Archive for July, 2009

Sony showcases interactive BD features

Sony Pictures has given a taster of some of the special features appearing in current Blu-ray Disc releases Ghostbusters and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Comedy classic Ghostbusters has been given a new lease of life on BD. In addition to remastered audio and video, a range of all-new special features has been included. Below is a preview of the exclusive Picture-in-Picture commentary, with writer Harold Ramis explaining the origins of his character in the film, Egon.

Meanwhile, comedy Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist comes to BD with a special feature that perfectly suits the film’s musical heritage. Nick & Norah’s Interactive Playlist gives viewers background information and trivia on the songs and artists featured in the film, and the option to create custom playlists which can be shared with friends by email.

Further clips from new and upcoming releases from Sony can be viewed at the Experience Blu-ray channel.

Viral BD gaming with Bluscape

If you have a few minutes free today why not try your luck at the brand new Bluscape game, presented by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

Bluscape comprises several different games, so there should be something for everyone, whether you’d like to use your Blu-ray laser to cut down enemy spacecraft in Titan Wars or collect the HDMI power ups in Peakskill. The game has been developed to help raise awareness of the Blu-ray Disc brand online, as well as highlighting key benefits of the format in a fun, interactive way.

Good luck!


UK BD sales continue to rise despite recession

Figures released by the British Video Association and the Official Charts Company have revealed that demand for Blu-ray Discs in the UK is growing, with sales at the half-year mark up 231% over the same period in 2008.

Hannah Conduct, Marketing Manager at the BVA, said:

“The continuing success of Blu-ray is testament to the growth of consumer confidence in the high definition format. There are now almost 1500 Blu-ray releases in the market covering a breadth of titles. Seeing is believing with Blu-ray and the figures show that once consumers have experienced the format, they continue to spend their money on the product.”

Welcome to the official European blog of the Blu-ray Disc Association!


Welcome to the European blog of the Blu-ray Disc Association, the group of companies dedicated to developing and promoting the Blu-ray Disc format. Here you’ll get the inside-track on everything BD related – from the latest player or disc launches to exclusive interviews with industry thought leaders.

This site is aimed at industry insiders, analysts and members of the press, looking for background information and an overview of the latest developments surrounding Blu-ray Disc. Consumers are, of course, welcome to stick around but you may find more useful information, tailored to your particular country, at the Blu-ray Disc Global Sites.

Below this post you’ll find some news stories from the past couple of weeks, but expect to see regular posts every couple of days on the latest breaking news. You can sort the news on the site by story type or topic area (see the right hand toolbar) and within the next few weeks, you’ll also be able to select specific news from your region by clicking on the countries to the right.

Enjoy reading and do let us know what you think via the comments sections.

Best wishes,

The European  Blu-ray Disc Association communications team.

Sony Pictures to release four new BDs in UK in July

Sony Pictures has announced its UK Blu-ray Disc release schedule for July and it’s a fantastic collection.

First up is The International, out on July 6. Starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, this intelligent, stylish thriller tells the story of an Interpol Agent (Owen) and a Manhattan D.A. (Watts) on a dangerous, cross-continental mission to stop an international arms ring. The disc is packed with extra content, including a BD exclusive picture-in-picture commentary giving behind-the-scenes footage and interviews as the film plays, and BD-Live CineChat, which enables viewers to send onscreen messages to friends watching the movie anywhere around the world. You can find out more about CineChat here.

Joining The International on shelves on July 6 is the BD debut of martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Ang Lee’s breathtaking, Oscar-winning classic looks better than ever on Blu-ray Disc and comes with exclusive high definition bonus material including a commentary, interviews and a making-of documentary.

On July 20, Cadillac Records comes to BD. It chronicles the rise of Leonard Chess’ (Adrien Brody) Chess Records and its legendary recording artists, including Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Willie Dixon (Cedric The Entertainer) and the great Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles). In addition to a commentary with writer/director Darnell Martin and two behind-the-scenes featurettes, the Blu-ray Disc contains an exclusive, innovative feature that allows viewers to create a musical playlist from the film’s songs which can be shared with friends.

