Archive for February, 2010

The Twilight Saga: New Moon rising on BD this March

Vampire franchise phenomenon The Twilight Saga is set to continue its domination of the film world when the second film in the series, New Moon, is released on Blu-ray Disc in Europe from next month.

The film, which set theatrical box-office records last year, is due for release across Europe in March. Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, the film continues the epic tale of vampires and werewolves living secretly among us. The New Moon Blu-ray includes a six-part Making-Of documentary, music videos from artists including Muse and Death Cab For Cutie, and Q&As with the film’s stars.

The next film in the series, Eclipse, is due for theatrical release in July.

Panasonic demos DMP-BT300 3D Blu-ray player

The UK’s Stuff magazine has had a sneak preview of Panasonic’s first 3D Blu-ray player, the DMP-BT300.

First shown at CES in January, the 3D player is expected to go on sale in Europe from May. Following the announcement of the final Blu-ray 3D specification, the player delivers a full HD image to both eyes, maintaining the pristine 1080p high definition picture quality that Blu-ray is famous for. The player was demonstrated in conjunction with one of Panasonic’s new Active Shutter 3D televisions.

In its write-up, Stuff reports that pictures were “crisp and sharp”, and while they’re not yet convinced that all films will benefit from a shift to the third dimension, certain demo footage, including scenic films and sports, was said to work “incredibly well”.

The news follows last week’s announcement from Sony on its first 3D players. Expect more news on Blu-ray 3D as the technology approaches its launch.

The Gadget Show on the BD experience: enough to set your heart racing

Last week, UK TV programme The Gadget Show carried out an interesting experiment to get a better idea of the emotional impact of the Blu-ray experience when compared with DVD.

It took a group of students from Aston University and hooked them up with equipment to monitor any changes in their heart rates. Half of the group then watched a sequence from the BBC’s nature documentary Life on Blu-ray Disc, while the other half watched the same scene on DVD.

As they watched, the team monitored changes in heart rate, with some startling results. The group watching the DVD saw an average increase in heart rate of 26.7%, but the Blu-ray group’s average increased by 39% – which is more than half as much again.

The experiment was a great way to demonstrate the added excitement and immersion that Blu-ray Discs can deliver. If you’d like to see it for yourself, click here to watch the segment online.

Sony announces details of its first two Blu-ray 3D Disc players

Following its initial reveal of 3D players at CES, Sony has officially announced details of its first 3D-capable models to hit the market.

Firstly there is the affordable BDP-5470, which will become 3D-enabled courtesy of a firmware upgrade.  Then there is the BDP-S570, which is 3D Ready out of the box.

In addition to 3D high definition display, these players can stream movies, videos and more from websites such as YouTube, direct to your TV.  The S570 also includes IP content Noise Reduction which enhances the picture quality of internet videos. Further more, with DLNA technology, the S570 can ‘talk’ to your phone, laptop or music player and play back content on your TV.

Users with an iPhone or iPod Touch can also transform their device into a remote control with a free app downloadable from the App store, which is exclusive to Sony Blu-ray players and Home Cinema systems.

The European release date for these players is yet to be announced but it is expected to be this summer.  To view the full press release, click here.

BDP-S470

This Is It to hit Blu-ray this February

Michael Jackson’s show that never was, This Is It, will be available on Blu-ray Disc in Europe from Monday 22nd February.  With Blu-ray Disc’s superior, 7-channel sound quality, this is the best way to watch this music filled documentary and reflect on what could have been.

What’s more, the Blu-ray release of the film sees the debut of a new BD-live feature: MovieIQ Sync. This feature allows MovieIQ data to be viewed on a PC or iPhone that is synchronized with the movie. Other features on the disc include the ability to create custom playlists of the songs in the film.

Here’s the trailer:

Blu-ray player prices continue to fall

The price of Blu-ray Disc players continues to fall in the UK, with a number of models from leading consumer electronics manufacturers and BDA members now available on the market at around the £100 mark.

For example, the Phillips BDP3000 is currently available from Amazon for less than £100, while The Sun’s gadget columnist Jonathan Weinberg has written an article on the low price of the Sony BDP-S360, which is retailing for around £110. Both players are fully featured, with support for DVD upscaling, 7.1 sound and BD-Live content.

Considering price of players has previously been cited as one reason why some have yet to upgrade to BD, the arrival of these players on the market will surely tempt more consumers to make the jump from DVD. As Weinberg points out, at these prices, BD players are “an absolute steal”.

Go behind the scenes with The Oscars’ Best Pictures on Blu-ray

Update: To spread the love a little, we are now giving away a Blu-Ray Disc every Monday to our blog and Twitter followers. Last week, we gave a copy of Hurt Locker to @melspur on Twitter. Today, we are giving away a copy of Disney Pixar’s Up! To enter, simply leave a comment stating what your favourite animated film of all time is.

For a second entry, simply click the following link to retweet this post on Twitter.  Good luck!  Tweet this

We have featured this competition at:

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax.co.uk

The highly-anticipated Oscar nominations for 2010 have finally been announced. Four of the ten nominations for Best Picture are already (or imminently) available to watch on Blu-ray, equipped with plenty of special features for delving into the reasons these films have received critical acclaim.

Both The Hurt Locker and Up (released in Europe this month) have special behind the scenes footage presented in high definition. In Up for example, one of the many short documentaries shows how the Pixar team developed their 78-year old action hero and the efforts they went through to accurately convey his moves. It also contains BD-live feature The Global Guardian Badge Game, which gives kids and families a chance to brush up on their geography skills.

On the Inglourious Basterds Blu-ray, a roundtable discussion with director Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and film critic Elvis Mitchell is worth a watch, for additional understanding of the films’ premise.  Finally, the District 9 Blu-ray provides the option to watch the film with BD-Live features MovieIQ and Cinechat, as well as including several behind the scenes documentaries (all in HD).

All in all, the special features on these Oscar nominated Blu-ray Discs will ensure you are fully equipped with all the information to choose which you think is most deserving of the top prize. The question is, will your favourite win?


Blu-ray Disc Reporter


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