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HiDef DVD News VII - News Only : AND WE MEAN IT: NEWS ONLY - Page 129

post #3841 of 3949

Redbox, the company made famous by its red movie rental kiosks, has been completely bought out by its majority owner: Coinstar.
Speaking of profits, we're also being told that Redbox will start testing higher rental prices for BDs, much like Netflix has done, but obviously on a per-rental basis.
post #3842 of 3949

Mitsubishi Electric Corp announced Feb 12, 2009, that it developed a 1DIN automotive Blu-ray Disc (BD) player that has only 1/3 the volume of the company's home BD player.

It aims to commercialize the player in fiscal 2009.

A few articles about this article:
post #3843 of 3949
post #3844 of 3949
More studios move towards Blu-ray / DVD combo packs
post #3845 of 3949

...of the 200 million Blu-ray discs manufactured last year, only 18% were sold to consumers.
Worldwide production of Blu-ray Discs...was in excess of 200 million last year, and only 36 million sold. Futuresource Senior Consultant Michael Boreham says this overproduction is not a miscalculation in demand, but rather the act of "filling the pipeline," or pushing out product in anticipation of its future demand.

post #3846 of 3949

Katzenberg added that Blu-ray Disc, which tripled its sales last year, had little effect on company revenue because DWA primarily releases family titles.

[Blu-ray] is not a meaningful percentage of our business, said Katzenberg.

post #3847 of 3949
News is not commentary or predictions.

post #3848 of 3949

The Blu-ray Disc format was the bright spot in the home entertainment category and proved popular among consumers spending on software growing fourfold to nearly $750 million. According to the DEG, 250 percent more Blu-ray discs shipped to retail in 2008 versus the previous year.
Sales of Blu-ray Disc playback devices - including set-top box and game consoles - sold through almost 10 million units since launch. Three million devices sold in the fourth quarter alone, bringing total units sold to 9.654 million in calendar 2008, according to numbers compiled by the DEG with input from retail tracking sources.
The Blu-ray players are available at more than 10,000 storefronts and are marketed from leading manufacturers. There are nearly 80 Blu-ray playback devices available, with set-top models from as low as $149 (manufacturers' suggested retail price - street prices may vary).
post #3849 of 3949

Panasonic, Philips and Sony are currently working with other Blu-ray Disc(TM) patent holders to establish a one-stop-shop license for Blu-ray Disc(TM) products. This license, which covers essential patents for Blu-ray Disc(TM), DVD and CD, will be introduced in the middle of this year.
The three founding companies believe that the introduction of this simplified one-stop shop product license will stimulate the growth of the market for Blu-ray Disc(TM) products. Any holder of essential patents for Blu-ray Disc(TM), DVD and CD patents is invited to join this licensing entity as a licensor and also as shareholder.

The fees for the new product licenses are US$9.50 for a Blu-ray Disc(TM) player and US$14.00 for a Blu-ray Disc(TM) recorder. The per disc license fees for Blu-ray Disc(TM) will be US$0.11 for a read only disc, US$0.12 for a recordable disc and US$0.15 for a rewritable disc. As a result of the efficiencies obtained with the combined license offering, the royalty rates for Blu-ray Disc(TM) products are expected to be at least 40% lower than the current cumulative royalty rates for individual Blu-ray Disc(TM), DVD and CD format licenses.

A few articles about this press release:
post #3850 of 3949
Warner Bros. to support Chinese independent high-definition format will reach 70 million users


A few days ago, recorded Warner Home Entertainment Co., Ltd. Managing Director Fang Lin (Tony Vaughan) announced that Warner Bros. Entertainment Company will be issued in China Chinese independent high-definition format - the Blu-ray high-definition (CBHD) video programming.

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema Department of the many masterpieces in the first half of 2009 for the first time in high definition format available in China, including the popular "Harry Potter", "Golden Compass", "Speed racing", "Blood Diamond" and so on. Previously, Warner Brothers has issued a global BD Blu-ray format movies, and thus in China, consumers can not only buy these films CBHD version can also buy their BD Blu-ray version.

"These large areas of unusually high-definition picture quality and sound will be the first to come to China." Fang Lin (Tony Vaughan) said, "Warner has been recorded for Chinese families to provide the most perfect home entertainment experience. This times, we will strive to support high-definition technology in China to implement to enable them to ordinary consumers as soon as possible to enter the Chinese family."

