canadian dollars, by the way. If you’re in the US, it’s even cheaper.

Again, I’ve been reluctant to invest in an HD-DVD player — I don’t see the format beating Blu-ray in the long run, and the first-gen models are gargantuan, clunky, and slow. But I do want something on which I can watch all those exclusive Universal titles — or those region-free international rarities — and with the slow pace of those combo players, this sure does look like an inexpensive insurance policy.

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