Worst-dressed gadgets? Blu-ray and HD DVD players
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Mitsubishi’s prototype Blu-ray Disc player is big and somewhat intimidating. It’s far bigger than a normal DVD player.
Royal Philips Electronics’ Blu-ray player is bulky yet simple. Its few visible controls make it look like it could be easy to use, yet its size makes it seem like it could run hot and suck a lot of power.
Pioneer Electronics’ BDP-HD1 player was one of the slicker looking of the Blu-ray machines on display at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Yet it still looked more like a decent mid-1990s VCR than state-of-the-art technology.
To look at Sony’s BDP-S1 Blu-ray player was to flash back to ’80s-era Trinitron TVs. The buttons seem the same, and the machine itself is big and bulky and about as unsexy as possible.
Hewlett-Packard’s HD DVD digital-entertainment center looks kind of modern but also reminds one of an old dual-cassette deck.
It seems that in creating its sample HD DVD player, RCA simply took a shell from one of its old VCRs and stuffed it with new technology. The machine may turn out stunning image quality, but by its look, no one would know it.
With its bottom control panel door closed, Toshiba’s sample HD DVD player is a study in large simplicity. With the door open, the machine looks archaic.
Do the new Blu-ray and HD DVD players remind you of anything? To one CNET News.com reporter, they look a lot like 1980s-era VCRs.