C|net has a new Out of the Box feature where they cover the unpacking and set-up of new technology. Their debut video caught my interest, as a new Toshiba HD-DVD player is unpacked and — without even powering it up — dissected for all to see.
While I think it’s premature to choose sides in the upcoming format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, I do enjoy checking out how the players work. The opened HD-DVD player featured is essentially a Pentium 4-based PC with a few add-ons like the HD video decoder chip and a USB attachment containing the firmware. Surprisingly, the heavy lifting of the video decoding is done not by the Pentium 4, but by the HD decoder chip, leaving the P4 for tasks such as generating a pretty interface.
I look forward to see what other new technologies Out of the Box will cover, especially new Apple gadgets. WWDC is coming up in August, and I’m hoping for shiny new somethings from Apple. (Not glossy, mind you.)