Finally, July 27 sees the BD release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Based on one of the best-selling video games of all time, this intense sci-fi adventure picks up where the game left off, with stunning computer generated visuals perfectly suited to the Blu-Ray Disc format. High definition extra contents include features on the legacy of the original Final Fantasy VII game, and an exclusive sneak peek at the long-awaited Final Fantasy XIII.

Gladiator Makes Blu-Ray Disc Debut

The epic adventure Gladiator will make its UK Blu-ray debut on 7th September 2009 with European territories to follow. The Universal/Dreamworks co-production is one of Universal’s best selling DVDs of all time, selling over 5,372,000 million units worldwide.

Director Ridley Scott tells the story of Maximus Decimus (played by Russell Crowe) a Roman general who is betrayed by the corrupt prince Commodus.  Captured and enslaved along the outer fringes of the Roman Empire, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladatorial arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor.

The multiple Academy Award winner will be presented on two BD 50 Dual- layer discs and include a staggering 11 hours of extra content. The first disc includes both the theatrical and extended version of the film, audio commentary, deleted scenes and the Vision of Elysium: Topic Portal, a BD-exclusive U-Control feature that will allow viewers to tag moments of interest throughout the film and create a list of topics to learn about in the supplements on the second disc, including Strength and Honour: Creating the World of Gladiator, the definitive documentary on the origin, product and impact of the film.


Blu-ray boom in Benelux

The recession may spell bad news for the global economy, but there are positive signs for the home entertainment industry.

Statistics released by international market research company GfK reveal that sales of Blu-ray Disc players in the Benelux region since the start of 2009 are five times higher than the same period in 2008. In addition, more than €10.4 million has been spent on Blu-ray Discs since the start of the year as more people choose to stay at home for entertainment rather than go out.

With half of all households in the region owning a HDTV and more than 750,000 having a BD player, the future for high definition entertainment looks bright.

Sharp Launches BD-HP22H Blu-ray Player

Sharp Electronics has announced the availability of its new Blu-ray Disc player, the BD-HP22.

The BD-HP22 is designed with full high definition and 1080p technology, producing a high quality picture. 24Hz video output means any on screen action appears smooth and seamless, regardless of the film being watched, and full 7.1 surround sound, achieved through the integrated DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, produces powerful acoustics.

The BD-HP22 comes with BD-Live (Profile 2.0) technology, giving viewers access to additional content, and it also arrives on the market as one of the most environmentally friendly Blu-ray players available today, with a low power consumption of just 20W, and only 0.7W in standby mode.


Videociety – a new way to watch movies on a BD player

A brand new way to watch movies on BD players is coming to Europe. Videociety is a Pay-Per-View video delivery service from Enteractive that lets movie enthusiasts rent movies using BD-Live to stream content directly over the internet. This is an ideal way to combine the Blu-ray Disc and the BD-Live technology inside all Blu-ray players on the market today to give viewers even more choice.

The downloadable movies come in high quality video format with either Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround audio. It’s reported that the streaming is so fast that users can even start watching the movie as it’s downloading. All that will be needed to use the service is initial registration with Enteractive, selection of your favourite movies and creation of a playlist on your PC or mobile phone. Then just insert a Videociety enabled disc in your Blu-ray player, login and start streaming movies via a broadband connection.

The technology will be officially launched at Berlin’s IFA in September.


Streaming music comes to BD-Live

HelFischer_BD_audio control

In an interesting development for music on the BD format, Imagion has revealed an interactive audio player for BD Live. In short, BD Live can now, for the first time, stream audio tracks directly into your living room, turning your ordinary BD player into an interactive music box. The screen shot above shows the world premiere of the Blu-ray Disc dynamicHD BD-Live audio control, which will debut on the next BD release from German singer Helene Fischer.

The Helene Fischer Blu-ray release includes five songs and an exclusive 18 minute video clip that can be streamed by owners of the Blu-ray Disc. Track and composer information as well as a lyrics engine to supply full information on the tracks are included, in addition to a Karaoke mode which will no doubt prove popular with closet superstars across the world.

Blu-ray Disc Reporter

%d bloggers like this: