Albatron has recently announced the exciting new “Blue Ray Decoder Card” giving mainstream users a great alternative to Integrated Graphics. This low-profile VGA card can provide even the most basic systems with High Definition video playback including Blu-ray and HD-DVD. This card also supports DirectX 10, boosting 3D graphics performance for the Windows® Vista™ operating system. [ed.: Please note that it says Blue Ray not "Blu-Ray" which is the official spelling for Blu-Ray Disc] Blu-ray vs. DVD Video Playback Blu-ray Disk™, otherwise known as BD, is a revolutionary challenge to traditional DVD Video, offering almost twice the resolution (1920x1080 BD vs 720x576 DVD). Blu-ray uses a blue-laser (as opposed to traditional red lasers) whose color (blue) has a smaller wavelength allowing it to read smaller, more compacted data. Compacted data means that you can record more data on a Blu-ray disk; up to 50 GB on a two-sided Blu-ray disk, as opposed to only 8.5 GB on a 4 hour, two-sided DVD disk. HD-DVD is also another supported high definition standard which also uses blue-laser technology. HD-DVD data capacity is a little less than a Blu-ray Disk, but it still can store up to 30 GB of data (double sided). This card also supports the HDCP standard, required for Blu-ray video. NVIDIA® PureVideo HD and CPU Utilization The technology behind this high performance, high definition video playback is NVIDIA’s PureVideo HD technology, embedded into the NVIDIA Geforce 8500GT GPU. One of the most practical aspects of this technology is that it focuses video playback mostly on the GPU, leaving your CPU to do other things. In fact, systems using Core 2 Duo processors with PureVideo HD usage has consistently shown CPU utilization under 20% during high definition video playback which also demonstrates up to a 60% reduction in CPU impact when using PureVideo HD versus using other technologies. This card also supports H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 encoding/compression formats used to record data on both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disks. DirectX 10, Windows Vista and Gameplay A system with discrete graphics (system with VGA card) and DirectX 10 is highly recommended when using the Windows Vista operating system and its new graphics user interface. DirectX 9.0C can get the job done but you won’t be able to experience the full effects of Vista without DirectX 10. The Blue Ray Decoder Card contains DirectX 10 along with Shader Model 4.0 providing the most efficient gameplay processing for the latest DirectX 10 games, which are just beginning to spill into the market. Systems with embedded graphics technology (Integrated Graphics) can save you money but performance will be compromised if you use Windows Vista. The Albatron Blue Ray Decoder Card gives mainstream consumers a high-value solution to meet Vista demands as well as provide a platform to support the latest technology such as Blu-ray Disk, HD-DVD video playback and DirectX 10 gaming.