CBHD are in the information industry and, under the guidance of the Department, by the Engineering Research Center of Tsinghua University, CD-ROM (OMNERC) synergy Chinese consumer electronics manufacturing giant TCL, a new Branch, with the side of common development. Supporting this format also includes the domestic well-known Production and distribution companies, record labels such as Chinese Corporation, China Film Group and Huayi Brothers Company.

CBHD is a patented technology in domestic and foreign top one, the Chinese patent pool independently authorized 1080p Full HD optical storage format, suitable for ordinary Chinese consumer market. CBHD player market pricing for the initial 1999 yuan (about 290 U.S. dollars), a CBHD discs will be priced at 50-70 yuan range (about 7.25 to 10.15 U.S. dollars).

It is estimated that in 2009 China has a high-definition TV users will reach 27 million by 2010, will be rapidly increased to 47,000,000, and in 2011 reached 72 million.

Google translation.
post #3851 of 3949

Samsung's new value priced Blu-ray player managed to fly under our radar at CES in favor of its better equipped brethren but that hasn't stopped Dave Zatz and others from stumbling into them at retail lately, like this one sitting on a Best Buy shelf. By making BD-Live required 1GB storage and WiFi dongle aftermarket accessories, you can grab a slim, Netflix streaming, fast Blu-ray loading box for $299.
post #3852 of 3949

Sony is adding four new Blu-ray Disc(TM) devices to its line-up today, including a stand-alone player with Wi-Fi(R) capability for easy BD-Live(TM) access and Blu-ray Disc home theater systems with S-AIR(TM) wireless audio.

The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 stand-alone players and BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W BD home theater systems deliver full HD 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema(TM) output, decode the latest advanced audio codecs and are BD-Live capable with your broadband internet connection and purchase of external memory.
Offering built-in Wi-Fi wireless network capabilities (802.11N/G/B/A), the BDP-S560 can easily connect to the Internet through your existing wireless home network to download and stream BD-Live content including additional scenes, short subjects, trailers, interactive games, and more.
The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 models support 7.1 channel Dolby(R) TrueHD and Dolby(R) Digital Plus, DTS(R)-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding as well as bit-stream output via HDMI.
Shipping this summer, the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 will retail for about $300 and $350, respectively.

A few articles about this press release:
post #3853 of 3949

With the rise in connected U.S. households, Panasonic March 11 unveiled a new line of Web-enabled (BD Live) Blu-ray players that include link to Amazon's video-on-demand movies, consume less energy and, in a throwback to the 1980s, play VHS.

Available in April, the DMP-BD60 retails for $299.95, the DMP-BD60 for $399.95 and the DMP-BD70V for $399.95. The BD60 consumes 16% less power in standby mode than last year's model, the DMP-BD35.

The three Blu-ray players feature 96kHz surround remaster, a function that enhances the sound quality of CDs and other sources, and even improves the quality of the multichannel audio data on Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.

Significantly the line includes Panasonic's branded Viera Cast that let consumers access the Internet without the need of a set-top box or PC, and also includes direct links to YouTube, Google's Picasa music streaming, Bloomberg and a weather channel.

post #3854 of 3949
Sales figures posts removed.
post #3855 of 3949

The Blu-ray Disc Association, China Hualu Group, and Digital Rise Technology Co., Ltd. held a press conference in Beijing today to announce a new digital audio coding technology, DRA, has been included in the BD-ROM 2.3 specification as an optional audio codec by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). DRA is the audio coding technology developed by Digital Rise Technology Co. Ltd. of China. Today’s announcement means that DRA has become part of the Blu-ray Disc format, the de facto worldwide standard for high-definition optical discs.
“We are glad to see that 22 Chinese manufacturers have obtained the Format and Logo License Agreement (FLLA ) for the Blu-ray Disc format, by which they are authorized to use the Blu-ray Disc Format Specifications and Blu-ray Disc Logo to develop, manufacture, and sell Blu-ray Disc products,” stated Mr. Sumitaka Matsumura, Chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association China Task Force.
DRA technology was proposed by the China Hualu Group to the BDA in August 2007 and was adopted following two rounds of technical evaluation conducted in the USA and Japan by the BDA. The evaluation process is transparent and open, and follows the same processes and criteria when evaluating other similar technologies.

A few articles about this announcement:
post #3856 of 3949
Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB), announced today that it is enabling and supporting consumer electronics makers in China to develop Blu-ray Disc products. Three digital entertainment companies in ChinaTCL Technoly Electronics (Huizhou) Co., Limited (TCL), MIT Technology Co., Limited (MIT Technology), and Lite-On IT Corporation (Lite-On IT)have agreed to license Dolby® TrueHD, a lossless compression technology, and Dolby Digital Plus, which delivers up to 7.1 channels of surround sound for future Blu-ray Disc products.

A few articles about this press release:
post #3857 of 3949
Windows Vista SP2 Hits RTM


Among the hottest additions in the new pack is the ability to record in Blu-Ray format for the first time in Windows.
post #3858 of 3949

Hi, Jessie Becker here, VP of Marketing, with a message for our members who have added Blu-ray access to their accounts. This message does not apply to you if you have not added Blu-ray access to your account.

The number of titles available for us to purchase on Blu-ray has increased significantly. Our Blu-ray selection has grown more than 60% in just 6 months to over 1,300 titles, and is continuing to expand quickly. Blu-ray adoption among our members has also grown - it's now close to 10%. As we buy more, you are able to choose from a rapidly expanding selection of Blu-ray titles. And as you've probably heard, Blu-ray discs are substantially more expensive than standard definition DVDs - often as much as 30% more.

We're committed to providing a high quality Blu-ray experience for our members who choose to add Blu-ray access, and in order to do that we need to adjust Blu-ray pricing. As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan.


To avoid any confusion, here are the charges for each of the plans.

1 DVD out at-a-time (2 DVDs a month)
Monthly plan cost: $4.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $1
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $5.99

1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $8.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $2
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $10.99

2 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $13.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $3
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $16.99

3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $16.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $4
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $20.99

4 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $23.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $5
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $28.99

5 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $29.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $6
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $35.99

6 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $35.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $7
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $42.99

7 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $41.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $8
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $49.99

8 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $47.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $9
Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $56.99

If you don't want to pay the additional charge for monthly access to Blu-ray, simply remove Blu-ray access on your account before April 27, 2009.



EDIT: More detailed story

Netflix to Raise Blu-ray Prices, Stock Surges


Netflix, which claims that 10% of its 10 million members actively rent Blu-ray content, had been charging BD users a $1 monthly surcharge. The new pricing replaces the surcharge.

The service has more 1,300 BD titles available compared to more than 100,000 DVD titles.

Michael Pachter, analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, said he estimated the cost to Netflix for a standard DVD is about $1.20 per use, and the cost of a Blu-ray title is around $1.80. He estimated that the average Netflix user watches six movies per month, including two that are Blu-ray.

The analyst said the incremental cost associated with the two BD titles is $1.20 ($1.80 - 1.20 = $0.60 x 2 = $1.20), which he believed Netflix had been covering.

We don't expect this surcharge change to impact usage or membership dramatically, given that there is not really anywhere else for people to go since Blockbuster raised prices on heavy users, Pachter said in a note. Thus, any revenue increase should drop to the bottom line.

A point not lost on investors, who heralded the price hikes sending Netflix stock up nearly 6% to close at $42.03 per share.

Pachter expects Netflix to grow revenues from $24 million to $30 million annually with the BD surcharges.

post #3859 of 3949

The percentage of consumers who use digital copies embedded in the physical discs they purchase is low but growing.
For digital copy, at 10%, this is a robust take rate when you look at consumers across different promotional offerings, said Dorinda Marticorena, senior VP of worldwide marketing and high-def at Warner Home Video. Digital copy is something where consumers see real value. Even when we offer a free movie ticket in DVD packages, redemption north of 10% is considered a highly successful promotion.

Warner continues to offer digital copy on both standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions of titles. But the studio has noticed that the feature is proving more popular with Blu-ray consumers. The Blu-ray version of The Dark Knight achieved 10% transfer rate on the first day of its Dec. 9 release and has since grown to 20%. Its two-disc standard DVD, which also held a copy, has achieved a 10% to 12% transfer rate to date.
It appears that consumers who do use digital copy say they prefer the relative speediness of transferring an embedded copy over downloading a Web-based copy.
post #3860 of 3949

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's new initiative to distribute two classes of discs for the sell-through and rental markets has stumbled out of the gate, with Amazon.com and other retailers receiving the wrong versions of March 31 release Slumdog Millionaire.

