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Going Broke in High Def!

Being a recent HDTV purchaser, I have of course been busy looking for ways to make my life more High Definition "friendly". From streaming media to my Xbox 360 to directly connecting my PC to my television, I have tried to squeeze as much HD out of my new system as humanly possible. So when I heard on Engadget that Amazon was having a deal where you can get up to 8 free HD-DVD movies for purchasing a Toshiba HD-DVD player, I was excited. Engadget says,
"The latest promo on Amazon gets you three free HD DVDs if you buy an HD-A2, HD-A20 or HD-XA2 Toshiba player. Add that to the five free HD DVDs Toshiba will give you through mail-in rebate and you're practically getting the player for free."
Of course I searched Amazon for these players, figuring if I could save a few bucks while at the same time getting a much needed HD-DVD player to complete my High Def-ness (did I just make up a word?). Cheapest one on there was the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player which was on sale for around $240 USD, before any tax. The higher class Toshiba HD-XA2 version will put you behind a good $600 USD and that is on sale!

Honestly, even with all the recent technological advances we have seen in the last twenty years and even with the recent decline in the pricing for high definition LCD and Plasma televisions, being a tech lover has yet to get significantly cheaper (at least I'm not losing this much money). Sure, you can say that if you want the latest and greatest you will have to pay for it, but I still won't be one to pass up a cheap bargain if I can find it. Being in the world of technology costs money, being in college costs more, and so I am forced to compromise.

What kind of compromise should I or any other HDTV owner look for? Well it depends on what you are planning on using your HDTV for. With the next generation consoles and digital storage formats quickly becoming last gen., some are forced to make the hard decision of whether or not they will limit the scope of their HD electronic environment. While many are only interested in the non-interactive media aspect of high definition, I personally feel that by only using that, you are only embracing half of the total potential of your system. That is what is so great about the current gaming systems of today (well apart from the Wii). Not only can you play the games that so many of us love and enjoy (in High Def!), but in purchasing either of the systems you are ready to unlock the tantalizing greatness that is true High Definition Media. While the Playstation 3 (<- Check out the deal!) does have the Xbox 360 beat on out-of-the-box, built in High Definition players (Blu-Ray), the option still remains for both platforms.

Which brings me to my long awaited, overdrawn point. Why spend almost $600 USD on an HD-DVD player when you can get something that does the same thing plus gives you the ability to play video games for around the same price or less? Back in the beginning of August, Best Buy was offering the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player extension for under $150 USD and some other places have been pushing it for $170 USD plus an additional 6 free HD-DVDs - nearly half the price of any of the available HD-DVD player deals we have seen today! Sure, you can argue that you may lose some functionality and the "awesome" Toshiba/(insert name brand here) user interface of their HD-DVD players, but when the option comes between an entire media system that can stream/play/download (you name it) high definition media, and one that simply plays high definition DVD formats, you would think the decision would be simple.

While the current Toshiba HD-DVD player Amazon deal is getting so much hype, it seems that a few other money saving deals have been quietly passed over. Namely this current Playstation 3 deal from Amazon. If I had the money, you know I would be snatching this up quicker than a Bush Administration official leaving Washington. So for those of you who are so interested in high definition video, why aren't you taking advantage of this? If you are hesitant to go a different route than traditional next generation DVDs, I doubt the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD format war will be ending anytime soon. ;)

Don't be an idiot, especially if you live in the U.K. Some of the options available to you can really cover all of your media needs and more.

Update: It seems that Amazon is going crazy with their High Definition players. They just put another deal up offering the Xbox 360 HD-DVD and up to 9 free HD-DVDs (part from a mail in rebate). Check it out: Here

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