Archive for October, 2009

Scandinavian BD certification scheme helps retailers improve tech knowledge

For the uninitiated, or those unfamiliar with technology, the world of HD and Blu-ray Disc can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important that retailers themselves understand all the technical terms associated with HD and BD, so they can educate their customers and let them make informed decisions.

In Sweden, the Blu-ray Forum and the HDTV Forum teamed up with the local electronics association to create a new joint certification program for retailers, which tests participants on their technical knowledge. Successful entrants receive a badge and door sticker for their store, giving customers greater confidence in their staff.

The certification programme was launched in June and has so far been a great success, with a wide range of retailers lining up to take part. So far, over 300 retail stores and 1,000 sales reps have been certified and it is hoped that 1,500 sales reps can be successfully trained by the end of October.

After phase one is completed, a second phase will be rolled out to the other Scandinavian countries, starting with Denmark.

Benelux tour shows consumers that without Blu-ray, HDTVs are just TVs

Over half of households in the Benelux region now own high-definition televisions, but many still only use them to watch standard definition content. To really show consumers the true potential of their HDTVs, the Blu-ray Disc Association is going on a tour of shopping malls throughout the region.

The tour will let the public have hands-on time with the latest BD players and discs, experiencing films in the way originally intended by the film-makers.

The tour is making the following stops before the end of the year – if you’re in the area why not come along and see what Blu-ray Discs have to offer?

  • Amsterdam, Kalvertoren shopping mall: Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October
  • Utrecht, Hoog Catherijne shopping mall, Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October
  • Luik, Les Galeries St. Lambert shopping mall: Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November
  • Brussels, City 2 shopping mall: Friday 13 and Saturday 14 November
  • Amstelveen, Amstelveen shopping mall, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 November
  • Rotterdam, Zuidplein shopping mall, Friday 27 and 28 November
  • St. Niklaas, Waasland shopping mall: Friday 4 and Saturday 5 December
  • Antwerp, Stadsfeestzaal shopping mall: Friday 11 and Saturday 12 December

Britain stuck in a tech time warp?

BVAResearch released today by the British Video Association (BVA) has suggested that the average British living room is stuck in 1992, often featuring an array of outdated technology including VHS recorders and cassette players.

The study of over 2,000 Brits revealed that while seven per cent of households are equipped with the latest consumer technology, including Blu-ray Disc players, almost half still own a VHS player that hasn’t been used in at least six months. In total, Britain is sitting on a huge 130,000 tonnes of redundant technology.

Gadget expert Nikki Moore said: “It’s clear that Brits are a nation of hoarders, reluctant to embrace change. We all too often stick to what we know as it’s safe but as a result we end up missing out. On the one hand 11 million homes have high definition TVs yet with nearly half of the nation reluctant to ditch their VHS players people are not getting the most out of their machine and potentially downgrading their movie experience by not having a Blu-ray Disc player. The reality is that new technology has never been easier to use or more affordable. As many families prioritise value in their Christmas shopping this year, gifts like a Blu-ray Disc player, which start at less than £100, are the perfect present for the whole family.”

Simon Heller from the BVA added: “While we may consider ourselves technophiles, nostalgia and fear of the unknown mean many UK homes resemble shrines to the 1990s. With more and more of us choosing to stay in at the moment, it seems that Brits are compromising their movie experience rather than enhancing it. If you really want to bring the cinema home you need to watch movies on Blu-ray Disc, which gives you an unprecedented High Definition movie experience, with five times great picture clarity and superior sound.”

Further details on the study and its findings can be read here.

All I want for Christmas is…

Blu Christmas

With the festive season fast approaching the Blu-ray Disc Association has compiled a list of some of the hottest Blu-ray Discs this Christmas.

In its recent report, Futuresource predicted European sales of Blu-ray Discs would reach 31m by the end of 2009. Blu-ray movies are an ideal stocking filler and with the selection of releases available, Christmas shoppers across Europe can be sure to find something to suit everyone. Our recommendations include films that can be enjoyed by the whole family as well as titles to keep the man or woman in your life entertained over the festive period.

Best Sellers
Star Trek (Paramount)
Bruno (Universal)
Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox)
Angels & Demons (Sony)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (WB)

Best for Men
Fight Club: 10th Anniversary Edition (Fox)
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount)
Terminator Salvation (Sony)
Inglourious Basterds (Universal)
The Hangover (WB)

Best for Women
Dirty Dancing (Lionsgate)
The Edge of Love (Lionsgate)
The Proposal (Disney)
Revolutionary Road (Paramount)
Ghost (Paramount)

Best for the Family
Night at the Museum 2 (Fox)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (WB)
Snow White (Disney)
Ghostbusters (Sony)
Mamma Mia (Universal)

If you need any more information on these titles, or other new releases hitting stores before Christmas, then do get in touch with us in the comments or via email.

BD Film Festivals in October

Following last month’s Deauville Festival in France, here are details of similar Blu-ray Disc events happening in other European territories this month.

A BD film festival in Milan is taking place at the Cinema Apollo from the 7th – 10th October. The first day is reserved for press, with the following three days open to the public.

Media attending the festival will be able to attend the first ever Blu-ray Disc screening of Disney Pixar’s Up, hear the latest statistical data for the Italian region, review the BD promotional group’s local activity and discuss future developments for the format, including 3D.

A three-day BD festival is taking place from the 15th – 17th October at the Village Cinema, Angelo Hotel and Andel Hotel in central Prague.

Timed to coincide with the ‘Home Cinema Prague’ exhibition, which attracts a high volume of press attendees, the festival will include two themed afternoons (‘HD – the future of home entertainment’ on the 15th and ‘BD – the new quality of surround sound’ on the 16th), exclusive BD screenings and opportunities for one-to-one briefings with local Blu-ray Disc spokespeople.

Two BD press workshops will take place at the Event Lounge in Brussels on the 29th October. The first will cater for Flemish speaking press and the second for Walloon speakers.

As Belgian consumers strive to get the maximum out of their HDTVs, the Blu-ray Disc format is growing in popularity. The events will highlight to the media BD’s success in the region, breaking through into what has traditionally been a tough market.

Details on other BD events happening later in the year will appear here over the next few weeks.

Blu-ray Disc Reporter

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