Amazon and other retailers, including Seattle's Scarecrow Video, received rental DVDs of the Best Picture Oscar winner, with no bonus features, inside retail packaging.

In other instances, retailers that had ordered rental copies found that inside rental packaging were extras-loaded retail versions.


Beginning with the releases of Marley & Me and Slumdog this week, Fox is distributing two classes of discs to stores: premium versions of its DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles with added-value material such as digital copy for the sell-through market and stripped-down offerings for rental.

Slumdog Millionaire, for example, has special features on the retail DVD but not the rental version. On Blu-ray, it has bonus features on both the rental and retail versions, but only the retail package includes digital copy.

post #3861 of 3949

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the first Walt Disney animated classic and the first DVD to sell a million copies in a single day, will make its Blu-ray Disc debut Oct. 6 in a special combo pack ($39.99) that includes a DVD. A two-disc standard DVD release ($29.99) will follow the combo pack by seven weeks, arriving in stores Nov. 24.

A few articles about this announcement:
post #3862 of 3949

Blockbuster Inc. April 6 warned shareholders if it doesn't close a previously announced amended credit facility by May 11, its ability to continue operations could be in substantial doubt.

The Dallas-based No. 1 DVD rental company issued the caveat in its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Blockbuster, which had a credit facility and Term A loan facility come due April 2, last week received a $250 million revolving credit facility commitment from JP Morgan and others lenders, due Sept. 30, 2010.

The risk that we may not successfully complete this refinancing ... raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, the company said in the 290-page filing.

Blockbuster operates 5,800 company-owned stores globally (3,878 in the United States), in addition to 1,599 franchise stores worldwide (707 domestically).

post #3863 of 3949
Sharp and Pioneer said they would set up a joint venture to merge their optical disc businesses, aiming to beef up one of their focus operations and take a leading position in the growing Blu-ray disc market.

post #3864 of 3949

Sony is offering an update to its Blu-ray authoring software, Click to Disc, to version 2.0 that was recently bundled with its Japanese update to the L-Series Vaio hardware. It will include for the first time, in any Blu-ray authoring program, the ability to integrate several BD-Live options into a disc, including access to online web albums (Picasa) and also a Google map-based gallery solution
Sony hasn't brought this outside Japan - yet - but Click to Disc users elsewhere should see this update sometime over the next few months.
post #3865 of 3949

Warner Home Video is bowing its first Blu-ray Disc/standard-definition/digital copy combo title with Inkheart on June 23.

Inkheart (pre-order May 19), a family adventure about books that come to life, is priced at $35.99 for the Blu-ray combo and $28.98 for the standard-definition single disc.

Warner joins a growing list of studios now offering combo releases in an effort to make Blu-ray more convenient, portable and therefore appealing to families considering the new format, including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment with The Princess Bride, among other titles.

In addition to the standard DVD copy, the Inkheart Blu-ray combo also exclusively includes a digital copy of the film. Other Blu-ray exclusives are the featurettes A Story From the Cast and Crew and From Imagination to the Page: How Writers Write. There also is a BD Live-delivered commentary with Inkheart director Iain Softley.

Both the standard single disc and Blu-ray combo have the featurette Eliza Reads to Us.

Warner also will bow the title for Web-based and cable/satellite video-on-demand services, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand, day-and-date with its Blu-ray/DVD release.

post #3866 of 3949
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has reversed its policy of separate versions of its DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases for rental and sell-through accounts as it pertains to the library channel.

Libraries, which were to receive the studio's stripped-down rental offerings, beginning with June titles will be able to order premium sell-through versions with added-value material such as digital copy, according to a notice obtained by VB.

Library media distributor Midwest Tape has informed its accounts that because of a large number of complaints, Fox has decided to reverse course on its strategy for libraries and make available sell-through versions of its releases.

The studio's sell-through and rental versions are generally priced the same, so there is no additional cost to libraries to receive the beefier sell-through editions.

It's not yet clear if this decision will trickle down to other types of DVD rental outlets.

post #3867 of 3949
Blu-ray technology takes features to mobiles
Full story here.


App for iPhone, Blackberry, others launching next week
By Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 4/17/2009

APRIL 17 | Blu-ray is about to go mobile.

BluFocus and NetBlender will debut an updated mobile app for the iPhone, Blackberry and other smartphones next week that will allow Blu-ray owners to transfer bonus and interactive features directly from their BD discs and players to phones.
post #3868 of 3949
Last warning: Sales figures posts are not news. Further posting of sales news will result in being banned from the thread.

Other not-news posts removed.
post #3869 of 3949
Panasonic developing 1080p twin-lens P2 camcorder for native 3D captures
by Darren Murph, posted Apr 20th 2009 at 5:09PM

... Currently, Panasonic's 3D Full HD Camera Recorder is merely a prototype, but it's made clear that the company intends to bring this to market as soon as possible. Essentially, the device will boast a twin-lens system for capturing 3D footage natively in 1080p, and all of the video streams will be stored on Panny's professional P2 cards. ...
post #3870 of 3949
China's high-definition Blu-ray products have been born all-round


Own proprietary technology to obtain all-round support for industry

Sina Tech News on April 22 to promote China's high-definition optical disc industry Union today released Blu-ray high-definition products in China (CBHD), This indicates that high-definition Blu-ray Disc Industry in China has entered a new stage of development. This unprecedented product launch of "China's Blu-ray, integration and innovation" as its theme, from the industrial and information related to the leadership of the Department, including TCL, a new Branch, in the recorded singing Warner Corporation and the responsible persons of enterprises attended the news conference.

China's high-definition Blu-ray format (CBHD) applied 4-6 (FSM) modulation, CECT navigation, AVS audio and video codecs, such as a number of independent intellectual property core technology, CD-ROM for single-double-layer capacity of 15GB/30GB. CBHD high-definition DVD using a blue laser to read, 1080P Full HD quality, multi-channel digital surround sound, a perfect match-wide high-definition (Full HD) television and home theater, shocking for consumers to enjoy audio and video.

TCL, a new, Chinese music Corporation, Tsinghua Tongfang countries such as CD-ROM project, Tsinghua University Cooperative Research Center, China Institute of Electronic Science and Technology Corporation, the third research units such as, after years of painstaking development of technology to overcome many production, as well as legal difficulties, CBHD has finally completed the layout of a complete industrial chain. Conference demonstrated the CBHD players and high-definition disc program, announced the official beginning of sales in the market. This format has been Warner, including the United States at home and abroad, including many of the support of content providers.

Tsinghua University, Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center, said Lu, deputy director: China has a population of more than one billion potential market can support their own independent high-definition optical disc system, CBHD has not only effectively reduce the disc player and the cost, but also more suited to the needs of Chinese consumers. The development of the Chinese CBHD discs have begun to enjoy the field of patents and the right to speak, would reduce the royalties, so that the existing industrial base can fully play its role. CBHD of China's information industry, CD-ROM copy of audio-visual publishing industry as well as provide new opportunities for development.

As we all know, China is the world's largest producer of optical discs. At present, China's DVD player output of about 100 million each year the size of Taiwan, the world's production accounted for more than 80%. Other related products such as PC peripherals, CD / CD-ROM drive to burn the production accounts for 70 percent of global production, has a huge industrial base. CD replication industry is similar to CD-ROM copy of existing enterprises in China more than 120, including read-only DVD copy more than 80 enterprises, more than 500 head copy line; DVD recorder to copy more than 40 enterprises, more than 700 head copy line. This chain of more than 120 industry related enterprises, means that at least tens of billions of dollars of investment. In this case, if the existing industrial base to abandon completely the use of the BD format, the audio publishing industry in China is a huge waste of the cost. Therefore, the birth of China's Blu-ray CBHD industrial base for the continuation and development is very important.

CD-ROM format to promote not only dependent on technological progress and, more importantly, to promote industry and market. Department of Public Works under the guidance of the letter to set up "China to promote high-definition optical disc industry Union (CHDIA)", the domestic and foreign content providers, CD-ROM disc manufacturers, CD-ROM production equipment providers, broadcast equipment manufacturers, component providers and broadcast equipment hardware and software vendors and other related businesses united to promote the building of a complete industrial chain of China's Blu-ray and mature healthy market.

CBHD has a variety of video resources. Hollywood giant Warner, China Record Corporation, has launched dozens of album CBHD high-definition. Warner recorded Fang Lin, general manager, said: in 2009, recorded CBHD format Warner plans to issue at least 100 large, in order to provide a more rich Chinese families, a more perfect family entertainment!
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